Tag: Be bold

Fear and Courage – the difference is…

Fear and Courage – the difference is…

As individuals each of us carry a variety of fears and we try our best to keep it secret. At the same time we are we are very proud of some of our courageous deeds and would be ready to share it with any audience. Perhaps we would much more courageous stories to share if we saw fear and courage in the right perspective; fear is a reaction; courage is a decision.

Incidentally, FEAR is also a well know acronym, which when expanded reads as False Evidence Appearing Real (you can read more about it by clicking on the following link http://poweract.blogspot.com/2009/12/fear.html ) Hence almost all our fears are our mental reactions to what we imagine would be dangerous/ disastrous / hurtful / risky for us. At times we have third party evidence to suggest that the risk is real e.g. wild animals mauling humans or people falling off and dying when on a trek etc. What we fail to realize is that risk is omnipresent. Our reactions are impulsive, based on our mind quickly picturing negative images or incidents of happenings and we choose to play safe. It is not to suggest that fears are unwarranted. Fears play an important role in protecting us from danger or taking undue risks. Fear helps us prepare for eventualities like taking insurance, get vaccinations etc. The issue with living in the shadow of fear is our inability to move out of our comfort zone, not creating opportunities to realize our potential and not participating in joys, fun and adventure which is at a shaking hands distance.

Courage is a conscious action. This means it is a planned decision not a mere reaction. It is true that for self protection, there are times when we become courageous more impulsively than as a result of a decision but these are far, few and in between. True courage is daring to face the challenges knowing fully well that there is a whiff of failure, risk and at times even a threat to one’s life. Soldiers are trained to fight but it is their valor and courage that is on display during war. Similarly ordinary mortals like you and me, are often called to take a courageous stand against brute might, unscrupulous elements, cocking a snook at bribe takers and demanding our rights. The courage we display then is not accidental but a conscious, well understood and a moral stand that we decide to follow.  Courage is guts but it is not necessarily followed by glory and it definitely will leave us with less guilt and more self belief.  Courage is standing up for one’s beliefs, being able to withstand a brute majority viewpoint and speaking up one’s mind, standing by those whose cause you espouse despite massive opposition and standing by one’s conviction however unpopular they may be.

Try these:           

  1. List out 3 -5 issues on which you have very different views, as opposed to those who support it. Write a letter to the editor of the local news paper on each of these issues. Write each letter one week apart.
  2. Outline a concrete plan of action to overcome 2-3 of your greatest fears. E.g. fear of prisons or visiting mental institutions or fear of snake/ reptiles. Execute your plan.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be fearless- make life limitless

Be fearless- make life limitless

Fear is an emotion that even the brave confront but for a minute more than the rest. You cannot escape fear for it stalks you in various ways and makes you vulnerable. Yet, fear also gives you the opportunity to confront it and the stakes are all yours if you overcome your fears. The trouble is overcoming fear is not a onetime challenge but a constant threat. The beauty of it is that every time you conquer the fear, your life begins to flower and bloom and you radiate success every step of the way.

The logical question therefore is how does one become fearless enough to make life limitless? Some pointers are given below:

Be aware of your strengths – Leverage it as much as you can – One key to becoming fearless is by being aware of your strengths. You are less vulnerable in the areas of your strength. One common strength that every one aspires for is ‘financial security’. If you are financial strong, you are in a much better position to become fearless and take risks. Similarly if you are an expert or have a specialization that very few can duplicate, you are in a commanding position at least in your field of expertise. For most of us our strengths are areas in which we have good experience, some abilities that we are applauded for or it could be simpler things like having the right attitude, the ability to remain calm in a crisis, the skill of maintaining excellent interpersonal relationships etc.

Know your limitations – minimize it in your life – Just as we have key strengths each of us could also have seriously limiting habits/ fears / weakness. Far too often we find it hard to accept these limitations within us. At times we are aware of our limitations but dogmatically refuse to take corrective action. Limitations leave us vulnerable to exploitation/ reduce our ability to be fearless / create in us doubts and we become risk averse.  To be fearless one needs to strengthen our area of weakness or compensate for it in some manner so that we are fortified enough to be daring and fear less.  E.g. if you have quick temper it is best that we learn to restrain it. If at times you fly off the handle compensate for it by learning the art of expressing an apology to those aggrieved.

