Tag: Begin

Get started …keep going

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

The way to succeed is in being YOU

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

They may not follow but…

13-16-They may not follow

This pearl of wisdom is first meant for parents, especially those parents who have already chalked out the course their children should traverse.  It would also boost the confidence of youngsters who are yearning to follow their dreams/ passions which are far removed from those expectations others have from them.

It is essential to acknowledge that each person is an individual who would have his/ her parents DNA but thereafter grows up to be an independent thinker and would have to walk a self chalked out path all on his/her own. Most parents believe that having their DNA gives them a right to mould and control a child to meet their pre determined standards and fulfill their ideal desires. Other well meaning friends, family members and elders would also similarly express themselves in an overbearing manner with good intent but with precious little appreciation for the individuality of those they are addressing.

Elders in general, including teachers, grandparents, uncles and aunts and parents in particular usurp the right to profusely spiel out advice believing that their age and experience give them an upper hand in dealing with the challenges of life. While their age and experience do have immense value, what they fail to appreciate in others is that the others particularly the youngsters have matured a lot faster, are exposed to a more compact world where information flows easily and they also believe they have the right to be heard loud and clear. This clash of values, expectations, hopes and ambitions is a major cause of discord within families particularly parents and children.

Here are 3 suggestions for elders and 3 for youngsters reading this, to ensure that they appreciate this post better

Elders

  1. Just guide them don’t goad them
  2. Respect the individuality of others no matter what they age or gender
  3. Acknowledge the efforts and if you find merit encourage them

Youngsters

  1. Respect everyone and then earn the respect of others – disagree without being disagreeable
  2. Share your ideas/ thoughts with elders who would be more open to your sharing
  3. Be committed to your goals. This means writing it down and working towards achieving it.

Try this:

Visit www.johngoddard.info and find the various goals that he set for himself and how he achieved most of it. What if his elders dissuaded him? What if he did not commit himself to it?

Elders think of your parents expectations from you and your siblings. How far did they fulfill it. Now examine the growth of the 3 best students ( your classmates) in school/ college and the three so called failures in school/ college. How have they fared? Did they do something extraordinary or did some of them fail your expectations?

Youngsters don’t just have plans. Write down your plans and put it down as SMART goals. If you do not know what are smart goals, you first task is to take the effort to find out what it is. Next learn to challenge yourself. To do this write down the following first

–       The animal / creature/ reptile that is found in your vicinity that you fear the most

–       The activity  or task that you fear /dislike the most

–       The situation or occasions that you dislike immensely

–       The food or cuisine that you simply don’t want to eat

–       The one addiction or habit that you cannot do away with

You have to confront either all or at least 2 of the above till you reduce your aversion / kick the habit by at least 50% Self discipline is the key and overcoming your fears is the learning that is crucial for you to chart your won course.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Look at your success…now don’t give up

Perhaps the only time in life one has to look backwards in order to proceed forward, is when one needs to appreciate the progress made and then resolve to better it. Nothing amplifies this better than our constant need to evaluate the progress made by regular exercise and diet, be it to reduce weight or to tone one’s body. Alas in our anxiety to get quick results we expect miracles and we fail to notice the small but significant changes that are milestones towards our goal. If the overwhelming majority of people give up their exercise routine it is not because of their inability to cope with the demands of the routine as much as it is because one fails to find the motivation to keep going.

Look closely at a toddler making its first steps. There is first a very tentative and unsteady attempt which could after a step or two end up in a fall. Yet, natures mysterious ways and the innate desire to replicate the initial success gravitates itself to spur the toddler to attempt his/ her walk again. Falling down is merely a unavoidable hazard but the freedom brought about by being able to walk is what drives the child to master it. The child also had one huge advantage; it has no concept of fear or failure or logic. These three stumbling blocks combine in varying proportion to scare, demotivate and silence adults from realizing their full potential.

The best antidote for fear, failure and illogical thoughts is rational goal setting, proactive response and reviewing progress. If we have no goals we are never sure of what we want nor do we know that we have received what we want. People who are bored, those who are listless and those who are constantly complaining are generally people who have no clue about their goals. Without goals they are like rudderless ships being tossed about in the ocean called life with no particular direction or port of destination.  Proactive response is possible only if once has something to work towards. Equally importantly one has to be motivated to get that momentum to respond.  Character and upbringing too have a huge bearing on how proactive a person is. Self belief and self worth would provide the fuel that enables one to zealously respond proactively and progress in life.

