Tag: Failures

Failure is not the opposite of success

38- Faliure is not the opposite of successOnce we can orient our thinking to appreciate the tremendous insight provided by the above quote, chances are, we will never be apprehensive or fearful of failure. Failure has been stigmatized, it has been projected as the antonym of success and it has been the one word that every individual has been cautioned to keep away from. The reality is that failure has merits but unfortunately the word failure has been demonized and the merits cast away.  A glimpse of how failure is an essential part of success is shared below.

Provides painful lessons grasped quickly – While success is craved by everyone, the lessons from success are not as strongly ingrained in the mind as much as lessons learned from failure. Failure could be a painful outcome despite a good effort so it hurts more. However, it is the lessons learnt  from failure that enables one to reorient ones thinking, enables one to be creative, helps change ones approach to a problem and remains a constant reminder on how to avoid previous mistakes so as to achieve success. E.g. if one was tardy in studies the fail result in the report card and its consequences would be a good reminder to be more diligent in studies.

It is a hard rock on which one can built something strong – Failure provides one a strong rock like foundation to build on simply because one has to start again but this time one would be more alert, agile and astute. The pain and shame of failure is always a bitter pill to swallow.  Hence next time around one would invest time, energy and effort very cautiously and prudently so as to ensure one does not fitter away one’s resources.  At the same time failure highlights the chinks in one’s armor, helps one realize the importance of going back to the drawing board to work on a more robust plan that can succeed.  E.g. Steve Jobs life provides you a perfect script of success being tempered by failure and subsequent bigger success.

It acts as speed breakers on the high way of success – Success is often very heady and that can lead to reckless behavior. A failure is a wonderful speed breaker that tempers one’s exuberance, helps slow down ones pace to suit our temperament and above all ensures that we pause to refresh, recharge and resist the temptation to be over ambitious and take reckless risks. E.g. look at the monumental failures of once billionaires who took dubious means to multiply their wealth till their failures were exposed

It sensitizes one to be more humane and pragmatic The true measure of success is how one can have a positive influence on the environment around. Yet many equate success with wealth, influence and power alone.  Failure helps one realize his / her human failings, makes one look around in a more humane way and then channelizes success for the larger good of society. E.g. The spurt in voluntary CSR initiatives of corporates or the philanthropic initiatives of the rich are an acknowledgement of their belief that they have failed to use their wealth for the larger good of mankind and they are now making efforts to correct that.

It is just one extreme end of the continuum called life– Success is one end of a continuum called life. At the other end is failure. Seen differently they are two sides of a coin. You cannot relish success with out a taste of failure. One can better appreciate the joys of success only when one has tasted the bitterness of failure. Winning a game with no opponents will never give you an euphoria as much as winning games beating tough opponents. It is because failure exits that quest for success becomes more challenging and enjoyable. E.g. Ask Usain Bolt how much more valuable his gold medals from previous Olympics are, especially after his relative failure in his last races.

Try these

  • List out three of your major failure and the lessons each failure taught you.
  • List out your three major successes   and identify any failure that had a part to play in each of those successes.
  • What is the best compliment you ever got? Can you identify 3 reasons that made the compliment really worthwhile?
  • What are the areas of concern for you where you fear failure? What steps are you taking to ensure success in those areas?

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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What do you see?

38-did-you-noticeIf you get irritated by the fact that despite your best efforts, all you get is criticism for what could have been done better, then ask yourself if you are guilty of the same mistake.  Each of us guilty, albeit in varying degrees of being critical, unappreciative and  finger pointing, especially when things do not happen as we plan or hope for. Occasionally some of us even berate ourselves for our lack of success and / or our failures because we find it hard to accept that we could not achieve what we set out to do. The point is that we are pained when others do not appreciate our toil, sweat and tears and unfortunately we too succumb to the same when we undervalue ourselves and others.

Obviously no one can avoid mistakes. However we need to look at mistakes, failures, lack of success from a more holistic view. This will enable one to be less critical, more appreciative and value the efforts, the sacrifices and the struggle without overvaluing momentarily success. The former gives us work ethics; success is an important milestone and motivator but cannot substitute for the discipline, the hard work and the rigor that is the corner stone of every successful person.

So how must one react to mistakes?

