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Posts Tagged ‘Focus’

29- 12 Aug 17- Get goingBeginning a quest is always challenging because one is filled with doubts, concerns, worries and fear of failure. Perhaps, that explains why many of us have never got any of our grandiose plans even started. It also explains why the vast majority continue to walk down the ‘oft trod path’; lamenting or ruing their destiny. Each of us is given the freedom to explore options but we are often tethered by our dogmas and beliefs, our prejudices and our fears, our self limiting thinking and our inaction. As a result we continue to walk the beaten path lamenting our fate without daring to indulge in a latent passion or pursue a deep desire. The net result is that we just do not start; the dreams we have remain just pipe dreams; the future remains predictable and largely futile as compared to our hopes, aspirations and ambitions.

If you are someone with a burning desire to explore opportunities beyond the mundane and predictable, the starting point must be planning. The planning process begins with the setting up of a goal/ objective. This is then fleshed out in the form of details being added, so as to ensure as many variables as possible are identified and a plan to manage it, spelled out. It is important to bear in mind that no plan is fool proof and that a start date must be identified so that the plan is put into action. The way forward is in starting the implementation of your plan.

It is possible that a plan set in motion would face challenges. Despite the best of preparations, unforeseen and unpredictable hurdles could derail the plans. Many of these hurdles are self inflicted and often the result of tardy planning or self doubt or overconfidence. You may falter, you may have setbacks, you could begin to doubt yourself along the way but the goal must be to keep going. Of course there could come a time when either because you are prudent or because circumstances are beyond your control, that you will be forced to stop and give up. Take this setback in your stride. Having begun with confidence and hope is in itself a victory over your inhibitions and a testimony to your determination.

You will, if you move ahead as per plans, make progress. This will embolden you and be a great motivator to push ahead even if you progress is slow and even if the goal seems distant. Eventually you may reach the goal but perhaps not as planned and there could be a feeling of dejection. Yet, it is in reaching the goal, finishing the race and stretching your limits, that you realize how strong a person you are. If you did not start or if you gave up midway, you will never experience the thrill of realizing your potential, knowing your strengths and stretching yourself to attain new limits.

Your victory is in getting over your doubts, your inertia, yourself limiting beliefs and instead becoming proactive, resolute and focused on bringing about a change in your mind, body and spirit.

Start now, push ahead and realize your dreams.

Try these

  1. If you had just a week to live, how would you prioritize your life so that you have no regrets on the last day?
  2. What steps can you take immediately, to do the following:
  • Raise a significant sum of money for a charity of your choice
  • Give a suggestion to your local corporator / MP / Union minister in connection with an idea you have to improve the current services
  • To explore a passion that you have not yet begun in earnest.

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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7-12-feb-17-listen-to-the-guruTime and time again, we are admonished that we do not listen. In any communication lecture, you would invariably be told that of all the skills of communication the most vital one is the art of listening. The trouble is, almost all our life we have ended up as listeners and there is a certain amount of boredom, lack of motivation and prejudice against the speakers and or topics, that we have developed over the years. Part of the reason can be attributed to ineffective teachers who bored us to tears, part of the reason could be that we were forced into listening to boring lectures on boring subjects and the rest of the problem could be attributed to sheer indifference we have developed over the years. Criticism whether from parents, teachers, friends, well wishers, colleagues or bosses (especially at appraisal time) and worse of all from the spouse, have just hardened us to pay a deaf year to the feedback received. All in all, over the years, we have become indifferent, immune and largely deaf to any most forms of communication especially those that we dislike, disapprove or dread.

However, it is never too late to change and begin afresh.  Bear these facts in mind when focusing on listening. The first thing to remember is that listening is not a passive activity but an activity one must actively engage in. This means we need to take the effort of listening. The next thing to keep in mind is that when listening all our senses are engaged. While the ears absorb the spoken word, every other sense also absorbs the signals relevant to them. Hence any form of distraction be it noise, smell, weather changes, movement etc. influence the quality of our listening.  The third and most important element of listening is to understand the essence of listening; which is wanting to hear. Unless we want to hear, find a motivation to hear, pay attention to the entire communication and not be selective in our listening, we could misunderstand, partially understand, miss out on key information or interpret the communication conveniently.

