Tag: Challenge

Start or start again

18- 04 - 02 Feb 18-Be ready to start againJanuary has passed by and perhaps some of us are left wondering why we missed the opportunity to do something different, something we are passionate about but something we are afraid to dare. It is possible that in the past we have not met with success when attempting something new. It is possible that it was difficult to cope with the criticism from others or that one ran out of enthusiasm when things got tough. Worse of all we may have miserably failed and fear attempting it again. Failure teaches one valuable lessons; the idea was not thought through well, it was perhaps badly executed, maybe you did not factor in some critical limitations you had, your idea was well before its time etc. Failure also tells you one more message; it is not the end, you can succeed a second time if you attempt, success that eluded is never permanent but more importantly failure is never fatal.

Very often it is not fear of failure that prevents us from starting again. It is often our tendency to procrastinate. This aided and abetted by our lack of motivation, lethargy, our reluctance to take chances and worse of all fear of criticism. However, look at starting / starting again from a different perspective and you will realize that there is no better time to begin than now.

It is an opportunity to prove yourself- Everyone is waiting for glory days. It can happen only once you begin. So it does not matter if you have failed before because it is the next time your start again that gives you the opportunity to prove yourself. Success is rarely a flash in the pan. It is the outcome of persistence, patience and passion. Improvement holds the key to success. You may have to work, rework and remodel your work till you achieve what you set out to do. Just do it.

It is a chance to give wings to your passion – It is possible that you are doing something that keeps your body and soul together or that sustains you. You do it largely out of compulsion to make a living. You will have to pick up courage to change your life by chasing your passion. You may have to rough it out, you may stumble and fall, you may face a bleak desolate lonely time. You could fail multiple times. Yet it is only when you start again with hope, faith and focus that you can get the winds of hard work and good luck give your wings the power to fulfill your passion.

It will test your skills, your spirit and your strengths – When you start again, it means you are hoping do something better than what you ever did. It is also a time for you to realize your true potential, bring to the fore your zeal and enthusiasm and to test the depths of your resilience, passion and patience. You will discover a different individual within you; a person far superior to the being you thought you are.

It will change, uplift and embolden you – When you make up your mind to try again, to not give up and to succeed it a true metamorphosis of your personality.  It changes your perspective of life, it will uplift your spirit to new heights and it will embolden you to dare to conquer. Your attitude, your mannerisms, your body language and your achievements will all reflect confidence, urgency, passion and success. Just try again and change your life.

Try these:

  1. Outline three critical changes you would like to bring about in your life. List out the excuses you have been giving for not bringing about these changes. Find an antidote to each excuse and begin the change NOW.
  2. What are your pet peeves or fears. Find a way to confront them and overcome them. try,Try, TRy, TRY.
  3. Your challenge this week is to attempt the following
  • Give yourself a major makeover –e.g. change in hairstyle / clothes / communication style / body language
  • Talk to at least 3 strangers for 5 minutes each at least
  • Do something you have never done before – e.g. cook / eat a vegan meal, draw a portrait of yourself, record a song in your voice, watch a movie in a foreign language, visit a cemetery at night, start writing a blog/ diary

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Unplug and reboot

12-Unplug and rebootA key reason we get stressed is because we continue to grapple with our problems by constantly attempting the tried and tested ways, instead of stepping back and letting the dust settle. If you have noticed muddy water that has been stirred up, it will be difficult to see through till you let the mud settle. The same happens with our problems and challenges. There is no better example than the numerous devices we use constantly, the mobile phones, the laptops and the near extinct desktops. The simplest way to get it going when it seems to have stalled is to simply switch of the power. Unplug the power and everything settles; then reboot and begin anew.

The best way to unplug from troubles is to distract your mind. This simply means forcefully directing your mind to other more pleasurable alternatives that are stress relievers. Take a walk, watch TV or read a book or get engaged in some activity that you enjoy like your hobbies. While trouble itself will not go away, your mind will become calm and you will be able to think more incisively and get more focus on how to proceed ahead.

Another way to unplug is to unburden. ‘Share your troubles and halve it’  is the principle that we leverage here.  We share our problem with people whom we trust and people who we believe would have some tangible solutions or at least make invaluable suggestions. While we share our problem we also subconsciously get greater clarity about the issue, our mind feels more relaxed that someone else is sharing our burden and the chances of getting some fresh insights from others to alleviate or tackle our burden is higher. Those listening to our problem also offer empathy, support and most of all give us some of their insights into coping with the problem.

The most common way to unplug is to sleep over a problem. This is tougher than it seems simply because a troubled mind would not easily get sleep. However, if one develops a style of setting aside the problem for a fair time, when we re-look the problem new thoughts and solutions seem possible. If one can literally sleep over a problem, the subconscious mind would often work in the background and conjure up possibilities that our conscious mind would not have generated. However one should not be like an ostrich burying its head in the sand hoping the troubles not seen would vanish.

