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Posts Tagged ‘Begin’

27-Do you have the scars

Taking the easy way out, is what most of us do when faced with a choice. Yet, our mettle is tested and out abilities judged by how we stood up to be counted when the chips are down. Volunteering in class, for example, is always a tough proposition because there is a very high probability of failing in the assigned task.  Yet, notice that the ones who usually volunteer to answer questions, take on a challenge are often the more brilliant ones or the real daring ones and occasionally an average joe who possibly has a more incisive motive. The rest of us do end up having a hearty laugh or a feeling of awe at the outcome of such daring. What we do not gain though, is the learning from the first hand experience, the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to try something different and display our inner strength no matter what the outcome.

Commitment is an essential trait of all successful people. As they say ‘when the going goes tough the tough get going’. Sharing messages on social media, trolling people, liking and disliking matter posted by others are simple and passive action. The challenge is to put into practice the exhortations in the messages. This means taking the initiative, being prepared to get bruised, being ready to learn from mistakes and giving all one has got. Success is not guaranteed but learning sure is. While failure could be a real possibility it is in the participation and scrimmage that one gains experience.

Daring is another trait of trailblazers. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is another old adage. There is always risk in attempting something new. However, if one has prepared well, you increase the chances of success. Yet, one can never know how much one has learned unless one dares and ventures to attempt and find out. Daring improves your self confidence, expands your own daring zone and most of all gives you bragging rights to say I tried it. While people would often only recall the winners, you would always remember every attempt you made. You will never forget  the lessons you learned, the success you enjoyed along the way and can proudly flaunt the bruises from the attempts to prove that you participated and didn’t stand on the sidelines to clap for others.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do in your life. Make it exhaustive and vivid. Remember that when visualizing, imagining and  dreaming you just let your mind soar, your passion come alive and there are no constraints at all. Now identify 3- 5 of the most passionate dreams you have listed and work out a plan to attain them within a time frame set by you.
  2. In this week you are to do the following:
  • Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper about some social issue that you are passionate about.
  • Make an attempt to overcome some fear you have e.g. holding a snake / donating blood because you fear the prick of a needle / learning a new sport
  • Proactively bring about a positive change in your behavior that others notice and appreciate.
  • Buy 2 surprise gifts and give it to some random person who is least expecting it.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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11- Being resourceful is the keyWhen confronted with a challenge, a problem, a dilemma, a threat, an obstacle or danger, chances are that we would furiously think of ways to mitigate the issue. This is normal human reaction for that is how we are psychologically conditioned to act.  The issue is actually what we do next. Many of us give up daring to execute our plans for fear of failure. Some would simply give up even trying to identify a solution rationalizing that the circumstance confronting us is far beyond our own ability to cope up with. There would be others who make half hearted attempts to at least postpone the inevitable, in the fond hope of the matter resolving itself over time. The circumstances confronting you are not your enemy. Being afraid to think and act is the real enemy.

Being resourceful is all about thinking quick and acting purposefully. In fact thinking quick is often a natural reaction. However, we tend to keep prejudging our thoughts, ideas, alternatives and opportunities thereby largely neutralizing the power of those immediate thoughts. Acting purposefully is a bigger challenge for we normally tend to react to circumstances rather than act with a clear plan in mind. So is resourcefulness just a matter of generating alternative solutions? Ideating and creativity are just one tool for being resourceful albeit a critical and important tool. Resourcefulness goes far beyond merely thinking up alternatives. It is setting up yourself to triumph over circumstances.

Here are some pointers to being resourceful and using them to overcome the obstacles that confront you.

Believe in yourself – The first thought that often comes to mind when confronted with a challenge is oh no. This is quickly followed by thoughts that revolve around Why me? Can I? This is terrible. I can’t cope with this. It is unfair. It is important to remember that every individual does face challenges at various times in varied degrees and the challenges cover a wide spectrum. One either copes with the challenge or gets overcome by the challenge. The first step to coping with a problem is to believe that you have the mental, physical and emotional strength to find a solution. Unless you believe in yourself you would not seek to find a solution.

