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Posts Tagged ‘Doubts’

13-13-Give it a try..

Today’s words of wisdom hold a special significance for me personally and hopefully it would also be an apt quote for all those reading this blog. Around three and half years ago in Jan 2010, when I conceived this blog, it was actually my second attempt at experimenting with the medium called blogs. I had first started off on 1st Dec. 2009 (http://www.poweract.blogspot.in/2009/12/poweract-fission-of-ideas-to-fusion.html ) and was fortunate to get a quick comment from a friend which was motivation enough to write regularly. However, when I began this blog and kept a target of writing daily, all three of the doubts expressed in the quote above overwhelmed me. Fortunately for me my heart was in the right place and nudged me hard enough and I am delighted that I have kept my pride intact, gained invaluable experience and have reason enough to make the point that unless you try you will never know what you can achieve.

When one is setting off to explore unknown territory, it is good to have some apprehensions but it is terrible to start with doubts. Apprehensions are nature’s way of injecting a sense of responsibility, caution and pragmatism all of which are essential to complete a challenge. Doubts on the other hand, fuel fear, deflate self belief and allow irrationally thoughts to creep into our mindset thus heightening the chances of derailing the journey almost as soon as we attempt it. Apprehension stems out of our inexperience coupled with the realization that there are lot of unknown variables along the way. Doubts on the other hand seep in when we let our pride assume humongous proportions morphing into false pride. There is no shame in failure if despite our best efforts we fail but there is no pride in chickening out for fear of failure.

Experience is either first hand or it is second hand (that what we see/ hear about others). Either way each adventure poses new challenges that even past experience may not necessarily equip us to handle. In fact experience should guide us to make the necessary adjustments to ensure success. At times though, experience can give valuable insights that could temper our pride especially so as to ensure that we do not do anything foolhardy. The key to leveraging experience is in making a realistic assessment of the risks, finding innovative means to minimize the risks and then translating the risks into worthwhile targets for us to pursue.

The toughest obstacle is posed by our logical mind which reasons out every action but is not fully equipped to accommodate variables like creativity, individual resilience and risk taking ability. Reasoning is an excellent mechanism for analysis, provides reference points that flag off caution and alerts and is a dispassionate tool for exercising our options. However, far too often reasoning tends to err on the side of caution thereby reducing the potency of our decisions. We cannot dismiss reason completely but have to temper it with our personal insights, gut feeling and a healthy dose of self belief. Don’t always let the head rule the heart.

The heart has its reasons; not necessarily logical nor would it be completely irrational. What it does is prod, push and nudge one to become aware of some hidden and untapped abilities, potential and daring that is ready to be harnessed. When we can add this mix to our rational and logical self we get a holistic mix far more potent than we can ever imagine. Success is all about finding this right holistic mix and using it appropriately by balancing our mind and our heart.

The voice from the heart may sound fainter than that from the mind; but it is for you to seek it, listen to it and then believe in it.

Try this:

  1. During the coming month participate in at least 3 contests. It could be giving answers to contests run by radio / TV channels or sending in your entries to contests run by newspapers/ magazines.
  2. Find & execute innovative ways (in which you are an active participant) to raise funds for your favorite charity. (Do not involve family or friends in raising the monetary resources) e.g. putting up some unused things owned by you  for sale on a website with the sale proceeds earmarked for charity.
  3. Prepare your own crossword/ quiz (the answers to which must have some relevance to your family and friends or your neighborhood or city) and use that in the next get together or party. E.g. which person in this group stays on the top most floor of his/ her building? Or  The person in this group who is born in Lucknow. Or find out some well know spots in the city which have a colloquial name but which can be translated into English. In the quiz give the English translation and ask people to identify it. For example in my city of Pune we have a Phoolwalla Chowk (Flowersellers roundabout) / Lakadipul ( Wooden bridge). These can be innovatively used to prepare your quiz.

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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“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”  Winston Churchill

Most of us are natural critics but very few of us accept criticism with an open mind and the right attitude to learn from it. Criticism comes naturally, because each of us has an idea of a perfect world and invariably there is always something wrong with it. Thereafter it is a simple matter of pouting opinions on how things are not right and perhaps we pontificate on how we could set things right if only we were empowered. If the same conversation is initiated by others we can heartily concur and add a few more views without contributing very constructively. Of course the good part of the critical way we see things is that when the clamor gets louder some action takes place and there is improvement.