Once we begin to appreciate and adopt good listening skills the process of our personal improvement and growth would be enhanced dramatically. This is because we learn to value the lessons, however unpleasant or critical that we interpret from the communication signals received from around us. We also begin to value and respect our strengths by listening to the positive and encouraging responses we get. The value we derive from listening is maximized when we explore opportunities, dare to take risks, begin to change, learn to appreciate and never get discouraged.

Remember that the word LISTEN comprises of the same alphabets that form the word SILENT. So the more silently you absorb the communication that is around the better your listening skills. Make the world your GURU by simply listening to everyone and everything around. Absorb, learn, implement, change !

Try these:

  • What is your favorite joke that you enjoy sharing with friend’s. Did you notice that it is how keenly the other person listens to you, that makes the joke effective. More importantly the joke may have something absurd and illogical that actually triggers the punch of the joke. Conventional listening, where logic and order are essential do not trigger the response as much as the non auditory visualization does.
  • Here are some non auditory listening challenges
  1. Take a standard deck of cards and find out the only one eyed king in it. Also note the subtle differences between the Jacks as also the four different queens in the deck.
  2. Ask a friend to prepare a bag full of assorted articles. Without seeing the articles but by merely putting your hand in the bag and feeling the articles try and identify each of them.
  3. Blindfold yourself and ask a friend to hand over various currency notes into your hand. Identify the denomination of those notes.
  4. How often have you entered your house, smelled the food being cooked and decided what kind of a meal to expect?

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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5-scale-down-your-goalThe title of this post may sound ironical, as most times we are urged to have loft goals.  No doubt that it is good to aspire for the stars so that you may at least reach the moon; however if we have goals that are unrealistic then chances are that we get daunted by the task we have set for ourselves, get easily discouraged by visualizing the enormity of it and more often than not we give up easily.  This is invariably what happens when we set a personal goal, which focuses on being better than anyone else rather than making it more personalized and stating that I will be better than what I was yesterday.

You would observe that the goal to be better than what ‘I used to be’ is more personalized, it is more manageable, as we know what areas of our life we need to focus on and improve and most of all we can measure our progress every moment. E.g. we need to get rid of a bad habit. Once we identify that habit and make it our goal to get rid of it, then every time you lapse into it, you become aware of it and try consciously to overcome it.

The earlier example focused on overcoming a negative trait. A positive goal could be even more motivating and the results perhaps equally exhilarating. E.g. Students could have a goal to map out  a study schedule and complete the set task before indulging in their favorite relaxation like seeing TV or going for a weekend gig. Note that the first step though is to map out the schedule, without which, focusing on the goal is near impossible.

Scale down your goals but have lofty dreams. Make the goals become the steps of the ladder that you need to climb to attain those lofty goals. Inbuilt a mechanism to track progress, a motivator to keep going and definitely a penalty to ensure you get back on track if you stray.

Surprise yourself with the tremendous progress you make when you begin; never mind the baby steps; even Usain Bolt began by crawling, tottering and then steadying his walk before he realized he could outrun everyone. All you need to focus is on outrunning yourself !

Try these:

  1. Just list 3- 5 personal changes you want to ensure for yourself before the year end. Follow this up with specifics you will do to ensure you can attain your goal before the year end.
  2. List out how this year you will surprise
  • A friend
  • A family member
  • A neighbor
  • A colleague
  • A stranger
  • Yourself ( set a goal to overcome a fear or do a dare )

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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02-07-01-17strength-comesWhen a baby learns to take his/ her first step, it is always tentative and for the first few times it will fall down. Yet, it continues to trust its instincts and when he/ she has mastered the art, there is a perceptible sense of achievement and happiness on the child’s face as well as on the faces of the onlookers. We as adults have lost that sense of adventure, we do not trust our instincts and more than anything, we fear failure and so prefer not to attempt something new, different and exciting. Our strengths remain out of sight, undiscovered and we go to our grave clutching our potential.  Perhaps that also explains why we fear death; because suddenly there is so much more to achieve.

