Tag: Enjoy

Reading is breathing for the mind

37- Reading is...

Reading is perhaps one of the most enjoyable leisure activities. It certainly is an unavoidable compulsion for students and teachers alike. The ability to read and write is also the yardstick used to distinguish the literate from the illiterate. What makes reading so unique is that it has the ability to evoke emotions, feelings, thrills and fears, laughter and sadness, pain and pleasure apart from allowing the reader to vividly visualize, leisurely contemplate and at times act decisively. It is breathing for the mind because it keeps our mind active, vibrant and alive to possibilities.

To get the best out of reading and to cultivate the art and enjoy the experience focus on the following:

Variety in reading – If you can bring yourself to read a variety of genres, styles, topics, authors and have different reasons for reading you will never tire of reading. Reading the newspaper is perhaps one of the most common reading activity indulged in by the overwhelming majority. This is because in a dynamically changing world, each one of us wants to know what is going on. The newspaper also offers variety in terms of current affairs, sports, leisure, and politics being major areas covered. However a visit to the library or a book shops opens up a enormous possibilities to explore and there is limitless variety in reading material.

Purposeful reading – If there is focus on why you want to read you will ensure that you read just what you want to read without feeling that you have wasted your time. Students largely have focus on their reading because the objective is appear for exams and score well. This enables them to cope with the reading that they may not necessarily like but which is unavoidable. Similarly, having focus helps you identify what interests you, the styles of writing and genres that engage you. You may even switch genres which are completely different but it ensures that you are never bored or that the content is monotonous. It also allows you the freedom to stop reading what does not appeal to you without feeling guilty.

Enjoy what you read While reading as part of learning can at times get exhausting, it is your attitude that will determine how tedious the reading is. Obviously given a choice, you will read just what you fancy and hopefully you enjoy what you read. At times, you pick up a book either because it is a best seller or because it is highly recommended but if you are plodding through it, it is best you switch to what interest. The pleasure of reading comes from how easy it feels to ones senses in terms of style, content, appeal and pleasure it brings to the reader.

Share your learning – By sharing the key concepts or the salient features with others, you actually relive the book and the pleasure it gave you. It is also indicative of how it has impacted you and how eager you are to ensure others too get a pleasure out of it.

Cultivate it as habit – The more you read, greater the pleasure and the learning. Cultivate reading as a habit. It refreshes the mind, enhances your knowledge, gives you stimulus and is a wonderful companion especially when you are alone.

Try these

  1. List out 5 of your favorite books and authors. Identify one reason why each book appeals to you.
  2. What types of books appeal to you? What genres of writing do you like?
  3. Which characters in the books you have read endear themselves to you and why?
  4. Which well known book did not appeal to you? Can you identify the reasons you did not like the book?
  5. Name one incident from any of your reading that you still recall vividly or with nostalgia.

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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Grow like wild flowers

18- Grow like a wildflowerAs individuals, we often believe that we are not distinguished by any great characteristic or ability and that we are therefore consigned to be just a part of the crowd. Yet secretly we do nurture dreams, desires, hopes and fantasies most of it largely centered around success and achievement. Occasionally we may also venture and try to attain some of our ideals but it is with trepidation and half heartedness that we dare to attempt. We are cagey about the reactions of others to our attempt to dare, we fear criticism, we fear failure and we are aghast the thought that we may look like a fool if we don’t succeed. The sum total of these thoughts is that we either don’t dare or we make an attempt with no conviction and therefore the venture is doomed to fail.

On the other hand we are envious of numerous people around us who apparently did not have it in them to succeed (in our view) and yet have carved a niche for themselves defying all odds and predictions. We are perplexed and cannot phantom how they have succeeded. More importantly we lament our inability to leverage our talents and potential to attain something more significant in our life. What one needs to realize is that we are limited just by our own thinking, attitude and actions.  Success can be achieved by anyone who plans to succeed, dares to succeed and persists to succeed. No criticism is a dampener, no goal impossible if set right and no effort wasted, even if success seems distant when the journey begins.

So what makes ordinary people become successful?They just make the best of the opportunities available.

How do they do it?They go about their business with intensity, passion and purpose.

Can I replicate this? Of course every individual no matter what their limitation can fulfill their potential?