The problem that we face as individuals is that we ‘fear criticism’. No sooner we are subject to criticism, we see criticisms as a direct attack on our ability, we view it as the incorrect and inappropriate assessment of us and resent the reality when pointed out to us. We react to criticism with skepticism, attempt to justify and rationalize our short comings and in extreme cases attempt to discredit our critics or dwell upon what we perceive as their incompetence and inability to judge us correctly.  What we fail to appreciate is the reality that very few people will criticize us because human nature prefers to be good and sweet to one and all and being critical is an invitation to strain relationships. Equally important is the fact that any valid criticism is a good feedback mechanism that enables us to correct ourselves, bring about improvement and progress towards excellence.

Criticism is unavoidable and so we need to accept this reality and then leverage it to improve our life, our effectiveness and our relationships. The key to that lies in adopting the following approach:

Accepting criticism.  This is the toughest part to overcome. Our natural temperament is to refute, reject and rebut. However once we realize that most people criticize us with our welfare at heart, be it parents, teacher, siblings, family, friends, bosses and colleagues, we would pay heed to what they have to say. When there are disagreements and in a fit of rage an opponent or adversary makes a comment or observation that hurts us deeply, it could be a sure sign that there is an element of truth in it. This realization would be the ultimate test to walking the way of accepting criticism.

Harnessing the feedback got. The simple rule here is to ask yourself if there is there some truth in it. If yes, learn from the feedback and make the adjustments, learning, behavioral change, required. If some skills have to be learnt, if some relationships have to be mended or if some ties have to be cut off, however painful it may be, the same has to be done. Making all out efforts to implement  the change based on the learning from the feedback holds the key.

Being honest with our criticism of others so that we understand the shortcomings. As tough as it may seem, by being constructively critical, we are honing our skills of observation, improving our standards of excellence and fine tuning the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable. All these qualities will go a long way in improving our personality, our confidence and our outlook of life.

Learning to appreciate others so that we can adopt the good practices that we observe.  Compared to the previous point, this may sound extremely ironic for it involves making a complete U turn in our way of seeing things. Balancing this contradiction actually makes us develop an all round personality where we can learn to live with the good and the bad. When we appreciate, we are also unconsciously raising our own standards of performance for we will strive to attain what we see as the bar of excellence. Appreciation when balanced with criticism also enables us to remain rooted to reality; for while there may be many who would praise us and overlook our shortcomings, the ones who dare to be critical will be holding a mirror to our face. We can then see ourselves warts and all and then begin the process of sprucing up and making a fresh appearance worthy of our talent, our abilities and our aspirations.

Remember: Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.  Frank Howard Clark

Try this:

  1. Go and see new released movie without reading the critics reviews. On returning home from the movie, attempt to review the movie or at least jot down 3- 5 appreciative points and 3- 5 critical observations about the movie. Thereafter read the professional reviews and compare your own effort.
  2. Mark Anthony’s speech criticizing Brutus in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar is a master piece of using the rhetoric to criticize subtly. To read the same, click on the following link.  http://tinyurl.com/yae2nno
  3. Can you recollect the criticism given by the following people, which was hurtful but helped you improve
  • Your dad
  • Your mother
  • Your favorite teacher
  • The teacher you disliked immensely
  • Your best friend
  • A third party, perhaps a passenger traveling with you or a motorist who rammed your vehicle or a player from an opposing team or a taxi driver

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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Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb about.Solomon Short

In our own way, each of us would have some competencies that give us the edge over others but that does not necessarily mean that we are smart. When we can recognize our competencies and simultaneously be aware of our deficiencies and work around leveraging the first and plugging the loopholes in our deficiencies, which is when we slowly become smart.

The three rules to be smart are as under:

When in doubt find it out. It is obvious that each of us will have limitations in grasping everything that we try to learn or attempt. Being ignorant is not the problem the problem is remaining ignorant. Hence it is imperative that we first realize our ignorance, find the right way to eliminate that ignorance and then systematically go about erasing that ignorance by learning and implementing the learning. A simple example is our visit to a doctor when we are ill. While we are aware of the symptoms and perhaps have an inkling of the real problem it is the expert in the form of the doctor who will diagnose it correctly and prescribe the right medication. Similarly coaches focus more on ironing out the mistakes made by players both as individuals and as a team. The net result is improved performance all thanks to learning more from those who are entrusted with helping us out.

Talk less listen more. The more we listen the more we can assimilate. This means we are taking in more knowledge and we can then utilize the learning to conceptualize, strategize and execute better. Often in the process of merely talking we give out more than what is needed, do not address the real issue since we haven’t paid attention to the receivers needs and our verbosity can confuse, conflict and camouflage the solutions. Listening also helps build rapport with the speaker, allows us time and inputs to maneuver and offers new avenues and opportunities to explore. When we leverage all this inputs we offer smart solutions.

