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Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

5-21 May 14- Live a life -Leave a legacy

Like the Northern Star that steadfastly guides the lost traveler, the quote today provides us an excellent pointer to what must drive us in making our life more meaningful, fulfilling and exhilarating. It also offers us a fresh perspective about our existence, reminding us that we need to make the most of life, for someday we will cease to be alive physically but we can ensure our legacy lives on.

Many of us get disheartened because we view ourselves as mere mortals who cannot create an impact on the world nor can we escape the drudgery of living as destiny has chosen us to. This is a fallacy that we have ingrained into our psyche and can be easily corrected by being aware that our life can positively impact all those you come in contact with and that each of us is given the opportunity to make the best of all we have. It is apt that at this juncture I share with you a link (http://chairbornewarrior.wordpress.com/category/my-second-life/ )that outlines the story of an extraordinary individual Mr.M.P.Anil Kumar who passed away yesterday. In many ways this post is also a tribute to him but more importantly his story captures the very core of today’s post.

Here are a few tips on making your life a legacy

Know yourself – This is the toughest part, partly because we can never be completely objective about our self but mainly because we are constantly evolving and our personality evolves with varied experiences, new knowledge and changing perspectives. Accepting our limitations also requires tremendous courage while identifying our strengths requires passionate self belief. Yet once we begin to understand and accept the being we are we can carefully circumvent our limitations while fully harnessing our strengths. E.g. Academics may not be everyone’s strength but some of us have diligence, commitment, hard work, vision etc as allies that we can harness fully to succeed.

Identify your passion – Many of us would candidly admit that lazing around, sleeping, day dreaming or being a couch potato is our most passionate activity. Yet we are also conscious that all of them are unproductive passions. So leaving aside these, list out some productive activities that you will happily engage in. Now creatively work out ways and means to make these activities fetch you income / returns. E.g. If you are a movie buff see if you can be a movie critic or if you have a natural flair for gadgets / gizmo’s find opportunities to leverage this passion.

Be zealous in what you do – Visualize a wonderful outcome of whatever activity you are engaged in.  This will provide you the impetus to be zealous and meticulous in whatever you are engaged in. The zeal you bring to your work will always give you an edge over others for good work is always noticed and rewarded. E.g. Have you noticed who is the co worker you can safely entrust a task to? Think about why you value his work so much.

Listen to the criticism but never let it overwhelm you – Since we cannot live in isolation, it is obvious that different people will form varying opinions about us. While some will be appreciative, there would be very many who will be extremely critical. There could be others who are indifferent while some others could be openly hostile. Be aware that there could be some truth in the criticism of others, so do not ignore the negative feedback. Yet do not let criticism dampen your spirits or cloud your judgment. Take corrective action where required but stay the course. If you know yourself you can never go wrong. E.g. If Ms. J.K. Rowling believed all the 12  publishers who rejected her first Harry Potter draft, those books would never have been published nor would millions of young readers have the pleasure of reading those books nor would she have become a millionaire and celebrity. What stops you from aiming so high?

Be the person you want others to be – If we have expectations of others, we must be prepared to walk the talk. In effect, our yardsticks of excellence for others must be the same yardstick we follow for ourselves. If we set a good example, all who observe us will attempt to imitate us. If we can simply be diligent in what we do, be truthful to our conscience, be fair to others and appreciate the efforts of those around, we would be living and leaving a legacy for others to imitate and emulate. E.g if we want our children to be honest we must ensure we don’t do any dishonest act ourselves or if we want the world to be a happier place learn to be happy first. Remember Mr.M.P.Anil Kumar and the cruel joke destiny played on him; yet he left behind a legacy hard to imagine and impossible to match.

Try this

List out 5 limitations/ weakness that you believe are hampering your progress in life. Now identify a quality that you posses that could be a possible antidote for that weakness. E.g. You are lazy. Antidote could be your ability to be disciplined or your ability to be committed to your goals or it could be your fear of monetary/ reputation loss. Now use the antidote as fulcrum to overcome your laziness.