How can I fulfill my potential? This requires a little more detailing. Try and adopt the following:

Enjoy your work by making the work fun – Look at the wildflowers dancing in the wind. They know their job is to grow, bloom and beautify the environment. They do it with a joy that is visible in the way they brighten up the environment around. No matter what your task seek out the wonder that the job entails and make every effort to cherish both the job as well as the process and the outcome. This would require a wee bit of imaginative thinking, especially since, over a period of time, all jobs are routine, boring and repetitive in nature. Yet as human beings we have the good fortune to grow in our jobs and take on greater responsibilities, vary our jobs by changing it and also improve the quality of our jobs through automation, job rotation, work engagement etc.

Visualize yourself and your job as a blessing to be cherished not merely a duty to be done – Again the wild flower does not question what type of a flower it is or its color nor its location. It simply grows with intensity. If you have a job cherish it; look around and see the numerous jobless who are frustrated and angry. Look at your job as a privileged opportunity to be engaged and gainfully rewarded. While the job itself entitles you to be compensated for the duties you discharge, you must see it as an opportunity and blessing to fulfill your potential and being rewarded for the same.

Enliven the environment with your individuality your personality and your strength’s. – From a distance all the flowers that grow wild look alike. Yet go closer and examine and you would notice the subtle differences. Together they add color, brighten the space, make the soil come alive and yet individually they retain their differences, love themselves, flutter and sway in their own individualistic style. We humans have much more opportunity to retain our individuality and yet collective make a huge difference. Our strengths of intelligence, physically strength, inner strength, our feelings, attitudes, approach all contribute in varied ways to leave our individuality in the environment around us. All we need to do is recognize these strengths and leverage it and be aware of our limitations and acknowledge it and work around it.

Go that extra mile to make a difference – No matter what the terrain, the soil, the climatic condition and the physical risks like animals eating it up or insects destroying it, wild flowers sprout, grow and enliven the environment. What we can see and appreciate are the wild flowers that outgrew their adversity to make a difference.  As individuals each of us would have personal problems, individual limitations, doubts, fears and apprehensions. Yet we need to believe in ourselves, focus on what we can do and when needed make that extra effort to fulfill our potential. There would be setbacks, there would be criticism, there could be huge risks but like the wild flower, cling to our self belief and bloom wherever you are.

Cooperate without compromising – remain dignified – Look carefully at the wildflowers and you would see that some of them have malformed petals or partially eaten petals or a rotting stem. Yet from a distance they still sway in the wind, their colors brighten the dull foliage. They cooperate with the environment, are aware of the harsh realities but they don’t stoop and prostrate to the vagaries of nature. They retain their dignity inspite of the adversity. This is one lesson that we human beings must imbibe. Don’t succumb to temptations, pressures, criticism and threats. Cooperate with the environment around but never compromise. Be dignified; be true to your conscience, your values, your ethics and your principles. Bloom with head held high, shoulders erect and pride intact.

Enjoy life; brighten the world; make a difference to yourself and to the world around.

Try these:

  1. Identify the special characteristics / qualities that make you unique and different from your siblings/ cousins / classmates / friends. List out 3 of your strengths and identify 1 major weakness.
  2. What frustrates you the most? Do you think you can do something to alleviate your frustration? How will you go about implementing your plan to alleviate your frustration?
  3. Recollect an incident/ incidents in your life that you feel embarrassed about. Do you think you would have handled the situation differently today?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Making yesterday jealous

4 - Making yesterday jelousOne of the biggest challenges that human beings face is feeling enthusiastic everyday and enjoying each moment of life. One way is to define a purpose / a goal for one’s own self and make this the focus for making progress. This is what largely drives entrepreneurs. The trouble is, most of us are not naturally self driven, so setting a goal itself becomes a challenge. This is particularly true with those who are employees. They are largely confronted by the same routine work, have little leeway to bring creativity into their jobs and largely feel unappreciated However, every individual can bring enthusiasm to their daily routine and life by adopting some simple steps. This is the way to make today so awesome that yesterday gets jealous.

Visualize your role as an important task in the overall scheme of things. The role that one plays in the overall scheme of things is often not know to us and as a result, we tend to undervalue our contribution. It is essential to appreciate and believe that your role is critical to the next process and also to all subsequent processes all of which lead to positive results along the way. This perspective helps one value their role and job.

