Tag: Be pragmatic

Choose joy

Choose joy

Happiness is a choice that you make every moment of your life. You are reading this possibly because you are happy to read it. Possibly you are reading this post to divert yourself from some pressing worries. Perhaps you are reading this because you hope to be inspired or your get to learn some new words or simply because it appeared in your inbox and you are curious to know what it is all about. Whatever be your reason to read, it better be a conscious choice but more importantly it must be a choice that makes you feel happy. Choosing joy is not an option but a compulsion because the world around has enough and more challenges, worries and problems that will engulf you and joy is that antidote to cope with it.

Finding joy is not as complicated as one may think, considering the numerous challenges one faces daily. It is all about adopting /embracing the right mix of self belief, attitude, optimism and being pragmatic.

Self belief It is the belief that you are blessed with choices and that you will choose the right path as long as you can visualize joy at the end of it. E.g. A student has studied well but unfortunately gets a very tough question paper. Despite the possibility of not faring well or even failing, he/ she refuses to copy because in her/ his eyes that would be cheating. It is the self belief that no matter what the outcome, I will remain true to my character and values.

Attitude – It is how one approaches each moment and the changing landscape that makes life so unpredictable. E.g. The student referred to in the previous point can become despondent that all her/ his efforts are in vain or can choose to look at the challenges as a learning to put even more effort or to be more selective in what is being studied. The attitude decides how one embraces joy no matter what the situation.

Optimism – It is seeing the bright side of things. Even in the darkest hours look for a glimmer, a ray of sunshine or at least a twinkling star. E.g. The student who gets a tough paper must make an effort to attempt the paper and be optimistic that her/ his effort will give a favorable outcome. The assumption of course is that the student has studied well and so can put in a decent effort.

Pragmatic – Choosing joy is always the result of pragmatic thinking. If the situation is hopeless it is better to embrace it stoically rather than in grief and despondency. E.g. The student can keep wondering and hurting that all his/ her efforts are in vain or could lament his/ her fate. On the other hand of one is practical look at the tough exam paper as an eye opener on how one must be better prepared. Focus in doing one’s best using all the knowledge gained through the hard work put in. If the paper has been uniformly tough for everyone, chances of those giving it a great shot passing are much higher. Giving up and not answering is a pragmatic but wasted effort as the outcome is now never in doubt.

Try these:          

  1. Can you recollect two of your most terrifying moments in your life? What were your reactions? How did you overcome the situation?
  2. You arrive at the airport for a much awaited foreign holiday. The airport suddenly announces that all flights are cancelled due to major technical glitch at the airport. It is peak holiday season and you can never get a booking again.  What will be your response to the situation? How will you choose joy after the initial shock and despondency?
  3. How would you react to the following situations?
  • The police has issued a fine for over speeding. The car was being use by your friend when the incident occurred which was captured on CCTV.
  • You dropped your phone accidentally and by mistake a passerby stomped on it with her spike heels. The screen is shattered.
  • You go for a health check up and the doctor says you need a specialized check up for what the doctor suspects is rather serious ailment.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Never mind the crack

7- 26 Mar 15-Never mind the cracksIt is rather ironic that today’s post offers hope; for a despondent nation is still trying to pick themselves up after their semi-final loss to Australia today, at the 2015 Cricket World cup. In fact the raging debate especially on TV channels is between those who believe we have been shattered and those who say that the defeat is a mere blip albeit a devastating one. So to begin with let us accept the fact that after a flawless undefeated run upto the semi-finals, we did get a nasty crack when playing a better team. Yet, while the margin of defeat, the manner of loss, the poor bowling, batting on display as well as the captaincy will be the subject of much debate the fact is that cricket will continue to be our most loved sport. More importantly, remember it was the same team that were totally outplayed in the Australian series that turned themselves around to have an unblemished run till the semi-finals; clearly proving that we can still mend the cracks and also crack the whip when we want to.

Each one of us would have at various times experienced failure. Most failures largely our own fault where we were tardy, disorganized or simply not prepared to succeed. However there could be times when failure hurt us deeply because it was unexpected, we felt humiliated or because we had prepared in all earnest to succeed. In almost all cases failure did not end our life, nor threatened our career or terminate our future. This clearly underscores an important characteristic of failure, that with very few exceptions, failure can only temporarily impact us. Overcoming failure is a matter of 4 simple steps

Believing in yourself – We throw in the towel when we stop believing that we are capable of achieving what we set out to do. This is primarily because we focus on our limitations and weakness rather than on our strengths and our passion. Each one of us can grow in our chosen field of endeavor, provided we nourish it with the right amount of effort, intellect and discipline. When we do get the results the first time, see it as an opportunity to prepare better and succeed.