Identify 3 people who in your opinion have left a legacy behind; (one must be a person from a historical / scientific / political / social service background   ; one from your friends and acquaintances and one a former teacher / superior ) Give an example of the one sterling quality they exhibited.

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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13-5-We are human

The reality of life is something that most of us are prone to misconstrue as being unfair to us. The prime reason for this is our focus on what we crave and do not have and our envy of those who have what we crave. At times when things seem to be going our way or are in a happy frame of mind, we do appreciate the blessings we have but these periods of bliss are far few and in between. So how does one etch happiness into our psyche?

Happiness is a state of mind and the key then is to fine tune the mind to allow happiness to seep in and envelope us. This is best done as under:

Appreciate the reality:

We need to appreciate the fact that we are human. This means that we can think, we can emote and we can decide.

We need to realize that we are not perfect and as a result we have to learn to forgive ourselves, tolerate the mistakes of others and make efforts to correct the mistakes rather than give up in hopelessness.

We need to be ecstatic that we are alive for we now have limitless opportunities to leave our mark in this world and energize the environment around us.

 Focus then on thinking positively, being more forgiving and grasping opportunities.

 Realize the truth:

That as human beings we will make mistakes, we stumble, we fall and we may even get hurt. The truth is that these are like vaccination pricks that are temporarily painful but leave a long term positive effect in ensuring our well being. Seen in this light, it dawns on us that every fall makes us more humble, every mistake teaches us a new lesson and that hurt is a mechanism to alert us to impending dangers that can be avoided through caution and alertness.

Every setback, every tumble we take and every obstacle that comes our way is just a blip in the larger scheme of life; recognize this truth and you shall be free of worries.

 Clasp all possibilities  

Understand the innumerable possibilities that come with the knowledge that we can rise again, we can try again, we keep learning and we keep growing. Seen amputees participate in games and athletics or heard Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata a classic that one finds hard to believe has been composed by a deaf composer. If these seem extreme examples, look at the physically, financially or academically challenged in and around you who have succeeded despite all odds.

So do you see the innumerable opportunities around you just waiting for you to clasp them and turn them into successes?

Embrace life

Now be thankful for the priceless opportunity of life for as long as life exists we can find happiness in the little things and big things that surround us.

Don’t forget that LIFE is Love Inside Finding Expression – start with loving yourself.

Try this:

Write down the following immediately

  • The one new learning you would like to acquire E.g. Learning a new sport or language
  • The one physical good that you desperately want to posses, which is a realistic possibility for you sometime in the next 5 years. E.g. A high end music system (name the brand of your choice)
  • The one limitation / trait that you would want to eliminate at the earliest. E.g. Being more decisive or being more organized
  • The one change you would like to bring to your life E.g. Lose weight or spend more time with family etc.

Now work on ways to realize these desires before the end of 2013

  1. Click on this link and watch this inspirational and motivational talk by Nick Vujicic a truly physically challenged but most engaging speaker http://tinyurl.com/6oqnzk
  2. Click on this link and watch the Last Lecture by Prof. Randy Pausch to appreciate the need to embrace life  http://tinyurl.com/2z3wsx

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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Accept me as I am

Accept me as I am

Our human frailty makes us vulnerable to making mistakes and being condemned for it. It is also our human frailty that makes us so critical, harsh and cruel enough to perpetually condemn those who could have faltered but have atoned for their folly. Our frailty fortunately is not a unalterable trait for we are also blessed with the boon of change, the facility of realization, the temperament to atone and the capacity to make up and undo the damage. Yet when it comes to being charitable to others we take a moral high ground and end up admonishing and chastening the unfortunate souls who would faltered whilst traversing the pathway of life. Pause for a moment and ask yourself how you would like to be apprised by others; would you like them to pinpoint your past follies or would you desperately want them to focus on the your current achievements?

