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Posts Tagged ‘character’

43-become-a-seed-and-then-growOver the past few posts, you would perhaps have noticed that the theme has generally centered on learning from nature how to grow and evolve. This time we look at how we can dump the past behind and begin anew and the learning comes from the seed; the very heart of all growth. So you have had some bad times, some tough times, you have been pushed into the ground – just like the seed. How did the seed react? It let it come completely undone, allowed its shell to crack and from the ruins of that destruction rose again to flower, grow and bloom.

So what are the lessons for us?

When you have reached the bottom you can only grow up- give yourself a chance. – So as you close the year gone by let your attention be on the gains, the achievements, the opportunities ahead instead of the losses, the failures and regrets. This will give you a goal to focus on, a motivation to plunge ahead and the grit to keep trying till you succeed.

Even when all seems lost – keep faith; have hope.  You would definitely have faced some low and despairing times during the year gone by but the reality is that your survived it.  Perhaps the dirt through which you had been dragged helped you grow stronger, be more resilient and it was your faith in yourself that gave you the hope to wait patiently till the tide turned an d things improved.

You will grow- just ensure you grow young not old – find a rebirth in your thoughts, attitude, behavior.  At some stage the seed would have found an escape when it began to sprout. So the dark and deep abyss in which you find yourself would nourish your whole being provided you do not succumb to fear and negativity. Wait in hope, look forward in anticipation and move ahead with confidence. Align your thoughts attitude and behavior and move grow with self belief and confidence. After all, fortune favors the brave.

Grow strong roots – spread your branches – values and character will enable you to focus on your goals and success- your risk taking ability your daring to chart your own course will enable you to spread your branches. Your upbringing, your schooling, your social circle and those influencing you would play an important role in ensuring you embrace the values and character that will stand you in good stead under all circumstances. Your personal characteristics, your ambition, your hunger for growth and success would determine how wide you spread your branches.  Like the tree that offers good shade, good fruits and provides the best timber you too must grow and contribute to the world around.

Nurture yourself – like good soil, quality fertilizer and bright sunshine that sustains the seed, fill yourself with boundless energy, take affirmative action and enjoy the creative manifestations of your efforts. Growth comes from daring to emerge from the cocoon that you have to break free from. Plan, prepare and pursue your growth for that is when one can nurture the self with purpose and passion. The fruits of your labor would be definitely sweet!

Try these:

  • Write down three quotes / proverbs that you value very much.
  • What are the 3 values or qualities that you admire most in your role model?
  • What is your greatest strength and what would you consider your worst weakness?
  • What is the one criticism that you often seem to hear?
  • What is the one major achievement you would work towards in the coming year?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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24- 21 Aug 15 -Have you learned your lessonAs children, we were largely dependent on our parents, elders and teachers to help us find our way in life especially learning life skills. Formal education, manners and etiquettes, independent and creative thinking, our morals and values, our attitudes and beliefs etc. were all strongly influenced by our elders and those whom we have come in contact with. However, with the passage of time, each individual matures and slowly weans away from this support system as a natural progression of life. The take away’s that remain with us and which we display in latter years are the lessons we have learned and imbibed through our interactions, formal study and independent thinking. Hopefully each one of us largely grasped and imbibed the right lessons and display this learning in our interactions.

Some universal lessons that every individual must learn include the following

Success is never final nor failure ever fatal: Every achievement that we are proud of has to be celebrated for it is the testimony to hard work and diligent effort. Success is also a great morale booster but should you let success go into your head, we would be blinded to better opportunities, fail to recognize competition and even loose the zeal for further achievement. At the same time, for the vast majority, success is largely elusive; yet the disappointment of failing must be viewed as a blip in the continum called life. There would be new opportunities, fresh challenges and renewed vigor to aspire and perspire for our goals. Failure is often, just a reality check that indicates we have to still prepare better and attempt again. Failure helps one value discipline, hard work and success. Use failure as a spring board for a giant leap not as a dead weight to drown in self pity. Failure is just one step backward while success is just one step forward; the gap to be filled is never too wide.