Letting time be the healer – When we fail, we must avoid cracking up and seeing lack of success as an end to our aspirations. Do mull over the reasons but do not brood over it forever. Let by gones be by gones but never forget the lesson.

Fresh initiative and diligent effort – Time also gives us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board, come up with fresh strategies and relaunch a fresh attempt with a brighter chance of success. Leveraging our strengths, adding new arsenal to overcome our limitations and honing up skills as also find other means to neutralize our weakness are the key to succeeding.

Not giving up and also knowing when to give up. – Perhaps this is rather difficult to comprehend for there are two diametrically opposite suggestions. Try till you succeed is an old adage and frankly an excellent piece of advice to follow. So what if a crack appears, one can still stick the pieces together and get things functional. However what happens when the cracks are too many and too fragmented. Perhaps the only way out is to replace. Essentially it means that the outer frame is still sturdy, it has tremendous utility but it may require a fresh coat or it may need to be fixed with fresh glue. In investment parlance knowing when to give up is called ‘cutting one’s losses’.

You may lose a thousand battles but you can still win the war ! Don’t give up- don’t give in; just give it your best shot ! even it means having to take a decision to cut your losses.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 of your major failures. Think of atleast 3 reasons for your failure. Have those failures made you risk averse?
  2. Try all of the following. Attempt each of it atleast 3 times ( each succeeding attempt being at least 3 days apart)
  • Creating a drawing using any software
  • Playing a card game / board game / indoor game that you have never played before
  • Preparing a dish you have never cooked / attempted before
  • Doing something that you were mortally fearful / apprehensive of eg. Holding a reptile in your hand / participating in a public speaking contest etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Enthusiasm holds the key to success

23-24Nov 14- Success seen differentlyIn life, as in cricket no one hits a six of every ball or gets a wicket of every ball. However a cricketer continues his quest with enthusiasm and hope. Yet the same person would often feel dejected, disheartened and disappointed when his/ her life is not smooth sailing. The difference lies in how one perceives his / her involvement in whatever one undertakes. When one is passionate and involved in one’s pursuits, we would be enthusiastic about it. Maintaining this enthusiasm holds the key to one being persistent, passionate and purposeful no matter what the situation, obstacles or failures we may have to surmount. Here are some ways to enthuse yourself at all times.

Acceptance – This is the first step to getting enthusiastic about what you are engaged in. Most of the time we find fault with the job we have on hand or we focus on what we do not like about the task on hand. As a result it becomes very difficult for us to appreciate the opportunities we have to make a good impression. Those who are successful make the effort to accept the opportunity presented to them and then make best use of that opportunity by enthusiastically doing their task.

Temperance – This refers to one’s ability to bring a sense of proportion or balance to whatever one has to do. Many people get over enthusiastic when they have a new task. While this does help them start enthusiastically, the moment they encounter a problem or a hiccup in their progress, they get quickly disheartened and dispirited. On the other hand there are many who approach a new task with great apprehension and trepidation. They are cautious and circumspect and would be slow to get going and constantly seek reassurance that they are on the right track. This would result on them in displaying lack of confidence, become touchy about criticism and they would find it hard to generate sustained enthusiasm. Having a healthy balance between wild enthusiasm and extreme caution would ensure that a person is confident, motivated and pragmatic about delivering the results.

Perseverance – When one is enthusiastic one would persevere till one succeeds. Ironically perseverance results in progress which in turn becomes the fuel that keeps the fire of enthusiasm burning. Perseverance is not a virtue many are gifted with, yet it is a virtue that the successful people have carefully cultivated. Perseverance is energy sapping because one has to have self belief even in the toughest times; it demands commitment to the cause; it often asks more questions than one can correctly answer and most of all it has to overcome criticism, negative self talk and pessimism. Yet, when one perseveres it produces outcomes, not necessarily successful ones but certainly helps us know where one is going wrong but more importantly it enthuses us as we know we are getting closer to our achieving our goals.