Obviously then, the challenge for us is to dare, do and win. Yes you can, if align the following within yourself and begin:

Self belief: Unless you believe you can do something, chances are that you won’t attempt it. Wish self belief comes the thrill of the challenge.  If you do not have self belief you would end to find excuses not to dare. Questions like why should I? What is in it for me? How will it benefit me? May be it is not my cup of tea etc. would constantly keep niggling you.  You would then prefer to ignore the challenge than confront it.

Planning: While self belief will give you an impetus, a motivation to begin, never attempt a challenge like a casual dare. Outlining a plan to succeed is the key to every challenge. It is also the way to ensure that you have clarity about your objective, a clear road map forward and the required resources to achieve success. E.g. If Public Speaking is your fear, simply getting up and blabbering when forced to, may not give you the desired result. You must plan your topic, prepare for it, practice it and then create the opportunity to demonstrate your ability.

Daring: Self belief will give you the motivation, planning will largely insure your success but without daring, you may falter and fail to start. Daring comes from visualizing success, from having confidence that you have planned and prepared well and from the self belief that you will succeed. Sometimes, daring comes from having no alternative. This is typically what happens in a class room presentation, when every student has to overcome his/ her fear of public speaking for there is no alternative. Remember it is the first time that is the hardest.

Focus: Our limitations are accentuated when we lose focus while attempting the challenge. If we let ourselves be distracted by some blips or glitches that we encounter despite the best of planning the chances are we let our confidence slip. Focus on the resources available, delve into your creative inner self and calm your pounding heart to regain your focus. E.g. when learning to drive initially we grip the steering wheel too hard, we tend to view the accelerator, brake and clutch separately thereby stalling the car more often. It is only with some practice that we tend to see that the three have to work in tandem and that we need to relax a bit more when steering. The focus must be even and that happens when one has sufficient practice and then expertise takes over.

Persistence: Remember the time you learned to cycle or swim. Chances are that you fell, scraped yourself when attempting to cycle or when in the pool drank a lot of water or felt yourself drowning. You mastered the art only because a scraped knee or the fear of sinking did not kill your self belief. The same resilience is called into action whenever you dare to do something different, something challenging, something you have never attempted. There is always the possibility that you may not succeed in your first attempt but persistence is what ensures you succeed.

Look back on the thrill of having overcome many a challenge when you followed your creed to dare, do and win.   It is the same thrill that now beckons you; you suddenly discover both your potential and your strength; the happiness that you get is a huge bonus.

Try these:

Make a list of dares / challenges that you would like to attempt. It could be as dramatic as parachuting or conquering a fear of holding a reptile (like a snake) in your hands. Dare, do and win is next.

List out some of your latent desires e.g. writing poetry, having an exhibition of your art work, singing on stage etc. Assuming you have a decent talent in the respective field, take up the challenge to do this year.

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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32-power-of-self-esteemMost of our problems can be attributed to either over confidence or lack of confidence. Our focus today would be on latter issue of lack of confidence, which essential has its roots in our poor self esteem. Self esteem is confidence in one’s own worth and abilities. Our poor self esteem could be an outcome of various negative influences, experiences and / or our own mindset. Constantly being criticized, facing a couple of failures, our inability to take risks, are some of the key influencers that dent self esteem. While we cannot completely erase the past, we certainly can take some proactive steps to ensure that we recognize our self esteem and build up on it to improve, contribute and prosper. The quick three step approach is as follows

Believing you can do it: The important thing here is to first have something to believe in. So it is better you have a clear goal and a plan to achieve it. When we attempt to set goals, the first hurdle we face is questioning ourselves if the goal is worthwhile, doubting our ability to attain it and constantly comparing the goal with other alternatives and / or with our perception of goals set by others. Setting goals that revolve around our passion, our talent, our flair and our motivation is a simple way to make a wish list. Once this wish list is outlined, translate them into goals with a clearly outlined strategy to attain it, being aware of your own efforts that would have to accompany your dreams to turn it into a reality and believing that you have it in you to make it come true. Your belief comes from your willingness to make the sacrifices that invariably precedes the reward, the confidence within you that you will take it to its logical conclusion and the drive and motivation within you to make it happen.

