Tag: Brave

First things first

First things first

In life there are times when we know what must be done to rectify a situation but either our ego or the fear of retribution or the anxiety of embarrassment hold us back. Yet, on hindsight, we do realize that the benefits of being first to rectify the situation far outweigh the short term concerns that prevent us from doing what is right. Three of the most classic cases of us suffering more for our procrastination in not taking the right step are as under:

Apologizing – The first to apologize is the bravest –  Our fear of retribution or occasionally our ego  will often over ride our sense of justice and we would often delay offering an apology for a mistake we have made or an injustice (albeit mistakenly ) committed. Yet the moment you decide that an apology is warranted and that too quickly, if you can gather the courage to apologize by  stifling the fear and/ or ego, you will realize that it is the bravest decision that you would have taken. Often it is also a very emotionally fulfilling decision because you would otherwise have to carry the guilt around. Mistakes happen to the best of us; however it is the bravest who can quickly apologize and seek forgiveness for the mistake.

Forgiving – The first to forgive is the strongest. – Our petty mindedness would trigger our ego and forgiving a mistake and accepting an apology would become a very difficult proposition. Unnecessarily we believe that by forgiving we are lowering our prestige or letting another go scot-free. The truth is that it takes a lot of courage to pardon someone who has knowingly or unknowingly hurt or troubled us. If we take an eye for an eye approach we would be carrying a burden of acting differently from what we really are. Instead by forgiving one who seeks forgiveness we would have displayed our moral courage and large heart. Forgiveness is a display of good character, sound values and the courage to do the right thing.

Forgetting – The first to forget is the happiest – If one nurtures a grudge, holds a past hurt to fuel fire to take revenge or allow ourselves to be consumed by rage and anger, it takes a toll on our mental peace, physical health and destroys our personal tranquility. For the hurt you feel, the disappointments you face because of others, the bad times that have overwhelmed you and the nagging need to get even with others, only results in you carrying an unseen burden within. Let go of that burden by forgetting the torments, the tormentors and the past and your heart, mind and body would feel lighter, less burdensome and certainly more relaxed. You will be a man with no worries; the person who is happiest.

Try these:           

  • Think of the time when you apologized for a mistake and you were not forgiven. What could be the reason for the other person not willing to forgive you?
  • What is the hurt/ anger/ guilt that you are still carrying around? Why is it that you are not able to forget the incident or forgive the person who hurt you?
  • If at all you have any painful memories of the past, how have you coped with it? Have you tried forgiving and / or forgetting it or the perpetrators if any ?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

It is ok to be not okay…

27- Not ok so whatUnhappy, disillusioned, confused, hurt, resentful, angry, listless, tired, ignored, unlucky;. Do you experience these emotions / feelings off and on? Do you feel like the only person facing these problems? The reality is that almost every one experiences these intermittently. However, the problem arises when we frequently experience negative emotions, find it difficult to ignore these emotions and worst of all succumb to the pressures of these emotions. Most of these emotions are temporary, largely fleeting and often a byproduct of wild negative thinking. However, it is important that we do go through the feeling of not feeling okay; of being uncomfortable, disturbed and pained. When we experience a situation that disturbs our peace of mind it is essential that we accept it as a painful reality. What is not acceptable is denying it, questioning it, constantly whining over it and making it control our life. When one can make peace with the painful reality, one can appreciate the fact that such not okay feelings actually accentuate the value of the positive emotions and feelings that we are blessed with.

The challenge is to experience being not okay and managing to get back to the okay state. It is like knowing how much one can stretch a rubber band. Stretch it beyond a point and it will snap. Like that broken rubber band, if one lets the not okay feeling to overpower one’s emotions, one becomes irrational, broken in spirit and body and then surrender to mediocrity, mere sustenance and survival. Being not okay implies that we are made aware of our imperfections and limitations. It also keeps us grounded to the reality that not all our efforts can give us the fruits we desire. It also spurs us to make adjustments, re-evaluate our original plans and make a fresh start. However, the danger is that when we are not okay, at times we get demoralized, disheartened and dispirited. There is then a possibility of us giving up and not making any effort to get back on track. History teaches us that even the most successful people have always encountered challenges and it is their self belief and determination that have made them rise up again and climb the pedestal of success.