Assess critical situations – face it with faith – Whenever one faces a crisis or one comes across a critical situation it is imperative that one remains calm. Panic of any sort would blur the thinking, distort our perception and tempt one to take hasty actions which could boomerang in the long run. Instead take a little time to collect ones thoughts view the situation dispassionately and then map out an action plan. Often you would have to get your creative juices flowing to come up with offbeat solutions. Thereafter believe in your abilities to execute it as planned. Your faith should make your fearless about your course of action.

Be prepared – Think, plan, respond to the moment – There is no substitute for meticulous preparation. It just helps one be well prepared and therefore fearless to take action. At times even the best of preparations cannot factor in the unexpected. That is when one has to respond not react to situations. Response is a well thought out strategy as opposed to a hasty patchwork that at best stems the rot temporarily. Responding is possible when you can bring into play your experience, your calm thinking and take some giant leap of faith. That giant leap of faith makes you fearless and you suddenly discover a power that you never knew existed within you.

Try these:

  • List out 3 experiences in which you benefited by taking a fearless stand/ action.
  • Can you recollect any situation where you did not respond because of hidden fear and which resulted in you missing out on a growth opportunity or having to bear a financial loss
  • How will you react / What will you do in the following cases:

You reach a new city and find out that your wallet/ purse is stolen and your mobile phone is not working. You have no money or friends in the city.

You are in a flight and there is an emergency declared by the crew. There is a real danger of a crash landing.

You have been intimated that you are part of delegation for an important meeting. At the last minute your boss asks you to cancel your trip and gives you some local assignment.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Guide post to a fuller life…

13-11-It is not...The essence of life is in living it to the full; making the best of the opportunities that are there for the taking; overcoming the inevitable challenges that one would encounter along the way with equanimity and exuding with joy when reaching various destinations along the way. Yet each one of us would have some complain or the other, feel dejected and overwhelmed at times and most of us remain clueless as to how to make each day count as a blessing.

 

The focus of today’s post is on a 4 point agenda that should serve as guideposts to living our life to the full.

 

If only is a common lament oft repeated, in which we tend to look back and moan about our ill fortune be it our economic, social, academic background which we think has given us a handicap in achieving our dreams. For sure those with better economic, social, academic backgrounds start off with an advantage there is nothing that prevents us from bettering ourselves and finding our niche in life. However this is possible only if we know what is our Goal in life. A goal gives us something to work towards, helps us focus better and provides us the motivation to achieve. Every goal achieved is a success that adds to the thrill of life.  Your background means nothing… your destination is everything.

  

Getting up each morning is relatively easier then getting going. Look back at the excitement and eagerness with which we looked forward to the early dawn when going for a picnic or an outing. Can we replicate the same enthusiasm every morning? It is the mundaneness of daily chores, the repetitive nature of what we do, the noticeable lack of excitement once we get up that zaps our energies, makes us dull and leaves us dissatisfied and frustrated over the week. We get pepped at the thought of the weekend only to lapse again into a quagmire of self inflicted moroseness and victim syndrome. The key is in discovering some sort of Passion in the tasks on hand. The job on hand is part of life… you have to bring life into that job.

 

Having a fancy job title or belonging to an elite club or having a string of academic and social accolades might help one become charged up and possibly also get a head start in what we do. However remaining on top, earning respect and becoming a role model requires taking risks, accepting challenges, exploring new frontiers and overcoming failure. The key here is Fortitude. This is born out of self belief and the ability to go that extra mile because you believe that beyond that horizon lies a wondrous discovery.  It easy to take risks with a safety net below… taking a leap of faith is a different ball game but well worth it.

 

Each moment we are bombarded with a million different ideas, thoughts, and possibilities. Yet except when we are forced to by circumstances, we stick to the tried and the tested path. Often we carry the impression that exploiting and experimenting with offbeat thoughts and ideas is largely the prerogative of Artistes, thinkers, scientists and the line. Having a Vision is every individuals prerogative and subconsciously we do give expression in our dressing, in the way we do up our homes, in our expression of likes and dislikes and in making our choices. However what we fail to realize is that we suppress our vision with the hammer of pragmaticsm thus vetoing our thoughts idea and possibilities even before they get a chance to bloom. Knowledge gives us the theory… vision is the seeing the theory work in the mind, believing in it and then making it happen.

 

To live a full life, begin by visioning your goal, discovering your passion and then tightly hug each moment with a zealous fortitude born out of self belief. Now feel the difference and discover a new you!

