Tag: Be grateful

Benefits of a dose of gratitude

Benefits of a dose of gratitude

Each of us has a lot to be grateful for. The mere fact that I am writing this and you are reading this means we are alive, we are blessed with the gift of sight, understanding and literacy and fortunately we also have the time and energy to pore over the contents of the blog. Do we really value these blessings or do we take them for granted. Do we focus only on the special things that we get out of the blue like winning a lottery or getting an unexpected bonus or promotion or topping an exam? Fact is that we have much to be grateful for. The little things we take for granted, the wonderful surprises that come our way and for the limited pain and hurt we occasionally endure. The bigger benefit of being grateful for however lies in the fact that practicing gratitude daily fills us with an overpowering sense of bliss, which comes because of the following:

Shift in perspective – For many of us, our natural tendency is to look at the negatives around us. This is partly to do with a primal instinct of self preservation from all dangers. However, over time this tendency to look at negatives has been so deeply ingrained in us, that we fail to notice the wonders around us. Apart from being  the most intelligent of the species in nature, human beings are gifted with abundantly more blessings that will allow one the luxury of drawing in happiness. However, this is possible only when one shifts focus from negatives to positives. By taking in a dose of gratitude each morning, the blessings in life suddenly become more visible, more tangible and more available for each of us to enjoy. It is a drastic shift in perspective triggered by practicing gratitude each day.

Feeling of abundance – One weakness of the human race is the tendency to compare with other human beings; be it our wealth, out looks, our intelligence or what we perceive as social status. No sooner one starts comparing with others, there is an overwhelming feeling of deprivation, of lack of something, of a longing for what others have and the desire and craving for more. What we forget in the process is that we are taking for granted an abundance of blessings we are gifted with. Our abundance is in every sphere; good health for most of us, a loving family life, great friends, adequate or more food, clothing and shelter etc. It is only when one practices gratitude that we begin to consciously pay attention to the abundance each of us has.

Decrease of fear and anxiety – The greatest benefit of practicing gratitude is that with the shift in perspective and the feeling of abundance, there is an immediate decrease of fear and anxiety. We know that our blessings far outweigh our concerns, that life has much more to offer than pure material wealth and that tomorrow is another day that one needs to take in her/ his stride. Each morning becomes a wondrous expectation for the day that unfolds will bring with it plenty of surprises; most of which are pleasant but then a few challenges/ pain will also be part of the day. By viewing things in the correct perspective and knowing that we are amply blessed, practicing gratitude is an extraordinary way of living life in bliss.

Try these:           

  • List out the three greatest blessings that you cherish.
  • What was your greatest emotionally painful moment? How did you cope with it? What was good about that painful moment?
  • Who are the three most important people in your life? The challenge is to restrict yourself to just 3 people. Have you told them how grateful you are for what they mean to you?
  • As I was writing this blog, I received a Wattsapp forward which I thought was apt for sharing with the readers of this post. I am attaching it, as it is, in a Word Document file. There is an Arabic Translation or possibly it is the original source and I have retained it for those who would better connect with it. Click on this link to read it. 18-30 -08 Oct 18- Gratitude_Message_30_08 Oct 18

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

My Day Monday

28-My dayWe would really have to search hard to find people who love Monday’s. Out of the few who do, a vast majority of them would be people who have their weekly off on a day other than a Sunday, so the equivalent for Monday for them would be the day following their weekly off. So what is that about Monday’s that gives so many of us Monday morning blues? It is not that most of us are lazy; nor is it that we do not love what we do; nor is it because we would like to do what we please without the rigors of a disciplined work life ( ask any retired person and he/she will tell you how time weighs very heavily on their hands once they retire and every day is a Sunday). So then why is that Monday’s are so dreaded? Perhaps it is because we have never visualized Monday as being something useful, something special and something to be cherished. The moment one looks at Monday as being ‘My Day’ our approach to Monday would be drastically different. Our appreciation of not just Monday but every day would be much more whole hearted and you would then learn to value and look forward to each day with greater enthusiasm.