Here are 6 guiding principles to navigate the not okay state and come back to the okay state.

  1. The past cannot be changed but the lessons it provides are to be learnt well.
  2. The future exists for us to utilize it wisely without having the hangover of the past.
  3. The present is where life happens and we better not waste it brooding over the past or ring fencing the future.
  4. Learn to appreciate and value the good in every adverse situation.
  5. Be prepared to face the unexpected no matter how well you have planned for the future.
  6. Today offers you 24 hours to utilize all the lessons learned, to attain your goals; don’t squander it away.

Try these:

  • Suppose you were mistakenly locked up in prison for a crime you didn’t commit but there is no possibility of immediate release and a long term prison term of 5 years at least what would you do ?
  • You have committed a terrible mistake which you managed to cover up well. However an innocent member of your team was blamed and he/ she was sacked unceremoniously. You have always regretted your silence in the matter. 6years later you come face to face with the unfortunate victim of your misdeed. What would you do?
  • Can you recall 3 incidences / episodes / happenings / events in your life that really disturbed you when experienced it. How did you cope with each such situation? Do those events still play on your mind?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The courage to dare

To accept whatever comes, regardless of the consequences, is to be unafraid. John Cage

Nowhere is this quote more applicable on than on the battle field. Fortunately most of us do not have to go through this life and death situation and hence we assume that this may not be very significant in our lives. The truth is unfortunately very different. We may not realize it but most of our waking hours is spend in reconciling to our fears both imaginary and real and mustering up courage to face the consequences boldly. Look at the variety of challenges that continuously and relentlessly pursue us; parental wrath, teachers wrath, academic pressures, pressures on relationships, lure of monetary gains, balancing our conscience, standing up for our rights, pain in various forms, depression and suicidal thoughts etc. The list is endless and our capacity to bear up theoretically unlimited but practically nonexistent.

To understand why we find it hard to be unafraid, it is essential to understand that each one of us attempts to have an utopian concept of life. This life we visualize as  idyllic, stress free, well chartered and planned, remains well within our control and does not contain even a wee bit of pain or danger. When this notion is rudely disturbed then we are not really prepared for the unpleasant and often stressful happenings that spring up on us. It could be a rather stern teacher or a strict parent who jolts us first. It could be the betrayal by a friend or some close to us that can hurt us deeply. Illness, death of a loved one, inability to cope with the pressures of daily living etc. can stress us out and pressurize our peace of mind. It is at this point that we actually learn to cope with the stress and built up our own defense mechanisms to manage life. Yet we do not confront our problems but most time side step it.

When we side step problems, we are simply acting as cowards and not really being brave. Being brave means to be unafraid and that means we need to be more proactive and confront our fears. We do not really confront our fears because we are more focused on the consequences than on solving our immediate problem. This is like having a brain tumor and the surgeon refuses to operate because the patient can be incapacitated in the process but by leaving the tumor unattended death is more certain. On a personal level look back at school days and recollect the time when you skipped homework because of a wedding in the family where you had a swell time but knew you may be punished for your indiscretion of not doing the homework. Yet you braved the punishment because the fun was more alluring and a once in a life time opportunity. While I certainly don’t recommend not doing homework for trivial reasons, I would be even more strongly condemn not enjoying a once in a life time opportunity for fear of not so serious consequences.

Daring is all about taking calculated risks and occasionally going for broke because the stakes are worth it.  One must be motivated, bold and focused when developing courage and being unafraid. One also needs to be able to distinguish between being foolhardy and being daring, being a hero and being a fool and being a coward and displaying courage. If the goal is clear, if we are passionate enough to reach it, then we get bold and brave enough to dare to reach out for the stars.

Remember: “He who is brave is free.”

