Tag: Enjoyment

Making the best of holidays

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell. George Bernard Shaw

For those who are wondering why this blog has not been updated, let me clarify that I was on a holiday in Mysore and Waynad (Kerala). While it was a  well planned and refreshing break, I did occasionally feel guilty that I was not updating the blogs and in rare moments of boredom, did miss the fast pace of professional life. I thought it appropriate therefore to share my views on the above quote on holidays and put matters in perspective.

With very rare exceptions, almost every human being has at some point in time yearned to take a long holiday, preferably a perennial one. The idea of a holiday is often too simplistic and is often simply interpreted as ‘doing nothing’, ‘lazing around’ just relaxing’ or ‘doing just what I want’. Some of us could possibly have undergone a forced holiday due to a job loss or having to quit a job for reasons beyond ones control or forced into taking sick leave to recoup from some major illness but the stress that accompanies such holidays makes it a psychological torture. There could also be a miniscule lot who have taken voluntary retirement with no clear plans as to what to do next. The common thread in all these holidays is that ‘Time suddenly seems to weigh heavily’ on us and the uncertainty of how to while away ones time suddenly becomes an ominous dilemma.

A good holiday therefore should be one that is discerned, earned and planned. While some holidays could be thoroughly enjoyed when they are spontaneous and sudden, the real fun of a holiday is in selecting the right time of the holiday, the type of holiday sought and in ensuring that it is something that will bring pleasure, relaxation and a lingering pleasure. This is tricky especially if it is a family holiday for each member would have different expectations and ideas about the holiday. Discernment then is all about finding the right balance and consensus. Anyone with money can afford to simply splurge on holidays and possibly have a lifelong holiday. The reality is that hardly anyone does it because the real fun of a holiday is when we are convince we truly deserve a break, a change of scene and e do not feel guilty of taking off without having complete the expected chores expected of us. Holidays should elp one unwind, enable all who are holidaying to experience a different high and most of all help one soak in the moment, the pleasure and the leisure.

The kicker in any holiday is the fun of planning it out; the thrill of exploring possibilities, fitting it all in within a time and budget constraints and ensuring that we do not miss out on anything. While the intent is right, the reality is that the planning involves a lot of stress, fortunately most of it is positive stress, and it helps us connect with our human self through varied emotions of hope, frustration, joy, regret, confusion, frustration, and ecstasy when one puts it all together. More than anything else planning provides purpose and goals which keep us focused and provides us the carrot of motivation, the pleasure of anticipation, the wonder of experience and the thrill of achievement all of which adds up to make an enjoyable holiday.

If you just take of on a holiday and if that is a long drawn one, then after the initial euphoria of being a free bird is over, the lack of goals, the absence of a sense of purpose, the monotony of trying to battle with time and frustration of not achieving anything worthwhile will make life painful, boring and tortuous; something akin to hell on earth.

Remember: Every man who possibly can, should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not. William James

Try this:

  1. Make a list of the various types of holidays you would like to ideal take. A couple of ideas are given below for your ready reference
  • Visit the wildlife
  • Explore the mountain side/ valleys
  • Go trekking
  • Explore the wonders overseas
  • Go back packing/ cycling
  • Make a religious tour
  • Spend time with tribals
  1.  Analyze the last holiday you had and list our 3 good things and 3 things that you could have planned better. Now work on a 2 week holiday plan to be executed before the end of  May 2012.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

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

Laugh and the world…

Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone. Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be very popular whilst there are some others who seem to be whiners and losers? Observe both sets of people closely and you will make out the simple difference that sets both types of people apart. The former are always self assured, confident and gregarious while the later are forever complaining, perennially highlighting their problems and constantly seeking sympathy. Obviously people are drawn towards those who spread good cheer. Most people will give a wide berth to those who are weepy, bitter and dissatisfied with life for they would only be spreading negative vibes all the time.

If you have been to a circus you would have your eyes peeled on the circus clowns who seem to bumble their way through their act and keep the audience in splits. They get the maximum applause, have long stints in the act and they easily fit into any act. They actually act as the glue that puts the entire 3 hour act together. Go to a shopping mall and you will find a number of cartoon characters entertaining the visitors to the mall. Notice that they are constantly moving around and interacting with the people for their strength lies in ensuring that the crowd is drawn to them. Look at a more somber scene; a funeral. Here every one has a long face, there are a few who are weeping bitterly and everyone just wants the ceremony to be over and done with. Something similar is again enacted in a hospital most times. These two contrasting scenes draw attention to the reality that people are drawn to laughs and dislike melancholy immensely.