My day provides you the following:

The freedom to utilize it – Once you visualize Monday or for that matter any day as My Day, the chores of the day are no longer burdens but a means to make an honest living by doing them cheerfully, passionately and uniquely. Yes, even everyday jobs can be fun when one viewed as a personal contribution, in a personalized style leading to a fulfilled goal. It is true that you cannot avoid what has to be done but it is equally true that you have the freedom to approach and execute the task with enthusiasm, hope and an aim to do the task well. Instead of work if you were going on a picnic on a Monday, would you yearn for Monday?

A reason to begin afresh – Not just Monday’s but everyday that is My Day enables me to begin afresh. The mistakes of the past, the pain and difficulties are left behind. Start afresh, see each day as having something new and fresh to offer. Perhaps it is the beginning of a new relationship, a new job responsibility, the beginning of good times to come. Notice how athletes who do not win still compete with equal vigor in the succeeding meet. They know that each day gives them a chance to begin afresh and hopefully attain their goal. Now are you going to make use of the opportunity each day gives, to begin afresh?

A chance to do good – When each day is seen as My Day each one gets the chance to bring out the best in him/ her. The best is not just in going about doing one’s duty. The chance to do good is displayed in our approach, the small actions, the feelings we express and the attitude we bring along. Nothing beats a smile to get everyone enthusiastic. Encouragement and appreciation for others do not lag behind a smile in injecting a healthy dose of goodness around us. Listening is an essential goodness that is acute short supply and every day that is My Day gives me the chance to pay attention to others who may just be seeking to vent their feelings. Of course kindness and monetary support are two extremes of goodness that are much valued too. So what good do you plan to do today?

The opportunity to prove your worth – Have you ever noticed that the person who is most missed is the one who does the most menial of jobs; the janitor, the porter, the clerk in the office, the chauffer. Is it ironic that the Chairman and the Board of Director are never really missed though apparently they are the ones who are the highest paid and wield the most power. True they perform a function that is of a high intellectual caliber but that in no way diminishes the contribution of the menial staff. So no matter what work you do, you are performing a very important task. Each new day that is seen as My Day gives each of us the opportunity to prove our worth not by being absent but by being proactive, enthusiastic and cheerful whenever present. So can you now dress smart, move energetically, carry a big smile and fee energized this Monday and every other day that you see as MY Day?

Ample moments to live, laugh and love – A day of twenty four hours is a pretty long time if you are prisoner but is rather too little when in love. When you get Monday morning blues you are a prisoner of your thinking. The moment you visualize Monday and every other day as My Day you fall in love with each day and time flies. There is an air of expectancy, there is unbridled enthusiasm, there is skip in your step, there is laughter all around and you fall in love with your work when Monday and every other day becomes My Day. So are you ready to embrace Monday and every other day as My Day? Go forth an make the most of this Monday and every other day that henceforth you will call My Day?

Try these:

  • Do you know what a Mayday signal is? Find out about it. Ensure you do not confuse My Day with Mayday.
  • Do you have a routine for each day? How do you ensure that you make the best use of each day?
  • List out 5 good things about Monday. How can you make a Monday be more fun than a Friday evening?
  • How would you cope with sudden unexpected problems that crop up and yet remain positive and enthusiastic? e.g. Just as I was about to post this blog my computer crashed.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

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Inner peace

9- 14 April 15 -Inner peaceDespite our best efforts to retain our equanimity, we often end up upset, annoyed, irritated, hurt, frustrated and fearful at times. Obviously these emotions make us anxious, stressed and could trigger panic in us too. We lament that we do not have peace of mind and quickly delve into finding a balm in our religious texts, search for spiritual insights or bottle up our agony keeping silent and aloof or going the other extreme by putting on a false bravado and pretence of exuberance. No matter what we do, finding inner peace becomes more challenging, stressful and at times completely elusive. The reason peace eludes us is because we hope  for peace within by seeking its solutions outside.