Try these:

  1. Try some simple cross words or Sudoku. At first for those not used to solving such puzzles the challenge seems overwhelming. However, once you make an attempt and try it a few times, you get the hang of it and the challenge would not seem so daunting.
  2. Think of a time you managed to find a solution to a pressing problem by unplugging in the following ways
  • Indulging in your favorite hobby  or passion interest
  • Sharing your troubles and getting answers from another person
  • Sleeping over the problem and waking up to a very innovative solution

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

A New Year gift to myself

1 - 5 Jan 16 A new Year MessageSo you and I begin a New Year 2016 with a lot of hope, a bit of trepidation and tons of goodwill from many! What one needs to quickly realize though, is that it is MY life and only I can make it the best one I can. Ideally we hope this year will be a lot better than the one gone by. We ponder over our mistakes and regrets of the past, we mentally note down the yardstick of others that become our benchmark for success and we rush into life aiming to win; little realizing that we are competing only with ourselves and all we need to do is challenge ourselves to excel.

Let us pause and ponder over a few life lessons to enable us to journey with a purpose, with joy in the heart, exuding the fragrance of our unique personality and contributing to creating a better world around us.

Life is a journey not a destination – We subconsciously realize this because while we do have aspirations we rarely limit ourselves to merely realizing our aspirations. Once we attain what we aimed for we reset our aspirations higher. This is a good practice for it allows us to pace and realize our progress. Unfortunately, most times we are consciously chasing goals that are not pragmatically designed but developed with materialistic considerations in mind. We tend to believe that if we attain that destination happiness would be ours. Alas, in pursuit of those materialistic goals, we do not enjoy the joys of life, fail to appreciate the blessings we have and instead keep craving for more. The key to life is to make the most of what one has.

There are no mistakes just chances we have taken – You cannot cross a chasm in two steps; so when we come to the chasms in daily life we have to either jump or turn back. At times we misjudge the width of the chasm other times we mistimed our jump or we overestimate our ability or we were unprepared to take that leap; in all the above cases we would have failed to clear the chasm. We would also fail we did not believe in ourselves and turned away. The times we have cleared the chasm and the times we deliberately and consciously refused to take the chance only to realize later that it was the best decision you made, are the only times one succeeds. In daily life the chasms are invisible, the skills sets required opaque, the decision making has to be quick and continuous and the results may not always equal your expectations. You just have to keep taking those chances for some of them could be the giant leap that can propel you to a different level.

Make the most of the moment without wasting time on regrets – The worst mistake one can make is to go back in time and keep wallowing in the misery of the regrets we have, If only is a common enough refrain that suggests that things would have been different and life much better. We keep wondering about the possible outcome if the choices we made were different. A decision made a point in time can neither be reversed nor can the consequences be altered. Not doing anything is also a decision. The reality is that we cannot escape our responsibility nor stew in our regrets. What we can do and must do is make every moment count.

Life is not a competition but a mere challenge – Your life is a challenge for you to cope with and not a competition with the next person around you. Each of us is blessed with unique talents, abilities and capabilities. What we need to do is be aware of our strengths and ensure we utilize it to the full. We fail because we do not run our race but pace ourselves using the others around us as pacemakers. If you are a sprinter and follow a marathon runner, you are bound to fail. Similarly if you a middle distance runner and use a sprinter as the your benchmark failure is certain. Success come only when you get up and keep running no matter what. It helps to plan well, pace yourself as per your abilities and push yourself to your limits. The challenge in life is to run your own unique race well.

Make life fun as you get serious work done – Most people go through life as if on a life saving mission. Reality is that everyone has to earn his/ her living. So then why not make that living while enjoying it. True there are periods of stress and turbulence but they are far few and in between, Do we really make the best use of the rest of our time to ensure that we make our life fun, our living a joy and the world we live in a heaven on earth? Do we laugh enough, can we enjoy a relaxed environment, do we pause to smell the flowers, do we have time to stand and stare? Can I experience bliss every moment of my life?

Each new dawn gives us another opportunity – So what are you going to do with the opportunity? Would you size it or squander it? Begin today, begin now by jotting down your goals for the year. Jot down all the things that you believe will make you happy. Outline the action you would take to overcome your weakness. Commit yourself to some unique experiences that you hope to have during the course of the year. List out 3-5 friends who you would surprise this year with a unique gift. Gift yourself an expensive gift this year (write down what you really want). There is so much more that I can do each day.

