Tag: Attempt

A firm will

It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it. General Douglas MacArthur

Every day is a challenge, a war with our emotions, our feelings, our thoughts and our experiences. Most times we win the battle because we are prepared mentally and ensure that we are well equipped to meet the challenges with a positive attitude, a firm determination and a fighting spirit. On the occasions when we are defeated, dispirited and desperate we tend to lose hope, fail to see the learning from the experience and instead are tempted to throw in the towel. Fortunately for us more often than not our will to win will energize our spirit and keep us going to fight another day.

The reality of life is that, for us to achieve anything or attain anything, we must have a strong motivation, a passionate desire and a very firm will and determination. Look back at the school days and visualize the passionate competition indulged in by the toppers be it in academics, sports or extra circular activities. Can you recollect some of the more innovative techniques and styles of these people, the constant studies or practice they endured and the numerous distractions they overcame in order to unwaveringly attain their goal? The will is not just any commitment but a steadfast refusal to be distracted by anything be it happy or sorrow filled, challenging and risky and / or routine or experiential.

Look at boxers in a ring and the sheer brutality of the game is a classic example of how the will becomes central to the success of the ultimate winner.  While good technique, stamina, physical fitness, power packed punches etc. are all very vital elements, the winners are able to take a punishment and inflict worse on the opponent and this is made possible by drawing on their determination and will. The sufferings we undergo may not be physically so challenging but mentally and emotionally they can be torturous and we would need to draw upon all our inner strength and self belief to overcome the pain and hurt.

A strong will is quite different from being obstinate. The former is focused and clear and we are convinced we must tread during our journey through life, whereas obstinacy is a more emotional, less rational and possibly a rather radical approach. When we have the will it is a conscious and planned approach that takes into account the upside gains and the downside losses and lets the circumstances determine our commitment. On the other hand when we are obstinate we are committed no matter what the situation. Obstinacy is often triggered by our ego, our perceived but mistaken notion of our invincibility and our itch to prove a point. Many a war is actually played in the mind; we need to acknowledge a problem, we would have to make painful decisions with regards to how to tackle it and there are times when we have to simply step back and withdraw to avoid more humiliation and misery. Then we may live to fight another day and win.

Remember: “So many of our dreams at first seem Impossible, then they seem Improbable, and then when we Summon the Will, they soon become Inevitable. Christopher Reeve

Try this:

  1. Name 3 things that you envy, that is owned by a friend who is of comparable financial status and background as you. Now make a determined will to also acquire it within a determined time frame and be prepared to make sacrifices for it. Experience the joy when you actually acquire it.
  2. For the New Year, make your New Year resolutions list. Ensure that there are at least 3 personal habits or personal changes that you want to make in the coming year. E.g. To be more punctual at work or to spend less time on the internet etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Using our potential

Why should I deem myself to be a chisel, when I could be the artist? J.C.F. von Schiller

The one thing that many of us have great difficulty in is really understanding our own potential. In the first place we cannot really identify our interests in life. Then we find it hard to really identify our strengths and even more painful to acknowledge our weakness. As a result more often than not we suffer from an inferiority complex or flaunt a superiority complex. As a result the real potential gets camouflaged in a mire of underutilization and misdirection. The overwhelming majority of us are guilty of under achieving and as a result we do not see ourselves as diamond that can sparkle but as lumps of coal.

If we want to really understand our true self better, we have to make an effort to be aware of our real self. The first step in this process is to be a good listener. This is not as easy as it sounds because more often than not we are busy refuting things that we hear but do not like. We need to pay close attention to our critics for they can give strong clues about areas of improvement. We must also be grateful to those who appreciate us for they are signaling potential in us that we may not fully comprehend or acknowledge. It is equally important to listen to our own inner voice that will prompt us about our strong feelings that will ultimately prove right. We may get a feeling that while we are strong in something, we may really not be having a long term interests in it and that we may get bored soon. This perhaps explains the numerous people who purse professions completely different from their basic and professional academic qualifications.