You cannot cross a chasm in two steps: Decision making is perhaps the one life skill that distinguishes the leaders from the followers. It is a skill that comes from a mix of learning, understanding and daring. Every individual has to, at some time or the other, face the reality of having to make decisions. That is when an individual has to take that leap of faith and make those big decisions that have major ramifications. The consequences of the decision could be either ecstatic, indifferent or devastating. What is important to learn is that we cannot run away from making those decisions. At times we have to take calculated risks. You cannot reach different shores unless you are willing to set sail and lose sight of the familiar shoreline.

When faced with a mountain you climb it, go around or dig through it: Problems are those imaginary mountains that we encounter daily. Most of them are minor hiccups, some inevitable irritants and a few major challenges. We often end up making a mountain out of a molehill and then endlessly worry about getting around the problem rather than trying to tackle the problem intelligently. Merely worrying about a problem is like sitting on a rocking chair; there is a lot of movement but you aren’t going anywhere. Translate your worry into tangible course of action to solve the problem. Sometimes the solutions seem more cruel than the problem, as in the case of choosing to ampute a gangrene threatened limb or going through a course of chemotherapy with all the allied side effects. However most problems, fortunately, are relatively minor and not life altering. There is a solution for every problem; the challenge is to calm the mind and explore alternatives and be decisive and bold enough to choose and execute one of the alternatives.

Know the difference between persistence and obstinacy: Try until one succeeds is a good maxim to adopt in life. Where we fail the first time, we must not give up on our dreams and with better preparation and a good plan of action try again and again. However, one needs to be both practical and realistic and if the goal set is beyond one’s rational ability and the proof is constant failure, it is vital that one learns to realize the difference between being persistent and being pig headed and obstinate. Many success stories were not written, because the authors failed to leverage their strengths and instead chose to bull doze their way, rather than change the script. Seek advice, pay attention to feedback, think rationally, minimize emotional indulgence and chase the dream that you can wake up to and live.

It is never too late to learn: Hopefully this post would have engaged your mind and made you think again. It is never too late to learn and put that learning into practice. Perhaps some new thoughts have emerged; maybe a latent dream has awakened, possibly you are already putting the lessons learnt into practice. You can learn from the most unusual people / circumstance. So be open to all sources of learning; open your heart mind and body so that no prejudice, irrationality or fear would filter your learning. Your learning stops only with your last breath. Till then keep an open mind, a grateful heart and a lively spirit. Today is yours to explore, enrich and empower through the lessons each moment offers.

Try these:

  1. Think of the 3 most valuable lessons you learnt in life. Who was responsible for helping you learn. Did you ever acknowledge / appreciate their efforts?
  2. Identify the 3 major failures in your life. What was the learning from each of these failures? Did you give up because of a failure? Were you bitter and agnostic because of a failure?
  3. Do you have any regrets in your life? Are any regrets linked to your failure to be decisive and take action? Were any failures a result of being impulsive and taking emotional decisions?
  4. Can you learn something new in the coming week? You can choose from any of the following or set your own goal for a new learning.
  • A new magic/ card trick
  • Play a new sport
  • Attempt to write a poem/ essay/ short story/ film review
  • Visit a prison / hospice / mental asylum
  • Adopt a pet dog/ fish / turtle /cat etc.
  • Get involved in an artistic venture like a play/ a band/ an art or photographic exhibition

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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18-11 July 15 It is who you become that mattersWith age comes wisdom, distilled from the years of experience. The realization then would be both unexpected and baffling initially and then it would be an awakening. In the flourish of youth we have lofty dreams, craving for the materialistic and a don’t care attitude, to ideas that do not meet our expectations. We are conscious about our appearance, seek to have the latest gadgets and accessories, are casual about our manners, are blissfully unaware of the risks we subject ourselves to and have a whole lot of idols to worship be they sports persons or actors. We are constantly chasing an elusive dream, through imitation and possibly trying to fit into the system around us.