Learn the trade and only then focus on the tricks of the trade. We are often in a hurry and that means we attempt to execute the tricks of the trade and hope that we can attain our objectives quickly. We also believe that by doing this we come across as smart individuals. With experience and foresight one can take the liberty of trying a few tricks of the trade .However it is always safe to understand the trade in depth before we even attempt a few tricks because if we execute half baked ideas the end result could be catastrophic and could lead to unmitigated losses and even loss of face. E.g Even the most experienced cricket batsman will think twice before attempting the reverse sweep so for a rookie to attempt it could be suicidal.

 Remember: Be smart, but never show it. Louis B. Mayer

 Try these:

  1. Learn a couple of card tricks. Then attempt them on your family and friends and see if you can do the tricks smoothly. You will realize initially you may foul up but that the more your practice the better you get and soon you can do those tricks like a pro.
  2. Try and solve the following if you think you are smart. ( The first question is solved for you to get a feel of how you need to come to the solutions)
  •  7 D in a W = 7 Days in a Week
  •  1,000 Y makes a M =
  • 52 C in a P of C =
  • 10 T on your F =
  • 5 W & 1 H =
  • 3 W on a T =

(Answers will be given in the next post)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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He who is ashamed of asking is ashamed of learning.  – Danish Proverb

It was Rudyard Kipling who wrote the Poem that began as follows

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Almost all of us have extensively used these six honest serving men throughout our school life and possible till we graduated. However thereafter most of us felt a little ashamed of using the questioning technique and preferred to remain in ignorant bliss rather than admit we lacked the knowledge. It is also possible that we continued to believe in some possibly mistaken notions. The reality of life is that there is far too much knowledge for any individual to grasp and absorb and so the only way forward is to humbly seek out the facts when we lack the knowledge; yet we have our psychological block of admitting our ignorance.

The technique of questioning had 3 distinct advantages.

It keeps us grounded to the reality that we have a lot to learn.

When we are willing to question, we are acknowledging our own limitations and weakness and readily accept the wiser counsel of others. It opens our eyes to the fact that it is not our intelligence alone that helps us to grow in life but our ability to harness the knowledge that is around us provided we first accept our personal limitations.

It facilitates us learning.

Questioning also helps us to search for answers and makes us aware of the need to seek out more intelligent people, find out more authentic information and search for new avenues of updating ourselves. When we ask questions we also are looking for answers. We use the questioning technique very effectively when we are faced with a problem and require some answers to progress ahead.

It enables one to connect dots and be creative.

Questioning is the best method to solve problems. By constantly seeking to find answers we would stimulate out thinking, dream up apparently illogical possibilities and succeed in finding unique solutions to our problems. Riddles that we asked in school may now look ridiculous and childish but provided the vital stimulant required to develop the spirit of questioning and sharpening our creativity. Eg  Two mothers and two daughters went for a picnic but they were only 3 of them. How is this possible? Or Name 3 consecutive days that does not include Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday in it.

In fact the questioning technique was the bass of most human progress. One of the key players in the development and enrichment of human thinking and philosophy is the Greek Philosopher Socrates whose Socratic Method of inquiry revolved around asking questions. Notice that the educational system irrespective of the discipline of study uses the questioning technique to evaluate the knowledge and aptitude of the students. Similarly the journalistic profession extensively uses the questioning technique to get quote and sound bytes to feature as news.  Researchers and scientists too use this technique to come up with new inventions, discoveries and improvements. Finally it is important to note that the questioning technique is what makes the human race very distinct from the other living creatures. Our evolution and progress can be solely attributed to our ability to use the six honest serving men effectively.

Remember: “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”  Benjamin Franklin

Try this:

  1. Play the game 20 questions in which the leader thinks of a well known personality and will respond only with a YES/ NO/ Pass (if they do not know the answer) to your questions. You have to ask questions and based on the response of the leader guess the personality in 20 questions.
  2. Ask yourself if you suffer from the following indicators of being question shy.
  • You are lost in a new city and struggling with the map but feel awkward to ask the local person to help out
  • You watch Formula racing and / Golf on TV but have yet to find out the rules of the games.
  • You recently shifted to a new home. You are finding it hard to make inquiries with the neighbors to know more about the locality and the important landmarks.
  • Your child’s progress report indicates that he/ she is lagging behind. Yet you do not make efforts to meet the teachers and learn more about the reason for the child’s poor performance.
  • You are invited by your host to a fancy restaurant serving French cuisine. The menu card lists all the dishes in French. You feel awkward to ask the steward to update you about the dishes.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late. Lee Iacocca