The second step demands honest appraisal of our abilities. We may have the ability to be multifaceted and would ideally prefer to juggle all our interests. However at some stage we may find that we have to eliminate some of our interests since we cannot devote the time and recourses to all our interests. This is tough because our heart craves for what we have strong likings for but the head rationalizes more objectively and we may have to take unpalatable decisions. By deferring and delaying our decisions on emotional grounds we may damage our own potential.  The third step is to work on honing our skills to perfect them. Once we have eliminated what does not fit into our priority we will have to take proactive steps to hone our skill sets in the area that we have chosen for ourselves. This can involve many sacrifices and there will be many times when we are assailed by self doubts.

Overcoming self doubt and building up confidence will finally light up our path to success and triumph. We would have to endure pain, overcome obstacles, encounter failure and be resilient to critics if we have to eliminate our self doubts. Thereafter with hard work and through experience we slowly buildup our confidence and before we realize it, we who were tools in another’s hand suddenly have the tools in our own hands and we can carve our own niche in this world.

Remember: “Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.” Erich Fromm

Try this:

  1. Choose between learning 3 new card tricks or 3 new coin tricks. Go out and learn it. Find books or experts who can teach it. Believe that you have it in you to learn it.
  2. List out 3 tasks that you have never attempted before.  E.g. gardening, cooking, teaching, referring, organizing, supervising, new styles of dancing, karaoke singing etc. Choose one of them and put a target date to mastering it.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Fear is …

Fear is the absence of faith. Paul Tillich

The biblical story of David’s triumph over Goliath demonstrates the above quote in action. It was David’s complete faith in his abilities that gave him the courage to take on what almost everyone present saw as a battle of unequals. Yet with his immense faith in his ability to hit the bulls eye with his sling shot David took up the challenge and overpowered Goliath. Closer home, in the more modern context the exploits of social activists and particular RTI activists who challenge the might of the establishment at great personal risk, is a shining example of how those with faith have no fear and boldly march in where angels fear to tread.

While it is true that danger lurks in every corner, living in fear is just a cowardly act and a no brainer. What one needs to clearly identify are the real dangers and the imaginary fears. There is real danger for any solider on the battle front but a well prepared army always has a full complement of fearless soldiers.  They have full faith in their training, their equipment, their team members and their commanders and so they are fearless. On the other hand there could be mission specific dangers like deactivating mines or attempting to blow up an outlook post which is well and only the brave hearts are entrusted such jobs. Here too the danger multiplies multifold but the man of the moment has faith in his commander, his mission skills and his ability to meet up to the lofty standards he has set for himself.

Unfortunately there are far too many people who commit suicide or attempt to commit suicide and the reason for such drastic action have a common theme; their fear of the future which in effect is lack of faith in themselves and the society around them. It could be fear of bankruptcy or the fear of social stigma or fear of one’s fall from grace or fear of parental retribution; they simply lack faith in their own abilities to fight back and / or lose faith the society (in which they are) to be more understanding and charitable.  Take the case of a rape victim who believes that society at large would view her as and / or label her as defiled, destroyed and deplorable. She has no faith that her honor can be restored in society and perhaps has no faith that the criminals will be brought to justice.

Ironically almost all of us reading this can easily pinpoint to hundreds of examples in our lives where our lack of faith has translated into fear of being proactive. We lack the faith in our ability to write so we fear writing letters to the editor to complain; we lack faith in our ability to stand up for our rights so we fear the consequences of fighting for justice; we lack faith in ourselves to be change agents so we fear any form of change in the status quo; the list is endless and the reality an eye opener.  Believe in yourself if you want to be your true self!