Believing you deserve it: While you may have a clear goal, an inner urge to push yourself to attain the goal and a very strong desire and motivation, what can possibly play spoil sport is your reluctance to acknowledge that you deserve the success you are aiming for. It is the belief that you are just as deserving as the next person to dream big and reach for the stars that sets apart the winners from the also ran’s. Every start up is based on this one key principle that you are as capable of coming up with a winner as the existing or future competitor. Every employee who believes that he deserves better is the one who makes the upward move either laterally or within the same organization. A realistic personal SWOT analysis would be a good spring board to launch your future, for that is when you put your beliefs to the test.

Believing you’ll get it: The initial period when you dare is often fraught with risk and confusion. Every small set back would dent your confidence and you begin to doubt if you will get what you crave. Almost everyone rushes in with enthusiasm but the sheer effort that is required to keep the momentum going is herculean and that is when one begins to falter. It is only the belief that you will attain what you have planned no matter what the cost, no matter what price you have to pay, that will energize you to keep going. A blind belief would not me of much use, but belief backed by appropriate action is the key. The belief that you will get it must appropriate trigger action and soon the near impossible begins to happen to us. Your belief is like the recharge in your mobile phone; every recharge boosts its ability to deliver each day.

Believe that you can do it; believe that you deserve it; believe that you will get it !

I just used the same principle to get my blog posts going; I can vouch it works !

Try these:

  1. Click on the following link to get a comprehensive write up on Self Esteem:  http://tinyurl.com/jsnu97p 
  2. Make a list of the following and achieve it.
  • The amount of money you can raise for your favorite charity in the coming week.
  • A current topic about which you are passionate, about which you will write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, within a fortnight.
  • A local historical site or tourist spot or museum which you have not visited but will do so in the next 1 month
  • Three life style changes that you are keen to bring about, which you will work on immediately and see the expected results within a year. E.g. Lose 10 kgs weight by year end

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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8 - Refocus and get clarity

Clarity of thought is a quality that is essential for every individual so that he /she can progress forward in the right direction. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, individuals have always grappled with the problem of confusion, an inability to be decisive and worse of constantly looking back and wondering if they chose their path wisely. Most of our lives we have been told to avoid problems. In school one is taught to solve problems. Most of our adult life we are anticipating problems and seeking ways to avoid it. As a result the problem overwhelms us, we are hell bent on avoiding or solving problems and we are apprehensive of moving away from the beaten path lest we encounter problems that we have never experienced. So instead of exploring and discovering we prefer to gingerly and tentatively traverse on known paths occasionally daring to venture into some shallow waters. Our horizons are limited our growth is stunted and our sense of achievement is scaled down.

Today the startups, the youngsters having dreams of alternative professions and those leapfrogging from staid professions to dynamic alternatives are tribute to mind set change from problem avoidance to solution finding. Our training of being defensive and risk averse has actually prepared us to easily reorient our thinking into seeking problems and finding solutions. Instead of letting your mind constantly worry about the problem, let it now dwell in anticipation of finding alternative solutions. With this changed orientation in our thinking we allow our creative self to take over. Problems are merely irritants, solutions are there to be found and in finding the solutions you discover your potential, create something unique and possibly even build a new paradigm of success for yourself. Man’s inability to fly was a problem since evolution. Those who saw it as a problem and did nothing about it rationalized that we really didn’t need to fly and so came up with alternative means of transportation. The Wright brothers on the other hand viewed the inability to fly as a problem deserving an appropriate solution. Their aircraft crude as it may have been pioneered the aircraft industry later. The hot air balloon and the drones are also examples of how solution centric answers can become very effective.