Learn to appreciate others and also to identify the appreciation given by others to you. You will notice that whenever you appreciate someone genuinely you feel a sense of satisfaction. You would also observe that others too start noticing and appreciating your efforts. At times you may even get some subtle hints for improvements which are actually an appreciation of your real capabilities and potential that you can realize.

Don’t be a loner; focus on being a team player. It is possible that you are exceptionally talented and can do an outstanding job. However, it is important to be aware that your role just prepares the way for others to carry on the good work forward. While you must take pride in your abilities, it is very important that you give credit, act responsibly and work in tandem with your team members. Team members will begin to then value your contribution, start depending on you more and ensure that you are an integral part of the team process from planning to execution to sharing credit and relishing success.

Make your work environment and work a creative endeavor. Even the most mundane tasks can be made interesting and enjoyable by adding a dash of creativity. It could be as simple as varying your routine, adding zing to your work area, adopting new practices at work, delegating work where possible and taking on something different. Creativity is no ones prerogative and so each one has the potential to unleash their creativity and make their work environment and the work itself exciting, interesting and pleasurable.

Adopt a work mantra that incorporates standardization, simplification and elimination. With a little imagination, a dash of enterprise and loads of self confidence most routine jobs can be standardized. This will then enable one to simplify the job by adopting / adapting relevant technology. It is also possible that some systems that are irrelevant and superfluous can be eliminated in the process. Periodically reviewing one’s job and the relevance of each task will help one identify areas for improvement. It would also help one appreciate one’s responsibility better and it becomes a motivator to give off one’s best.

Grow in your job by taking on more challenges, grabbing opportunities and being a smart worker. Those who grow in their jobs and get a bigger role are people who have mastered the art of taking on new challenges, letting go jobs they have mastered and most importantly worked hard and also worked smartly. If one gets comfortable in doing the routine, growth will be stunted. You can do something new when you are willing to move out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. Perhaps this would require fresh learning, possibly require more hard work and for sure involves the risk of making mistakes. Yet, new challenges provide stimulus, variety and growth prospects. Smart work is intelligently tackling the tasks on hand. This could involve experimenting, inviting problems and opening yourself to criticism. However, it could also mean realizing your potential, showcasing your talents and finding more interesting opportunities.

Go on an try to make your yesterday jealous !!!

Try this:

  1. Think of 3- 5 things that you will do to make your work space more appealing, less cluttered and a fun place to work from.
  2. Here is a little exercise to test your creativity. It is simpler than you think but you will have to visualize things quite differently to find the answer.
  3. Parking Slot No
  4. Here is another simple quiz to stimulate your grey cells. The answer to the first question is given to help you get an idea of the solution.
  • Q1. Which alphabet is a question? Y
  • Q2. Which alphabet is an insect?
  • Q3. Which alphabet is a part of our body?
  • Q4. Which alphabet is a drink?
  • Q5. Which alphabet is a vegetable?
  • Q6. Which alphabet is in geometry box?
  • Q7. Which alphabet is a source of salt?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Reboot your life

13-14-Reboot your life with a new software

As we meander through life, there are many times when we question ourselves about the path we are traversing, the goal we are aspiring for and the means we adopt to arrive at our destination. For many others life is not a walk in the park but a race against time and even they would be occasionally haunted by similar thoughts. We struggle to find a proper answer not because we ask the wrong question but because we dismiss the answers that stare at us as illogical or improbable. Far too often life simply tells us to reboot our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self with a rider that we need to upgrade our system before the reboot.

Since childhood, by and large, the family, our educational and our social environment have had a major influence on our thoughts and decisions. Our personal system is therefore loaded with version 1, with occasional patches that selectively upgrade bits and pieces of our self, mainly academic, professional and personal. However in a fast paced, evolving world, keeping up with the changes around calls for constant upgrades in our personal operating system. At times our hardware would seem inadequate but with some creative tweeking we can even ensure that our hardware to is adequate to meet the system requirements.

To ensure your personal hardware and software is kept up to date here are some areas to focus upon.

Urge to learn

Overcoming inhibitions is the first step to learning.  Be it a new skill or coping with the demands of evolving technology one must shed our inhibitions and plunge ahead. Many a time we do succumb to believing in the old adage of ‘ an old dog cannot learn new tricks’; instead focus on learning new things to feel and remain young.