Think/ ideate / be creative / visualize– Thinking holds the key to generating solutions. It could be logical or rational thinking, it could be creative thinking, it could be idea generation or it could be visualizing big and narrowing to specifics. There is a solution and I can find it must be the mantra. The solution could be completely off beat, it could be risky, it may require a tremendous leap of faith or it could be so very simple you start doubting its efficacy. Look at all the technological wonders around you and you would realize that each of them is a marvel in itself. More importantly each improvement is actually a solution to a problem that was worked out by someone who believed they could find a solution.

Create the right environment to act The toughest part of being resourceful is reassuring yourself constantly that you are capable, competent and clear about your resourcefulness paying off. Sometimes it would be the nagging doubts in your mind, other times it could be the nay sayers who discourage you, occasionally it would be those days when nothing seems to go right and mostly it would be the let me give up feeling that comes like waves of a nausea. To cope with this it is essential that you create the right environment. This includes simple things like ensuring you have the right tools to work with, the physical environment suits your temperament, you bounce ideas of people who will give you dispassionate and encouraging feedback, you brace yourself to dealing with failure, your tune your mind to find encouragement in the smallest success that you attain.

Act decisively to attain your objective – This the toughest part of being resourceful because this requires daring and is test of yourself belief. Just as one cannot cross a chasm in two steps, acting decisively means taking a giant leap of faith. The plans on the drawing board would remain just that, till they are translated into concrete action. There are no auspicious moments, no perfect time to begin. Making that commitment by beginning ensures that you will make those extra efforts to keep going. It is possible that you will be tempted to rethink, to reassess, to go back to the drawing board, to give up, to start differently but once you get the momentum it is a commitment that will linger and persist and draw you back to continue.

If at first you don’t succeed, start again. Very few have ever succeeded in their first attempt. However, it is those who didn’t give up their quest for success who ultimately triumph. Few plans pan out the way they are planned. There would be detours, there would be complications, there could be road blocks, there could be frustration and there will be discouragement. Keep your goal in mind. It must be sufficiently big enough to motivate but not so large that you are overawed by the challenge. Most importantly you must enjoy the journey. Be desperate, determined and driven; then you will be resourceful enough to see your dream come through no matter how long it takes or how many attempts it takes.

Try this:

  • Can you think of unique ways to celebrate your birthday or that of a close friend or family member?
  • During the coming week, check out the various cultural activities that will take place in your city and attend at least 2 such activities that you have never even been too. Identify 2 new things you learned in the process and find a way to implement it or utilize it.
  • From the various posts in your social media sites list out 5 posts that caught your imagination. Of these are there any that you think you can replicate or adapt to make the world around you a better place?
  • If you had the resources to start a social service initiative what would you start? How would your initiative be different from those existing? Even without the resources can you implement some of the unique ideas you have in mind?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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12-25 May 15-It is your worldOne of life’s ironies is that we allow our life to be influenced, modeled and directed by others. While it is good to take parental advice, follow the discipline and rigors taught by teachers and elders, be attentive to the suggestions of seniors and mentors at the workplace, we lose our individuality and ability to follow our dreams and furrow our own path if we do not allow our own thoughts to take center stage in our life. Yes, it is possible that when we dare to be independent, there could be the risk of failure, of criticism and of confusion but it is offset by the thrill of exploring, of having given dreams wings and there is definite possibility of success when we translate imagination into effort.

It is not merely the brilliance of individuals that brings about progress, revolution and discovery but it is the ability to propel and channelize the ideas, imagination and creativity into daring, tangible and concrete action that bears fruits. Pause for a moment and imagine the numerous interests that you had in your formative years. Perhaps you still nurture a few new dreams to pursue. Did you want to be a scientist, an astronaut, a fireman, an engine driver, a computer wizard, an industrialist, a fashion icon, a mechanic, a farmer, a writer / dramatist ???? Ask yourself what efforts you made to get a better understanding of the fields of your interest. Did you make some serious efforts to test your skills in the filed of your passion? Did you get discouraged because of the snide comments, sharp rebuke or constant berating of some key influencers in your life? Were you firmly directed to follow the beaten path? Did you succumb to the real and imaginary pressures around you?