Having tried and not really succeeded in what we imagined would bring us success, fame and popularity, we make the realization that we pursued were not goals and dreams but mere symbols of momentary applause and envy. As we evolve and gain experience we also mature and begin to rethink our priorities. Suddenly all our priorities of our youth look a tad foolish, maybe even naive and you wonder how you could be such a sucker for them. Unfortunately, we are often not very clear about the goals we want to purse but occasionally we do get more clarity on what we certainly don’t want to pursue. This itself is a good beginning, for by eliminating what we don’t want, we can see the more suitable options more clearly. What is common to all those who are successful, attain fame and recognition is that they have created and used the opportunities, have been hardworking and diligent in the pursuit of their goals and it is their qualities that are more recognized than their achievements and their possessions are always secondary to their passion and purpose.

To evolve as a person and to leave a mark in this world focus on

Your character – This is the personality that you would be always recognized and appreciated for. It is a mix of your values, your abilities, your performance and your dependability. The values help you define the boundaries of the ethics you follow, your abilities are testimony to your potential, your performance is proof of you utilizing your potential to the full and your dependability outlines the confidence a third party can have in you.

Your discipline – Discipline is the path that can be lonely, rough, difficult and frightening but it surely will lead you to any goal you set for yourself. Discipline is the test of your character put into action. Sacrifice is an essential element of discipline for whatever your do you are giving up a more pleasurable alternative purely to focus on you goal.

Your ideals – Small success give small results. It is therefore essential that we have large ideals, set the bar higher than what we can rationally imagine and make the goals worthwhile. Passing an exam is often the simplest goal a persona can have but outdoing one’s own performance of the past would be wonderful ideal to have.

Your sense of justice and fair play – Temptations often lead us astray; be it a tendency to cheat, be unethical in dealings, being unjust to those who cannot fight back or simply ignoring someone in difficulty because you don’t want to be party to the consequences. A sense of justice and fair play may come at a price but it is also an integral part of your character building process.

Your self belief – Not all our lofty ideals and plans will bear fruit all the time. Failure is common place but it is your self belief that will give you the energy and the will to get up and pursue your goals. Without self belief you would have too many doubts, constantly focus on the difficulties, turn into a pessimist and miss out on wonderful opportunities around.

Try these:

  • Write a poem or short story or draw a cartoon or record a song or take photographs on a theme of your choice and get a feedback from your close friends on it. Don’t worry about their cynicism or criticism nor be taken in too much by their praise and applause. Unless you try you won’t discover the potential you have within.
  • Identify 5 personalities you admire. List out the specific trait /s that you admire in them. Are there any traits you can adopt / adapt?
  • What is the most frequently heard criticism about yourself that you get from your family and friends? What have you done to minimize / eliminate this criticism?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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16-29 Jun 15- Is this your life's missionLife is a constant challenge but not an impossible one. In fact with a little imagination and a lot of self belief, life can be made truly interesting the challenges notwithstanding. Just look around and you will find so many people happy and smiling. Very many of them would possibly be not so fortunate as you in terms of education, knowledge, financial well being, personal health etc. and yet they all know how to laugh despite their many challenges. The real challenge though is not merely to exist but to live and thrive with aplomb. To make that happen ensure you have an abundance of

Passion – Passion comes from within you; the depth of your emotions is the measure of your passion. The more positive emotions you feel very strongly about, the larger the intensity of your positive passions. Some negative emotions like anger at injustice, deep hurt felt when one fails, the competitive urge to succeed at all costs etc. also trigger passion that has a positive shade to it because it becomes an incentive to go for success. Passion is both a tremendous motivator as well as a source of unflagging energy that spurs one to action until one succeeds.

Compassion – This is passion for the less fortunate, the weak, the poor and the marginalized. This is a quality that grounds us to reality, allows us to explore the softer side of our personality and transforms us to being better human beings. Without compassion, we would be egoistic, uncaring, dictatorial, emotionless and cruel. We would almost turn out to be slave owners who saw the slaves as mere tools to meeting a personal end which is fueled by personal passion. Compassion allows one to experience empathy, stretches and exercises the heart muscles through the emotional pressure put on it and allows us a good reality check about how blessed each one of us is, as compared to the less fortunate around. Compassion brings balance and purpose to life.