Like happiness, peace is an inside job. What one needs to do is focus on the following:

Appreciate what you have – It is a natural human tendency to take for granted all that we are blessed with. Unfortunately, when do not really become aware of how blessed we are be it in the form of good health, a loving family, material and financial wellbeing etc. our mind focuses on what we do not have. We then crave for it, get obsessed with it and if we are fortunate to get it turn our attention very soon to another one of our longings/ desires.

Accept the reality but work to change it – Change is the one constant in our life and far too often every change does bring with it a host of challenges. Initially we fight change hoping that the change is temporary, then we hope to adjust to it and most of the time thereafter we keep fighting to resist accepting the change. On the other hand if one accepts the reality, as we often do when we lose a loved one, then we can focus better on coping with the reality that stares us in the face. Passed over for a promotion, sudden pink slip got, sudden financial outflow for unexpected illness of a loved one, these and many more are changes that swoop down on us, give us a hard knock and yet give us scope to cope and offer us new insights, fresh possibilities and certainly hope for something even better.

Seek solutions instead of brooding over problems – Every problem disturbs ones peace of mind. However, a problem remains a problem as long as one does not find a solution. So one can restore one’s peace of mind only when we find solutions to our problems. As long as we do not attempt to find solutions to our problem we are merely sacrificing our peace of mind. Parents have problems with truant children; spouses have marital discords off and on, there are numerous problems that arise at the work place, fresh graduates have problems finding jobs, there many who have to cope with illness and pain and the list goes on. Instead of worrying about the problem seek solutions be it asking for help, seeking expert advice, finding alternatives, resolving differences or simply accepting what can’t be changed.

Focus on the above you would never notice people or situations impacting your life and disturbing your peace of mind for you have already taken charge of your negative emotions by consciously pursuing actions that yield positive results.

Here is a cartoon that aptly encompasses all the 3 points.

Inner-Peace-Accept RealityTry these:

  • When disturbed, what are the feelings / emotions that overwhelm you?  Anger / frustration / helplessness / sadness / emptiness / agitation / confusion / panic. How do you cope with these feelings so as to calm yourself down?
  • What are you favorite stress busters? Check if these stress busters have turned into addictions (e.g. smoking). Think of new possibilities / ways that can become stress busters.

This post is courtsey www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Adjust your lens and see the world differently

2-18 Jan 15 The world you seeUnlike a camera that we use to focus on the image we want to capture, our eyes and our mind tend to wander, largely ignoring the wonders around us and often seeing things in a critical light. As a result we tend to mainly notice the ugly, the evil, the negative and the disheartening which in turn makes us frustrated, critical and whiners about everything around us. While it is true, that there is ample unpleasantness that we are subjected to, overlooking the brighter side of life would make us despondent and anxious. More importantly we fail to allow the wonders of life soothen our spirits, cheer us up and discover the elixir of life.

To focus better you need to adjust the lens of your heart first and the eyes will soon focus more clearly. Adjusting the lens of your heart involves 4 steps

Being grateful – Just being alive is a miracle for every day we read a number of obituaries and we also become aware of so many others who are not as fortunate as us. While that is big miracle we are also fortunate to be well educated, economically far better off than the vast majority, enjoy reasonably good health, have the love of family and friends and have the courage and hope to improve our life. Have you taken all these for granted or are you consciously grateful for the numerous gifts you are bestowed with. Once you can identify all that you are grateful for you have already begun to adjust the lens of your heart.

Seeking joy – Joy is found in the simplest of things provided we seek them out. The new bud or the blooming flower in the garden, the chirping of birds, the appearance of the rainbow is natures of way of providing you joy. The gurgle of a child, the giggle of a teenager, the hug of a friend and the blessings of elders are joyful bonuses given to you to make you feel richer even when you don’t have a dime in your wallet. Find joy in drinking a refreshing glass of water, in the unexpected lift you got to a far of destination, in an unexpected email from a long lost friend . Soon you will graduate to saying ‘ it could have been worse’ and find joy even in your time of trails and grief. The lens of your heart is now focusing even more clearly.