Actually it is never too late to add color to your life. After all it is your life and you have to take responsibility for managing it, improvising on it and making it an exhilarating one. So if you fancied yourself as singer what stops you from atleast singing at a Karaoke night? What is holding you back from penning your dream story or poem? So you want to visit foreign lands; start by zooming on the places you want to visit, work out your budget and now you are already half to realizing your dreams. The key to adding color to your life is in using all the available crayons, color pencils, paints and brushes to start coloring. Don’t wait to find the ideal mood, the right canvas, the perfect colors or for your imagination to conceive the exact drawing. Leverage your inspirations with a little perspiration, loads of obsession and infatuation and see a drab life turn exotic and colorful.

Try these:

Simply select 8-15 objects that are around you. Re-arrange them / use them to create something different. If nothing else change their location so that the environment looks different and more pleasant. Good start!

Write down the most frequent criticism / critical feedback that you get from family, friends and colleagues. Now write down an action plan to work on changing the image you project so that those who criticize you will notice the change and applaud you for it.

Allocate a small sum of money each month as ‘ my surprise money’. Use this to buy something to surprise someone or family members or office colleagues. Notice the joy you bring to them and feel it reverberate within you also.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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10- 22 April 15- Lessons from the pastOne of the big millstones that weighs down and defeats people, is the regret that they have of their past and their mistaken belief, that they have missed the boat to success. It is true that every one of us would have something in the past that we would desperately want to edit and redo; yet the past is only a mirage that cannot be revisited but we must not convert that into a regretful flashback put on permanent loop. On the contrary, successful people have build their success by learning the lessons from their past, being cautious not to repeat the mistakes and occasionally tweaking the lessons learnt to make another attempt. (Read this to get insight of the FedEx billionaire Fred Smith http://tinyurl.com/ln9xxbq )

In fact, your past provides you an excellent reference point to value your achievements. Whatever your failures, disappointments, frustrations and / or regrets you are here today reading this post because your past could not define you as a defeatist nor could it destroy your strong will nor could it deter you from pursuing your dreams and neither did you concede defeat to the past failures. Your past has made you more determined, disciplined and daring; in short it has strengthened you.

The challenge now is to make optimum use of the strength that you posses. This can be done by consciously working on your GAME

Your Goals – Unless one has an objective and a plan, there would be neither purpose not progress. Well thought out, written goals will provide us the direction and the roadmap to march ahead. Never forget that the a journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step. Writing down your goals is the first step in your march towards success. You must have goals for varied dimensions of your life be it personal goals, professional goals, academic goals, self development goals, relationship goals, spiritual goals etc. Writing down your goals will bring clarity, ensure attentiveness, help monitor your progress and provide you motivation and self worth to pursue it with passion.

Your Attitude – Like New Year resolutions that we all cynically believe are meant to be broken, even written down goals will remain on paper with no progress being made unless one adopts the right attitude to attain the goals. Progress could be slow, impediments could be many, there could be occasional failures and disappointments but remember every successful person has overcome all these because they had the can do, will do attitude. No goal is too big or too small. In fact the small goals are the stepping stone to success for with every small goal attained you would have traversed many mile forward to attaining your larger goal. Yes you too can eat an Elephant slice by slice!

Your Motivation – Even the most disciplined individual will have to confront the demons of self doubt, slow progress, discouragement from others and at times even the ignominy of ridicule and taunts from critics. One must be able to identify both an extrinsic motivation and more importantly and intrinsic motivation to provide the energy, the nourishment and the impetus to keep marching ahead ignoring all protestations of mind and body. Your goals must exceed your grasp for that is when one is motivated to aim higher, reach further and progress beyond one’s comfort zone and discover a new world, a new destination and a new person in you.

Your Efforts – Now that you have read so far, it is time you actually walked the talk. So write down your goals, the positive words /adjectives that could determine / outline the attitude needed and identify the motivation that will drive you to attain your goals. Don’t forget that your goals are not mere statements of good intent but definitive, positively articulated tangible outcomes. Ensure that each one of your goals is a SMART goal i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. By now you have the drift of what is expected of you; not platitudes of good intent but a tango of mind and body that will bring you closer to realizing your full potential, leverage your hidden strengths and give you the euphoria of success.

Who cares what happened in the past? The GAME is on…this moment is as good a time as any to begin and win !

