Tag: Choices

You are a born chooser

You are a born chooser

At this point that you are reading, you have chosen to read. The moment you stop reading, you have chosen not to read. The great thing about life is that life allows you to choose no matter who you are, whatever your background and however insignificant you may think you are. It is our choices that determines our progress not fate or luck or destiny. We choose our happiness, we choose our friends, we choose how to relate to others, we choose our attitude. Being a winner or a loser; a success or a failure; a leader or a follower; are all the outcome of our choices.

The question that we ask then is ‘How do we ensure we make the right choices?

Be independent – don’t be forced or coerced into selecting what others want. Having an independent mind, self belief and confidence are prime requisites to make decent choices. Never let others decide for you no matter who they are; they could be parents, siblings, elders, bosses, friends, well wishers for none of them can take responsibility for your choices. They can share their views, raise their concerns, introduce you to a different way of thinking and it would be wise to consider their suggestions but the final choice must be made by you without them forcing or pressurizing you in any way.

Analyze before you choose – weigh the pros and cons. Ideally your choices must never be based on snap decision except when it is an emergency. In all other cases, study, analyze, think, mull over, compare, contrast, weigh the options before you finally make the choice. Be careful not to fall into the trap of paralysis by analysis; which is nothing but indecisiveness.

Be decisive – don’t oscillate once you have chosen – A common problem faced by many is that after making a choice they have second thoughts. They then oscillate between the choice made and the alternatives thereby disturbing their peace of mind as also confusing those around. A few choices will go wrong for a variety of reasons but the fear of going wrong should not limit you from not choosing. Remember that not choosing and sitting on the fence can also have consequences and more importantly it is also a choice you have made albeit passively.

Review your choice – change it if you come up with strong reasons to change – There are times when new information or unexpected changes require you to review your choices. Do not be adamant and hold tight to your wrong choice. Reviewing and changing your choice for valid reasons is an important choice to be made. When required do not shy away from changing your choice.

Be prepared to pay a price for your choice – your choice always comes at a cost – For every choice you make you have to pay a price. Just as there are no free lunches in this world there are no choices that have no repercussions. Keep in mind that the price you pay is worth it for the benefits of your choice far outweigh the price you pay, which is the reason you made the choice.

Never regret – nor apologize – stand by your conviction – If you take responsibility for your choices, you will never regret nor apologize nor have self doubts. A choice that goes wrong simply means that you were inadequate in determining the right choice. It could also indicate poor preparation, lack of understanding, an obstinate refusal to pay the price for the choice or it could be simply that the goal posts changed unexpectedly. Believe in yourself and your choices.

Try these:           

  1. List out the last three choices that went wrong for you. Analyze the reasons for the choices going wrong.
  2. What would influence your choices in the following cases:
  • Taking up or refusing an opportunity to be posted abroad
  • Betting on the winner in a sports tournament
  • Participating in a dare
  • Moving out of your comfort zone
  • Standing guarantee or refusing to offer a guarantee for a loan taken by a friend

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Learn to be happy right now

14- 5 April17- Learn to be happy right nowEvery day presents an opportunity but along it with it comes some challenges. Those who make the best of their life, focus on the opportunity and accept the reality that the challenges have to be coped with. Those who are frustrated are actually the people who fail to grab their opportunities and instead worry about the challenges they imagine, even before they encounter it. A classic case are students who stress themselves imagining the vastness of the syllabus, the complexity of individual subjects and their own distorted priorities that won’t allow them to prepare well. Suddenly exam time looms ahead and then they panic.

Happiness is a choice every individual makes no matter what the situation. Perhaps it would help to adopt the following rules to be happy:

Seek out positives – This is largely dependent on the attitude we adopt and how we train our mind. In every situation look out for what is good, find out how you can make the best of the opportunity and have the self belief that you can cope with it. Take a game like soccer and you will notice that the world class strikers create the opportunities to score goals. They don’t wait for the ball to come, they do not hope the defenders make mistakes but they believe that they are ready to muscle their way in and connect with the ball and score.

Downplay negatives – The first thing to bear in mind is that we are rarely alone when facing challenges so we need to get rid of the feeling of martyrdom. Look at challenges as temporary setbacks. Look at challenges as brining out the best in you; your talents, your creativity, your resilience and your self-belief. Do not let difficulties become the focus of your attention instead treat it like a handicap that every golfer loves to overcome.

Make it fun – The key to enjoying life is to have fun while living. Smile, joke, play, be creative, take some risks, enjoy your wins and do not let a failure dampen your spirits. The sweetness of success tastes sweeter when it is achieved by overcoming stiff competition, enormous challenges and under the most trying circumstances. The fun is in enjoying the process, the journey, the competition.