The ultimate driver of success though is the thrust got from a sense of achievement. To begin with this would have to be visualized; seeing one achieve the ultimate goal. When proactive response is initiated, then the vision is translated into the reality of the progress made. By reviewing the progress regularly, no matter how daunting the task, there is realization of having begun, progressed and nearing the goal. Perhaps it is this formula that has spurred legions of mountaineers to scale the Himalayas, the adventurers to attempt risky expeditions be it to the North Pole or South Pole or in the pursuit of discovering continents.

Ever wonder what motivates sailors to attempt solo round the world expeditions? The answer lies in the clarity of their goal, the proactive preparation towards achieving that goal and with every passing day they rejoice in the progress made and feel motivated that they are homing into steadily towards their ultimate goal. They are never daunted by what could happen, how much more is yet to be done nor do they ever question their own skill or ability to achieve what they set out to do.

Try this:

  1. Choose one social service activity that you are passionate about. Outline 3-5 goals you believe you must set out to achieve by your personal involvement. Get going and track your progress. Review your initial plans but keep going without abandoning the project no matter what the impediments.
  2. Jot down ways and means to achieve the following
  • Reduce your current monthly expenses by 10% or more
  • Increase your monthly income by 5% or more
  • Ensure you manage an annual savings of at least 20%  of your annual income.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

3 simple rules for life

At the outset let me thank each one of my readers and blog followers for having supported this blog and crossing 1,00,000 views. A special word of thanks to the 661 followers of the blog. For those who do not know, I started this blog on 1st Jan 2010 and kept a target of writing one post a day. I did manage around 340 posts in 2010, but cut down drastically thereafter. I am just delighted that so many of you send in your feedback or write in to me with their comments. Thank you friends!

Obviously, I was keen to mark this historic moment with something special but was not getting a lucky break or a fabulous idea. However a couple of days back a close friend sent me an email containing quotes in the form of posters and immediately I knew that this was the answer to my prayers. So starting today for the next 40 odd posts I would be using the contents of these posters as the central theme. I would also try to be more brief as regards the post contents. This is in deference to the wishes of a handful of good friends whose feedback I value. Your feedback would be most appreciated.

Rule 1. – If you do not GO after what you want, you’ll never have it.

  1. To get what you want you must know what you want.
  2. Write down your passions, whittle it down to your goals.
  3. Ensure you have a time frame to achieve the goals.
  4. Have a detailed action plan with indicators to ensure that your are on track.
  5. If you have read so far, start implementing what you have read. GO !!

Rule 2. If you do not ASK the answer will always be NO

  1. Following Rule 1 and implementing is a good beginning to follow Rule 2.
  2. Remember you cannot do it all on your own- so might as well ask others to help out
  3. While you might occasionally get NO as an answer, to get that YES you must ask.

Rule 3. If you do not step forward you will always be in the same place.

  1. Begin by having a firm point of view on issues.
  2. Try and express yourself so that you are heard and noticed.
  3. As you progress be more decisive and stand up to be counted.

 Try this:

  • Have you tried a different cuisine?
  • Ever made friends with a foreigner ?
  • Ever tried fund raising for a worthy cause by seeking out sponsors?
  • Visit an orphanages/ home for the aged/ prison / mental hospital/ hospice

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Get going now !

Do not wait for ideal circumstances, nor the best opportunities; they will never come. Janet Erskine Stuart

All of us have good intentions. We also get sudden spurts of wanting to change for the better. We begin each year with some firm resolutions to improve ourselves and to some extend also make valiant attempts occasionally. Most times though we don’t even get started and when we do we give up far too easily. The main reason for our inertia and starting trouble is that we wait for that good moment to come when our intentions and our inner drive are both in sync and ignite us into action. The trouble is we wait and wait for that moment but simply fail to recognize it. The problem starts when we decide to start an activity on a Monday or the 1st of a month or wait for an auspicious day. Invariably the day comes and we have some reason or the other not to start. The reason could range from the simple sheer laziness to the bizarre like had a bad dream so not good to start today.

By choice we all are apprehensive of change. This is the second reason why we are wary of attempting something new or different. Beginning anything new involves a change in the routine and that make us uncomfortable. Our mind is conditioned to follow the beaten path and so treading a new path requires effort, courage of conviction and the vision to see ahead. We therefore outline a set of near perfect and equally impossible conditions to come in harmony so that we can begin. Most times these are utopian ideals and the probability of such conditions becoming a reality near impossible. The wait continues and the possible opportunity goes by and we can only woefully lament.