We need to watch out for three impediments that could take away our focus from being solution centric

Fear of the problem – It is true that every problem comes with its share of anxiety. When we let this anxiety overtake our rationality we remain problem centric. Our anxiety increases with the passing of time and no acceptable solution visible on the horizon. On the other hand if we analyze the problem dispassionately, we would be able to appreciate the varied dimensions of the problem and perhaps even see various alternative solutions peeping from some corners. Pick up a newspaper and try to solve the crosswords or Sudoku problem in it.

Distraction due to anxietyBefore you attempt the above keep a personal time limit to solve the problem. Notice how you get more tense, distracted and frustrated that the time is running out. Your attention is now drawn towards the deadline rather than the problem itself. This distraction will take away your concentration. On the other hand if you focus on finding solutions you will get at least some answers by the time the deadline approaches.

Urge to disown the problem – Very often we just want to somehow get rid of the problem. If possible we try to pass it on to others. If not we try to find excuses for the problem still being there. Very often we try to find someone to blame for the problem. This urge to get rid of the problem, to disown the problem, to pass the buck is our way of escapism. It neither helps in getting a solution nor does it ease our anxiety for the problem persists.

Watch out for the above and immediately change your thinking to finding a solution and keep seeking alternate solutions till you have ample alternatives to choose the best one. Yes problems often come with many many solutions. Keep searching for the best one.

Try this:

Click on this link to get an idea of how to FOCUS

You are given a barometer and asked to measure the height of a building. Think of 3 possible solutions to the problem. (Having a science inclination would help but oh yes every one can attempt it)

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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25- 21 Dec 14-A year from nowWhen December comes, we subconsciously review the year gone by and hope against hope that the New Year has better tidings for us. The fact is that each one of is solely responsible for the progress we make in our life, notwithstanding events and circumstances beyond one’s control that occasionally crop up and derail even the best of plans. December is also the time when many of us make resolutions for the New Year, most of it never written down. When next December comes we regret the opportunities gone by, the noble intentions never executed and keep fervently wishing we could turn the clock back. Alas, a year would have passed by then; and we continue to rue.

This is an opportune moment to make plans, commit to them and execute them so that next year around this time, you would have achieved much more than you ever expected to. However it is also important to realize that this is the best time to also move beyond the conventional listing that most people do and instead list out personal priorities related to your interests, passions, hobbies and yearnings. So this is the perfect time to get going on ensuring you attain your happiness quotient by deft planning and execution.

The most important ritual that one has to necessarily follow before outlining one’s plans for the future is to spend enough time ‘thinking’ about what one wants to achieve. Thinking must be deliberate, reasoned, clearly visualized and actionable milestones identified. The milestone’s will be critical to motivate you to act even if the results don’t seem too encouraging to begin with. E.g. those who plan to run a marathon or plan to lose weight would initially find the going very tough, but strict self discipline would definitely show results. Thinking also ensures that we don’t operate out of a whim or fancy but it is a conscious choice made. This makes us more committed to the activity we have chosen.

In preparing for the future, ensure that there is ample time allotted to personal passions, interests and yearnings. Life is not about just hard work towards a materialistic goal; rather life must be lived with panache, verve and fulfillment. These aspects are individualistic, self determined and uniquely experienced; provide for it in your plans so that you never regret not venturing into it. More than anything else, what we plan must be written down and only then can one periodically review progress made and corrective action initiated. When we are disappointed that we have not done anything substantial or failed to even begin something we have no one but ourselves to blame. As is said ‘ well begun is half done’ so begin well by writing down your resolutions and taking courage to begin and being self disciplined to keep going.

Next year this time, smile at the results; pat yourself on your back for the progress made and don’t forget to once again start anew !

Try this:

  1. Decide to give up one bad habit that you have in the coming year.
  2. Focus on 3 things you always wanted to do but never did till date. Ensure that in the coming year you do at least one of these activities that you have listed.
  3. Choose one of the following or decide on something special for yourself to be done in the coming year
  • Preparing a PPT on your life in 25 slides and using a maximum of 50 photographs
  • Volunteering for a completely off beat social service activity e.g volunteering at prisons
  • Throwing a surprise party for some one of your choice.
  • Attempting something that no one ever expected you to do e.g. keeping a pet / bungee jumping/ writing your personal blog etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.in

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