 

Try this:

  • List out 5 exotic holiday destinations ( 1 in the mountain, 1 near the sea/ beach, 1 in the Jungle, 1 Overseas and 1 within 200 kms of your current place of stay, none of which you have been to before ) and then plan out your holiday to any one of them in the coming year.  
  • Irrespective of the occasion, for the next 3 functions / occasions where you have to carry a gift, try to give a completely offbeat gift. ( Hint : it could be as varied as a potted plant, a cute pet, a handy man tool kit etc.)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

To see the valley you need to go to the edge

In order to find the edge, you must risk going over the edge. Dennis Dugan

Except for those who have a morbid fascination with the taking risks and walking the tightrope daily, the overwhelming majority is risk averse and prefers to play safe.  Yet in our day to day life many a decision we take has an element of risk associated with it that is inescapable; be it simply crossing the road, eating in a way side eatery or making friends online. However consciously flirting with risk is not really everyone’s cup of tea and the rare times we are forced to take the risks we weigh all the options, try to insurance against the worst case scenario and take a decision with great trepidation.

Yet there are times when the inner urge, the sheer lure of temptation and an inexplicable attraction draws us to experiment with risks. These could be in diverse spheres of life, be it in adventure sports like paragliding or sky diving or it could be risks in taking leveraged positions in the stock markets or even in relationships where the consenting parties are completely incompatible by the yardsticks of this world yet share a strange intimate bonding even though it may be fragile. What is common to these risks is that the danger is real, it is perceptible and yet it is that danger which we are willing to risk that gives the high to those who seek glory, happiness and success.

The circus provides a live and evergreen example of people who find the edge and take the risks. Each act and each performance is fraught with risks despite the fact that the parties are well trained and well equipped. The participants know the risks and yet revel in displaying their risk taking abilities and find ecstasy in the thunderous applause of the audience. In our growing up years, many of us have also taken such risks by not studying enough for the exams and daring to attempt the question papers. Choosing a career too has an element of risk but it is setting up an independent business that really brings one to the edge of the precipice for there are teething troubles, issues with scaling up and getting customers and payments always remain a daily challenge. Yet the sense of freedom to operate, the pride of having established ones self and the possibility of ramping up the operations often give us the daring to take the plunge.

For the modern generation who are brought up on a liberal dose of reality TV, it is these very TV auditions that provide the risk, the reward and also loudly rings the death knell to the ambitions of many a hopeful . Unless one dares to participate one can never knows ones mettle and when one gets rejected and is told the bitter truth of being incompetent or not being good enough one has already gone over the edge and the fall is harsh, hard and heavy. There are other times when someone has to bite the bullet and express the truth in relationships. Initiating a divorce is perhaps one of the toughest chasm that one of the two partners/ spouses has to boldly initiate, which often is much to the chagrin of the other. If both parties are mature the divorce is often by mutual consent and the relationship continues harmoniously despite the relationship having walked along the edge for a long long time.

Remember: “You have to risk going too far to discover just how far you can really go.”  Jim Rohn

Try this:

  1. Watch some of the videos of wild life enthusiasts who take risks photographing and observing the wild animals.  Here is a video link to the antics of the Steve Irwin the Crocodile Man http://tinyurl.com/2ygc32
  2. You will also enjoy this motivational clip ‘Even Eagles need a push’ that emphasizes the need for baby eagles to be pushed over the edge to discover their Eagle Power to soar the skies. http://tinyurl.com/6g3rdyu
  3. Make a list of the riskiest thing you did when
  • You were in school
  • You were in college
  • At your work place
  • When in a relationship
  • When confronted by another powerful adversary (eg. Principal/  boss at work/ burglar etc.)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Dream big

A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows.  John Powell

If we see some of our major achievements in our lives, we would feel elated at some and a trifle disappointed at others. The ones which we are thrilled about are invariably those in which we have achieved some tremendous success and possibly scaled some dizzy heights. What disappoints us often are achieving relatively lesser success where in our view we set our standards a lot lower and could have excelled far beyond our own accomplishments.

The realization that we did not think beyond our comfort zone and our fear of failure are two critical reasons why we are unable to stretch our imagination and widen our horizons. Moving beyond our comfort zone poses problems because we are not used to thinking big nor are we having the conviction to attempt something different. At best we move the bar a wee bit more and then since we are not convinced ourselves our efforts to attempt it are also feeble and half hearted. Obviously when the crunch time comes we may not achieve the goals set and we reinforce our belief that we should not try too much.  Most times it is fear of failure that is the mill stone that bogs us down. When our focus is to avoid failure rather than achieve a spectacular win, we are completely risk averse. The fear paralyzes us and the word failure conjures images of shame and loss of face. In reality failures should spur us on to prove that we are up to the challenge. Very few of us take this as the trigger to set our eyes on bigger goals and worthwhile challenges.