Try again – So you did all the above and yet you didn’t succeed. It sure hurts especially when you miss out by a whisker. Imagine a tennis player being two sets up and then going on to lose the next three sets. It sure hurts as hell. However, a professional would be back again with renewed confidence and vigor to rightfully claim back his title which he believed is his. The heart of winner shouts out I will be back. Make that your mantra too.

Make the right choice – Happiness is a choice. Take that choice every time. You don’t need a reason to be happy; just smile. When feeling low think of a joke, a humorous episode or incident, sing a song, admire the beauty around you. Simply distract yourself to something pleasant.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of your favorite jokes / humors incidents / comedy scenes from movies.  Bet you are having fun already simply recalling them.
  2. What are the three times in the recent past when you were challenged/ stressed? Can you think of something fun in the situation?
  3. Click on the following link and read up on what a SMILE means. http://tinyurl.com/mrutpkm

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The 3 C’s of life

22-3 C's of lifeThere are lot of youngsters ( and I suspect plenty of adults too) who are desperately trying to improve their future but find themselves aimlessly drifting and getting frustrated with every passing day. Almost all of them are intelligent, have a fair degree of clarity of thought and posses the energy and drive to succeed; yet they seem to be confused, helpless and defeated as if trapped in cage. The reality is that they build a cage around themselves by merely focusing on what has not gone right, blaming people and circumstances for their plight, blinding themselves from seeing difficult but possible options and wallowing in self pity. The real wonder of life is the new opportunities that each passing day brings, provided we seek it. The options won’t suddenly pop up but would tantalizing hover around, waiting to bestow the opportunity to those who are keenly looking out for it.

Success is actually a matter of knowing the 3 C’s (like the three R’s you learned in school) and putting that learning into practice. In fact you can put this into practice even as you read this post.

Choices abound- seek it, evaluate it, act on it.  First of all identify what you want. This means you must have some objective, an aim, a definite purpose. In short you must have a goal. Most unhappy and frustrated people remain that way because they have no clue about what they want. Using generic adjectives like happiness, rich, successful, well known, popular etc are not objectives or goals but merely pointers to what your inner urges are. Those urges can be met only when you pursue a tangible goal, upon attaining which, you will fulfill your urge of being rich or famous or popular. People are often seeking a ‘good’ job but cannot describe the attributes of the job that will make it a good job for them. As a result they cannot see the various ‘good’ jobs that exist but pick something that seems good. Take time to think out so that there is clarity in your mind. Ideally list out your thoughts so that your mind is not cluttered and more importantly you have something tangible to mull over. The list will give you both clarity and trigger your mind into seeing alternatives and choices that exist. This will enable you to explore and select the path to attaining your goal.

Chances are you will succeed- work for it, persist, don’t fear failure. Nothing ventured nothing gained is an old maxim. They also say that unless a turtle sticks it’s neck out, it cannot make progress. The message is clear; you have to dare, be bold, move out of your comfort zone and explore beyond, move into unknown territory, experiment, be different, break free. If you know what you want, the way to attain would also be clear. You may never have traversed that path but now you must. There are risks involved, there could be setbacks, you may have to trudge along alone and it could be a tiring, weary journey. Yet, the best part is you are moving, inching closer to what you want, your leaving the past trusting your abilities. At times you would hit a roadblock, you could be discouraged, you may even encounter failure. Persistence is the mantra that will embolden you, rejuvenate you and help you attain your goal.

Changes will happen – make it happen, don’t fight it, be the change. As you make your choice and take a chance you will face numerous changes that you have to cope with. Changes would impact your daily life, your emotional life, your psychological temperament, your relationships, your financial well being and even your status in society. You need to cope with the changes. Don’t let the negative changes dishearten you nor let the positive changes make you heady and arrogant. If there are times when you all your efforts don’t bring about the change you seek, you will have to double your efforts, redirect your efforts, get help from others to enhance your efforts till you force the change or become the change itself. Progress has always been made by people who dreamt of a change and got others to believe in their point of view and together forced the change. By the way, your life too will change dramatically !

So have you written down your goals? At least write down all the things you want to do to make your life better. Dream up more and add to the list of achievements you want to attain. Outline the immediate action you need to take for the most important items on your list. Start working on those action points now. It will help, if you also put a deadline by which you hope to attain each item on your goal list. Don’t make excuses for not preparing the list. Start..