Being open to possibilities and ideas is a natural byproduct of the urge to learn. Reading opens windows to numerous possibilities. Similarly thinking and reflecting stimulates ideas. Interaction with others, experimenting, attempting something offbeat, seeking alternatives are ways and means of expanding the possibilities and ideas that we can leverage.

Being proactive

Seek opportunities could involve moving out of our comfort zone and taking risks. Instead of waiting for things to happen, we must make things happen. Every problem no matter what the gravity of it is, offers each of us a chance to use all our faculties to come up with solutions.

Connect with the changing environment and embrace the new dynamics. Don’t wait for changes to take you by surprise but go out an meet them. Dinosaurs they say became extinct because they did not or could not adapt to change; don’t let that be your fate.

Dare to be different

Listen to the heart for it can give you the confidence and the gumption to do things which could challenge your confidence, stretch you to the limits and yet free your spirit and allow you to soar. Ever thought of being a Santa Claus at a mall and entertain the kids? So what is stopping you from attempting it?

Don’t be intimidated by the enormity of the challenges or your own lack of experience. Remember there is always a first time for everything. More importantly remember that failure is only a blip not the end; for almost everything in life we don’t get it right the first time. Ever seen a baby taking its first steps; tentative, unsure but never inhibited.

Enjoy the moments

Find lessons in failures and disappointments for it will give you a reason to rework, retry and redeem yourself and realize that success can be relished when we can confront our failures and disappointments.

Create happiness as often as you can and a smile is just the simplest way to traversing that path. Letting the child in you come to the fore, listening to the woes of others, offering encouragement, being large hearted be it in forgiving or in sharing time, talent and money are some other avenues that we need to explore. Learning to appreciate comes a close second to smiling when it comes to creating happiness.

Try this:

Urge to learn – learn a new language, a new game, explore a new place / hobby, gentlemen should attempt a role reversal and do the normal chores done by the lady in the house.

Be proactive – write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper on local issues until at least 2 letters are published. Go visit a prison / mental asylum.

Dare to be different- Ladies should try and learn a percussion instrument for at least a month. Gentlemen are encouraged to learn some form of classical dancing for a month.

Enjoy the moments – Write down 3 positives you got from your biggest failure you have experienced. Think of the best compliments you ever received from a non family member or friend.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be happy first and transmit it automatically

Happiness is that state of mind where negativity is banished, optimism exudes and one easily finds a reason no matter what, to remain cheerful. A simple test to the relative happiness quotient is truthfully answering the question ‘Do I suffer from Monday morning blues?’  If you can be as cheerful on a Monday morning as you are on a weekend, be sure you are blessed with abundant happiness.

However the vast majority reading this would say ‘I ain’t so lucky; so what is the secret to being happy?’  So here goes…

See the positives   No matter what the situation, there is a positive and a negative side to it. Focus on the positives. Unfortunately most of us are inclined to see the negatives partly due to force of habit, sometimes due to our jealous nature and occasionally because we limit our imagination. E.g. A student getting 99/100 can either enjoy his/ her success or can keep brooding over how/where/why that 1 mark was lost. There are positives even in extreme situations like failure/ death/ illness etc. but we have to imaginatively identify those positives and then happiness won’t be far behind.

Manage your thoughts Some of us are extremely imaginative in seeing the worst case scenario.  These people can spot a problem in every opportunity; they can rattle of a dozen reasons why something positive can’t happen and they can use their vivid imagination to make a mountain out of a molehill. E.g. You suddenly discover that your mobile phone is missing. Even as you frantically search, your mind has conjured up visions of never finding it, the possibility that someone has robbed it, the probability that anyone who finds it will not return it and quite often extreme frustration at ones on carelessness. Assuming that you find that mobile, instead of being really happy, a new set of questions would pop up. How did it fall of? Did it fall off or did someone try to pinch it unsuccessfully? If I didn’t find it all my contacts would have been lost; I would have to buy a new phone if I didn’t find it etc would be added thoughts that would puncture the happiness of having located the missing mobile phone.

Invest in relationships A good incubator of happiness is the society around you, the people you interact with and you being accessible, social and helpful. Relationships offer support, comfort and motivation essential ingredients to foster a happy environment. E.g. when there is a tragedy in the form of illness or death or failure happiness is hard to come by. Yet with the outpouring of concern, care and consolation, happiness is ignited much faster even if the grief takes a while to be overcome.