Sharing more – Give of your time, your talents and your possessions and the joy these bring are immeasurable. A smile costs nothing and the same is true of a word of encouragement and appreciation. Making a sick visit or a visit to an elderly and lonely person would bring the other person joy for sure and double your own joy too. Nothing stops you from giving away what you don’t need; it also helps clear clutter not to mention that is will surely help you experience the joy of having done a good deed. Go and volunteer for that is when you commit what you really value- your time; for it can never be replaced. Your heart is clearly filling up with joy for the lens just needs a slight adjustment now.

Be forgiving – You can never experience joy if you carry a hurt, nurture a grudge or seek revenge. Letting go of the past, letting bygones be bygones and being magnanimous enough to forgive would be both a test of character and the key to happiness. No sooner you let go of the negative emotions and feelings and whole heartedly forgive those who have wronged you, the last bit of blur in the lens of your heart clears up. You can now see the world around you in its pristine glory, appreciate fully the blessings showered on you, acknowledge with pride and a joyful heart that ‘life is wonderful’!

Try it now no matter what your age, gender or status; awaken and experience a new person.

Try this:

  1. List 2 ways in which you will give of your time, talent and possessions. Put a deadline in which you will implement each of your 6 commitments.
  2. Choose from this list of activities and attempt to do at least 3 in the coming 3 months
  • Volunteering to help in clearing up a hill slope / river front / an open space
  • Donating blood at a blood donation drive
  • Signing up for eye/ organ donation
  • Spending half a day at least at an old age home/ orphanage / prison/ mental asylum/ school for the blind / a home for the physically challenged
  • Teaching at a school for the under privileged
  • Organizing a fund raiser for any one of the above activities
  • Seeking pardon from someone whom you have wronged and apologizing for the anguish you caused the person

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog
www.poweract.blogspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Disappointments are inevitable…but you can overcome them !

Dissapointments are natural...but...

How many of you reading this feel they are always unlucky and never win be it a lottery, or a game of tambola / housie or just a lucky draw at a raffle? Disappointment is a natural corollary at the end of any such game for all those who never win and worse still miss out on winning by a whisker. There are others who seem to be very lucky but are disappointed that they never win the big stakes. Perhaps most of us see these as minor disappointments of everyday life and get over our disappointments in these situations quickly.  However, the larger disappointments come from our self set (often unrealistic) expectations; be it grades in exams, winning a match, meeting a deadline, meeting a commitment or it could be expectations related to  a large salary rise or  a promotion or worse still expectations from our children in their scholastic, personal and professional life.

One consolation that softens the pain of disappointment is the realization that everyone suffers disappointments albeit in varying measures. However, it is coping with disappointments that are a huge challenge for us.. While the techniques to cope would vary it is essential to be aware that we should not let disappointments become an excuse nor let it fester in our minds and poison our thinking and actions. Here are a couple of pointers to overcome disappointments, quickly regain our composure and motivate us to strive for something even better than what we didn’t get.

Accept disappointments as inevitable: No matter how well planned and careful one is circumstances are uncontrollable and obviously disappointments will lurk around. Escaping disappointments is not an option and accepting this reality is the first step in coping with disappointments. Eg. Flight delays can be very frustrating just as not getting reservations be it for travel or at the theater can be equally disappointing.

Put disappointments in perspective:  Well some disappointments will always be more painful than others. It is our ability to be rational and pragmatic about the disappointment that will bring equanimity into our life. E.g. Not getting a ticket for a movie could be huge disappointment if you were with a date but a flight delay could be terrible if you were to miss an important long haul connecting flight because of the delay of the first flight. In either case it is essential to reconcile to the reality and make the best of the inevitable situation you are faced with.

Seek a positive in the disappointment: To make the best of the inevitable situation you find yourself post the disappointment, force yourself to find a pleasant alternative. This needs a little imagination, a spark of creativity and a stout heart to overcome the disappointment. E.g. If stuck in a stopover town due to a delayed flight, the best option is to explore /discover the nuances of the place. If you missed out on getting tickets you alternatives could range from a surprise fine dining experience to exploring alternative entertainment options or simply going on a drive.