Deliverance – They say nothing succeeds like success; which simply emphasizes the fact that one needs to deliver on ones promises. Deliverance does not refer only to the final result but also refers to successfully completing the intervening steps that leads to success. When one gets positive results, it peps one up and enthuses one to put in more positive energies so as to attain success. Occasionally one progresses well for a while before one comes across a huge challenge but the fact that one could deliver successfully and progress provides the enthusiasm to marshal all our resources to overcome the challenges faced.

Try this:

  • Are you enthusiastic enough to give your feedback about this post?
  • Assume you are given charge of organizing one minute games to be played at a party. Make a list of 10 one minute games that you are sure will keep participants enthused and eager to play
  • Choose anyone of the following activity that you have never attempted before and try to gain a level of expertise in it.
  1. Learning 2 new card tricks
  2. Learning a new sport like bowling / bridge/ snooker
  3. Learning a new style of dancing
  4. Writing a poem /limerick/ haiku
  5. Attempting a new art form like pottery / bonsai / origami

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Are you a pessimist, optimist or realist ?

WP14=4-Are you a Pessimist, Optimist or RealistEach of us responds to stimulus in different ways. Our response is often influenced by our beliefs and attitudes which in turn are shaped by our experiences, our thoughts and our individuality. One common denominator that offers insights into our responses and reactions is the mindset that we frequently display based on which most of us are often labeled as either pessimists or optimists. There are of course exceptions who get a more privileged tag of realist. While pessimism is largely considered a negative trait and optimist hailed as exemplary the realist is often ignored as inconsequential. In life, each of these traits has it’s own utility and are qualities essential for both survival and success.

Pessimists are prone to see the negatives. They will be cautious, circumspect and hesitant. Their first instinct is self preservation and as a result their lexicon is filled with words like avoid, delay, evade, be circumspect, use caution, find problems, make excuses etc. Pessimists prepare for the worst so that if their fears come true they are not taken in by surprise and instead can feel vindicated. Pessimism is considered a very undesirable trait and pessimists are largely given a wide berth by most people. However pessimism is an important trait in as much as it considers eventualities taken for granted or blissfully ignored and puts brakes on otherwise unfettered exuberance. A good pessimist is the gate keeper who is pragmatic, cautious and prepared to cushion the fall if and when it takes place.

Optimists are those who are exuberant and gung ho about everything. They are driven by the need to see the silver lining in every cloud even if there is thunder and lightning all around. Their lexicon includes words like must try, it will work, right now, make it happen; success is round the corner etc. Optimists go about their business with a daring and a sense of Déjà vu. Their dictionary centers around words like I can, must do, not hard, must try, can be done, give it a shot etc. Optimists have the added advantage of being widely accepted for their never say die attitude, spirit of enthusiasm and eagerness to get going. An optimist must however be aware of the reality, be pragmatic and be able to distinguish between ego masquerading as self confidence and misplaced bravado replacing one’s inability to retreat.

The realist is one who dispassionately assesses and goes after the results through a mix of daring and caution. Realists are grounded in their thinking, attitude and responses. They are neither carried away by the moment nor are they deterred by circumstances. Their success lies in their balanced approach to challenges and opportunities. In their thinking what works is being practical, being flexible, being creative and being result oriented. They adjust to circumstance, create opportunities, do not take foolish risks, they don’t hesitate to retreat if discretion is the better part of valor and they won’t give up unless they attain what they set out to achieve. A realist is able to live in the present, while assessing the future and learning from the past.

Try this:

If you were given 5 wishes to be fulfilled, what would those wishes be? Would that wish list change if you were told that you have just one day left to enjoy the fulfilled wishes?

If you were forced to choose one of the following options which one would you choose and why?

–          Losing all your material possessions in a fire

–          Losing your speech and hearing

–          Remaining illiterate

–          Letting your worst enemy win a lottery of a million dollars

–          Having to spend the rest of your life eating raw vegetables only

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


The secret to happiness

13-25-Happy days are around you...

The essential condition for being happy is enjoying the moment. The problem is that our mind tends to wander around and seeks to find real and imaginary problems to dwell upon and fret and fume over. The human tendency to scan around for problems is possibly a defense mechanism to protect our future for we are the only species that uses the higher intelligence to embrace progress. In effect this means that each day we want to get ahead of the previous day and this creates in us a fear of tomorrow for it has to be better than today and yesterday. Protecting our future and planning for it is important but it must never be at the cost of failing to enjoy the better part of our life. Stress is primarily an outcome or result of our obsession with the future and is a predominantly found in the human race.