Try these:

  1. Read the last para above and prepare the list and the action to be taken by you.
  2.  List out the following ( at least three )
  • Ways to increase your savings
  • Changes to yourself to become an even more engaging personality
  • Bad habits you will try to eliminate
  • Ways you will improve your relationship with family/ colleagues / business associates
  • Expand your productive working hours
  • Contribute your mite to social/ philanthropic activities.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

B C D of Life

17- BCD of lifeLife is often over simplified as being a journey from birth to death. What this does not consider, is the enormous opportunity / potential / alternatives that life freely bestows on us, to make that life a voyage of adventure, thrill and fulfillment. Each of us has the choice to pick from the alternatives, explore and select the opportunities around and utilize our potential the way we want. Our individuality is expressed through the choices we make. Our choices determine our future, our progress and ultimately lead us to despair, indifference or fulfillment. So the quality of our life, the way we go about living and the impact we have on the world around us and vice versa is all linked to the choices we make every moment. Choices are boon for those determined to use it wisely and it is a bane for those who get overwhelmed by the alternatives.

Making the right choice is again dependent on the individuality of the person making that choice. Yet there are some pointers to enable one to make the right choices.

Align choices with your values – Our values or principles that we imbibe and choose to follow would have an overbearing role to play in the choices we make. It is essential therefore that we are aware of those values we cherish and ensure our choices align with it. If these are not aligned, the choices may yield expected results but it will taunt your conscience, negate your happiness and depreciate yourself worth. E.g. You appear for an exam which is tough. You have a choice to copy from another and possibly get more marks but for the rest of your life you will find it hard to shake of the feeling of having been a cheater provided you value fair play and honesty as critical uncompromisable virtues.

A choice is your commitment- fulfill it – A choice is a commitment you willingly make.  Once you make that choice, it is essential that one make the best effort to fulfill that commitment. Self doubt, rethinking, confusion could possibly occasionally peek in and sabotage your commitment. Unless there is absolute clarity in your mind that you made a poor choice, the way forward is to fulfill the commitment you made when you chose a course of action. E.g. You chose a branch of study for your future. Somewhere along the way you begin to realize that the choice is not aligned to your passion. If you are convinced that a change is warranted immediately make an informed choice to deviate else fulfill the first choice you made before you rethink the alternatives.

Consider the risk reward payoff when making choices –Many a choice is placed before us by circumstances. There are shades of choices that come before us. Some are tempting but unethical, sometimes the choices are unpleasant because the alternatives are less than palatable but frequently the choices we have to make are thrust upon us with a deadline that forces us to choose. Ironically not making a choice, which is letting the status quo remain, is also a choice. Subconsciously we are always making a risk reward payoff analysis when making a choice. What is important is to view reward as the cumulative long term effect of our choice rather than immediate short term gains which could cost us dearly in the long term. e.g. watching an exciting final match of a game could be a costly price to pay if a critical exam in a paper in which you are not too strong is due the next day.

Make your own choices – don’t follow the pack – Most erroneous choices are made because we are impulsive, we are influenced by those around us and because we don’t think through with calmness and intensity. Branding is one of the marketing strategies to which many of us unconsciously fall prey too. We are tempted by the hullabaloo about a product / style and often are under peer pressure to follow the trend that others follow.  Your choice must be based on your own personal understanding, your evaluation and your need. Your individuality in many ways is reflected in your choices.

Take responsibility for your choices – No matter what method you choose to make your choices, the most important aspect of the choice is to take responsibility for that choice. Owning the choice empowers the individuality to face the consequences of the choice. It also makes the individual more confident, competent and clear headed all of which are vital traits of successful people. Ultimately our successes and failures are largely influenced by the choices we make.  If our choices go wrong and we take responsibility for our choices, we would examine the reasons for our mistakes and take corrective measures not to repeat our mistakes.  If our choices are right we can take pride in our abilities to choose wisely.

Ultimately, the quality of our life from birth to death are the outcome of the choices we make every day of our mature life.

Try these:

Rank these choices in the order of what you think is the worst choice, terrible choice and bad choice

  • Good outcome ethically wrong choice. e.g. Getting good marks by copying in an exam
  • Bad outcome lazy choice made e.g. Failing in an exam because you didn’t choose to study
  • Ugly outcome silly choice made. E.g.  Not appearing for an exam for fear of failing.

You win a lottery of Rs.10,00,000. Unfortunately you will not get a single rupee from it. However you must nominate 5 people to get the winnings in any proportion you deem fit.  The only condition is that the 5 people must include just one family member, one friend, one junior work colleague, one senior work colleague and one absolute stranger. Who would you choose to receive the amount and how much would each be entitled too. You would be telling each of the 5 people about the total prize money and how much each member is getting.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Life has many choices… so what is your choice?