Live don’t merely exist Don’t just be creatures of habits. The vast majority of salaried employees follow the dictum 2 punches (attendance) and one lunch. Quiz these people on how life is and invariably the reply will be tinged with boredom, frustration, exasperation, irritation and indifference. Those who do not value their lives and make it count would always find life too tough, very hard to bear and extremely boring. The trick is making life interesting by being more open to ideas, attempting the challenging, taking calculated risks and doing things differently. E.g. Give in to your inner craving and just do it. My blog is an outcome of such a whim and if you have read so far it is proof that I haven’t wasted my time. My happiness is in having so many of you engrossed and engaged in my writing.  So when are you going to find the happiness in your passion?

Enjoy the moment The London Olympics 2012 are just a few months away. Some athletes and sportsmen have made the cut. Others have fallen by the way. The more unlucky ones have been waylaid by injury. Yet even the ones who do not make it to the Olympics will still actively engage in their sport for they have learnt to enjoy every moment of their lives. E.g. Even as I am writing this I am acutely aware that I haven’t written for over 2 weeks. This long hiatus has also dulled my enthusiasm, dried up my creative juices and has made writing this post a tad more tough. Yet, I am reveling in the reality that I have not lost my touch and I have put behind all the difficulties that impeded my regular output. Hopefully the happiness at being able to indulge in my passion is evident in this post.

Action Points:

  1. Can you find something unique in the way the title/ heading  of each paragraph was developed? The big secret to happiness is hidden in the way the paragraph headings were developed.
  2. List out 3 situations where you would be most happy. Have you experienced any of these situations?
  3. Name an object, thing, place, animal and person that immediately conjures up a happy image for you. Why do you think the said name evokes such happiness for you?
  4. Write in to actspot@gmail.com and share with us the joke / anecdote that thrills you to bits. If there are sufficient responses I could compile the best ones and share it with the readers through this blog and you can take pride in the fact that you did your bit to spread happiness too.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Making the best of holidays

Just as a puppy can be more of a challenge than a gift, so too can the holidays. John Clayton

With the Divali season around the corner, a sizeable section of the people in India are already in a holiday frenzy. Soon thereafter Christmas would be around the corner and practically three fourths of the rest of the world would be experiencing the same holiday frenzy.  While everyone eagerly looks forward to the holidays, the overwhelming majority of people are confused, apprehensive and hesitant about how to make best use of the holidays. Worse still is the fact that most people are completely unprepared to welcome the holidays. As a result the holiday season can often be a stressful period unless one makes adequate preparations to make the best use of the gift of holidays.

For those wedded to customs, traditions and rituals, the initial part of the holidays are well laid out in as much as they follow the accepted customs and norms. The real challenge is thereafter. Travel is the most preferred option for many but the destination poses problems as much as the means of travel and the duration. Of course the biggest headache still remains the finances. What is not really noticed is that the real problem is ‘not paying attention to planning and preparing’ for the holidays. Any form of travel involves reasonable planning right from destination to dates and mode of travel and stay and how best to utilize the time at the chosen destination. If for whatever reason travel is ruled out then making the best use of holidays requires even more thought and deliberation for the options are rarely crystal clear mainly because we don’t pay much attention to it and prefer to work out on the spur of the moment. Net result is that we end the holidays with a sense of regret of having wasted it.

So the question that begs attention is ‘what else can one do with the holidays’?  Here are some alternatives for reflection and perusal especially for those not traveling during the holidays.

  • Catch up on reading / movies / hobbies/ some quirks that were left on the back burner (eg. Experimenting with or understanding alternate therapy’s, learning magic / card tricks, go bird watching with a professional)
  • Reorganizing the house and bring about some much needed change including rummaging through piled up / hoarded knick knacks and disposing of the unwanted stuff.
  • Entertaining people who you could not otherwise invite due to, either their preoccupation or your own hectic life style.
  • Detailed planning, (especially if a surprise party is planned) for some important events coming up like the golden jubilee of your parents wedding anniversary or a milestone birthday of a close relative.
  • You can indulge the spouse / children/ family members with some surprises like a swim and dinner or day long picnic to a completely new locale.
  • Use the holidays to sensitize the family to the needs of others and the reality of life by visiting an orphanage/ old age home/ shelter for challenged children or invite a couple of challenged children home to spend a day.