To reduce our stress it is essential that we find a way to like each moment of our life and love our life. This means we need to create/ find/ invent / be happy. The challenge is to remain happy for as long as possible and that is possible only and only when we learn to enjoy whatever we have.  Here are some ways that we can continue to be happy moment to moment.

Appreciate what you have. We tend to take for granted whatever we are blessed with and on the rare times we are deprived of some of these blessings we notice the absence and react with alarm, fear, worry and exasperation. Look back at the time you sprained your ankle or suffered from flu or the time you misplaced a valuable thing. Your attitude and behavior is symptomatic of our tendency to take the good fro granted and the unwanted as a calamity. Remember the phrase; I complained because I had not shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.

Don’t compare. Nothing disturbs our peace of mind as much as our tendency to compare whatever we have with that of others who we perceive as having something better than what we have. In many ways our inability to appreciate what we have often has its roots in our weakness to focus on what others have. Pause for a moment and think about the possibility that ‘perhaps we are blessed with just the right mix leaving us enough opportunities to aspire, perspire and inspire us to achieve and attain more’ giving us the elation of achievement and success.

Be optimistic. Problems, hindrances, failures, fears and frustrations are part of everyday life. We are given the grace to be optimistic; to be hopeful, to visualize possibilities and to find creative ways to overcome and slay the demons of our negative imagination. It is when we are optimistic that we confront our fears and stop ourselves from running away from the problems we encounter.

Seek positives. When in difficulties, pain or trouble our reaction is to alleviate the suffering. The challenge thereafter is to be calm, have a clear head and to think logically so that we not only overcome our difficulties but come out unscathed. Almost all the prisoner of war (POW) escapes can be attributed to seeking out the positives even in the most inescapable circumstances. Ask yourself if you are a POW of your making; your defeatist attitude, your weak will and/ or your inability to confront reality.

Have fun. Have you seen people in casts displaying a variety of messages written on the cast by friends and well wishers? Have you seen people with a big smile hobble on crutches to a party or come on a wheel chair to the party? Ever notice that the best jokes are the ones people tell about themselves and the embarrassing situations they found themselves in?  The ability to laugh, to have fun, to find a reason to smile is perhaps the greatest gift you can bestow yourself.

Try this:

  • Prepare a funny paragraph containing the words. Each paragraph must have 5 sentences at least and must contain 7 -10 words from the list given below. The paragraphs need not be logical but must be coherent and humorous.

Man, socks, dog, green, TV, nail, Egg, elephant, hook, water, clock, TV, bucket, Adam, Ram, Flag, blue, wheel, cycle, eat, run, scream.

  • Prepare a list (laughs that you can have) of at least 5 each of the following
  1. Jokes
  2. Limericks
  3. Comedy Movies
  4. You tube clips
  5. Cartoons
  6. Sayings / Phrases

(You are welcome to share your contribution by writing in to actspot@gmail.com. Please give your name and age along with your contribution. Select contributions ( emphasis will be on originality and quality of humor) would be featured in this blog. )

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Today is special

How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to? Tony Robbins

As I write this post I am aware that today is special in more than one way…today will never come again and the 29th of  Feb won’t come again for at least another 4 years. So for me writing this post today is important for I won’t write another one on a 29th of Feb till possibly 2016. This simple realization propelled me to quickly shake of my lethargy, shun the numerous excuses that swirled around in my mind and plonk in front of the computer to begin writing my blog. Choosing the quote to write on was relatively easy since the awareness that today is so special was uppermost in the mind.

It is interesting to note that one has to have a commitment to tomorrow in order to ensure that today is spent fruitfully and meaningfully. For many of us visualizing that commitment is a near impossible task partly because we are blissfully ignorant of the opportunities that abound but largely because it involves a painful realization of reality. Here are 3 springboards to jump off from in order to draw up your commitment to tomorrow. You will have to go in the same order in order to be successful in identifying your commitments.

Dream big.  All of us have grandiose ideas, dreams, hopes, aspirations and secret desires. List them all out. Don’t let anything stop you from being imaginative,  lavish, ostentatious or extravagant in your imagination taking wings. Own the most luxurious yachts or the dream villa or the idyllic island in the pacific. Soar high in your mind, feel the exhilaration of your day dreams and luxuriate in the vividness of your imagination.