Fear of commitment scares many a potential voyager / adventurer to make a non starter. Anything attempted new means a fixed new commitment. Most people are afraid of that commitment and so try to avoid or postpone making that commitment. Yet when the urge to grab opportunities overwhelms us we take tentative steps towards it. It si full commitment alone that can give fruits in the long run and tentative steps merely show us the way but we need to traverse it fully in faith and with the commitment to see it through the end. Mere good intentions and attempts to kick start are not enough but persistence and conviction if put into the venture will ensure we don’t give up till w attain our goal.

Risk of failure is the fear that is the bane of any new start. When we start with fear, we cloud our thinking, become defensive and find ways and means to postpone the start.  More importantly we make futile efforts to hedge against any failure and that is a near impossibility for we live in a dynamic world. It also happens that we may visualize a good beginning but then our own fears cloud our vision of the future and then we turn risk averse. Our fears paralyze us, our lethargy corrodes our spirit of enterprise and we cling to nonexistent hope for deliverance which we couldn’t even conceive to begin with.

Remember: “The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that’s the day you start to the top.”

Try this:

  1. If you haven’t made your New Year list begin now. If you have update it with 3 more points. Now ask what it that you could have begun but not yet started is. Ask yourself the reason for not starting. Can you begin today itself?
  2. Do you have a dream to attain? If not, write down a dream for yourself. It could be doing something special with your abilities and talents or it could be pursuing a pet passion or it could be giving back to society. Now get cracking on that project by allocating some time each week to work on it.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Chasing dreams

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” Vincent van Gogh

As we journey through life we are prone to fall into the trap of pessimism, get struck in the rut, believe that failure is an irrevocable tragedy and therefore we do not take courage to think beyond the confines of our perceived abilities and domain.  We are myopic in our thinking, our visualization and our risk taking perception when we get pessimistic and nervous. Yet when we have the urge to think radically, see things differently and imagine possibilities we just need to look at the stars in the galaxy that twinkle surreptitiously and taunt us to aspire to reach the skies like them. While there can be only one moon, there are a million stars that beckon us to chase our dreams and be up there and sparkle every night.

One of the reasons we fear dreaming is that we want to be sure that our dreams will materialize. This is but a catch 22 situation because dreams materialize once we start chasing it. As a result we think small, minimize risks and believe we have limited talents and abilities. On the other hand if we set out to achieve our dreams, then we have at least got started and then we can gather momentum. The other reason we are hesitant to chase our dreams is that we lack the foresight to visualize the scale and success of any dream. We tend to automatically scale our dreams down and then come to the bitter conclusion that it is not worth chasing. We miss out on so many opportunities that way.

Once bitten twice shy is the old adage that is the bane of dream chasers. While failure is hurtful and perhaps very shocking to our psyche, our temptation to succumb to that failure and refusal to attempt again is the real loss for us. We tend to worry, lose confidence in ourselves and worst of all blame ourselves for failure. In this process we are neither objective in analyzing the causes of failure nor are we daring thereafter. No pain no gain is another saying that aptly summarizes the inability of people to chase dreams. Anyone who chases a dream knows that the possibility of failure is embedded in that decision.  Yet most times we try hard to cover all the bases only to realize that competition has got  a head start over us or that we have depleted our resources on frivolous ring fencing exercise. We must have the daring to take chances and calculate risks if we have to achieve our dreams.

Look again at the stars and then we make the profound discover that despite their miniscule size as we see it from here, their light twinkles and catches our attention. We are also aware that they are size able and light years away from us and yet they draw our attention to them. If we look carefully we might even see patterns in them and we know that for centuries the North Star was the traveler’s guide and companion. Can we take inspiration from the stars and find our own north star in our hearts, and map out our own success plans and begin our march towards achieving our dreams?

Remember: “Dreams are like stars…you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.