Acknowledge – Mistakes happen but it is the way we acknowledge the mistake that ensures it does not cascade into a disaster. If we have made a mistake, be honest about it and acknowledge it. If others have made mistakes, acknowledge the mistake without passing judgment and / or getting emotional about it. Mistakes happen for a variety of reasons and it is patently unfair to judge the mistake without grasping all the facts.

Appreciate – Mistakes happen because someone decided to do something. Even not doing something is a decision. In most cases there is honest effort, clear goals and possibly deep thinking that preceded the action.  One needs to appreciate all these, for often mistakes are not an outcome of these but a result of calculations gone wrong. By appreciating something, the signal is that one values everything done to get success and that not achieving it, is painful for all concerned.

Motivate – Criticism is the easiest thing to do; the challenge is to find something to motivate those who failed, to try again and hopefully succeed. Motivation is essential to keep up morale, kindle hope and most of all to express confidence in the person/s. Motivation pushes people to overcome the past, focus on the future and succeed beyond their capabilities.

Suggest – In the chaos that often follows failure, critics would give opinions, point out mistakes and berate the failure. Instead, an objective feedback in the form of suggestions would be more acceptable to those who are already dejected. In calmer moments they would review the performance and ponder over the suggestions and possibly come out with a better game plan to succeed.

Exude optimism – Every individual requires reassurance; if you are successful you need to be reassured that you can have a repeat performance but it is when you fail that you need to feel that still have it in you to try again and succeed. You exude optimism by being willing to lay your bets on success the next time around, by willing to join the journey the next time around and by proclaiming aloud that you have full faith and confidence. Optimism opens up numerous possibilities, gives greater confidence, you prepared to correct your previous mistakes and most of all you are ready to begin again.

Make it a point to notice the tears, the sadness and the pain first; acknowledge that and only then focus on the mistake.

Try these

  • So list your top 3 failures and what where the reactions of people close to you then. How did you cope with those failures?
  • What did you try differently and did not succeed in the first attempt?  What did you learn from that experience?
  • Do you recollect a time when you criticized someone for a failure and on hindsight realize that either you were wrong or too harsh?
  • What are the things / activities that you are keen to start experiment with but fear of failure is holding you back? How about giving some of those desires a try?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Using your personal power

13-19-Use your power

Even before you read further, ask yourself what are the 3 things that you have done/ achieved in your life that you are most proud of. Do any of those proud moments also include a display of physical or moral courage? For the vast majority of those reading this post, finding 3 achievements to be proud of could possibly be a challenge and certainly finding an achievement displaying courage of any sort could be even more challenging. The simple truth is that for the better part of our life, we are comfortable just meeting the bare requirements that life demands of us. Today’s post exhorts each reader to explore, discover and create a new life in which you experience life in new hues.

 

Here are 4 ways to emit your own frequency and thereby leverage your potential, discover yourself and impact the world around you.

 

Be aware – Awareness comes from being alert and responsive to happenings around. You are often alert when you are fearful/ anxious and every creaking sound and unusual movement would be noticed by you. Being aware constantly takes much more effort and even more discipline. The key is to align all your 5 senses and discipline them to be responsive to all that goes on around. Awareness enables one to make intelligent choices, take rational decisions and maintain equilibrium in life no matter where there is ecstasy or panic. E.g. you are passing by a school long after the school children have gone home after school and you notice a primary student loitering around. Your awareness will force you to pause and observe the child and your senses will alert you to  find out more about why the child has not gone home.

 

Be sensitive – This will enable one to better appreciate a person and / or a situation. Being sensitive is all about putting yourself in the situation and understanding the individual caught in it. When you are sensitive your response would be more empathetic, possibly logical but laced with ample heart and it would definitely be a response that will linger long after the moment has passed. E.g. You are waiting for a rick/ taxi while it is pouring heavily and soon a heavily pregnant lady and her husband join you also anxiously waiting for a conveyance. Chances are that you would if sensitive enough allow them to avail of the first conveyance that comes along.

 

Be proactive – Many of us are relatively more aware and sensitive but when it comes to being proactive and taking the initiative we are held back by a number of doubts, visualize numerous obstacles that seem to block our path and fear the possible negative consequences of our proactive responses. For the better part of our lives we have been reactive and hence conditioned that way. How many of us have willingly participated in extracurricular activities at school or college or willingly given answers to questions asked in class when you knew the answer? Being proactive is relatively simple for people who are aware and sensitive because their heart and mind simply prompt the body to act but we still need to overcome our hesitation. E.g. you notice an advertisement about an interesting lecture by an eminent personality on a topic of your deep interest. Only if you are proactive will you make the extra effort to attend the lecture. Your effort would be well worth it but it is up to you to make it happen.