Try this:

  1. Read the poem the The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson  http://www.nationalcenter.org/ChargeoftheLightBrigade.html
  2. Thing of 3 daring things you have done in your life and the consequences of it. Also think of those daring things that you didn’t dare do be it making a job change, standing up for your rights or ticking off a nasty colleague and ask your self why you didn’t do it.

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 attempt

What would life be if you had no courage to attempt anything? Vincent van Gogh

Remember the first time you tried to ride a bicycle? It wobbled dangerously, you lurched all over and let out a yell and then you came crashing down. A few bruises and scrapes, some tears and lots of encouragement latter, you picked up courage to attempt to learn cycling again. The scene maybe repeated but in the end the thrill of getting that balance wipes away all the pain and tears which is now replaced with a big smile and tremendous confidence. But for the courage that you displayed in not letting your scrapes and bruises dissuade you, you would not have gained the skill which made you feel more carefree and independent.

In  the prime of our youth we were more bold, daring and courageous taking on foolish risks too and occasionally getting scalded in the process but never giving up our spirit of adventure and nor sacrificing the thrill of taking risks. Perhaps one reason was we were never saddled with the burden of responsibility and we had the backing of our parents. However as time flew and we grew up, the burden of expectations and responsibilities grew.  Thereafter we became more circumspect, when attempting anything out of the way. Yet if we objectively looked back at our achievements most times we attained things when we dared to go for it. Be it improving our academic record or winning a sport or simply giving an extempore speech, the fruits of success were planted when we courageously took on the challenge.

At various points of time in our life we would have had grandiose plans and we would even have seen visions of unparalleled success.  Yet if our plans never took off, we have only ourselves to blame, for we may have lacked the courage to give it our all. Any type of decision making is an act of courage for every problem carries with it an implied risk of failure. Some of the most courageous men were scientists and explorers who backed up their instincts with tangible well planned efforts. Real courage is not only in the attempting but in turning failure into success. This requires faith in oneself, fortitude to press on and the strong will to get up when we fall. The progress of man through the ages, as recorded in history and study of civilization highlight the courage of our ancestors to explore experiment and evolve and we are therefore reaping the fruits of their courage of conviction.

Courage stems from self belief, knowledge and daring. If one is merely daring, it might be foolhardiness not courage. E.g. Daring to go in for an unarmed combat with a lion is foolhardiness masquerading as courage. Without knowledge, courage may not yield results since one would have a tough time figuring the way forward. The frontiers of science for example can be breached and new discoveries made only by professionals who are experts and have the courage to back their beliefs. The critical component inc courage is self belief. When we have the ability to discern that our thinking is on the right track, our gut feeling is strong and that our homework is well done, we gain the confidence to dare and the this confidence to dare is courage.

Remember: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow  Mary Anne Radmacher

Try this:

  1. To overcome our inhibitions that later become fears, visit a fair/ exhibition/ fete where are there some whacky games stalls. Pick up courage to attempt to play each and every game with full gusto and without a care in the world.
  2. Make a firm resolve not to hide / delay conveying any bad news from the concerned people. This takes courage because someone has to pay for mistakes and often the messenger of bad news bears the brunt of the ire of superiors.  Similarly it takes courage to hear bad news and to act dispassionately to mitigate the problems. Be aware of the type of courage that is needed in these two different scenarios.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Unless you try…

No one knows what he can do until he tries. Publilius Syrus

Most people when confronted with a new situation or a new task immediately react with a response that they cannot measure up to it. While it is a normal human response to shy away from what is perceived as tough call, a little rational thinking and logic if applied will make us realize that everything is possible unless we try and fail. To put it differently, unless we try how will we know if we are capable of it? Look at our own life and the numerous new tasks that we have tried at first, failed and yet perceived and become experts at it. Remember the early kindergarten days when evening memorizing the alphabets was a challenge and writing it a very daunting prospect. As we grew learning to swim posed a huge problem of fear of drowning and inability to float and yet today we jump into a pool shrieking with delight. Remember the bruised knees when learning to cycle and confusing clutch and brake while learning to drive. When we persisted we mastered!