Try this:

  1. What are your three dreams for this world you live in? Now how can you contribute to those dreams? E.g. Save tigers is your dream. Are you spreading this message? Are you contributing or raising resources for it? Have you adopted a tiger in the local zoo?
  2. Write down your dreams for the following and after that ask yourself what are you doing to achieve it
  • Dream house
  • Dream job
  • Dream holiday

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The fruits of persitence

Courage to start and willingness to keep everlasting at it are the requisites for success.  Alonzo Newton Benn

The easiest thing to do is day dream when awake and dream when asleep and one is transported into a world of pure magic and make belief till we are rudely awakened. It is at this point that we make the painful realization that real life demands that we can attain success only by the courage to begin working towards our dream and more importantly keep at it till we attain it. (Let me take the liberty of sharing a personal example here. For years I believed I was a good writer and I had the right blend of academics to back up this belief. The trouble was, I always believed that I could pen to paper and presto my book would be ready but I just never got around to doing it. On 1st Jan2010 I finally took the first step to write a daily blog. The going was very tough because I was not quite sure that I really could write consistently and interestingly daily. With a wide variety of motivators, particularly the number of views nearly 34,900 at this point and fast growing numbers of followers 260 as on date and the numerous positive feedback and comments, I have managed to write almost every day for 300 odd days)

There are 3 secrets of success. The first is to begin. We often confuse thinking about an activity as the beginning, which is partially true but far too often we are just planning and planning and remain at the drawing board for eternity. In reality what we are doing is giving into our own laziness and lethargy and camouflaging it under the veil of planning since it is done in a very passive way most times. A plan is not even worth the paper it is written on, unless someone actually rolls up his/ her sleeve and BEGINS. It is the execution of the plan that proves that the plan is complete and workable. We do not start because we lack confidence, we are afraid to commit and we fear failure. As long as we are in the planning stage we believe that we can succeed but when we begin there is no looking back for the die has been cast.

The second secret is to persist no matter what the odds are. Anything that we first attempt always seems daunting and tough. Remember the number of times you fell down while learning to ride a bicycle or the tardy and embarrassing attempts at first playing pool/ snooker.  The learning process and the success achieved are testimony to the reality that if we persist we will be able to mange success provided we have the aptitude and attitude for the venture. Aptitude and attitude are very vital qualities that have major bearing on the success of our venture. If one does not have one of the two attributes persistence will be akin to foolhardiness and obstinacy. The key is to do what our heart desires and not to chase goals that we have neither the interest in nor any aptitude for. E.g. It is widely expected that a child of doctor parents will become a doctor but if he/ she chooses to become a painter or historian, there will be societal pressure on him/ her to follow in the parents footsteps. Succumbing to that pressure is a sure shot way to failure.

Success is really established by the third secret viz. consistency and quality of output. Mediocrity is the bane of success, for anyone can attempt and mange to do something without any urge to excel. It is the urge to be excellent, the pride of being recognized, the appreciation of the peers and competitors that one must aim for to really relish success. This involves continuous improvement, benchmarking and strict quality adherence. This is therefore a slow process for there is a lot of trial and error that goes into the process of improvement. When we improve, we enhance the output and establish our own benchmarks of excellence. The beauty of success is that it is not a destination but a journey and so every single day one can savor unlimited success.

Remember: “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”  George Sheehan

Try this:

  1. Outline 3 changes that you will work on to improve your own personality. By Monday ensure that you are implementing your plan and see the results after 1 month. Repeat this exercise every month.
  2. List out your 3 major success in your life and the reason you succeeded. Also list out 3 plans you have for the future that when achieved will be a major success for you.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The TIME for ME is NOW

The most important thing in our lives is what we are doing now.

For every human being, time is the most precious resource for the simple reason that it cannot be replenished. Time lost is lost forever and since it is said that time is money, every second lost is money lost. Viewed differently time lost is actually opportunity lost; for grabbing opportunities is possible only when they present themselves at the right time. Does this mean that the time we waste in gossip, watching TV, sleeping or idling away are a frivolous waste of time?  The answer to this depends on our priorities. Sleep is mandatory but oversleeping is criminal. Similarly watching TV to relax and unwind is excellent use of time except when we become a slave to the TV. Yes even gossip is a social need to bond and possibly let out steam. This brings us to an interesting conclusion, that what we are doing now is the most important thing for us.

The question for most of us now is how to ensure that we do only the most important thing with our time. The trick is to be pragmatic in allocating priorities. Being pragmatic involves knowing what we want to achieve, having clarity on the reason we are pursuing that goal and ensuring that the priority does not rob us from leading a quality lifestyle. Setting goals will help us focus on what we have to achieve. SMART goals vis. Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound goals are what we must set for ourselves. Getting clarity on the compelling need for us to pursue that goal is much more tougher. This would involve us asking some hard questions about the potential benefit of the goal, the effort result payoff and the influence the attainment of the goal has to us personally and to society at large. E.g. Doing a Ph.D after retirement would be a worthwhile goal to pursue, provided we leverage that qualification and learning. Doing a Ph.D just to keep ourselves occupied would be a very poor goal to pursue.  The final question that we need to honestly ask is Are we pursuing a goal and allocating a priority purely for our own self gratification needs? Will the goal we prioritize seriously disturb our family life, our social life and our own personal life?