13-30-Life has choices...what is yoursThe toughest part of life is taking decisions. Unfortunately all our life we will be constantly facing this dilemma because almost all the time we are blessed with choices and we have to decide what to choose. Remember the battle with the alarm every morning when it is time to wake up? Confused about what to have for breakfast / what to wear etc.? On hindsight, each one of them is a minor decision as compared to the major decisions you have to make regarding your career, your future, your savings, your life partner etc. Yet there is one decision that you need to make that would determine how you are perceived by the world at large and one that will decide your fundamental happiness; the decision to be yourself.

Being yourself seems to be the easiest thing to do but in reality it is very tough because

You seek acceptance of all what you do or say

You would ideally like to project a picture perfect picture of yourself

You would like to have an impact or influence on the people and the world around.

However it is possible to find greater acceptance of the person you are, project yourself in more favorable light and leave your footprints on the sands of time. What you need to do is groom yourself right, develop the right social skills and values systems, iron out your weaknesses and then when you project yourself it is a well rounded personality that comes to the fore.

Here are a couple of things that one must focus upon so as to comfortably be yourself and find acceptance by many and also touch many lives.

1. Cultivate good manners

2. Enhance your vocabulary and communication skills

3. Be truthful

4. Groom yourself well / dress appropriately

5. Learn to appreciate and compliment

6. Develop empathy

7. Control your temper

8. Keep calm no matter what the crisis

9. Be respectful no matter what the provocation

10. SMILE

Try this:

  • How would you want people to describe you after they have frequently interacted with you?
  • Name three people other than your family members who have had a profound impact on you?
  • If you were to be marooned on an island which person personally known to you would you prefer to be your companion on that island.
  • What is the one most endearing quality you seek in a person who you consider your friend.
  • If in a sudden crisis who is the person you would reach out to first ?
  • Your best friend is in serious trouble with the law. You are aware that he is guilty. How and what and when would you communicate with him/ her?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The 5W’s of Life unlimited…

13-22-5 W's of life

Rudyard Kipling made the 5W’s and 1H famous through is immortal poem I Keep Six honest Serving men (http://allpoetry.com/poem/8444911-I-Keep-Six-Honest-Serving-Men-by-Rudyard_Kipling ) and today’s post is an interesting perspective on HOW our response to the 5W’s  holds the key to making our life unique, interesting, and fulfilling. The interpretation of the 5W’s from the perspective of our life is also very intriguing and thought provoking.

Who you are is what makes you special. Do not change for anyone.

Even identical twins have unique personality traits. It is the I in the individual that makes the individual unique, different and special. Of course our hereditary, the growing up environment, our elders, teachers, friends, experiences do influence and mould our individuality. There will be pressures from all around us, that would overtly and covertly influence us to adjust, make changes, confirm to and/ or  display our individuality differently from the real person we are.  Ultimately though, it is our thoughts, our beliefs, our values and our self esteem that will determine our individuality. How we cope with the influences  and pressures of the world around us will determine how true we remain to the unique individual that we are born as.  

What lies ahead will always be a mystery. Do not be afraid to explore.

Each day will bring both surprises and occasionally challenges. However, most days will be routine, staid and boring. While surprises would be a pleasant diversion, challenges can bring quite a bit of stress and yet provide motivation to find solutions. It is the daily grind of the routine, the staid fare called work and monotony that is almost omnipresent that is a huge challenge for the vast majority. Breaking this viciously cycle would be possible only if one is prepared to explore alternatives and create, discover, invent options. It could be as simple as changing the routine style of work, the work place, the approach to work etc. It could be made more exciting and challenging by finding new methods, adopting new styles and reorganizing the existing paradigm. E.g. Compared to the gym routine adopted and followed a few years ago, modern gyms have varied equipment, a variety of exercises, different styles of exercising, have introduced and stressed on diet routines and diet supplements all of these focused on getting more people to get interested and involved.  How do you plan to explore the opportunities around you to make what lies ahead exciting.

When life pushes you over, you push it back.

Have you ever experienced a phase in your life when nothing seems to be going right? Perhaps you have had to endure the pain of facing sudden calamity just when everything seemed so perfect. These are times when life mimics a game of passing the parcel, where you cannot avoid the parcel but don’t know when the music will stop and worse still what forfeit is hidden. The best thing to do is to enjoy the game and play it in the true spirit of the game. Remember the saying then going gets tough the tough get going! How do you plan to get tough, more daring and more resilient coping with and overcoming the vagaries of life?