Class reunions are a wonderful occasion to look around and actually witness the progress and success that almost everyone has achieved. Yet time and time again, we tend to bring up many an unflattering incidence during the years of schooling relating to specific individuals, merely to have a good laugh without realizing that the person in question may have moved on life winning accolades and begetting a hallowed status in society. Again put yourself in the shoes of that individual who may have flunked a test or got caught cheating in an exam but thereafter by dint of hard work become very successful. Would you not like to be acknowledged for the success achieved and deeply resent being flogged for a juvenile mistake. The question is, are we as charitable to others as we would want them to be towards us?

It is possible that even as we read this post we are sure we would always be charitable to others and that the contents of the blog post is not applicable to us. You may be right, but ponder about your readiness to work alongside a rehabilitated convict. Would you readily employ a suspect in a crime even if he/ she has been acquitted of the crime? If these sound like extreme examples, look back and ponder over the times you have accused someone or tale tattled about someone merely based on hear say. There are shades of judging and convicting someone particularly someone who we are ill at ease with or someone whom we are not comfortable with.  How often have we passed judgment about someone merely based on their dress and physical appearance?

The best way to give people a second chance is by seeking the good in them and accentuating that. This is more easily achieved when we begin to appreciate that no one really wants to be a deviant and their follies could often have been committed either due to poor judgment or a moment of weakness or out of sheer desperation. We as individuals have every right and duty to exercise a judgment call when it is appropriate but we also have an obligation to give others reason to believe in themselves and turn over a new leaf.

Try this:

  1. Write down 5 qualities that best describe you. Now go around with a list of 25 positive qualities and ask your family, close friends, colleagues and acquaintances to choose 5 qualities that best describe you from that list . You will have a fair idea of how you perceive yourself and how others see you.
  2. Think of the following
  • The 3 most embarrassing moments of your life
  • The 3 serious acts of dishonesty you have committed
  • The 3 biggest lies you have said
  • The 3 wickedest thoughts that have occurred to you

Now assuming that someone knew about any or all of these how would you feel if reference was made to any of the above acts in public by that person?

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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Among the most difficult choices one has to occasionally make, apologizing perhaps ranks pretty high on most people’s list. As honest, good and objective individuals we would unhesitatingly state that if we are on the wrong we will always offer an apology. The reality though is quite different.

Here are 4 reasons why we find it hard to offer a simple unconditional apology when required.

We find it hard to accept our mistake. E.g.  Despite a frantic search you are unable to locate your set of keys at home. You are in a rush as you are getting late for office. You have in your anger and frustration also accused all and sundry at home that they could have possibly had a hand in the disappearance of the keys. On reaching office you see the set of keys lying in the office drawer. You sheepishly think of apologizing to those at home but then let it pass for it would then mean accepting your mistakes; first of being responsible for the problem; for blaming those at home; for creating a scene etc.

We tend to play down the happenings and attempt to justify/ rationalize it. E.g. in an examination you have strategically placed you answer paper to let the candidate seated behind you copy from it. The invigilator who notices this tactical but unethical arrangement warns both the candidate behind you and you of stern action. You remonstrate that it is the person behind who is copying and that you are blameless.

We mistakenly believe that an apology is equivalent to admitting a fault. E.g. As children we have often squabbled with our siblings or playmates. When the situations got unruly the elders intervened and then there was a blame game that was never ending with no one wanting to apologize. The genesis is the mistaken notion that an apology immediately implies our guilt.

We pamper our ego and forget the importance of relationships. E.g.  We have under a mistaken notion launched a tirade against a subordinate who for fear of more drastic retribution meekly submits to the barraging. Later when we get the facts fully and realize our mistake find it ‘humiliating ‘ to admit our fault and worse still ‘apologize’ to a subordinate.

Here are 3 ways to smoothly embrace an apology as a mature decision.

Remember that saying sorry is the simplest form of apology. Sorry forms part of the trio of Please and Thank you which are the 3 magical words in English that smoothen life.

