Tag: Clarity

Being disciplined pays

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”  Jim Rohn

Discipline holds the key to both our progress and our self esteem. This is because unless we are disciplined we can rarely harness our full potential. Subsequently when we look back if we experience more regret than the pleasure of achievement we find it hard to forgive ourselves for it. In effect we botch up the possibility of pulling up our socks and salvaging the rest of our potential because we are brooding over what is lost and cannot be retrieved. Similarly self esteem flowers when the mind and body can savor the fruits of discipline in terms of success and achievements .

The challenge of being disciplined is managing to be clear, committed and conscientious. A simple illustration about the comparison between disciplined people (like those in the armed forces who are in excellent physical shape) and the average citizen (who is often overweight and sloppy) would bring home the point about the criticality of discipline in a person’s life. With this example in mind lets us analyze why each of those 3 C’s have such a major bearing on our life and our happiness. Clarity of purpose is often the first stumbling block. Part of the problem stems from the fact that we have ample choices and our natural inclination is to take the most convenient option. As a result we spend time in rationalizing our wrong choices rather than in discerning the right option. Even more dangerous is the tendency to be uncommitted to our choice because we are still not really convinced that we got that right. Most students if quizzed on their career choice are unclear about it for their heart might be in something that the head says will not meet societal and parental approval. E.g. A brilliant student opting  to choose fine arts or dramatics or music as a chosen field of study is certain to find a lot of well meaning friends, relatives and teachers gently but firmly persuading him/her to reconsider the decision. The net result is a very confused person ultimately pursuing what is essentially forced upon. Without clarity, self doubt keeps the person confused and leads to indisciplined effort / work ethics.

Irrespective of the fact that a choice exercised was done whole heartedly or thrust upon a person, once he/she begins to traverse that path, there is no option but to be commitment whole heartedly. The difficulty here is that many a time the heart will rebel, the mind will waver and the spirit will droop, particularly when way seems long, winding and dark. The challenge in commitment comes from inside ourselves when we are tempted far too often to throw in the towel. Team sports offers us the vivid example of how, many an aspiring player toiled in hope, faith and pluck before they made the cut. Of course there would be many more who would have been left along the wayside but succeeded in using the learning to carve a niche elsewhere.  Commitment is the glue that marries the clarity of purpose with the conscientious approach that would ensure that success is a real possibility.  To be conscientious involves toil, sacrifice and pain. It forces one to repeatedly hone ones skills, if possible keep improving and at the very best achieve perfection by regular repetitive rigor. This can be summed up by the phrase’ Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle’.

 Remember:“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”    Lance Armstrong

 Try this:

  1. Outline the 3 most important New Year resolutions that you really want to achieve. Alternatively make a list of 3 important things that you want to achieve.  Work out a plan of action and put it down on paper. Starting now go on implement it. (eg. If I plan to lose weight and want to start walking at 6 am from tomorrow, right now I will set the alarm for 5.30 am)
  2. Attempt the following
  • Threading a needle (try to improve your timing also)
  • Put 5 consecutive 3 pointer basket ball shots. (later  try this from different angles)
  • Attempt to burn a piece of paper using a magnifying glass and natural sunlight.

(If you only read the TRY THIS and do not attempt it, ask yourself why you lack the discipline to effectively use the learning from the blogs; is it lack of clarity about the purpose of the exercises/  you don’t want to take on the commitment / you find it hard to be repeatedly attempt and fail)

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

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

Stand up for something or…

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.  Michael Evans

A problem many of us face is not getting an answer to the question ‘ what do I want ?’ Obviously then getting satisfaction is very difficult because we will never know when we are satisfied. If all this sounds confusing then I suggest that you just do a small exercise now. Write down the amount of money that will make you completely contended. Now assume you get that money write down how you will spend each day.  I hope you have written down you answer and not just let it float around in your mind. If the answer to these questions are difficult to jot down then you know that you are part of the majority who has no clue what they want!

Most times we know what we want but can’t specify it. E.g we all want lots of money but can’t decide how much will satisfy us. Or we want a beautiful house but we can’t pinpoint more details. Notice that this problem begins because we use an adjective to camouflage our inability to pinpoint our needs/ wants. So the solution to this problem lies in us constantly attempting to be very very specific about what we seek. Many of our troubles would simply vanish if we are clear in our mind about whatever we aspire for. Let us say we want to give a donation. For this we need to be clear as to whom we want to give it for, the amount one wishes to donate and the cause for which we are donating. The answers are never easy and often frustrate us for then we end up being indecisive.