Many of you reading this post would suddenly get wary and wonder if the alternatives listed are practical and more importantly would the end result be a real holiday. It is all a matter of attitude. If you can plan and prepare, the efforts will never be wasted even if the end result is not what is hoped for.  Unless you try you never know. In any case by experimenting it will just be one holiday season that could be wasted but by never planning most holidays would end up being a challenge rather than a pleasure.

Remember: Holidays in general breed unrealistic expectations. The minute you start wondering, ‘is it going to be wonderful enough?, it never will be.  Pepper Schwartz

Try this:

  1. Assuming that finance is not a constraint make a list of alternates that you will have lined up if you get a 4 day holiday suddenly.
  2. Recollect the best holiday you ever had. Now also recount the  worst holiday season that you went through when you felt your holidays were wasted ( if you fell sick or a tragedy occurred then do not count them as worst holidays). Can you identify the reasons that made the first holiday so much fun and the other one a rather indifferent or miserable one?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Nothing is really work…

Nothing is really work unless you’d rather be doing something else. James Barrie. Peter Pan

This is a very unorthodox way of viewing work, but if one ponders long enough, the truth in the statement will liberate us from feeling like a bonded laborer.  The reality is that each one of us without exception would have experienced the pangs of having to do something that is unappealing, boring and perhaps unavoidable. No sooner that task is replaced with something that we are keen to do, appealing to us and exciting to our way of thinking, we enjoy the process. With rare exceptions, there is no task that is so engaging that one can happily embrace it for the rest of our lives. The trick in making our living worthwhile is in focusing fully on the task on hand as an opportunity to leverage our time, talent and our temperament. There is no better example than the cheerful way a mother goes about her chores despite the children making the most unreasonable demands on her.

Many times the work we enjoy doing best is ‘doing nothing’ because then there are no targets set, no deadlines to be met and the icing on the cake is the fact that it takes very little effort. However, sooner than later, we are racked with guilt that we have whiled away our time, the miserable feeling of productive time having being squandered away and our inherent sense of responsibility prick us. We then put our nose to the grind not willingly but more as an obligation to be discharged and the resultant effort becomes work that is unavoidable. Yet if can reorient our thought process to view the effort as harnessing our resources to do what is essential under the circumstances, the time spent would seem to fly and the entire process would seem to be enriching and rewarding. E.g. Very few of us enjoy the process of filing our income tax returns because we see it as ultimately ‘giving to Ceaser’ what belongs to us. However if we can see it as an opportunity to better plan our finances and taxes we would eagerly put our heart and soul into it and ensure we don’t have to worry about the taxman’s ‘Damocles Sword’.

How does one cope with tasks that one despises, finds repulsive and would rather avoid given half a chance? The strategy to cope with such a situation is to first be fully aware that each and every individual does face this dilemma. The second is to accept the reality as it exists and not to make any pretence of ignoring its existence. The third is to avoid procrastination and take the bull by its horns so that we tackle the issue rather than spend futile hours speculating on how to bypass the unavoidable reality. By this three pronged strategy, we reconcile to the reality that there is nothing else that we must tackle than what is staring at us. Once we begin the task with earnestness and fortitude, we would relentlessly pour our energies into  completing the task. The euphoria that we experience soon after we tackle our demons is the ecstasy of life.

Remember:  It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.  Pablo Picasso

Try this:

  1. Assuming you are shifting to your new house, list out what excites you about it and what are those activities related to the shifting process that you dread most ? How would you cope with those tasks that you dread but cannot avoid or pass it on to anyone else?
  2. What are those demons in life you would ideally love to avoid? (Here are a few pointers to help you reflect on various possibilities.) How would you use the learning fro, today’s post to tackle the demons and actually enjoy the process??
  • Exercise to lose weight
  • Making  a list of resolutions and following it faithfully
  • Carrying work home
  • Having to sacrifice your favorite TV show (being shown live) to accompany your child to his/her best friends most (boring in your opinion) party

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Life story

Ten out of ten people die, so don’t take life too seriously.