Why are we so ineffective in managing our time? A large part of that blame rests purely on our shoulders. While there are external time wasters over which we have limited control like telephone calls, meetings being called by seniors, being kept waiting despite having appointments etc. the real culprit is our own personal tardiness and casualness which we can really control. The two biggest culprits that make us ineffective time managers are Procrastination and Decision making.  There are other contributors too like personal disorganization, poor listening skills and our inability to say NO to any time commitments that come our way. The way out is to be aware of these time robbers that we are personally responsible for and either through training or a disciplined approach we have to over come them.

When we are sure that what we do now is what is the most important thing our conscious is at peace, our efforts are rarely in vain, there is a sense of achievement and most importantly we would never have any regrets in life.

Remember: “Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”

Try this:

  1. Prepare your own SMART goals. Make it exhaustive and where ever possible break down large goals into smaller goals with target dates penciled in. Prioritize the list in order of importance and urgency. Ensure you read it frequently and act on it daily. Review your day before going to bed and plan the day before you begin work in the morning.
  2. Attempt this Priorities Test
  • Five things are happening in your house at the same time. In which sequence would you solve them?
    • The telephone is ringing!
    • The baby is crying!
    • Someone’s knocking or calling you from the front door!
    • You hung the clothes out to dry and it is beginning to rain!
    • You left the tap on in the kitchen and the water is already overflowing!

(View the next post in www.poweract.blogspot.com for an interesting interpretation of your time priorities. Ensure that your own answer to the above is kept at hand when going through the interpretation.)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Courage to change

There is nobody who totally lacks the courage to change. Rollo May

The critical phase in change is that inflection point when we pick up courage to follow our hearts whisper which has turned into a shout. The problem is, much as we realize with each passing day that we need to change tracks, we are pressurized by societal norms, parental pressures and perhaps a miniscule amount of self doubt but what really terrifies us is the consequences of failure in pursuing our desired alternative. This brings up the real problem with change; not that we lack courage but we are paralyzed by fear of failure.

The initial hurdle that anyone wanting to change faces is to convince well meaning but ill informed well wishers that include family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances that your need to change is deeply felt by you and imminent. However the passion and intensity with which you feel the need to change is just not empathized by them and therefore they will dissuade with logic. Often the logic is simplistic don’t attempt things no one has dared to do within family, stick to the tried and tested, follow the path that is most accepted and the final argument is that the true measure of success will be what one can evaluate in physical terms particularly monetary terms. Where the logic fails is in conveniently ignoring the emotional element for it is neither tangible nor easily appreciable by a third party.

With the overwhelming pressure brought about by well meaning people it is obvious that a normal person will swiftly be vacillating between his/ her heart’s desire and the apparently irrefutable logic that is dished out. It is at this point that self doubt creeps in and one starts questioning the very basic premise on which one had planned to adopt change. Self doubt clouds judgment, asks the wrong questions, let’s fear build a nest in our heart and mind and worse of all it triggers the process of making our commitment and intensity of purpose wane. The conflict in the mind has to then be resolved with one decisive blow but that is where we feel powerless to act. We are powerless to act because we are now paralyzed by the fear of failure.

The good news is that each of us has the courage to change but only if we overcome our fear of failure. The reality is that every person will fail numerous times in life and not surprisingly every one also attains success almost twice as many times. This needs a little explanation. We succeed twice once when we get up after failing and the second time when we don’t fail. Now if we see things in this light, it is crystal clear that our fear of failure is misplaced, unjustified and statistically probable only in the extreme case and even then success is assured because of the higher probability. So we can safely conclude that we need to simply tap into our courage that is dormant within us and be the change we want to see!

Remember: “Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” Tom Krause

Try this:

  1. Before the week is out do something you have never attempted before. It could be writing a poem/ a song/ a limerick or a letter to the editor. Maybe it is the long delayed decision to buy a pet / indulge in some major spending to spruce up the house. Or it could be more life changing as popping the question to the person you love or simply making that big decision to quit a salaried job and start your own business or quitting your job after getting a new one. Please ensure that the later life changing decisions are well thought out and planned for and not done simply as an exercise in testing your courage to change.
  2. Read up on a different angle to the concept of change by clicking on the following link http://poweract.blogspot.com/2010/05/change.html

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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