Focus on the many blessings you have: Pause for a moment and think of all the things that you are blessed with. Loving family, decent lifestyle, good education, freedom to pursue your dreams and the list is endless. So the disappointments you encounter are mere blips in an otherwise reasonably good life. Learn to let go of the disappointments and instead embrace the fortunes that you are blessed with.

Be aware that no disappointment can overcome your spirit: Disappointments are equivalent to the little pricks that one has to endure when romping through the woods. We never give up on our trek or hike merely because of a couple of untoward mishaps or stumbles or a scraped knee. It is our enthusiasm that props up our spirit, strengthens us to endure and motivates us to the very end. We need to realize that it is this same spirit in much larger doses that will always insulate us from giving up when faced with disappointments.

Try this:

 

How will you cope with the following disappointments?

  1. You are unable to recollect the location of an important document that you remember having kept very safely.
  2. You are in rush to catch a flight and discover that your car won’t start and you have reach the airport on time.
  3. You pick up your favorite coat and notice a large ugly stain on it.
  4. A long lost friend is visiting you and gifts you something. On opening the gift you find it is something that you craved for but it has the most terrible color that you despise immensely.
  5. You are invited to be the keynote speaker at a prestigious seminar. You have worked hard on your speech but on the day of the address, you wake up feeling feverish and with a terrible sore throat. 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

How to overcome jealousy

13-29- How to overcome JealousyWith the world being influenced by a slew of marketing gimmicks we are brainwashed into thinking that we are incomplete without possessing the product we are seduced by. Obviously lack of funds is often the one single reason that we cannot posses what we crave for. However the pain is made worse when we notice our peers or friends or acquaintances possessing things we craved for. This added pain is an outcome of jealousy; the feeling of not merely craving for what others have but more importantly the hurt that he / she possesses it. Jealousy is a self inflicted pain that we carry around with neither a cure in sight nor the possibility of not adding to our pain.

We become jealous for 2 reasons.

We ignore or discount our own blessings.

Almost all of us are guilty of taking all what we are blessed with for granted. This means that we simply discount the value of our blessings and never ever value it till we are deprived of it. A simple example is good health. It is only when we stub a toe or sprain our ankle or suffer a fracture that we realize what a blessing it is to have good health. In a similar way we do not realize the value of the intangible blessings we have like the love of a family, the liberation got from our education, the freedom of speech and much more because we are in a democratic set up etc.

We are however equally quick to outrightly discount our tangible blessings; be it money or possessions because when we look around there is always someone who has more. Be it a mobile or a car or a house, ideally we would want to own a version higher than what we are blessed with.

We focus on others and selectively choose to highlight what they are blessed with.

Look back at your school days and recollect the times your parents compared your marks of each subject with the marks of the person who scored the highest in the respective subjects. You would have hated the fact that this was done and you found it unfair that toppers marks were used to gauge your performance and possibly also suffer the ignominy of being berated. Now pause for a moment and ask yourself if you felt jealous about a colleague’s lavish lifestyle or her wardrobe or their swanky new car etc. Do you have similar jealous feelings for some else who owns a roaring business or has a enviable social life? Have you ever paused to find out the price they have paid for those trappings of success that you are jealous about? Are you aware of the undercurrents of worries, possibly hurt and worse still fear and loneliness that could possibly be a hidden part of their real life?

Jealousy can be overcome by simply being grateful for what you have and by focusing and proactively going after the innumerable opportunities life gives us to aspire, perspire and acquire what we want.

Try this:

  • If you were to suddenly inherit USD 10,000 what would you splurge it on? You must use for at least 5 different items or purposes. Now ask yourself if any of those purchases were subconsciously dictated by a desire to own it because someone else known to you has it or because of the snob value associated with it. Is there any item you plan to purchase that is purely to indulge in a personal passion or yearning.
  • Can you identify 5 things which you are certain will make you happy. The cost should not be a limiting factor in deciding these 5 things. For each of these things can you be very specific as to color, features, measurements etc. e.g. don’t simply say ‘ I want a car’ but specify the make and type and features of the specific model you crave for. Now that you have written it for what worthwhile causes will you sacrifice these indulgences without a trace of regret.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog
www.poweract.blogspot.com

