Tag: Chance

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

The perfect time is now…

This time like all times is a very good one if we but know what to do with it  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last night, I was deeply disappointed that I ran headlong into a writer’s worst nightmare ‘the writer’s block’ and after pottering around for more than an hour attempting to get going with the blog I simply quit. Funnily enough I enjoyed a good sleep but on waking up was racked with pangs of guilt on not writing the blog, suffering the ignominy of being idealess and I suspect more depressed at the blow to my ego. However as the day wore on it occurred to me that the experience of the previous night was not entirely wasted; after all I was subject to the painful realization of my own limitations; having made the decision to give up and go to sleep my dilemma was resolved and I enjoyed blissful sleep; and on waking up I was glad to rediscover my competitive drive. That time (yesterday when I stared for an hour at a blank screen attempting to write)  just like the present moment that I am writing and this moment that you are reading this post are all equally invaluable provided each of us is doing exactly what was/ is required.

Our successes or failures in life are nothing but net effect of the time we spend fruitfully minus the time we waste in doing things that either we ought not to do or should do at another time. Look back at our own student days and reflect on how much effort we put into studies and how much time we spend in day dreaming, hanging out with friends, sleeping, watching movies TV partying etc. It is not as if to suggest that the latter activities are to be avoided but definitely they must be restricted for each of us is fortunately or unfortunately privy only to 24 hours of the day. A good test to understand how much time we utilize productively is to ask if we have any regrets. The more the regrets the greater the waste of our limited time. Ask if you have taken time out to smell the flowers as you traverse the paths of life. If you haven’t then soon you would realize the frustrtionof having the time but squandering it.

Another test to find out if we have made good use of our time is to answer the question’ what will I do with the last 10 minutes of my life?

Ask if you would end telling yourself the following

I will go around telling those whom I love that I love them passionately

I will go around pardoning all those who hurt me

I will go around seeking pardon from those I hurt,

I will loosen my purse strings and liberally give out to charity etc.

Some questions that will haunt you then are

Can  I do all this in 10 minutes?

Should I have not done this all the time?

Why did I waste my time on frivolous things when I should have spend more time with loved ones?

Was my life worth whatever I achieved?

Will someone really grieve for me?

Remember:

Happy the man, and happy he alone,

He, who can call to-day his own:

He who, secure within, can say:

“To-morrow, do thy worst, for I have liv’d to-day.”

Try this:

  1. Ask yourself right now if this is the right time to read the blog. If your answer is yes then go on and read a few more blog posts including the weekly post at www.poweract.blogspot.com If your answer is NO, then stop reading and slot a time to read and henceforth make it a point to read these posts only at that time.
  2. Any time is perfect to do the following. Ensue that you practice as many of these as often as you can.
  • Smile
  • Thank
  • Apologize
  • Praise
  • Reflect
  • Appreciate
  • Pardon
  • Pray

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Foolish risks

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down. Ray Bradbury

The concept of risks and reward go hand in hand; the higher the risk the greater the reward. The trouble is that each one of us has a different perception of risk and obviously if we get it wrong then we are in real danger of paying a very heavy price. Many of us have flirted with this type of risk right from childhood; by banking on last minute studies to somehow cleat h exams and if lucky even do reasonably well too. Many of us despite getting into trouble by taking undue risks still thrive on skating on thin ice at great peril to ourselves. Speculators in general and gamblers in particular get a high by constantly wagering and taking chances.

Risk taking assumes that one has some safe guards put in place before we plunge into it. The more macho amongst us would have their ego tickled if told to ensure the mandatory safe guards and would probably rebel and perhaps heighten the risk factor to become a hero. They not only endanger themselves but put at risk others too by their irresponsible and often foolhardy behavior. What they fail to understand is that risk is quite different from a gamble or a lottery. A gamble or a bet is often impulsive, has a predominant financial angle to it and have far too many variables that have a major influence on the outcome. In the case of a lottery, the stakes are much lower, the rewards reasonable and luck plays the most important role in it.

Never put all your eggs in once basket is an old adage that succinctly captures a key element of risk viz. do not risk everything. Yet greed and power are two emotions that have a major bearing on how one perceives risks. When one is greedy our sense of reasoning is completely obscured by the lure of big returns and we ignore the risks involved or rationalize it conveniently. When drunk with power a person’s sense of control and influence takes on a falsely inflated proportion which when pricked can send things into a tail spin and a crash landing is the obvious ending. Often the arrogance of a person goads him/ her to take undue risks far beyond one’s own abilities and when things go wrong there is no safety net to cushion the free fall.