Try this:

Fill in the following list for yourself

  • A unique musical program that you will attend this year
  • An animal / bird that you will sponsor this year at the local zoo
  • A new skill set that you would like to acquire
  • A place that you will visit from amongst the following ; a hospice / a prison / a mental asylum
  • Three changes you will bring in to your daily life to make your healthier/ wealthier/wiser
  • Five people with whom you have lost touch but would reconnect with this year
  • A fund raiser in which you would participate and the amount of funds you plan to raise.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Destiny is NOT a matter of chance…

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. William Jennings Bryant

If you are one of those who tend to lapse into bemoaning the ill luck that seems to constantly shadow you, now is the time to pause and have a relook at events that apparently seem to have spiraled out of control and derailed all your grandiose plans.  Here are a few  questions for you to objectively ask yourself and judge for yourself if your destiny could have been altered by you by being more proactive and responsive to events as they unfolded.

Could I have anticipated better? No matter what the event or consequence that seems to have unexpectedly altered your plans, chances are that barring extremely rare happenings like life threatening illness or life altering accidents, every other event could have been anticipated by you. Perhaps out of fear of the eventuality or due to callousness and indifference or because of our foolhardy bravado we chose to ignore the writing on the wall and when it became inescapable we have conveniently blamed our destiny for it. E.g. Failing in an exam because you didn’t study cannot be equated to missing an exam because of serious illness. The former cannot be even remotely connected with destiny whereas the latter can largely blamed on it.

Could I have planned, prepared and preempted the subsequent events that mauled me? By and large the consequence of actions can be visualized by us. Obviously this means that one can work on planning, preparing and preempting the negative consequences with a positive, proactive and purposeful approach. E.g. The dates of paying the mandatory dues be it property tax, income tax or insurance premium are known to us. We also know the consequences of not paying up on time. Destiny has not role to play if your IT return comes up in scrutiny or you meet with an accident and your dues are not paid making you liable to face the consequences.

Could I have coped with the events that took place in a better way? If events have overtaken us unexpectedly, the remedy is not to sit and rue it but to take stock of the situation and then work on minimizing the damage. Throwing in the towel, passing the buck and disowning responsibility are classic traits demonstrated by weaklings when the chips are down. Do we tend to do this? The remedy is in picking up the threads and working on salvaging the situation and possibly working on long term solutions to avoid facing such a situation. E.g. You have parked your car and gone shopping and when you return you discover that your laptop and briefcase have been stolen by someone. While raising and alarm, lodging police complaint and attempting to trace the culprits would be the short term logical steps, the real control over your destiny begins when you decide never to leave your belongings in the car in full visual range of potential thieves.

Can I still change, challenge and emerge a champion? The ultimate learning from the experiences that have been painful, frustrating and unexpected is in working on changing your destiny by challenging yourself to cope with the reality and relentlessly pursuing a loftier goal happily, eagerly and confidently. E.g. don’t follow traffic signals only because you are afraid of getting fined but obey them because you believe you are a conscientious citizen of this country.

You conquer destiny not when you win the lottery (which is a matter of chance)but when you buy the lottery ticket  ( which is a matter of choice) for without that prize winning ticket in hand no one can win that lottery.

Remember : My interest is in the future, because I’m going to spend the rest of my life there. Charles Kettering

Try this:

  1. Pick up 5 words from the above post that you had never heard of before and find the meanings, synonyms and anonyms of it. If possible make it a regular habit and your well set to improve your vocabulary, improve your language skills and definitely become a better communicator.
  2. Out of the following options choose a couple of those that you believe apply to you and which are destiny’s unfortunate bane on you. Outline 3 points for each option you choose whereby you will ensure that these banes are turned to boons in your life. E.g. If you have a physical handicap (bane) plan to focus on leveraging your mental faculties (education)/skill sets (e.g. Talents like painting/ music) / leadership skills etc.
  • Lack of adequate finances
  • Poor academic ability
  • Poor communication skills
  • Overwhelmed by negative thoughts
  • Ill health
  • A violent temper
  • Lack of parental understanding
  • Not finding a good job
  • Inability to pursue your own passion

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Fear is …

Fear is the absence of faith. Paul Tillich

The biblical story of David’s triumph over Goliath demonstrates the above quote in action. It was David’s complete faith in his abilities that gave him the courage to take on what almost everyone present saw as a battle of unequals. Yet with his immense faith in his ability to hit the bulls eye with his sling shot David took up the challenge and overpowered Goliath. Closer home, in the more modern context the exploits of social activists and particular RTI activists who challenge the might of the establishment at great personal risk, is a shining example of how those with faith have no fear and boldly march in where angels fear to tread.

While it is true that danger lurks in every corner, living in fear is just a cowardly act and a no brainer. What one needs to clearly identify are the real dangers and the imaginary fears. There is real danger for any solider on the battle front but a well prepared army always has a full complement of fearless soldiers.  They have full faith in their training, their equipment, their team members and their commanders and so they are fearless. On the other hand there could be mission specific dangers like deactivating mines or attempting to blow up an outlook post which is well and only the brave hearts are entrusted such jobs. Here too the danger multiplies multifold but the man of the moment has faith in his commander, his mission skills and his ability to meet up to the lofty standards he has set for himself.