 

Be responsible – Taking responsibility sounds easy but in reality we hanker to take credit but find excuses or accuse others for failures. Taking responsibility means you take ownership and therefore you have to do everything in your power to ensure the success of the undertaking. This could involve commitment of resources, delegation of tasks, managing crisis, finding innovative solutions, taking tough decisions etc. The challenge in taking responsibility is having the daring to empower yourself and if successful sharing credit with the team and if success eludes then taking on the brickbats solely. Since the pay offs of responsibility seem skewed, many of us prefer to shirk responsibility and prefer to be just another team member. Leaders are those who have trained themselves to take on responsibility. E.g.  If you are organizing a picnic or a party there are too many nitty-gritty’s to be taken care off. Often finding someone to take on the responsibility is a challenge for at end of day no matter who organizes there will be some criticism and so the initial response is to side step the opportunity to showcase one’s leadership skills.

 

Try this:

 

This coming festival season instead of sending e-greetings identify 10 very dear people for whom you would buy greeting cards that suit the specific individual. Now write a personal message in each card and send it by snail mail to the respective individuals.

 

Choose a unique way to celebrate this festive season by focusing on impacting the lives of those in hospitals / prisons/ war veterans homes (like the paraplegic home in Kirkee Pune)/ leprosy rehabilitation center.

 

Reflect on the one quality or talent that you posses. Now think of 3 unique ways / situations in which you can proactively and responsibly use your talent/ quality/ ability for the benefit of others.

 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Launching yourself

13-9- One step back 2 forward

It is that time of the year when the exam fever is at its peak and both students and parents are in a tizzy coping with the stress of doing well in the exams. The real stress actually comes a wee bit later as the day of the results draws near. While for some there could be jubilation, for a fair amount of people there could be dejection but the vast majority would be plagued by a sinking feeling that the outcome could have been or should have been better. An analysis would possibly reveal that an overwhelming majority are disappointed that the outcomes fell short of their expectations. In effect just about everyone seems to think that the academic pursuits have actually dragged them back or atleast impeded them in the race to a successful future.

The scene with the adults is no different. On one hand they seem to be dragged down by the weight of propping up their wards to excel, they also are bogged down by the pressure to attain personal success professionally, financially, personally and socially. Many a time, success seems elusive, the goals seem distant and the pressure becomes overwhelming. The collective weight of balancing personal expectations, professional growth and domestic bliss seem to be huge load to manage. Often we are tempted to throw in the towel and give up; our spirits are drooping and the rewards seem unappetizing.

Yet it is at the very nadir that one must dig his /her heels in, take a deep breath and with faith and hope launch a herculean effort. Be it an arrow, a trigger or a shotput; to get results we need to take that vital pull back to get the momentum to hit the mark. Take a look at a pole vaulter and notice the sharp arch of the pole brought about by the weight of the individual before the momentum and the technique dramatically enables the pole valuter to go much higher than the pole and safely cross over the barrier. The subtle message is that one often needs to take one step back before one can take two steps forward.

Success is often like a game of snakes and ladders. There are times when we get lucky and climb up faster but many a time we get gobbled up by the snake and come right down. Do we stop playing the game every time we get gobbled by a snake? The challenge in real life is not to let the snakes, be it poor academics or a personal handicap or poor self esteem or financial setbacks or a colossal blunder, become an excuse to give up.

Try this:

  1. Go to a long jump pit and stand at the edge and jump. Have 3 tries and measure the best effort. Now walk back 10 steps and then run down and jump and measure the distance. You can be sure the latter effort where you actually walked back, away from the pit and then gave it your all gave you superlative jump.
  2. Find out the personal limitations / failures that the following overcame before they achieved success
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Helen Keller
  • B. S. Chandrasekhar
  • Walt Disney
  • Tapishwar Narain Raina

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Handling disappointments

“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.”   Eliza Tabor

None of us want to face disappointments in any form but we try to be ready to face it when it comes, for the one reality we all agree upon, is that disappointments are an inevitable part of life. While not getting a ticket for a big game could be a small disappointment, missing a connecting flight could be a bigger disappointment and for a start player missing out on playing a big game because of a freak injury could be a devastating disappointment. Funnily enough disappointments could also take on varied hues depending on one’s perspective. A student hell bent on standing first could be bitterly disappointed if he/she misses goal that mark by a single mark but it is also possible that the person standing first is more devastated that despite standing first he/she could not get admission to a college of his/her choice. Disappointments are therefore all a matter of perspective.