To take reasonable risks, one has to be pragmatic and at the same time have the courage to widen the scope of our comfort zone.  When one is pragmatic the chances of ensuring that we have studied the risks carefully is very high. More importantly the true natures of the risks are clearly understood and a fall back/ safety mechanism is put in place. A pragmatic person will only have reasonable expectations and therefore take on only a reasonable amount of risk. To ensure that we get a decent reward one also has to be a risk taker. That is where courage counts. There is always some danger lurking around but once we know the extent of that danger, and we have made arrangements to minimize that, then one needs to have the courage to take the risk. Without courage there will not be any risks taken and then we would be risking not latching on to some fine opportunities.

Remember: “Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity.”Gary Ryan Blair

Try this:

  1. Evaluate your investments and outline your risk profile. Consult a good investment consultant to guide you about your risk profile and align it with your age profile. The younger you are the more risks one can take and as one gets older the mix changes.
  2. If you were forced to go with friends to a casino how much would you spend gambling? Will you get influenced by the high spending by some of your friends? Would you be under pressure to spend more by friends who chide you and suggest that you are stingy?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Missed Opportunites ?

I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one. Mark Twain

This problem of not seeing opportunity till it has passed by is a common refrain made by almost all of us. To understand this phenomena listen to the comments of those actively trading in the stock markets. Most of them are forever talking about missing out on buying or selling opportunities and ruing their poor judgment. The fact is that on hindsight many a decision made by us looks terrible. Grabbing opportunities is all about making the correct decisions that are appropriate for the situation. A simple example is the concept of bargaining while purchasing. While the seller has a better grasp of the prices, the buyer especially a casual buyer estimates the price partly emotionally, partly using logic and mainly by gut feeling. Later, if he is applauded for his bargain he will rue not buying more or if he is chastened for his misadventure or exorbitant price will curse the poor judgment exercised in chasing a perceived opportunity.

If we analyze the reasons why we rarely grab the right opportunities we make some interesting discoveries. Top of the list are two emotions greed and fear that have a disproportionate influence in us missing out on opportunities. When greed overcomes our sensibilities we wait in hope that something better will come our way. Unfortunately we are rarely clear about what is something better and worse how do we identify it. In the end we are left with a sinking feeling of having missed an opportunity. Fear paralyzes us; which translates into no action or reaction. If opportunities are to be grabbed we need to either act or react to the opportunities that come our way.  As someone put it in verse’ Sitting still and waiting; makes no person great. The good Lord sends the fishing; but we must dig the bait.

Our inability or unwillingness to change or cope with change has a major bearing on our ability to grasp the opportunities that we can see coming our way. Change disturbs the equilibrium and smooth flow that our life is used to. We are reluctant to adopt or adapt to change since we are wary of the consequences of change. Grasping opportunities invariably means coping with a changed scenario and hence we let slip many an opportunity because we cannot bear the thought of coping with the changes. We miss out on new job opportunities that involve a change of city or change of job profile; as we grow older we are reluctant to adapt to the changes brought about by technology unless forced to.  Finally indecision is what really stops us from seeking out and pursuing opportunities. We are indecisive either because we lack confidence in ourselves or because we are incapable of taking decisions due to lack of empowerment or fear of consequences. We vacillate between alternatives; suffer from paralysis by analysis syndrome or seek to get ratification of our decisions so that we escape all responsibility.

Opportunities abound and if we have to grab it the first thing is to seek it out. Every hurdle and difficulty is both a challenge and an opportunity. Ask the inventors and patent holders and they will confess that the opportunity presented itself in the problem and tackling it provided the opportunity to prove themselves. Opportunities exist in other simpler forms like making improvements; thinking radically differently, cost savings, increasing efficiencies, finding niche segments etc.  Pause, scan the environment and take chances for nothing dared – nothing gained is the mantra that opens the doors to opportunities; grab it before the door shuts on it.

Remember: “Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand.” Bruce Marton

Try this:

  1. If you get an opportunity to be part of a Television Show would you take up the offer?  If the opportunity is to be part of a reality show which one of the three would you choose Fear Factor, Big Brother or Who wants to be a Millionaire ( or the equivalent of the three on Indian TV channels)
  2. Which of the opportunities will you select from the following two options?
  • You are given a new job offer with thrice the present benefits but it involves relocating to an interior Naxalite / Maoist dominated village or
  • You get an offer that gives you 1.5 times your present benefits but involves travelling 2 hours one way and you are to replace a person who was a former classmate and close friend who is not aware that he is losing his job if you take up the offer.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Getting lucky

You don’t just luck into things … You build step by step, whether it’s friendships or opportunities. Barbara Bush

You prepare to be favored by luck. Just examine all the lucky breaks you got in life and you will realize that you did something effectively prior to you running into that luck. It could be simply doing the monotonous task diligently and you were noticed for promotion or doing your studies regularly and you were lucky to get some questions that most others left in option for lack of time. Many a time the luck you get is not so obvious and it is much later that you realize the break you got was due to the seeds you planted many years ago. A classic example is the friendships formed in school days. These were mostly on account of common interests, comfort level and compatibility. Sometimes, much later in life you come to value those friendships for they back you up when no one else will.