After diligently managing to write this blog almost daily during 2010, I made a momentous decision to write only from Sunday to Thursday thus giving myself a break on Friday and Saturday. It was a tough decision to make for I was quite certain that I was letting my readers down. However things got worse when last week a combination of lack of motivation, overwhelming laziness and some minor illness combined to distract me from writing the blog with the same sense of urgency of the previous year.  I was therefore rather distraught when a couple of followers checked out with me as to why I had not posted my blog for a couple of days.  I was however  jolted into reality that I should set my own pace and enjoy what I do rather than force myself to do it because life is to be lived and not become a mere existence for me or for that matter for anyone. Today’s quote simply reiterates the point.

A simple test to understand the point is to recollect the names of people whose company you enjoy and to simultaneously list those people who, given a choice, you would avoid at all costs.  There would be a common thread that binds the first set of people and a dramatically different tread that binds the second set of people.  The first set of people would invariably be gregarious, have a contagious laugher, be very positive, often are spontaneous and they never seem to carry or display their problems or worries. On the other hand the second set of people seem to be glum, morose, negative, brooding, perhaps offensive in interactions and definitely seem to be cross with themselves and the world at large and their own fate in particular.

So how does one ensure that life is not burden to be carried but a song to be sung? The obvious answer is to reorient our mental conditioning and to view life as a song and not a burden. The next step is to set aside all worries about being a competent singer but to sing with the gay abandon that we all display as bathroom singers. Yes the key is to enjoy the song in our heart and sing to the beat that stirs us passionately. This kind of an attitude is not as easy as it sounds for many of us are more concerned as to how to utilize the lottery winnings than in the probability of winning the lottery. Life becomes a burden when we try to meet other people’s expectations and then we are in the vice like grip of the seven deadly sins of pride, envy, glutton, lust, anger, greed and sloth.

To be more pragmatic, here is a little self test. How many of us know anything much about our own great grandfather/ grandmother? In 99% cases the answer will be that we know precious little about him/ her. Yet we would believe that they did in their time contribute significantly to the family tradition and sustenance and possibly took their roles very seriously. Yet a couple of generations down the line there is no remembrance about the contribution let alone recognition. If they lead their lives in all seriousness and in a dour and self sacrificing manner, they would be definitely regretting it now. On the other hand if they had fun while taking care of their responsibilities they would have happily, cheerfully and ardently welcome death; for as the philosopher said ‘in the long run we are all dead’.

Remember: “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Try this:

  1. Recollect 3 of the happiest moments of your life. Now identify the reasons for that happiness. One of the prime reasons could be that almost everyone around enjoyed that moment. Now look at yourself as an inexhaustible reservoir of good cheer and begin to live life with a smile.
  2. Make a list of the following
  • The 3 regrets you have in life
  • The 3 hurts you cannot forget
  • Your three most painful moments
  • The 3 people you haven’t thanked enough
  • The 3 ambitions yet to be fulfilled
  • Your three favorites jokes

Now thrash the first three lists and begin working on the next three lists.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Taking interest

Real unselfishness consists in sharing the interests of others.  George Santayana

In our daily interactions we are bound to meet a large cross section of people some of whom we forge friendships and with others we maintain a purely professional relationship. What is common to both types of interactions is that there is some common ground for dialogue, discussion and decision making. When the area of common ground expands professional associations migrate into friendships and we forge stronger bonds and ties. The undercurrent that is flowing all the while is in the interchange of ideas, thoughts and interests that the interested parties have in common. If there is no commonality of interest the possibility of that relationship sustaining is very minimal.

The big trouble of communication in any relationship is that we cannot always find common ground that interests all parties.  There is always at least one topic which one party loves and the other party finds it hard to appreciate. If a person is passionate about something he/ she will always be gung-ho about it and would love to find an ardent listener, alas if we do not like the topic we would make all attempts to indicate so. The reason for this is that we are selfish by nature and find it painful to put up with what does not interest us. If we are prepared to see things from the other person’s point of view and be patient we would make the profound discovery that we can forge wonderful relationships.

Do we fake interest in others interests? Good salesmen are quite adept at doing this, for they have with experience learned to initially fake attention, pretend to show interest and try to pry into the passions of the buyer. They are well aware that if one can pander to the interest of the buyer, it won’t be long before they can get the potential buyer to be interested in what they have to sell. Notice that the salesman has a long term motive that drives him/her to start off by faking interest but then quickly reorient their mindset to actually participate in the potential buyer’s interest.  Each one of us must make this effort when we are clear that we have to be interested in the other party. Mark McCormack in his bestselling  book What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School gives an example of how he paid attention to the secretary in the office of a potential sponsor, who was cutting stamps from the inward mail envelopes, for the bosses  son who was an avid stamp collector. The next time Mark visited the sponsoror, he carried with him a huge collection of stamps for the potential sponsor’s son. This little gesture of paying attention to an innocuous activity paid rich dividends for Mark who bagged the huge sponsorship deal.