Be pragmatic. Having tasted the finest albeit imaginatively, at least you have set your standards pretty high. There is no plausible reason for you not to enjoy all your dreams but one cannot sidestep reality. So get down to rolling up your sleeves and chalking out the route map to reach each of your wildly imaginative destinations. Harsh reality may trip you into believing that you are on a hopelessly lost mission in life but by chalking out every step will reinforce your belief that while the passage is rocky there is still a pathway that leads somewhere.

Write down your goals. Once the pathway is inked out, put markers in the form of goals along the way that you have just discovered. This will ensure that you go surely and certainly in the direction of your dreams. You will be setting your own pace and progress is certain. If you pause to rest, to relax and chill you will still enjoy the journey but you may not necessarily reach the destination. The journey though would never be in vain.

Now that the commitment to tomorrow is made here are 3 steps to making the most of today.

Begin Now. If I didn’t believe in this you wouldn’t be reading this. You don’t need further proof. Do you?

Continue with faith. Each day brings new challenges, new obstacles and more tricky excuses to weigh you down. While it may not be possible to immediately overcome these impediments,  the commitment to tomorrow should motivate, inspire, empower and spur you on for as they say ‘faith can move mountains’. Bet you won’t have to wait too long for the next post.

Enjoy the progress. It is the joy in what one does that ensures a job well done. No matter what the task or whatever the circumstances, when one has a song on the lips and a prayer in the heart the progress will be enjoyable, fun and more importantly today would always be the best day before tomorrow.

Remember: The future starts today, not tomorrow.  Pope John Paul II

Try this:

  • For the next one week consciously avoid using the hand that you regularly use to write with. This means if you are a right handed person you will for the next week use only the left hand for all activities that you have to do. Now with this self imposed limitation also attempt the following
  1. Play a couple of games of caroms / table tennis / badminton with another friend
  2. Write one foolscap page everyday
  3. How tough was the initial attempt? Did you notice any progress? Was the progress made worth it? Did you learn anything new in the process?
  • Following the 3 spring boards and the 3 paths enumerated above write down your commitment to tomorrow and chalk out your path for today assuming
  1. You are the prime minister of the country
  2. You are the head of your current organization
  3. You are completely involved in your pet social service project

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Don’t let yesterday ruin today

Never let yesterday use up today. Richard H. Nelson

When we tend to reminiscence there are two types of viewpoints that come to the fore.  One set of people are prone to look back at the good old days and lament that the world today is in terrible shape and that they would love to relive the past.  The other reaction is that of those who may have gone through terrible times in the past and are unable to exorcise the ghost of the past and they repeatedly relive that trauma messing up their present. What is common in both sets of reactions is the fact that the people involved prefer to let the past dominate their present and as a result they just cannot utilize the potential of today to the full.

The problem with living in the past is that the whole exercise is in the realms of fantasy or borders on psychological trauma. Either way we cannot either duplicate the past now nor do we attempt to erase the horrendous memories; the net result is that we continue to be in the vice like grip of the days gone by. This impacts us today in a wide variety of ways. To begin with, our focus on today is blurred by the constant unconscious interferences by the memories of the past. Indirectly, we become victims of past prejudices, unrealistic fantasies and frozen memories. Those who were blessed with a very pleasant and satisfactory past would make efforts to duplicate the same today thereby ruining the harmony of the present. This is because while the whole world has moved forward these people are caught in a time warp and fight progress in general and change in particular.

For those who experienced a traumatic past, the present seems to be an extension of the past in as much as they see a demonic future and so get sandwiched between the demons in the mind. They adopt a fatalistic mentality, become superstitious and seek refuge in the powers of the occult or succumb to the lures of faith healers and spiritual guides.  Today then becomes burden for this lot, painfully experienced, wearily lived and fatalistically approached. Innovation, change and progress are often sacrificed today simply because the way ahead is perceived to be best lived by emulating the past for then we have the past experience to fall back on should lightening strike twice.

One needs to become aware that the past is long dead and though history may repeat itself, with the help of past experience we can always face up to the challenge. One must also not let the past overwhelm us to the point where we cannot think logically, act intelligently and live confidently. We must constantly remind ourselves that today has to be encashed and the past is a cancelled cheque that is pretty much worthless.

Remember: “What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.”