Try these:

I often get emails (actspot@gmail.com) requesting help in finding the best way to improve an individual’s English Language Skills. Here are some ways but you will have to convert them into your own personal goals. Cultivate the right attitude, find the appropriate motivation and put in your efforts to progress in mastering English.

  • Read a lot ( could be Readers Digest / English Newspapers / Magazines / Comics / Fiction / books related to your profession etc.)
  • Look up words in the dictionary and also check for alternative in a Thesaurus
  • Most English language newspapers have a recreation page with crosswords , comic strips, other resources. Make it a habit to consciously attempt some of these daily. This is a fun way to learn new words and the meanings.
  • Cultivate English speaking friends and make a conscious effort to speak in English. Encourage your friends to correct you so that you get feedback and can improve. Make a determined effort not to speak in your native tongue.
  • Watch English movies with sub titles so that in case you do not understand the spoken language you can still grasp the words from the sub titles.
  • Write one page atleast, every day. This could be in the form of a dairy of daily happenings or it could be your thoughts and feelings or it could be a summary of your reading or random thoughts and musings. Once you start writing, you would be well on your way to becoming excellent in English for that is the culmination of the GAME you started and your Efforts will pay off.

What are the passions you always wanted to indulge in but never had the time / resources / courage to pursue? ( e.g. learn dancing , go hiking, visit Europe, write my own blog, work with an NGO, start my own business, give lectures, become a crusader for a cause etc.) Select a couple of them and put it in your list of Goals. Use the SMART goal formula to make these attainable goals. You should now be able to definitely attain your goals within the time-frame you have set.

Go through this list of positive words, that can trigger your imagination to determine other words, which will help you have the right motivation and attitude to achieve your goals.

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

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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

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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1-9 Jan 15 Get Started keep goingUntil a few years ago, many motorized vehicles had starting trouble especially in winter and the monsoons. Fortunately with more research and better technology, very rarely does our vehicle give us starting trouble. Unfortunately, as individuals almost all of us have major issues with starting either something new or pursuing an existing activity. Evolution and technological revolutions have not helped the human race eliminate this limitation of starting trouble but they have facilitated ways and means to overcome it. However the real issue with personal starting troubles stems from the following:

Fear – Venturing into doing anything new is always a challenge because we fear failure, disappointment, lack confidence and are wary of the reactions of those who are keenly observing us. So all our good intent remains in the realms of possibility with a near zero probability of achievement. Most times we postpone starting under some flimsy pretext and other times we make half hearted attempts and give up too quickly. Ask yourself if you are actually pursuing your dreams or passions. If the answer is NO it is a clear indication that you failed to start moving in the direction of your dreams. Alternatively ask yourself if you are happy with the current state of affairs personal, professional and financial. If again you get NO for an answer, you know you feared doing something different that could possibly have helped you move towards making your life a lot better.

Lack of motivation – One reason most of our New Year Resolutions ( please read the previous blog post to read about this https://actspot.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/choose-well-and-make-a-difference-to-your-life-this-year/ ) fall by the way side is largely due to lack of motivation to sustain our quest. Someone who seeks to lose weight and another who wants to improve his/ her physique both sets of people often quit because the effort is too much but more importantly they do not see quick results and get demotivated faster. The same is true with students who find it hard to concentrate and study for their exams. Employees too suffer from the same problem especially when they have to do routine jobs and jobs that rarely get appreciation. For most people life is boring, it is a grind and it is merely for substance that they go about doing the bare minimum to attain the grade. So starting might seem like a huge achievement but continuing with the task and doing a good job requires a different mindset and attitude.

Indifference – This stems from both the earlier problems. Fear of starting and lack of motivation to continue, morph into an indifferent approach to any activity. Indifference could also be the result of sheer ignorance of the long term consequences or it could be the outcome of foolhardiness also. By being indifferent, an individual wastes his/ her time, talent and life. It also makes a person lethargic, complacent, casual and feel victimized. These people not only suffer starting trouble but worse still they rust out; tormented and tormenting those around.

To remedy the above situation, if you ever find yourself in such a predicament is to read the words of the quote in the start and to make a determined effort to begin. ( if you haven’t yet written down your New Year Resolutions at least write down right now 3 things you hope to achieve in the coming year). Now that you have begun, it would be a good idea to share the idea with a close friend / colleague / relation. This ensures that you have put pressure on yourself to stand by the challenge you have taken on for some of those with whom you shared would off and on check up on your progress. This will provide you the motivation to keep going and also shake of your indifference for now there are others who also interested in your welfare, progress and success.