The problem with being unsure and indecisive is that we are then guided by the ‘herd mentality’ where we succumb to the pressures of following those who are in a majority. Career choices for example confuse youngsters who have just finished their schooling. Fortunately for many they are clear about the subjects that they dislike so by default they atleast reject those career options involving subjects they dislike. This brings us to a wonderful technique of zooming in on your preferences by the elimination route. This simply means examining an choice and eliminating it because you are uncomfortable with that option.  Our choice of friends is often a result of the elimination of people who we are uncomfortable with.

The real downside of not being clear and standing up for what we really want is that we very often end up choosing a compromise option which may solve one problem but can spark of a multitude of other problems.  E.g We laze around instead of studying and then decide that for lack of a choice we have to copy in the exam. Obviously copying is fraught with danger of being rusticated and failing ignobly.  Many people are caught in the rut called a job simply because we hate the alternatives or fear them. If only we were more clear as to what job would make us happy and contented we would first attempt to find that in the current job before scouting around for what we want.

Remember: Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.  Karl Von Clausewitz

Try this:

  1. Currently the FIFA World Cup is on. If you had to choose the Winner how will you go about it? What considerations will influence you choice of picking your winner?
  2. Attempt to make a drawing of your dream house. Make it as elaborate as possible with no budget constraints in mind. Next jot down the location of the house and pick a neighbor from the following options – your in laws, your former girlfriend / boyfriend, your boss

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Be Yourself

Don’t let other people tell you what you want. Pat Riley

Our upbringing and family values lay a high premium on respecting the views and wishes of elders and well wishers. While decency and etiquette’s demands we extend such courtesies, it is just as important to know where one must draw the line. Very often we are not just advised by well meaning people but even subtly cajoled, pressurized and occasionally blackmailed into pursuing what others perceive as being right for us. Choice of subjects to take while in college, the method and style of study, the long term career you need to pursue, are all areas in which a person can easily be unduly influenced.

One of the main casualties in this ‘I will tell you what to do or I know best what suits you’ syndrome is the surrendering of our independence and a deep hurt and prejudice we carry when our views are not heard, let alone it being accepted.  The suppression of our passion and interest is something we take a long term to come to grips with. There is also the danger of one being manipulated by vested interests e.g. a doctor couple running a successful practice forcing the children to follow in their footsteps to continue the legacy. Emotional blackmail is a favorite tool for imposing ones will on others. Take the case of an inter caste  love affair; both sides will try and dissuade their respective ‘subject’ to back off from the alliance under numerous pretext some of it by running down the other party but mostly appealing to the hurt for the family and its honor or focusing on the emotional distress for the parents and the siblings.

Now that we have observed the way people try to unduly influence you, we need to focus on how to retain our sense of independence and establish our own identity.  To begin with we must respond to suggestions with politeness and courtesy and the then firmly refute the arguments logically and passionately. This is of course easier said than done, but nevertheless it is the best option open. All this presupposes that we know what we want. The biggest problem for many is that we are aware of what we don’t want but are not at all clear about what we want. Ask any MBA graduate and he / she will say that they want a good job but they cannot clearly define what they mean by a good job. One must also realize that while we all have our passions we need to do a reality check about the feasibility and practicality of attaining our passion. If we need to take additional steps like learning something specialized or undergoing appropriate training we need to get going in that direction at the earliest.

Learning the fine art of decision making is the ultimate weapon to thwart any attempts at being influenced by anyone. This involves having clarity of purpose, strategic vision, self confidence and the ability to take risks.

Remember: If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything

Try these:

  1. Make your own resolution not to use your mobile phone for anything other than receiving calls for the entire week. You will not make calls nor respond to incoming SMS nor send out SMS nor use the other features like games, GPS, internet etc available on your mobile. Find out how frequently you broke your own rules and how you rationalize it.
  2. You have promised your parents that you will be doing an important carpentry job (which you have postponed a number of times already) during the weekend. Your best friend calls up saying that he/ she has free tickets for a very popular rock concert during the same weekend. Your girlfriend/ boyfriend says that you are invited by his /her for a party organized for the Golden Jubilee of his/her parents wedding anniversary. On what basis will you decide which option to take? You can choose only one option.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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