Try this:

  1. Read the contents of the following blog http://poweract.blogspot.com/2009/12/8-only-today-is-ours-use-it-now.html
  2. List out 3 most painful memories of the past and 3 best memories of the past. Reflect on how these events impacted your life subsequently. Objectively ask yourself if any of these events still play a big part in your attitude, behavior, style and temperament.  The feedback you get from others would be a good mirror to your life and a good reference point for evaluation of how your are utilizing today.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Be realistic

Never try to catch two frogs with one hand. Chinese proverb

In the fast paced world we live in, we are often compelled to chase our dreams by doubling our pace and if possible finding some short cuts. The result is that we either get exhausted half way through or we end up going in circles ruing our rather ill adviced and hasty decisions. Unfortunately we have a penchant to quickly forget our misadventures and no sooner our urge to chase the pot of gold returns, we not only double our original pace but now try to latch on to every possible opportunity. That is when we are attempting to do the near impossible like attempting to catch two frogs with one hand; and in the process both frogs leap away.

One needs to just check if we make huge TO Do lists or if one is often saying the words “I forgot ….’ or  if we are constantly struggling to meet deadlines, to get a feel of how over burdened we are. This is also indicative of how we are battling time constraints and struggling with our own frogs.  There are various reason why we keep on adding to our overfull cup of challenges. The first is our inability to say NO to people, most of whom are often taking advantage of our goodness. By being obliging  we are actually trying to juggle with more balls than what we are capable of handling. Obviously one is bound to spill a ball or two in the process and unfortunately the blame is also assigned to the person who slips. The second problem is our overconfidence that results in us believing that only we are capable of delivering results. The problem with over confidence is twofold; we take on more than we can handle and we refuse to delegate.

The biggest problem though is that we are never grounded in reality. This results in us sweeping aside all semblances of rationality, logic and temperance under the carpet. Instead we put our trust in an exaggerated opinion of our abilities, an unjustified faith in handling time pressures and a mistaken notion that we can with extra special efforts achieve extraordinary results. The voice of reason that keeps harping that we need to take a reality check is quietend down by our brash attitude and pompous outward show of bravado. To be grounded in reality requires us to be pragmatic, humble and truthful. Humility enables us to accept reality without rebuttal, pragmaticism helps us see things in the right perspective and truthfulness enables us to accept a harsh reality with equanimity.

In the pond of life there will be numerous frogs that will leap around and we would be sorely tempted to believe that catching a couple of them is child’s play. As a result we would, when the time comes try to demonstrate our imagined skill and attempt to catch a few frogs with one sweep of the hand. We misjudge our ability and under rate the frog too only to see the frog’s splash water on our face as they make a quick gateway into the pond.

Remember: “Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.” Wayne Dyer

Try this:

  1. How many times do you think you can keep folding  a paper into half ? Write down a figure and then take a newspaper page and start doing it and find out the answer for yourself. Was your original estimate realistic?
  2. If you are adventurous enough and are not afraid of frogs go to the outdoors and attempt to catch a frog with your hands. If you succeed, try doing it with one hand. Now visualize yourself trying to catch two frogs with one hand.

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 for what we have

Better a little fire to warm us than a great one to burn us. Thomas Fuller

A common fault that almost all of us are guilty of is succumbing to the temptation of comparisons.  Clothes, houses, cars, earnings, holidays taken and every imaginable comparative item are consciously or unconsciously subject to comparison. The tendency to compare different items with different people leads us to a conclusion that others have much more than what we have. Unfortunately, this is a skewed comparison because intangibles cannot be subject to easy comparison. Feelings, reactions, attitude are something’s that cannot be compared and as a result our conclusions are often erroneous.

On the other hand if one were to take an inventory of all our possessions and compare that with what we really deserve we would in all probability realize how rich we are. One would also notice that some of our heirlooms have love written all over it whereas most of the modern possessions have the price tag as the indicative value and scrap value as realistic value associated with it. The first watch gifted by a parent, the first bicycle on which we learned the basics of cycling, the hand me down sweater which great grandfather possibly acquired during his stint abroad all have a lot of memories and feelings that associated with it. Ironically the ipod we got a few months ago has already become outdated and there could be a drawer full of mobile phones and accessories all of which are near scrap.