Try this:

  • Outline your dream holiday – location, duration, budget, preferred travelling companion/s, possible dates of travel. Work on realizing this dream at the earliest.
  • List 2 bad habits that you will eliminate this year and 2 good practices you will adopt this year.
  • Work out a way to enhance your contribution by way of time and resources for a charitable cause by at least 5 % this year.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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13-31-Be YourselfWe are often left wondering why we do not succeed and realize our full potential. Much as we ponder the answer seems elusive, our frustrations keep increasing and worse still we are envious and jealous of those whom we feel succeed beyond measure. The quote above gives clear clues as to why we fail to achieve success that is well within our reach. Here is a simple analysis of the clues and each one of us can interpret the analysis for ourselves and apply the learning to realize our full potential.

Lack of self confidence. The vast majority of us are never going to be in the top percentile of those achieving academic excellence. Unfortunately, there is an over emphasis laid on academic brilliance and that first dents the confidence of the vast majority who lack the academic powers. Perhaps this lack of confidence then translates into lack of clarity of personal goals, indecision, confused mind set, inability to focus, half hearted efforts etc. This then becomes a vicious circle where performance is not up to par and in turn one becomes even less confident. Breaking this vicious circle holds the key to regaining our self confidence and self esteem.

Comparisons with others. Almost everyone is guilty of this at some stage or the other in our life. Unfortunately, the seeds of this aliment are first sown by our own well meaning parents, elders, teachers and well wishers who invariably try to compare our progress and achievements with that of other peers. While we resented that comparison, far too often we have subconsciously imbibed it and end up doing the same and ending coming to the same conclusion ‘poor me’ or ‘lucky them’. The comparisons by themselves are not bad because it gives us yardsticks to measure ourselves. However the conclusion we draw and which then becomes our creed poses a huge problem for our personal well being and success.

Attempting to be what we are not. One of the consequences of our lack of self confidence and our penchant to compare ourselves with others is the metamorphosis that we undergo in aiming to imitate our perceived success heroes/ heroines. Unfortunately the metamorphosis is incomplete because we only end up imitating the individual without imbibing the virtues he /she possesses. The result is a lame attempt at masquerading as a success while the mind, body and soul have never come to terms with the artificiality and hollowness of the self we project.

Not paying attention to our strengths. In our eagerness to achieve success we seek to imitate others, search for shortcuts and give up far too easily when confronted with difficulties. What we fail to realize is that each of us is blessed with our own unique abilities, talents and strengths. All it requires us to do is recognize it, allow it to flower in our work and leverage it in both our personal and professional life.

Focusing too much on our limitations. Time and time again the biggest weakness that thwarts our attempts to attain success is our inability to get going. This is because we are obsessed about the limitations we perceive in us and tend to imagine failures as a natural corollary. So if at all we begin we do it with trepidation, keep looking over our shoulders for signs of failures and fail to stay the course when confronted with problems. We also fail to work on ironing out our limitations, let them become excuses and sadly become slaves to our own anxieties.

Not accepting ourselves as we are.  Perhaps the one single cause for our inability to achieve the success we are capable of is our inability to acknowledge our self worth. We are terrified of our limitations, under value our strengths, are unclear about our goals and search for answers to our problems around us. The reality is that we create a bigger problem than what exists and instead of seeking the simple answers that are within us refuse to accept the individuality we are blessed with.

Remember you are both the sculptor and the sculpture; it is never too late to chisel away at yourself and let out the individuality in you.

Try this:

  1. Write down 3 role models. Now outline 3 qualities / abilities in them that you envy and can adopt or adapt for your personal growth. Can you identify 2 traits / weakness in the role model that you detest?
  2. Write down 2 personal habits/ traits/ limitations that you would like to get rid of. Outline a month long plan to reduce / eliminate at least one of these 2 limitations.
  3. Given your personal and academic background, what is your dream job/ business venture?  What steps do you need to take to attain that? What are the 2 biggest stumbling blocks and the 2 major gains you attain in achieving them?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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