Humor – A sense of humor is a vital quality that makes the human race so unique and special as compared to any other living specie. Humor is a bond that is perfect antidote to any pain. While physical pain can be alleviated with appropriate medicine humor is the all purpose balm that gives the quickest relief to psychological pain, worries, anxieties and nervousness. Humor not only calms the nerves but also peps one up with a sense of control, confidence and care freeness allowing the mind to be cool, calm and collected even in the most tense situations like in the case of an interview or when going for an operation. The ability to laugh at one’s own self is the highest degree of humor one can cultivate and sarcasm, poking fun at others and finding humor in another’s pain would be not only crass but counterproductive humor. Humor provides laughter to the heart and soul and when the heart and soul are happy, life becomes a breeze.

Style – Style is personalized statement that gives one a sense of unique identity. Style is often encapsulated in the outer presentation of person like the dress sense, the accessories, the perfume one uses etc. However style goes much deeper than that and is reflected in the mannerisms, the tone and tenor of communication, the behavior displayed in social situations, the control exercised when an emergency occurs and in substance of one’s interactions. Style is the living embodiment of upbringing, education and identity of an individual. It is an excellent barometer of the personality of an individual.

Try these:

  1. Identify 3- 5 activities / causes / concerns that you are passionate about. Now pick one of these and outline how you can substantially contribute to the same and commit both time and effort to it in an orderly and disciplined manner.
  2. Can you think of at least 3 favorite jokes. Go an share it with a friend, a sibling and a new acquaintance. Did you feel they appreciated the joke or only politely laughed? If you slipped on a banana peel on a crowded street, how would you react to the embarrassment?
  3. Observe people around you and jot down the unique style statement they convey. What style appeals to you and what is the style that your detest. Can you identify the specific reason / s for your likes and dislikes of a particular style. What is the most unique style statement for which you have been complimented for.?
  4. You would certainly have a tremendous feeling of compassion but would possibly not really know how to express it except perhaps to give alms to the beggars or feed some strays. Can you attempt the following?
  • Visiting an old age home and spend time with the inmates
  • Visiting a prison and trying to understand them
  • Spending time at an orphanage and playing with the inmates
  • Visiting an animal shelter and understanding how they work and what they do
  • Do visit a hospice and give solace to those in pain and fear.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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7- 26 Mar 15-Never mind the cracksIt is rather ironic that today’s post offers hope; for a despondent nation is still trying to pick themselves up after their semi-final loss to Australia today, at the 2015 Cricket World cup. In fact the raging debate especially on TV channels is between those who believe we have been shattered and those who say that the defeat is a mere blip albeit a devastating one. So to begin with let us accept the fact that after a flawless undefeated run upto the semi-finals, we did get a nasty crack when playing a better team. Yet, while the margin of defeat, the manner of loss, the poor bowling, batting on display as well as the captaincy will be the subject of much debate the fact is that cricket will continue to be our most loved sport. More importantly, remember it was the same team that were totally outplayed in the Australian series that turned themselves around to have an unblemished run till the semi-finals; clearly proving that we can still mend the cracks and also crack the whip when we want to.

Each one of us would have at various times experienced failure. Most failures largely our own fault where we were tardy, disorganized or simply not prepared to succeed. However there could be times when failure hurt us deeply because it was unexpected, we felt humiliated or because we had prepared in all earnest to succeed. In almost all cases failure did not end our life, nor threatened our career or terminate our future. This clearly underscores an important characteristic of failure, that with very few exceptions, failure can only temporarily impact us. Overcoming failure is a matter of 4 simple steps

Believing in yourself – We throw in the towel when we stop believing that we are capable of achieving what we set out to do. This is primarily because we focus on our limitations and weakness rather than on our strengths and our passion. Each one of us can grow in our chosen field of endeavor, provided we nourish it with the right amount of effort, intellect and discipline. When we do get the results the first time, see it as an opportunity to prepare better and succeed.

Letting time be the healer – When we fail, we must avoid cracking up and seeing lack of success as an end to our aspirations. Do mull over the reasons but do not brood over it forever. Let by gones be by gones but never forget the lesson.

Fresh initiative and diligent effort – Time also gives us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board, come up with fresh strategies and relaunch a fresh attempt with a brighter chance of success. Leveraging our strengths, adding new arsenal to overcome our limitations and honing up skills as also find other means to neutralize our weakness are the key to succeeding.