Of late the latest fad is to forward SMS jokes and humorous email forwards. While an overload of the same can be extremely irritating and annoying, more often than not we read the message before deleting. It would also naturally follow that you laugh loudly or at least chuckle a bit and perhaps you forward it in turn.  Rarely do you ask the sender to take you of the forward list. Unconsciously we are being partial towards anything that can make us smile and laugh. When we contrast this with our relationships with those who are sad and in pain, we do sympathize with them but find it hard to spend a good part of valuable time just being around and trying to assuage their feelings of hurt and pain. The net result is that those who cannot get over their grief, their complaints, their nagging soon find themselves alone, lonely and wallowing in self pity.

Many of us feel that we don’t have the gift of the gab, cannot recount jokes, cannot be the centre of attention and that makes us introverts. The reality is that to laugh and have fun, there is no compulsion that you need to be the initiator of it all. All it requires is the ability to enthusiastically participate, heartily encourage and remain genuinely interested in the proceedings. Of course it helps if we are more demonstrative and articulate too. It would be very useful to read a lot, in particular focus on having a stock of good jokes and practice telling jokes so that it flows easily. Coming up with good repartees and one liners too would boost both your self confidence and your fan following.  However be careful not to sound sarcastic or get too personal when cracking jokes at another’s expense.  Never sit around with a frown on the face or be snappy and ill mannered or you will soon find yourself all alone.

Remember: A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Try this:

  1. Prepare a list of your favorite jokes and attempt to say it without telling it by rote.  If you can, memorize a few humorous limericks, one liners and puns and use it whenever possible. Do not be disheartened if you are not appreciated at first. (Avoid vulgar jokes in public, biased or sexist comments or anything that could be offensive to anyone.)
  2. Whenever possible take the initiative; be it to organize some event, preparing games for a party, giving a speech etc.  Notice that leaders are always looked up to and invariably they are a motivating force. This ability to motivate and lead is equivalent to the ability to raise a good laugh for one is never lonely as a leader (unless you misuse your power).

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Follow your heart

I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate. George Burns

How many of us can cross our hearts and say that we passionately enjoy whatever we do? For most of us what we do is not as enjoyable as what we would have loved to do. No doubt there will also be a few people who are blessed with the gift of thoroughly enjoying the work and their career, but for the vast majority what we do is by and large the second priority choice that we have taken up to make a living. Ideally what we should have chosen is something that we enjoy every moment of our life.

Unfortunately, compulsions of making a living forces us make compromises and we end up doing things which given a choice we would happily say pass. For many of us talent, hard work and diligence will assure us success but we would still be left with an emptiness within us. There are two reasons why we fall in this trap; the first is the dictates of societal norms where people are expected to follow a set norm  and the second reason is our inability to believe in our dreams. Academic excellence, for example is the yardstick used by conventional society, to sift the wheat from the chaff when it comes to respectability in society, financial clout notwithstanding. Some set norms of attaining status that have grown over the years is becoming an engineer or a doctor or an MBA or a CA. Most other options have a secondary tag psychologically attached to it and so irrespective of our interest, liking or aptitude we pursue one of the preferred options.

If we assume that we have a deep and abiding interest in some non conventional careers or business choice like being an environmental activist or being a marine biologist or a naturalist we would face pressures from various quarters with the primary argument being will it be a paying profession that can sustain you financially over the long term. At this point many of us begin to harbor grave doubts about our future in the said field and quietly slither away to pursue the societal norms. The moment we have self doubts we will always take a path that gives us more confidence in the future but possibly very little to feel elated about. Perhaps this quest for happiness and contentment is the catalyst that compels many a successful individual to abandon his / her pursuits and change tracks to follow his / her heart’s desire. Some give up successful corporate careers to become founders of NGO’s, move into teaching, become social activists, take up their passion in the fine arts etc.

Not all who follow their hearts desire end up as great successes because they may soon realize that have their own limitations in pursuing their dreams. However the joy and pleasure they get in doing what they crave to do is something that success in their previous avatar may never have given. Bliss is the feeling that envelopes anyone following his / her heart’s desire; appreciation, success and recognition are all secondary to them.

Remember: “Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”

Try this:

  1. What were the 3 professions/ business ventures that you would have ideally liked to be in? What prevented you from following that path?  If you ever decide to pursue any of these options when will you begin? How will you judge that it is time for you to change tracks?
  2. Read the article on Mr.P.G Tenzing in the following link http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Officer-who-quit-IAS-to-tour-India-dies/652706 . Can you appreciate his craving and passion?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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