Unfortunately there are far too many people who commit suicide or attempt to commit suicide and the reason for such drastic action have a common theme; their fear of the future which in effect is lack of faith in themselves and the society around them. It could be fear of bankruptcy or the fear of social stigma or fear of one’s fall from grace or fear of parental retribution; they simply lack faith in their own abilities to fight back and / or lose faith the society (in which they are) to be more understanding and charitable.  Take the case of a rape victim who believes that society at large would view her as and / or label her as defiled, destroyed and deplorable. She has no faith that her honor can be restored in society and perhaps has no faith that the criminals will be brought to justice.

Ironically almost all of us reading this can easily pinpoint to hundreds of examples in our lives where our lack of faith has translated into fear of being proactive. We lack the faith in our ability to write so we fear writing letters to the editor to complain; we lack faith in our ability to stand up for our rights so we fear the consequences of fighting for justice; we lack faith in ourselves to be change agents so we fear any form of change in the status quo; the list is endless and the reality an eye opener.  Believe in yourself if you want to be your true self!

Remember: “You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” Mary Manin Morrissey

Try this:

  1. Jot down 3 colors that you are not very fond of. Write it down before you read further. Are you clear in your mind what those colors are? Click on the color palette on a word document page and clearly identify the colors you are not fond of. Your challenge now is to incorporate any one of those colors into clothes that you buy next. Were your fears / apprehensions valid? Did people appreciate that dress when you wore it? Try buying clothes that have the other 2 colors too.
  2. Attempt to do something that you have always be afraid of. It could be wearing a bikini or handling a snake or experimenting with some exotic dishes. When you start overcoming your fears you will realize that your faith in yourself is restored. Enjoying the new experience will be a big bonus too.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

God’s Test

God tests His real friends more severely than the lukewarm ones. Katheryn Hulme

More often than not, we remember God when we are in trouble and our constant plea then is Oh God Why did this happen? Troubles make us realize how helpless we are, how dependent we are on God and humbles us into accepting his will. Very often, we are left perplexed when we see bad tings happening to God fearing, warm and loving people. Take the case of innocent victims of terrorist attacks, accidents, heart attacks or someone suddenly diagnosed with cancer or Alzheimer’s or numerous youngsters resorting to suicide; our hearts go out to them but the mouth painfully articulates the real feeling in our heart – Oh Go Why them?

Look at it differently. The more prestigious academic institutions have more rigorous entrance tests and selection criteria, which can be matched by just the top students. Similarly, while we all love our creator, many of us being overtly religious and ritualistic, some of us fully devoted to the almighty service, God has his own plans for each one of us. He tests us in so many ways, through challenges of inflicting pain on us or our loved ones, through the freedom of choice given to us to choose to turn away from temptation or to fall prey to it and by withholding from us many of things we crave for. For those being tested, it is not just our faith that is being put to test but also our ability to endure, and our capacity to love him even when the road ahead seems endless and pave with thorns.

It is but human to also feel jealous, that those whom we see with our jaundiced eyes as weak in faith, having fragile morals, leading carefree lives and being showered with blessings denied to us. We are tempted to questions God’s wisdom; wonder about his impartial ways and get a feeling of being under his foster care. We then let our hearts harden, our minds dulled and our actions leaden with the weight of both envy for the fortunate and grief for our own plight. If we only stopped to seek answers in his challenges rather than search for loopholes in the questions God asks of us; if we let our faith be unwavering and our love for him endless; if we accept his wisdom without question, and let our hearts answer it rather than our minds; we will see that God is putting you to the test because you have committed to him that you are his faithful, obedient and loyal follower. Ask any coach and he/ she will tell you that the toughest, most competitive and the mentally tough players are the ones who deliver when the chips are down, the ones whose presence uplifts the team and the one who strikes fear in the hearts of the opponents. You must be that player, hence you are being sought by God to stand up and be counted!

Remember: God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way. The way we learn those lessons is not to deny the feelings but to find the meanings underlying them” Stanley Lindquist

Try these:

  1. Out line the worst experience of your life from age 7 -15 and from 15- to date. What was the feeling you got. Who was to blame or that experience? How did that experience impact your life? Did it make you more resilient or more cynical?
  2. If God were to give you a choice between the following pains which one would you choose and why? Death of a very close loved one? or You going blind?
  3. When in pain; physical or otherwise what would be a religious text you would turn to find comfort, hope and faith in God? It doesn’t matter which religion you belong to or which texts you use; just choose the words that will give you courage. Copy it and put it in your wallet.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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