Being grateful and appreciative

Please teach me to appreciate what I have before time forces me to appreciate what I had. Susan L. Lenzkes

By nature the human race is rarely satisfied. We are never pleased with our own self; be it our physical mental and intellectual abilities. We find fault with our relationships, our material possessions, and our work, our world in which we live and often feel uncomfortable with our own thoughts, feelings and desires. The root of all these is our obsession with comparing with what others have and craving for what we do not have  in the mistaken belief that possessing it will bring us happiness and peace. The problem is not one of possession but one of our inability to fully appreciate and relish what we are blessed with.

Our penchant to take all that we are blessed with for granted perhaps is the biggest single reason for our unhappiness. Having a loving family, a healthy life, adequate monetary support and a decent standard of living are all special blessings we are privileged to have. Just look around at the humongous population around us who do not posses even a meager amount of the comforts and personal riches both tangible and intangible that we are fortunate to have. We may for example fully appreciate the value of being fully fit only when we have a serious illness or maybe a fall that has temporarily incapacitated us. We often take our parents for granted, resent their loving but nagging ways or find fault in their outdated thinking and conservative ways, but miss them terribly when they are not around.

Comparisons are the millstone that keeps dragging us down the waters of daily life for we flounder and drown in the misery of pining for what others posses and we do not and what we desperately crave for. Be it the latest gadgets, the trendiest fashion statement, the cool tag funky gimmicks we want to be seen as having it all. We psyche ourselves into believing that without being accepted as part of the modern culture we are aborigines living in the deepest part of the urban jungle. Envy, greed and jealousy are the trio of emotions that wreck our daily living and turns it into a pure hell for we are constantly hurting inside hating the ones who show off and antagonize us. What we fail to really appreciate is the reality that it is our thoughts that antagonize us not their possessions.

It is our negative mindset and propensity to be critical that is the coup de grace that firmly ensures that we wallow in self misery and suffer imaginary ignominy.  Rather than see the good of people, things or events those who are negative will seek out the potential problems, the possible downside and the perceived ineptitudes that could disgrace one.  This perhaps explains the compulsive urge of people to splurge ostentatiously on weddings and funerals. The fear that one would be labeled miserly, tasteless and undignified pressurizes one to go overboard without rhyme or reason.  Instead of sticking to the simple, the time honored and the affordable, if one seeks to answer all the detractors, the critics and the self proclaimed socialites we would be only desperately seeking in vain to please others at the cost of never being pleased ourselves.  The beauty of tradition, the personal touch in simplicity and the  peace of mind one experiences in limiting our wants are what craves appreciation and is common sense.

Remember: “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have”  Stephen Hawking

Try this:

  1. Have a look at the video on the armless pilot Jessica Cox http://tinyurl.com/5t5of6s and appreciate her self belief. Ask yourself if you have a fraction of her self belief to attempt something you are passionate about but feared daring.
  2. Choose one of the following three and tell yourself why you appreciate it
  • Flowers – Tulip / Lotus/ Lily
  • Animal – Rhino/ Alligator/ Wild boar
  • Fruits – Lemon/ Cherry/ Figs
  • Places –  Amazon jungles/ Kalahari desserts/ Siberia

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

How to be thankful

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. Estonian proverb

People have a natural tendency to expect a lot but very few deem it necessary to be grateful and thankful in the same proportion as that of the bounty they receive. In fact there are very many times that we rationalize that the haves are morally bound to share what they have with the have not’s. Unfortunately what we do not realize is that our real craving would not be as much for material possessions as much as for our psychological needs and that companionship, understanding, encouragement etc. are what nourishes our spirit and soul and no amount of thanks can ever equal the true worth of the act.

Right from childhood we are trained to liberally use the 3 magic words of please, sorry and thank you. As we grow up these words come unconsciously to the fore at the appropriate time, but alas they have lost the spirit and the feeling that should really accompany the words. Sometimes, a please often sounds like a muted threat, a sorry is said with such poor grace that the intended recipient begins to feel sorry for the other party’s lack of upbringing and thank you sounds harshly indifferent and almost unkind.  However all is not lost. There are still enough people who value their words and are genuine and are demonstrative with their feeling.