Remember: “You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” Mary Manin Morrissey

Try this:

  1. Jot down 3 colors that you are not very fond of. Write it down before you read further. Are you clear in your mind what those colors are? Click on the color palette on a word document page and clearly identify the colors you are not fond of. Your challenge now is to incorporate any one of those colors into clothes that you buy next. Were your fears / apprehensions valid? Did people appreciate that dress when you wore it? Try buying clothes that have the other 2 colors too.
  2. Attempt to do something that you have always be afraid of. It could be wearing a bikini or handling a snake or experimenting with some exotic dishes. When you start overcoming your fears you will realize that your faith in yourself is restored. Enjoying the new experience will be a big bonus too.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Unless you try…

No one knows what he can do until he tries. Publilius Syrus

Most people when confronted with a new situation or a new task immediately react with a response that they cannot measure up to it. While it is a normal human response to shy away from what is perceived as tough call, a little rational thinking and logic if applied will make us realize that everything is possible unless we try and fail. To put it differently, unless we try how will we know if we are capable of it? Look at our own life and the numerous new tasks that we have tried at first, failed and yet perceived and become experts at it. Remember the early kindergarten days when evening memorizing the alphabets was a challenge and writing it a very daunting prospect. As we grew learning to swim posed a huge problem of fear of drowning and inability to float and yet today we jump into a pool shrieking with delight. Remember the bruised knees when learning to cycle and confusing clutch and brake while learning to drive. When we persisted we mastered!

One reason we fail to try is simply fear of failure. The embarrassment of failure has been the biggest stumbling block to people daring to attempt. Most of us don’t even realize our full potential because we are not prepared to take risks, explore different avenues and are secure in the comfort of the routine. In real, almost all of us fail in our first attempt at anything new and yet with singularity of purpose, a steely resolve and a unquenchable thirst we can repeatedly attempt till we achieve what we set out to do. Look at a small baby’s first attempt at standing up and walking all by itself. The child will fall repeatedly, perhaps even hurting itself in the process but it strives and finally achieves its first baby steps.  One reason for it is its natural instincts but equally important is its carving to walk and lack of fear of falling.

Another major reason for us failing to try is because we are tempted to visualize something new in a grossly distorted manner. Right from seeing the task as much tougher than what it really is, we go on to imagine that it requires superhuman efforts to achieve it and as a lastly  simply rationalize that we are ignorant of how to go about it. True that anything new poses a challenge and sometimes by sheer fluke we may get it right first time but that simply boosts our confidence thought it may also trigger grossly exaggerated expectations from onlookers. Imagine trying to play pool for the first time and in your first attempt you manage to pocket the correct ball. You are acutely aware that there needs to be a right stance and proper style to use the cue and yet the thrill of pocketing the ball remains imprinted in your mind.

Most people don’t try anything new simply because they are happy with the status quo and wonder why they want anything more in life if it involves trying something new. At best we may experiment with new restaurants, new malls and new movies and the like. The common thread being it is near risk free and does not make us get involved too much. Youngsters will attempt to imitate others so as to be up to date on style but in reality they are going with the trend and not really creating something new. It takes a lot of courage to buck the trend be it style, beliefs, goals etc. How many of us are prepared to follow ones heart desire when choosing a future? Do we really have to courage to be trail blazers and change agents? Can we let go the security of our normal life and furrow a different path that may be full of surprises, shocks, difficulties but nevertheless promise tremendous adventure and excitement?  When we can cut the umbilical cord that ties us to our past only then can we say, we tried something new and when we did not succeed we tried again until we succeeded!

Remember: “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” Beverly Sills

Try this:

  1. Attempt a new type of exercise routine. Eg. If you do yoga try aerobics or vice versa. Notice how inhibited you are initially but how you soon gain expertise in the new style.
  2. If you have a secret desire it is time you made a beginning towards attaining it. Whatever your desire put on paper the steps required to achieve it. Then before the week is out start working on step one that you have listed. Eg. You want to learn music. Identify the type of music, the time slot available to you and locate the possible teachers. Begin by at least reading up on the type of music you are interested in.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com