When there are choices to make, make the one you won’t regret.

When there are choices aplenty, exercising a choice is a challenge especially when the alternatives are equally attractive. Many a time choices are made based on perceived pay offs and unfortunately many a payoff has a subtle hint of either a crooked way or a selfish intent or border on the illegitimate, indecent, illegal or irresponsible. The focus of the payoff should be the long term good that is aligned with the values and beliefs we hold dear to us. The payoff should also not compromise on our self respect, our long term vision and never ever for paltry short term gains. How you analyze, evaluate and decide would help make the choice but what really holds the key to making choices is your upbringing, values system and self belief.

Why things happen will never be certain. Take it in your stride and move forward.

Every action in our life is largely directed at being happy. However most times we realize that despite our best efforts the results are far from happy. There are times when things seem to slip from our grasp at the last moment; other times we don’t seem to see any tangible evidence of happiness even remotely in the distant horizon and then when we get a whiff of happiness it is never ever enough or long lasting. Our patience is tested, our frustrations cold turn to despair, platitudes and endearments no longer hold out hope and yet that is when we must regroup our thoughts, recharge our energies and resolve to begin afresh with faith, hope and anticipation. How quickly you put the past behind, plan for the future ahead and take those strides forward will determine how far we attain our life purpose and self fulfillment.

Try this:

  • Jot down 5- 10 qualities/ attributes / traits/ talents / characteristics that make you a very special person.  Identify also 2-5 personality/ behavioral traits that others find annoying/ irritating in you.
  • Jot down 5 activities/ places/ experiences that you would like to explore over the next 3 months.
  • What are the two decisions that you are still dithering over? Identify reasons for you not being able to make the decision and work on overcoming them.
  • If you were given1 minute to write down your will, would you be able to do it? If your answer is YES write it down now. If your answer is NO, then why are you wasting time – go and prepare your will. Are you sure you will be alive the next minute?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Maturity

Full maturity … is achieved by realizing that you have choices to make. Angela Barron McBride

As long as we are children we allow most of our decisions to be taken by our parents but as we grow up we have our preferences be style, color, size, shape etc. Assume we want a chocolate; we would go pick up what we want or if it is a Barbie doll we would chose the one not there in our collection. This is the first step to maturity because we now display our individual preferences, our personal choices and our preferred options. At this stage more often than not, we are guided by our instincts, our likes and dislikes rather than by the process of an evaluation, where we may have to make rational choices rather than impulsive decisions.

It is only when economic compulsions, utilitarian considerations and value for money, the three spoilt sports that influence choices, enter the decision making process that we get alerted to the finer nuances of decision making when exercising our choices. Initially such skills are taught by our parents and elders who would at first gently admonish you for your extravagant choices and possibly even be adamant and curt if we don’t learn to appreciate their veto. While most of their arguments would be mentally refuted by us, the lessons learnt would surface when we have to part with our hard earned money or when we have to make life changing choices like choosing a spouse. This is the inflection point when we grow up and attain the maturity to be the adult that we longing to be.

Real choices are situations when all options look equally appealing and we have to give up all the alternatives because we have to select one. This is like the childhood dilemma where your grandma offered you a delicious piece of cake with the rider that you had to cut it in two and let your sibling take the first piece. In real life though the stakes are much higher, the consequences of your choices more sever and the resultant happiness or unhappiness directly propionate to the difficulty of the choice. The real tricky choices are the very subjective ones like the apocryphal story of the person assigned to sort potatoes into 3 piles big, medium and small. After many hours he had barely sorted out a handful and when questioned replied he didn’t know how to decide the size of each potato to classify it. Even simple tasks like buying fruits and vegetable leaves us with the unenviable task  of having to choose which fruit or vegetable one has to buy, in what quantity and at what price. How much more complicated is it to zoom in on a house or a vehicle for yourself; and selecting the right spouse would be the ultimate choice?

Remember: “A mature person is one who is does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably” Eleanor Roosevelt

Try these:

  1. Make a list of gifts that you can buy for your dad/ mom/ sibling on their birthday and ensure the gift is of an identical price range. Note the type of comment you get when you take the effort of choosing a gift that you know will be perfect for the person.
  2. Ask yourself what are the 3 questions uppermost in when you have to make a choice. Now see how important those questions are when deciding the following: going to watch a professional football match when your favorite team is playing in your city; attending your close friends wedding or attending your bosses sons wedding both on the same day and time but in different cities; making a decision to eat out and your wife wants to have Chinese food, your son wants burgers and your daughter wants Indian food and you hate all the three options.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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