Many people believe that a thank you is to be only articulated and so they never visualize other possibilities. Helping the blind to cross a road is also a way of saying thank you for the gift of eyesight that you enjoy. Spending a day out at the old age home is a way of saying thank you for the gift of our wonderful grandparents. When we begin to see our small actions in this light, we realize that we are actually living our thank you. A token of appreciation would be a very tangible and practical way to demonstrate our thanks. However it is the grace and feeling with which we present it that is the real thank you that is valued and treasured.  Has it occurred to you that when we approach someone for help, it is a way of saying thank you to that persons abilities / expertise.  By requesting  their help we are acknowledging their competence and indirectly stating that we are thankful that they are available for us.

There are many acts done by others that we can never sufficiently thank them for.  Someone stepping in to lend you some big sums to help you avoid a major financial crisis or a stranger who helps out an accident victim/s or a soldier who sacrifices his life in the cause of the nations call are examples of people whose efforts can never be thanked enough. There is opportunity for each one of us though, to say a big thank you to the world at large and for the wonders of life. A small beginning is by doing everything within our power to promote ecofriendlyness and reduce the ecological imbalance. Reducing the use of plastics, moving on to using biodegradable items and actively supporting the environmental cause are some ways of saying thank you to our forefathers who gave us a beautiful world. The biggest thank you that a person can offer is to be a donor after death. Be it an eye donor or an organ donor, this is perhaps the best gift that one can give as the ultimate thank you to GOD for the wonderful life bestowed. More importantly the recipients will never be able to feel obliged and they would remain thankful to you in their hearts forever.

Remember: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Try this:

  1. Go and visit some of your old teachers and spent some time with them. Take a gift for them too. If they live too far away at least send them a small thank you card or letter.
  2. Be an active blood donor and at least once a year on your birthday try to donate blood. If you are medically not fit to donate blood you can try and encourage others to do so once a year.
  3. Make an effort to find out about how one can become an eye donor / organ donor. Perhaps you can also pass on the message about such organ donation to others.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Prayer is not optional

Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines. Satchel Paige

Prayer is often looked upon as a critical option available to us to be used in emergencies. It is used more often like a joker is used in some card games; to add value when required.  Perhaps this accounts for the fact that most of us resort to prayer in desperation. Prayer offers us a psychological escape and comfort from the fears and worries that plague us. We seek cures from illness, a way out of our problems, expect miracles to be performed and pray fervently in hope. Prayer though really revolves around in faith. As a preacher asked a large congregation gathered to pray for rains ‘How many of you have come here with an umbrella in hand?’ ‘If you have no faith’ he went on,’ why do you expect your prayers to be answered?’

The essence of prayer though remains ‘communication with the almighty’. Since communication is a two way process, we need to listen more than we mouth our prayers. Good communication is also spontaneous and open.  Our prayers unfortunately are recited by rote, parroted without feeling and loaded with selfish intent. In the process we only seek to get favorable answers and anything short of it is seen as wasted prayer and / or unanswered prayer. Very rarely does it dawn on us that God in his infinite wisdom has chosen to deliberately not answer our prayer for he has better plans for us.  It takes a lot of wisdom and listening from the heart to hear GOD loudly proclaim his negative verdict to our ardent plea. Here is one such enlightened response, to the unfortunate early demise of a young lad in his early teens, by his distraught but God fearing family, who got the following words engraved on the tomb stone’ Being pleasing to God and beloved, he was transferred, lest wickedness chance his understanding or deceit beguile his soul’

It is essential that we appreciate and thank the almighty for all the blessings we are fortunate to have. This too is done through our prayer of thanks not necessarily verbal but in varied actions, deeds and gratefulness. A smile, a pat on the back, a few encouraging words to someone in pain, sparing time to be with the weak, the sick, the lonely are perhaps the most beautiful prayers that one can articulate effectively.  Getting control over our extreme emotions, overcoming our shortcomings and bad habits and accepting those whom we despise are prayers of a very high order for we have to make a great effort to offer those as prayers. The ultimate prayer is loving everyone including our enemy, being a loveable person and spreading good cheer, happiness and love around. Unless we can offer up this prayer, our prayers will remain incomplete and possibly remain ineffective. Recollect the anecdote of two nuns who were getting late to catch a train. Suddenly one of them told the other let us kneel down and pray that we get the train. The other nun suggested that they run towards the station while praying hard all the way and perhaps their prayers would be answered.