One reason we fail to try is simply fear of failure. The embarrassment of failure has been the biggest stumbling block to people daring to attempt. Most of us don’t even realize our full potential because we are not prepared to take risks, explore different avenues and are secure in the comfort of the routine. In real, almost all of us fail in our first attempt at anything new and yet with singularity of purpose, a steely resolve and a unquenchable thirst we can repeatedly attempt till we achieve what we set out to do. Look at a small baby’s first attempt at standing up and walking all by itself. The child will fall repeatedly, perhaps even hurting itself in the process but it strives and finally achieves its first baby steps.  One reason for it is its natural instincts but equally important is its carving to walk and lack of fear of falling.

Another major reason for us failing to try is because we are tempted to visualize something new in a grossly distorted manner. Right from seeing the task as much tougher than what it really is, we go on to imagine that it requires superhuman efforts to achieve it and as a lastly  simply rationalize that we are ignorant of how to go about it. True that anything new poses a challenge and sometimes by sheer fluke we may get it right first time but that simply boosts our confidence thought it may also trigger grossly exaggerated expectations from onlookers. Imagine trying to play pool for the first time and in your first attempt you manage to pocket the correct ball. You are acutely aware that there needs to be a right stance and proper style to use the cue and yet the thrill of pocketing the ball remains imprinted in your mind.

Most people don’t try anything new simply because they are happy with the status quo and wonder why they want anything more in life if it involves trying something new. At best we may experiment with new restaurants, new malls and new movies and the like. The common thread being it is near risk free and does not make us get involved too much. Youngsters will attempt to imitate others so as to be up to date on style but in reality they are going with the trend and not really creating something new. It takes a lot of courage to buck the trend be it style, beliefs, goals etc. How many of us are prepared to follow ones heart desire when choosing a future? Do we really have to courage to be trail blazers and change agents? Can we let go the security of our normal life and furrow a different path that may be full of surprises, shocks, difficulties but nevertheless promise tremendous adventure and excitement?  When we can cut the umbilical cord that ties us to our past only then can we say, we tried something new and when we did not succeed we tried again until we succeeded!

Remember: “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” Beverly Sills

Try this:

  1. Attempt a new type of exercise routine. Eg. If you do yoga try aerobics or vice versa. Notice how inhibited you are initially but how you soon gain expertise in the new style.
  2. If you have a secret desire it is time you made a beginning towards attaining it. Whatever your desire put on paper the steps required to achieve it. Then before the week is out start working on step one that you have listed. Eg. You want to learn music. Identify the type of music, the time slot available to you and locate the possible teachers. Begin by at least reading up on the type of music you are interested in.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Knowing Fear

It takes courage to know when you ought to be afraid. James A. Michener

It is easy to recognize danger but well neigh impossible to segregate fear from foolhardiness. As you would be well aware attempting any exam without studying is a dangerous ploy and yet when we attempt an exam without studying  in the fond hope of passing, we are not just foolhardy but worse still, we have lost the fear of failure in exams. Fear is an emotion we would prefer not to display in public for ironically we fear ridicule.

Look at a gambler on a losing streak. His belief is that his luck will turn sooner or later and so he keeps hiking the stakes without fear for he is blinded by the possibility of recouping his losses in the next round. It takes more than just raw courage to tell yourself that there is a real danger of ruin if we up the stakes meaninglessly. Running away from a challenge may make one look like a wimp; it is the sensibility of the person to swallow his pride then and live to fight another day. It takes enormous courage to acknowledge that one is not an equal to the challenge or the opponent. It hurts the ego, opens us to ridicule and contempt and we end up feeling like a loser for a long time. Yet it is the brave man who can use his judgment to step back if need be and spar only if he knows the odds on his winning are very high.