Lack of a worthwhile motivation can also prove to be a dampener when it comes to seeing beyond the visible horizons. Unless we can see a reason, a reward, honor, glory or the sense of ecstasy at the end of the journey, we would not even attempt anything that we perceive as risky, daunting and cumbersome. Motivation is what acts as the carrot that teasingly dangles ahead and we are keen to grab it even if the challenge is way beyond our capabilities. The vast majority cannot think beyond simply because of sheer laziness and / or they have always operated within a regimented paradigm.  When people prefer to do bare minimum work and operate within their own set routine and parameter, there is very little scope to be adventurous and imaginative. They would dream of spectacular triumphs and ground breaking achievements but would shy away from even visualizing it when awake. They are just satisfied with the routine, the time tested and the limited role they have chosen for themselves.

Remember: Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.  George Bernard Shaw

Try this:

  1. Examine your wardrobe and observe the commonality in the majority of the attire you have; patterns, colors, styles, designs etc. Now consciously attempt to procure 3 items of clothing that are visible to everyone which is completely incongruent with your current style. Wear these clothes and notice the feelings you get, and also pay attention to the comments and observations of others.
  2. In this festive season, think of 1 imaginative gift each for the following people (price not to exceed Rs.500 or USD 10 approx)
  • A retired teacher you loved very much
  • Your favorite aunt/ uncle
  • Your nephew / niece
  • A gift for an inmate of an old age home
  • A gift for your pet (dog/ cat)
  • A surprise gift that can be won by any one from your friends circle based on a lucky draw

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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



Keep marching forward

I may be walking slowly, but I never walk backward. Abraham Lincoln

As we prepare to face the daily challenges of everyday living, there are times when we feel frustrated and demoralized particularly when things don’t go our way. At these times we are confused, angry and hurt that life is not fair to us and we are sorely tempted to simply surrender to our fate and accept life as it comes. In extreme cases we might think of taking some drastic measures like suicide or attempting some illegal means to attain our dreams. These are the times when we almost succumb to the pressures and begin to contemplate walking backwards and perhaps leaving only behind shattered dreams.

Fortunately the large majority of us are pragmatic, rational and resolute and so we stop to evaluate the reality. This is like taking a break from a long walk; helps you rest, enables you to refocus and gives you time to realign your goals. It is important to realize that we are not the only ones having a set of complaints, troubles or, grief. This itself should strengthen our resolve to fight back and face the challenges squarely. Take the case of a world class player who is plagued with injury, loss of form and lack of confidence. Nothing can get worse for the person except perhaps personal tragedy . If the player has seen the heights of success, these trying times are the inflection points where he/ she can give it all up. Yet if there is a will and the resolve to overcome the problems the person will find the right mentor/ coach to guide and direct the training and regain the lost form, confidence and peak performance.

Sometimes we are too overwhelmed to accept the reality and we become escapists. We undervalue our abilities, perform to mere bare acceptable standards, have a string of excuses to cover up in case of below par performance and refuse to take on responsibility while all the while retaining the right to be critical. These are situations where we may not be walking backwards but we have simply stopped moving. Such stagnation stunts our abilities, our desires and our potential. The solution here is to accept the fact that some realities can’t be changed and the sooner we adapt to the change the better it is for us to grow in life. We would need to learn from the lives of war veterans who may have been seriously maimed or handicapped in combat. Their fruitful years cut short in their prime yet their zeal and enthusiasm is never diminished.

In the ultimate analysis, no matter what the reality is, for our own self realization, self fulfillment and personal growth, we need to keep walking, marching ahead with a goal in mind, a song in our hearts and a prayer on our lips so that the journey is pleasant, fruitful and heartwarming.  It is rightly said that when the going is though the tough get going.

Remember: When I walk backwards it is usually for a long jump. Carl Lewis – International Champion long jumper.

Try this:

  1. See this video and notice the backward walk of Carl Lewis right in the start when he is focusing before his run and takeoff  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8BHGUIGSTQ
  2. See if you can list the times in your life when you walked backwards and refused to take up a challenge or did not venture to attempt something out of your comfort zone. It could be the first time you were asked to speak in public or when you participated in a group dance and couldn’t keep step with the rest . Did you regret it? Did you avoid pursuing your passion because you thought it too risky to give you your livelihood?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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