The real challenge, irrespective of how terrible the disappointment is, hinges on coping with it. There are 3 ways of doing this and the three ways can be used individually or in consonance with one another which will actually turn the disappointment into affirmative success.

Accepting the reality.  When faced with a disappointment, we console ourselves that perhaps it was inevitable and thereafter we attempt to ignore it. While this is a good strategy when  no other strategy works (as is the case where we miss a connecting flight because of a delay in our original flight or when an unexpected injury denies us the opportunity to play in a big final game) it leaves us feeling a wee bit sorry for ourselves. However when we face a disappointment as a reality that cannot be wished away we come to terms with it and see it as an inevitable part of growing up and a slice of life. (The penalty shooting expert who misses his shot in the shootout could be so overcome with remorse that he may lose all confidence in his/ her own ability unless they accept the fact that 100% success is never guaranteed )

Seeing the positives. This is tough because we need to make that extra effort to overcome our disappointment and actually try to connect dots to visualize the learning and the positives. Here the battle between our emotional self and our rational self is inevitable and the latter takes much more time to embed itself in our psyche. However with a healthy dose of self esteem,  a sense of proportion and the tenacity of purpose one can train the mind to be more stable, visualize more pragmatically and creatively assimilate the facts to draw up a blueprint of success and overwriting the script of temporary setbacks and disappointments. Edison exemplified it when he attempted as is said more than a 1,000 different items in his quest for the filament for the electric bulb and with each failure is remarked to have said ‘ now I know that this too will not work’.

Moving beyond the past. Most of us are guilty of either gloating on our past success or more frequently ruing the past disappointments. While me must soak in the success that come our way and reflect on the disappointments so as to learn from it, it would be foolhardy to be caught in a time wrap and remain in the past. Particularly when it comes to disappointments, we must take up the challenge of recouping, reinforcing and redeeming ourselves by displaying our resolve, learning and performance in overcoming our disappointments.  It is when we succeed that we really put behind our past failures and recognize the core of our spirit and ability.

Remember: “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”  Robert Kiyosaki

Try this:

  1. Think of the 3 big disappointments and how you coped with it
  • In your school days
  • In your teenage days
  • In your professional / personal life
  1.  How will you cope with the following disappointments?
  • Your favorite sports team loses at the last moment in the finals to a much less fancied opponent.
  • You misplace your free VIP ticket to your favorite singers live concert
  • Your prized mobile gifted by your spouse /girlfriend/ boyfriend/ parent slips and is crushed to bits by a passing car
  • You have presented a well researched and well drafted report but you are humiliated in front of an outside audience by your boss for a typographical error that you believe is relatively insignificant to the overall contents of the report .

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

What money can’t buy

The only incurable troubles of the rich are the troubles that money can’t cure. Ogden Nash

Peace of mind is something that no one in the world can ever buy and ironically that is something that everyone craves for. Unfortunately the vast majority attempts to satisfy their craving by splurging on materialistic goods in the fond hope that the new goodies will to a large extent substitute for the real thing they seek viz Peace of Mind.  In many ways this is the equivalent of what Queen Marie Antoinette is supposedly have said, many centuries ago when she purportedly suggested that the peasants be offered cakes instead of what they craved for viz. bread. The problem that the rich have is the mistaken notion that money can buy anything.

When seen from this background it is obvious that the arrogance of the rich will always cloud their judgment and hence they will continue to try and furrow a path to their cravings even when they have hit a rocky stretch. To begin with they pamper their offspring mistakenly believing that they are giving their best where as they should have tutored them in the fine art of realizing the value of money.  Real life is full of hard knocks, rude shocks and mixed emotions; a well protected rich brat will rarely be exposed to the hard realities and so is not equipped to exercise good judgment when the chips are down. They go in pursuit of happiness in the wilderness of utopia little knowing that they are on a wild goose chase.