Fear sometimes comes in various hues. The nagging uncomfortable feeling, the hollowness in the pit of the stomach, the gut feeling that nudges your senses and the sheer scale of the task making you feel overwhelmed are all subtle shades of the same reality;  we need to have the courage to accept- that we are afraid. When the danger is real like confronting a man with a loaded gun, prudence demands we make our best effort to escape rather than chance our lives in false bravado. Sometimes we get blinded by the sheer audacity of the opponent and we want to teach him a lesson; an exercise in outlandish stupidity. Most of us mistakenly believe that courage is all about not running away from a confrontation whereas the real meaning of courage is to acknowledge that we are unequal to the task in the current form. When we acknowledge this, we are being brave enough to admit temporary defeat but that is like losing just a battle and the war is a long way off. Suicide is perhaps the most cowardly act for it is a direct admission of lack of courage when we are afraid.

Remember: Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do.  There can be no courage unless you’re scared.  Edward Vernon Rickenbacker

Try these:

  1. Outline the 3 most courageous acts you ever did in your life. How many of these were influenced by the fear of public ridicule in case you ran away from the challenge. Outline the 2 biggest failures in your life. Who was primarily responsible for those failures? Were you forced to attempt something that you were convinced you would fail in?
  2. What are those tasks that you have been postponing or procrastinating over? Do you lack the courage to commit to those tasks? Are there tasks you are doing simply because you don’t know how to say No or are afraid to say NO?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Cowardice

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice. Confucius

Being called a coward is perhaps one of the most humiliating tags to be labeled with. Yet, if we look seriously at our own behavior and reactions, we will realize that more often than not, we exhibit our cowardly temperament many times in a day. Criticism about someone to others is the most common form of cowardice we display and each of us reading this post, is definitely guilty of this cowardice, me included. The fact that we are unable to stand up and express our criticism to the person who is being criticized poses the classic dilemma for many cowards; how do I boldly express myself and yet be away from the repercussions.

 While cowardice is definitely a shameful tag, practicality demands that we are not foolhardy and rush into fighting and unequal battle. Often, it is muscle power, money power and raw political power that is the bane of society at large and the ordinary citizens can see the blatant misuse of power. Yet we as concerned citizens are reduced to the status of mute spectators, simply because the daring required to directly confront the wrong doers is completely disproportionate to our own personal strengths. It is stupidity to engage in a battle or confrontation of unequal strength for you will be vanquished easily. Does this mean what we have to walk around with the defeatist tag, the tag of being a loser or worse still being labeled a Coward?

When faced with a situation that demands our proactive intervention, we must prepare well, armed with facts and figures,  analyze the situation, study the adversary’s strength and weakness and then strategically choose a course of action. It need not be direct confrontation but can be more subtle and subdued. Gathering public support through use of all communication media beginning with writing letters to the editor and giving out facts to the media will help gather momentum for the cause. As a catalyst of the momentum, you will be displaying exemplary courage, providing direction and unifying like minded forces. If you are not the catalyst, you can still be an active campaigner, supporter and disseminator of information.

 Cowardice begins when we ignore the truth because it is inconvenient to us, it is reinforced when we back away from our moral and legitimate obligations and peaks when we side with the tyranny by our indifference or our rationalization or our conformity with the injustice, simply because it suits us at that moment.

Remember:  The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.” Rollo May

 Try these:

  1. Do you have a strong view point about certain political happenings or societal happenings, which you feel is irrational or taking place because of self centered / vested interests? Identify these and ask yourself how you can raise you voice / oppose the happening actively and not ignore it, because it doesn’t affect you at all.
  2.  As a citizen of the world you would definitely be concerned about climate change, global warming, environmental pollution, human rights violations, wars, hunger and disease around the world etc. Have you identified at least one amongst these as a cause for which you will work? If not, is it because none of these affect you and you don’t want to worry about them since in your opinion, these are problems about which you can do nothing?  Can you take a membership to an organization concerned with any of these issues? Can you write letters to the editors on these, so as to get public support for it?
  3. Plastics are a bane to environment, but the multinationals are still peddling their wares in plastic bottles/ containers etc. Can you boycott it? Can you campaign against it or support a campaign against it? Will you be able to stop using plastic bags? Can you encourage people to use cloth bags or are you ashamed to carry one yourself?

      This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

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