One can really benefit by paying attention and taking interest in others because, we establish common ground, draw people to ourselves and forge new alliances. In the long run, it is to these relationships that we can safely turn to and leverage whenever we need to. This is because we have unselfishly made the effort to draw people to ourselves and by taking in interest in them we have reinforced the bonds of friendship. In being unselfish we have not laid any conditions nor kept any expectations and so the relationship is spontaneous, genuine and endearing.

Remember: “A person with a hundred interests is twice as alive as one with only fifty and four times as alive as the man who has only twenty-five”  Norman Vincent Peale

Try this:

  1. Try to learn a new sport/ card game./ card trick/ skill. How easy was it to pick up the new activity? What contributed to the speed of picking up?  Did you get frustrated initially and how did you motivate yourself when frustrated?
  2. Identify 3 boring people who you prefer to avoid. Analyze why you find them a bore? Make an attempt to meet one of these persons and spend at least an hour with this person. Have you made any new observations about the person? Identify 3 strengths of the person that you never knew.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Happiness is our choice

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln

Happiness is a choice that each of us has to exercise. Look around and you will see laughter emitting from the shanties around the cities suburbs and similar hearty guff’s and peals of laughter emitting from the homes of the rich and the famous. There will be smiles and laughter in old age homes, the hospitals and the prisons too. The able bodied and the challenged; the young and the old; those on opposing sides of the political spectrum too will enjoy themselves and let their hair down and enjoy the pleasures that they can appreciate. Happiness is there all around, we just need to find it, create it and disperse it so as to enjoy it.

How can one find happiness is the question many people ask and they immediately list out their huge lists of woes. To find happiness one needs to put the list of owes in the hip pocket and fetch our list of blessings from the front pocket where it is snuggly kept close to our heart.  Yes we have plenty to be happy about. The fact that we are alive is the greatest reason to be happy. You can enjoy the bliss in this world only if you are alive not just in body but in spirit too. If you win the third prize in the lottery it is pointless and self defeating to moan that you missed the first prize because the vast majority lost the cost of the ticket itself. Almost all of us cannot enjoy happiness simply because we are jealous of the riches of others, their possessions and their show and pomp. Rather than eating and enjoying  the fruits in our basket we let them rot and instead we are salivating over those fruits that we have no hope of smelling let alone tasting.

Many of us are under the mistaken impression that creating happiness is a tough job for we are dealing with a sad, lonely and forlorn world. Using some skewed logic we thing creating happiness is the job of clowns and jokers and stand up comedians. Reality is that these professionals only force laugher but true happiness must radiate from within. Ever noticed the contended gurgle of a baby who has a full feed; that is happiness and bliss. Ever noticed the coy smile of a young lady who has been showered with lavish praise for her demur and beauty; that is happiness. Creating happiness is simply a function of being positively honest and genuinely reaching out. When we can truthfully appreciate, honestly praise, reach out with love and tenderly touch another we are creating happiness that will pervade the people and the environment around.

Dispersing happiness is very simple; just see everything positively. Never react in anger, be patient, have a good word to share, let love overcome resentment, put others at ease, be good kind and considerate and always SMILE.  No one can ever overlook a smile. They might turn away but their hearts will have felt the smile, they might still shed tears but their hearts feel warmer and they might act indifferent but their grouse would have started melting. Happiness is all about easing pain, feeling nice and ultimately feeling RIGHT in the HEART.

Remember: “Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.”

Try this:

  1. List out 5 problems that are troubling you. Now find out at least 2 positives each problem. Eg. I am weak in maths. Positive could be my job does not involve too much of maths or maths has not obstructed my progress in life. Ask yourself if the positives make you feel happier that your problems are not as terrible as you thought it to be.
  2. Spread happiness by being lavish with praise for others, smiling more, sharing a clean joke, dressing well, surprising someone with a gift, helping someone in need, seeking out a lonely person and spending time with him / her etc. After all what goes around comes around and soon you will be enjoying the bliss that comes from being happy.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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