Look at those who are involved in research. There is no guarantee that their efforts will bear the fruits they hope to get. Yet their self belief, dedication and unwavering focus often leads them to achieve success simply because they didn’t quit nor change tracks when the going got tough. Look at the numerous aspiring singers. Very few of them will get that big lucky break, but it is imperative that each of them continue their study of music and practice regularly to ensure that they are prepared to grasp the lucky break with both hands. Take people in the creative field be it movies, art, advertising etc. They have to constantly churn out ideas but not all of them will click. Yet they continue to pursue their art and are assured of the right breaks.

Many a time luck is all about taking the right chances at the right time. Look at the numerous success stories of people who gave up a high paying corporate life to pursue their own dreams. Not just their fortunes but event their own quality of life might have changed for the better because he/ she took that bold step of quitting their jobs and risking it for their own venture. There are others who never gave up when told they would never amount to anything. Walt Disney and the Beatles are prime examples of those who flirted with their self belief and ran into luck. Luck is always there around the corner but you have to walk that little bit and lo and behold you will encounter her there.

Remember: Chance favors the prepared man!

Try these:

  1. Think of the two most cherished things you desire the most. It could be getting a good job, settling abroad, making a million bucks in the next year etc. Now ask yourself if you have done enough on your own to entice luck to pay you a visit? If not start doing your bit in right earnest and you can be sure luck will come calling soon.
  2. Check out your own attitude when someone gets a lucky break. Do we get jealous? Do we envy them? Do we stop to think that they deserved the lucky break? Can you visualize the price that they pay for their luck? E.g. Successful movie actors have to compromise on their privacy because of their fan following or a Award winning author is under pressure to become equally successful next time too.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Chance

The successful person is one who had the chance and took it. Roger Babson

Chancing your arm is an old English phrase, which is not in vogue any more; it means taking a risk or a gamble. If we scrutinize the lives of the rich and the famous, without exception, every one of them had at many times chanced their arm and have come up triumphant. Very often the chance is a probability, with a real possibility of winning and a near equal probability of losing. It takes more than guts to chance your arm; it requires you to make an intelligent guess, be well prepared for the downside risk and being very clear about the upside potential and having the stomach to digest the win or loss.

To know what it feels like to take chances, play some of the card games like bluff or poker.  As the game progresses, observe the expressions on the faces of he players and you will soon get a hang of who has a good hand and who is risk averse and who are the foolish daredevils. You will soon realize that the guy on the winning spree, did not just have the good fortune of getting a good hand, but was shrewd enough to chance his arm and dexterously outwit the others. In real life, the competition is stiffer, the stakes much higher and the payoff enormous.

You need a good acumen, a strong heart and an excellent temperament to be able to chance your arm in whatever you do. Look at a basketball player attempting a 3 pointer, or the goalkeeper defending a penalty kick in soccer or an athlete attempting to break the world record. They have tremendous self belief, exude full confidence and have prepared hard to reach their objective. An interesting sidelight to this is the quirks, oddities and superstitious rituals that very often accompany some of the heroics displayed.

Seeing the big picture is a pre requisite to taking chances. This in effect means to see the risk in the correct perspective; in terms of quantum of risk, probability of success and conditions for success, the rewards of success, the effort involved, the time and scale of the activity etc. This is particularly true when the stakes are very high. Investing in a new venture, changing a line of business, changing jobs, pursuing higher education etc. have to be viewed with an eye on the payoff. A good SWOT analysis done diligently and honestly, would be a good first step before you take chances.

Remember: Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.”

Try these:

  1. Play a few rounds of bluff and/ or poker to get a feel of your own ability to take chances. Notice how small the stakes you are playing for are and yet how anxious you are about the activity. Also ask yourself, if while playing the game, you are focusing on not losing, or on just you winning or on not letting the other person win.
  2. Try to lay a few bets on your favorite team winning a game and the score line at the end of the game. Pay close attention to the parameters you paid close attention to when you laid your bets. Was the knowledge and strength o your opponent (the person who wagered against you) a very important consideration, when you laid the bet? Did you feel you had a good chance to win the bet when you wagered the bet?  Did you get an uncomfortable feeling you would lose soon after you laid the bet?
  3. Notice the difference between the first set of you playing the card games and the second set of activity where you only wagered but didn’t participate in the process that determined the outcome of your bet. Was there a difference? Did the first one make you feel more responsible and the second one make you feel it is all a matter of luck? Did you enjoy the first experience or the second one. Justify to yourself, why you got that feeling.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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