It is said that a man with one watch is better off than the one with two watches simply because the latter is never sure of the time. Similarly if one were to acquire sudden riches one may never be really prepared to handle the resultant euphoria.  A look at the lives of the rich and famous, reveal the crisis that most of them undergo in their personal lives, despite their monetary riches.  Money and power are a potent mix that can give us heady feelings of infallibility and invincibility. A study of the great dictators and despots who have become part of historical folklore would prove the point too. Money gives one a false sense of power and unbridled power gives one a sense of invincibility. The true antidote for money and power is humility.

What we really need to do is value all what we have. This can begin with the reality that we are alive and that  we are blessed with reasonable health, wealth and intelligence. If we look around we would notice the millions who don’t even have these bare minimum advantages. If there are things we crave and envy in others  it would be prudent to step back and take an inventory of all what we really posses. A happy family, a stable business or job, lots of friends are some blessings we take for granted but which many a rich person actually craves for. See things in perspective; if we were gifted a Mercedes would be able to maintain it? If we won a Gold Plated iphone how often would we be worried about losing it? Do you really hoard your priceless possessions like a Waterman Pen or a Diamond Pendent for fear of losing it?  Be happy that whatever possessions you have are really enjoyed by you and not kept for the snob value which is just a temporary high but a realistic problem.

Remember: “There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.” Billy Graham

Try this:

  1. To understand how people can remain humble read up on the life and style of icons like Mr.Warren Buffet, Mr.Naryana Murthy & Mrs.Sudha Murthy, Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam. Here is a little ppt on Mr.Warren Buffet that makes for interesting insight. Warren_Buffet
  2. List out 3 things that you really crave for. Now outline 3 practical problems for each of the  items on your list, that you would have to face  if you really got your wish fulfilled.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Expect nothing…

If you expect nothing, you’re apt to be surprised.  You’ll get it. Malcolm Forbes

We experience most of our disappointments simply because we have unrealistic expectations. Part of the problem stems from the fact that in an intensively competitive world, every one is hoping to stay on top of the heap and so our mindsets are trained to be competitive but often our skill sets are not honed to match that of the competition. While we may crave to be ahead of the competition, we may find ourselves woefully inadequate on the pitch and then the obvious outcome is failure and disappointment. The just concluded World Cup football tournament proves the point in as much as the fact that there were very high expectations from the African nations to prove themselves and yet almost all of them fell along the way. On the other hand very few people gave the Uruguayans any chance of doing well, and they surprised many including themselves with a masterly performance.

Unrealistic parental expectations are often the bane of a healthy upbringing for impressionable minds. Every parent wants his/ her child to excel in school and later in college and career. What they fail to appreciate is the natural skill sets that the child might have and even more fatal would be the parent’s inability to spot the limitations of the child. A child, very gifted in the fine arts, might often find himself /herself being chided for their ‘frivolous’ passion and at the same time goaded into spending more time on what they least like to do ; perhaps studying the languages or mathematics or social sciences. Reality TV has exposed the reality of parents visualizing their children as prodigies who will set the world ablaze with their talent. The inability of child prodigies to cope with the pressures of expectations are never given a second thought and the numerous horror stories of suicides, drug abuse and depression that plague many a prodigy are unfortunately looked upon as aberrations that happen to others.

It must be also understood that doing ones work without any expectations is not an ideal situation either. The key to motivation, for example, lies in the fact that people have some expectations of rewards commensurate with the effort and the final outcome. Similarly, it is only when one has expectations that one can set norms and targets that help us benchmark our performance. What is important is to be pragmatic about the expectations and then attaining or achieving anything more would be a real bonus that is both unexpected and satisfying. Many a time we are guilty of being underachievers simply because we subconsciously lower our expectations so that we don’t look bombastic or so that we can ‘hedge against even the remotest possibility of failure’ and then exceed our expectations by leaps and bounds and get a sense of great achievement.

In the ultimate analysis, we need to be aware that we have multiple choices in life and we need to carefully exercise our options. Too much of expectations can lead to big disappointments while too little expectations can be counterproductive in harnessing ones full potential. Be passionate, be pragmatic and be content!

Remember: Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality. Ralph Marston

Try this:

  1. Estimate how much time you will take to unscramble the following 5 words and after estimating the time start the exercise. 1.LEOAN  2. COHAV 3.RAZEG 4. LANAS 5.TSAPM  * Answers in the post dated 14th July 2010 in our sister blog www.poweract.blogspot.com  
  2. Attempt to learn 3 new playing card tricks. Practice hard and then try the tricks on friends and colleagues.  Alternatively try to learn some magic tricks and perform it in front of an audience.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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