One of the toughest parts of decision making is trying to minimize the uncertainties associated with the decision so as to ensure that we improve the chances of having taken the right decision.  There are numerous reasons why getting answers to all uncertainties is extremely difficult. To begin with there is a tradeoff between the time available to get all the inputs required to answer all uncertainties and the time frame within which to take the decision. There are numerous uncertainties where a judgment is the only way one can use to determine the probability of nailing the uncertainity.eg  if we visit a couple of doctors for each ones expert opinion on a serious illness and all of them suggest a different line of treatment, we have no choice but to go with one of those recommendations.  As a result, most times apart from using the available data we end up having to use our judgment and rely on our prior experience to arrive at a decision.

One of the most common ailments of decision making prevalent largely in the corporate world is described as Paralysis by analysis. Here the problem arises not because the decision to be made is really tough but more because the decision makers don’t want to be held responsible in case their decision goes wrong.  As a result they would attempt to use all techniques and tools to study and analyze the data available and they would even tweak it till it confirms what they want to believe or prove so that there is ample paperwork to justify their decision. Unfortunately since most decisions are time bound, decision makers can be mentally paralyzed by the reams of analytical data that is generated which may be quite at variance with our expectations and the decision making process goes for a toss.

Decisions concerning relationships are even more tough because it calls for a value judgment. A simple test is to write down the qualities of an ideal spouse. Most times this process for married people poses a serious problem of having to forcefully appreciate the qualities of a spouse. For those yet unmarried the problem is one of how to prune the list. The tough part is yet to come;  for those who are yet to be married the question is how does one really recognize this quality or attribute in their to be spouse for the married person it is accepting the reality that many of those attributes longed for are utopian and unrealistic now. Breaking off a friendship or relationship is perhaps one of the toughest decisions because it is hurtful, painful, emotional and distressing for all concerned. Many a time this happens when there is mistrust and doubt and an amicable parting is often difficult but inevitable. Here the sheer pressure of the uncertainly in the relationship could prove to be a mill stone in the relationship which ultimately drowns it perhaps a wee bit too late.   Even more tough is to take a decision to part because pure rational itself does not provide the answers to all the uncertainties associated with the relationship. E.g. An office romance between a married boss and a subordinate or social pressures associated with a gay relationship or the breaking up of a partnership or a joint venture because the parties have divergent view points.

Remember: “My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”  Theodore Hesburgh

Try this:

  1. Your most intimate friend has picked up a new job and ever since his visits and interactions have come down.  You are disappointed and not sure if it is only the new job that is the reason for this sudden drop in communications and interactions. You are confused and hurt but you still cherish his friendship. How will you ensure that you don’t take a drastic or wrong decision by cutting off all your ties while at the same time ensuring that he still values your friendship?
  2. You are at a famous art museum that has a Picasso, a Rembrandt and a Van Gogh painting among some other prized paintings being exhibited. Suddenly there is a fire in the museum and you are able to save just one painting. Which painting will you save?  (The answer to this will be published in our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com before this weekend)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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Action will remove the doubts that theory cannot solve. Tehyi Hsieh

When I first started writing this blog a year ago, on 1st January 2010, I had planned to write around 500 words, daily on the quote of the day. No sooner had I decided on it I was assailed by self doubts. Would I be able to stand up to the rigors of the target I had set for myself? Was I competent to propound on topics / quotes that could stump me? Would I be motivated sufficiently to write consistently and maintain quality? Who would read the blogs? The questions were coming in torrents and with each question I started questioning my own wisdom of setting myself an ambitious target. Fortunately for me, the rational side of my brain was overwhelmingly urging me on to start the blog and then experience the pain and pleasure of the venture before I succumbed to my own misgivings and self doubts.

Today as I complete one year of almost daily blogging, I have realized how true the quote of today proved to be. There have been breaks in my steadfast resolve; there have been times when I was sorely tempted to give it all up and there were times especially during the initial phase when I really wondered if my efforts were worth it. The key is to begin in faith, pursue with purpose and to find motivation along the way in whatever we attempt. Most times we make the startling discovery that most of our fears were imaginary and completely irrational if put to the test.  To test our theories, it is essential that we begin in faith else we will be attempting to fail. Faith in ourselves, our beliefs and our abilities will ensure that we work in earnest, have the fortitude to overcome obstacles along the way and will ourselves to succeed. On the other if our focus is just on making a cursory attempt the chances are that we will give up the moment we run into some problem or encounter some roadblocks for these will reinforce our original theory that we may not succeed.