Not giving up and also knowing when to give up. – Perhaps this is rather difficult to comprehend for there are two diametrically opposite suggestions. Try till you succeed is an old adage and frankly an excellent piece of advice to follow. So what if a crack appears, one can still stick the pieces together and get things functional. However what happens when the cracks are too many and too fragmented. Perhaps the only way out is to replace. Essentially it means that the outer frame is still sturdy, it has tremendous utility but it may require a fresh coat or it may need to be fixed with fresh glue. In investment parlance knowing when to give up is called ‘cutting one’s losses’.

You may lose a thousand battles but you can still win the war ! Don’t give up- don’t give in; just give it your best shot ! even it means having to take a decision to cut your losses.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 of your major failures. Think of atleast 3 reasons for your failure. Have those failures made you risk averse?
  2. Try all of the following. Attempt each of it atleast 3 times ( each succeeding attempt being at least 3 days apart)
  • Creating a drawing using any software
  • Playing a card game / board game / indoor game that you have never played before
  • Preparing a dish you have never cooked / attempted before
  • Doing something that you were mortally fearful / apprehensive of eg. Holding a reptile in your hand / participating in a public speaking contest etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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

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

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

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

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

Try this:

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

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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19-30 Sept- 14 No matter how you feel

At some time or the other, especially on Monday mornings many of us are prone to feel lazy, lousy and lethargic. There are other times particularly when we have a tough task on hand or hard nut customer appointment or times when we have to convey bad news or fire people, when we are beset with the same feeling of despondency and inadequacy. Those are the times when we are challenged to bring to the fore our inner strength, push our core beliefs to the test and above all discover the leader within us.

Avoiding the task is merely postponing the problem. Ignoring the challenge would be lying to ourselves. Delegating the unpleasant to others would be an admission of inadequacy to take on responsibility. The solution lies in being brave, bold and brazen enough to banish your apprehensions and take the bull by the horns. This is best done in the following ways

Believe that you are duty bound– Everyone has a task to perform and you are duty bound to execute all that is entrusted to you. A forest ranger at great peril to his life will confront poachers just as a fireman or solider will put his / her life on the line in fulfilling his/her duties. Do you think your tasks / duties are more life threatening or dangerous? Perhaps laziness or complacency is an unwitting companion in your life which saps your motivation and zeal to hit work. Time to be aware, awake and act decisively; get up, dress up, show up for starters.

Be aware that this is testing time – Every exam time was full of stress, anxiety and apprehension for even the toppers. Most exams were planned events and we always had time to prepare. In daily life the tests are frequent, mainly unexpected and largely challenge our self belief, self discipline and resilience. Once you realize this, it is relatively easier to accept the challenges, act decisively and have a never give up attitude.

Act with prudence, passion and fairness – When we indulge in anything reluctantly, we are tempted to treat the act with contempt, seethe with anger and do the task haphazardly with the sole intent of completing it. The outcome of such hasty, tardy and reluctant effort will nearly always be slipshod and barren. Once the decision to take on the challenge is made, then doing a good job must be the only driving force. This demands we suppress our negative emotions, delve into our strengths and act with prudence, passion and fairness to achieve the b est results.

Have no regrets – There are times when despite our best efforts we do not attain success. Imagine the plight of the person standing second; it is not for lack of effort or ability but perhaps merely because of a mistake or an extra ordinary performance by the winner. However the person standing second will never regret the effort put in or the sacrifices made because the fruits of one’s labor will always be sweet for they are earned with daring, sweat and toil.

Try this:

Identify 3 aspects of your daily work life that you dislike but cannot avoid. Now for each of these, jot down 2 things that you think make this task meaningful. Next time you perform this task think of the 2 meaningful aspects of the task and see how it makes you do the task with less consternation.

You have been gifted 2 tickets for a very prized event. You are excited and all set to go for the event with your best friend. However on the previous evening of the event you are asked to urgently go to a work site in a different city on an urgent assignment lasting 2 days. How would you rationalize the complete change of plans to yourself so that you can still do meaningful and satisfying work despite the unfortunate change in plans?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.in

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