There are three areas where the rich come a cropper when trying to muscle their way through using their money clout.  The first is relationships. The next is personal health and the last is personal value systems. Relationships need to blossom and is based on trust and mutual understanding. Unfortunately money can be a real spoil sport and most relationships are based on money marrying looks which in the ultimate analysis is a shallow arrangement. The disrupted personal  lives of rich celebrities are a visible testimony of this premise. Personal health takes a beating simply because the rich indulge in food since they can afford it and more importantly they blissfully ignore the consequences in the hope that in emergences they can buy out the doctors and nursing care and medicines. Even personal value systems are watered down to accommodate the temptations that money can buy.  Compromising on values is essentially to take care of our own guilt feelings and also to ensure that we don’t miss out on the fun that riches can buy.

If we look objectively at the things money can’t buy, one can outline many more things. It would be a challenge for us to make our own list so that we are aware of the limitations of money for us irrespective of how rich or poor we are.

Remember: “If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy”

Try this

  1. Make your own list of things money can’t buy. Then compare it with this list http://www.nomad4ever.com/2007/07/09/10-things-money-cannot-buy
  2. List out the name of one person who has had a major positive influence in your life. Now plan to give a gift that you have made yourself. If you have your limitations it must be something where you have contributed at least 50% effort to make the gift. Ensure that you actually give that gift personally to that person.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Cutting losses

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Anon

Those who are active investors in the stock markets would be familiar with the adage’ Cut losses’. This simply means that when the tide turns against you and your investments start showing losses, it is best to sell and suffer a minor loss rather than sit tight in the hope of  a change in fortunes and loose very heavily. While the logic of the argument is very well understood, human nature being what it is finds it hard to accept the loss and so we wait in hope only to realize too late that discretion should have been the better part of valour.

While the stock markets abound in such die hard fool hardiness, real life is not too different. Part of the problem about cutting losses stems from the conflict between what the heart feels and what the mind thinks. We are simplistic enough often to logically conclude that what goes down must come up again or vice versa. The theory is perfectly true when seen in isolation but when seen as part of a continuum called life, we have ample opportunities to ride a wave but not the acumen to consistently remain on top of the wave. The lesson to us is that when we are on the way up. It is prudent to get out lest we get caught in the vortex and get sucked in. Unfortunately our greed and ego blinds us to the realistic peaks and lures us to believe that the best is yet to come. Sadly we then become prey to these vices and cannot get out of the vortex of false hope.

Equally naïve is our belief that we are smart enough to analyze trends, have sophisticated modeling mechanism to predict the future and the wherewithal to sustain the pressures that come with the  territory. History is resplendent with examples of the colossal failures of the once successful kings and rulers who blinded by success could not in their wildest dreams  or nightmares imagine failure of any sort. The end of the monarchy system is proof of how the power of the people and the advent of democracy has consigned to history  what was once perceived as an impregnable fiefdom of the kings and their courts. Coming to the present day, the big businesses that ruled and monopolized the economy in the early 20th century have all but disappeared and replaced by more technology driven newbie’s.

No sooner do we spot a problem then our mind goes into an overdrive to rationalize, justify and generally uphold our beliefs so that we don’t face the discomfort of having to acknowledge that the problem is real. If the problem persists we try to trivialize it, explore possibilities to circumvent it and in desperation even make feeble attempts to minimize the impact of the problem. Only the wise and the enlightened, the one who uses both the mind and the heart can foresee the folly of riding a loser and will quickly cut losses, dump the loser and either jump on to safe shore or latch on to a possible winner. As they say it is better to lose the battle and win the war than the other way round.

Remember: “I believe there’s an inner power that makes winners or losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts.” Sylvester Stallone

Try these:

  1. In your chosen field of expertise, try to predict the changes that will come about in the next one/ tree/ five years. Ask yourself what your strategy will be to ensure that you can leverage the changes to your advantage. This could imply that you have to consciously give up a current line of action in the hope that you can leverage the changes coming about by your current decision.eg. if you see that banking will be more electronic and less physical are you ready to embrace e-payments as of today or will the fear of phishing and cybercrimes hold your resolve and you maintain status quo?
  2. If you are a sports enthusiast or an investor in the stock markets make a realistic analysis of your favorites (team / stocks). Which team do you expect to win the current season and will you bet on that team even if it is not your favorite? Substitute stock for team if you are a stock enthusiast. Why do you hesitate to change loyalties when it comes to betting?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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