Although well begun is half done as the popular saying goes, doing the next half of the task requires us to have a definite purpose and focus. Take the case of student studying for a competitive exam. The amount of effort put in to succeed with high marks would be boosted by a larger goal of not just getting good marks but having a more tangible goal like getting into the top 3 universities. In writing my blogs, the goal was not just to write everyday, but to write so that I could influence lives everyday. This gave me the firm resolve to write no matter how tired I was, to work on the posts even when circumstances did not encourage me and to put the posting of the blog posts on a higher priority than what it would be under normal circumstances. Ultimately it is our motivation that is the icing on the cake that makes the whole effort so attractive and alluring. The number of hits on the site (currently around 43,250), the number of followers (currently around 330) and the comments and feedback (check these on https://actspot.wordpress.com/comments/feed/ ) were the motivators that spurred me on to write daily, write passionately and rewrite when the contents didn’t meet my own standards of excellence.

Permit me the liberty of taking this opportunity to thank all my readers and particularly the followers of this blog for their encouraging feedback . The visitor statistic indicates that this blog is fairly  popular and as I understand also motivational and inspirational for many. I would welcome your feedback on how this blog can be improved further and would request your inputs on other/  additional the topics that you want me to cover in this blog .I would also invite you to visit my Weekly Blog. www.poweract.blogspot.com

Remember: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Try this:

  1. If you have liked this blog have you attempted to write a comment or give a feedback? If not what has held you back from giving a feedback? If you disagreed with some of the contents have you expressed yourself? If not can you attempt it now?
  2. If you haven’t listed out your New Year resolution this is the time to do it. Take a pen and paper or simply type in your resolutions on the computer right now. BEGIN working on those New Year Resolutions RIGHT NOW.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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Fear is the dark room in which negatives are developed. Anon

With the advance of technology, the concept of dark rooms and developing of negatives is almost nonexistent but the reality of fear will always lurk as long as mankind exits. The concept of fear takes on various hues. While many are irrational fears, there are a few fears that are obvious and realistic. Similarly many fears are avoidable but a few are inevitable and unavoidable. Another way of looking at fear includes the fear of the past catching up, fear of the present over whelming us and fear of the future lurking around. Some fears are so extreme that we even have terms ending with phobia to classify it. The worst type of fear is the type that we visualize and hype up simply because we imagine ourselves to be victims who can then get some sort of attention.

The most common fear is fear of the future. We worry about what will happen tomorrow, how we will manage if we lose our job, if we lost our investments, fell ill or if we are invalid and dependent on others. The most common fear is the fear of dying. The irony is that almost all of these fears are realistically possible at some point in time, but by giving in to our fears and worrying about it won’t help us very much. Instead, all we do is waste our energies and our productive time trying to avoid the pitfalls of the fear. If we see fears in  a different way, we will find some tremendous ways to use the knowledge about our fears.  To begin with we can take action to minimize the risk of the fear overtaking us e.g. We can start exercising and eating right to ensure we remain healthy for a much longer time. We can attempt to insure against our perceived fears e.g. By taking an insurance policy or doing proper investments for the future.

Many of our fears never ever come true. However our fears overwhelm us to such an extent, that we then begin to actually visualize minor distortions in our everyday life pattern as indications of our fears actually coming true. Eg. We may have bumped and got a lump which may take some time to heal, but in panic we imagine them to be some tumor and to make our dark imagination even more darker we may see it as cancerous too. It is also possible that some of our fears are rooted in some unfortunate childhood experiences eg. Being locked in accidentally in a dark room could trigger claustrophobia. Extreme fears like claustrophobia may require us to take expert help and counseling support. There is nothing wrong in that but here again we run into a problem. We believe that anyone under counselling treatment is mentally ill and we fear being branded that way.

Being pragmatic, rational and realistic holds the key to mimizing our fears. In any case most of our fears never come true. It is strongly suggested that we try to overcome our fears because otherwise we may be letting our fears effect us mentally, physically and emotionally. Fear will breed negativity, paranoia and insecurity and we would never really realize our full potential then.

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

Try this:

  1. Read the following post on FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real  by click this link http://poweract.blogspot.com/2009/12/fear.html
  2. Choose from the following fears your worst fear and attempt to rationalize it and minimize your fear.
  • Fear of snakes
  • Fear of Ghosts
  • Fear of being locked up all alone in a dark room
  • Fear of Death
  • Fear of parachuting
  • List any other fear that you believe terrifies you more than any of the above

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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