Remember: “All prayers are answered if we are willing to admit that sometimes the answer is “no”

Try this:

  1. Ask your friends from another religious belief to share with you some short prayers and their meanings. Compare it with the essence of your own personal favorite prayers. The most common thread would possibly be the reality that most prayers have some reference to praising GOD.
  2. Ask yourself if you ever practice prayer. This means do you patiently listen to God? Do you serve people who are in need in any way? Do you offer prayers as a ritual or out of fear? What more can you do to enhance the quality of your prayers?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Be grateful

To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have. Ken Keyes, Jr.

It is natural to compare and feel jealous and that is what makes us really human. The real problem though is not one of mere jealousy or comparisons but a problem of wanting to covet an others possession and / or feel hurt and upset that life has not been fair to us. In fact we spend a lot of time in trying to rationalize why someone who in our opinion does not deserve, is so richly blessed. This in effect is like mentally stating ‘it is ok that I don’t have it but it is very unfair that some else who does not deserve it has it’. More often than not the focus of our attention is on the material possessions that others have and which are simply not within our grasp.

Where many of us lose focus, is in not appreciating that we are blessed with so many gifts, talents and happiness almost of which we take for granted. The fact that we have a roof on our heads, a steady job or good business, a reasonable bank balance, a good family life and good health are all assumed to be our right and fair due. However if have some setbacks be it some relationships issues, health worries, financial burdens or simply stress we immediately correlate it to mean that we are unfortunate as compared to our neighbors, friends and relatives. In effect the outcome is frustration, hurt, acute anxiety which is coupled with envy, jealousy and negativity.

On the other hand if we changed our outlook and counted out blessings, we would suddenly realize that we are so much better of then those whom we envied. Happiness lies in counting ones blessings for then every day brings new surprises and wonders. The real benefit is that we stop envying others, do not make odious comparisons nor have unrealistic expectations for ourselves. The greatest benefit is in loving our life for what it is. The small niggles and occasional problems are seen in the right perspective that they are nothing compared to the bounty that we are enjoying. Do you really think a person with enormous ill gotten wealth would really enjoy a good night’s sleep? He would be more worried that his nefarious activities would be found out, he would be terrified that his wealth would be taken away by the law and he could paranoid that his respect, clout and status would be trampled over if he is ever found guilty or jailed. If you enjoy a good night’s sleep you can consider yourself as one of the really blessed people in the world.

By focusing on what we have, we can really make use of our talents and abilities and improve ourselves academically, economically, socially, psychologically and professionally. We would be more pragmatic in our outlook and actually enjoy seeing another person grow and prosper.  When we reach that stage in life, we can look back with a sense of pride and happiness that we have actually made good use of all that we have been showered with. We would accept our problems with a smile for we know that they are nothing compared to what we posses. By focusing on what we have we make new discoveries about our hidden abilities, latent talent and deep resources like empathy, understanding and affection. We then begin to share all that we have and make the profound realization that life gives to us much more than what we give out.

Remember: “Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some” Charles Dickens

Try this:

  1. For one day attempt to do as many tasks as possible with the help of your weaker hand. Perhaps you will make a sudden discovery of how much you take your stronger hand for granted.
  2. Make a list of 5-7 special abilities/ gifts/ blessings that you feel you have got. Ask if you are really using those talents. Make an action plan to use the talents that you have not used or not using effectively. Eg. You believe you are a good organizer. However you have never been involved in any major work that requires good organization. Work out where you will volunteer to offer your services.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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