An apology often helps us start gain with a clean slate. While some scars may remain, the wound is by and large healed and ‘all is well that ends well’ since an apology puts an end to the hurt, resentment and anger that may have been in the air.

An apology at the appropriate time, to the right person in the right manner for the right reason, is a test of your character, a critical component of leadership and a reflection of your personality.

Here let me offer my apologies to…

You my reader for the long delayed post which was actually written 10 days ago. Unfortunately due an oversight I didn’t save the same and I lost the entire file when the computer crashed. What you are reading now is a completely new post than what was originally written.

I need to apologize to my immediate family members who had to bear the brunt of my wrath for the post that was lost to the computer crash. The fault was entirely mine, but in my human weakness I raved and ranted and unburdened myself on all those who unwittingly crossed my path in the immediate aftermath of my disaster.

My apologizes to a couple of well meaning friends who politely inquired about my posts but had to bear  the brunt of my ire for I  had been rather curt and brusque to them when narrating what happened. I think I was also selfish enough to expect more sympathy from them and perhaps that aggravated my irrational behavior at their well intentioned and polite inquires.

Try this:

  1. Name 3 people who deserve an apology from you. Pick up courage to apologize to them even if a lot of time has elapsed since the original event happened.
  2. Can you identify with some of these situations when you felt apologetic about your own response to the situation
  • You did not make enough efforts to cast your vote
  • You told a deliberate lie for fear of the consequences
  • You harbored ill will against someone who wronged you
  • You shielded someone from being justly punished/ reprimanded simply because you shared a close relationship or friendship with him/ her

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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Cold prayers shall never have any warm answers. Thomas B. Brooks

The warmth with which we shake hands and greet a person often sets the tone for the further interactions and the ultimate outcome can also be fairly accurately predicted. When we exude warmth we reinforce our self belief in the other and invite the other to place trust in us. The same holds true about prayers too. If we go through the motions of prayers as often ‘Sunday Christians’ are criticized for, without the full involvement of our body, mind and soul, the piety, the fervency and the faith that characterize prayer are absent. Instead of prayer being a support for our spiritual needs it turns out to be a mere antidote for our spiritual fears.

In reality prayer is a communion with the almighty and this implies that the communication must free, frank and preferably spontaneous. Instead for ease of use, for standardizing the implementation and for mass scale availability prayer has been reduced to a predetermined set of words and phrases to be used as instructed. Prayer is nothing but a spiritual pill administered by the spiritual doctors the priests and religious instructors. The vast majority of us are happy with this arrangement because it is readily available, quickly administered and gives one a great sense of relief from the fears of divinely backlash. Unfortunately for us ,  when we look back there is still a gnawing emptiness within, a lurking fear around and a an uneasy truce with our conscience.

If prayer has to be effective, we must offer it with full faith and gratefulness. We must be active participants in the business of prayer and be fully involved in praise, worship and thanks for the many blessings that we get from the bounty of the almighty. We must be prepared to be humble in our thoughts word and deeds when we are in the presence of the almighty and with full faith and confidence seek divine intervention for our most pressing needs. When we are frustrated that our prayers are not answered, objectively notice that this happens what we lack patience, faith and trust. Some prayers take time to be answered, other prayers are answered in a different way from what we want and then are many prayers that apparently remain unanswered but in reality are answered with a resounding NO but we refuse to heed that voice.

The warmth of prayer is never in it is length or its perfection of rendition but is manifest in its genuineness and the abiding faith with which it is offered up. A sinners prayer is often more effective and well received when offered fervently and remorsefully when seeking pardon for sins than a person masquerading as a saints feeble attempts at looking pious and god fearing. Warmth revives the spirit, brings light into gloomy souls and caresses the hapless tenderly. Ask in faith, believe in earnest and receive with thanks is the maxim that succinctly describes the perfect prayer.

Remember:   There is a vast difference between saying prayers and praying

Try this:

  1. Check out the Lord’s prayer given below and analyze it phrase by phrase. What is the message it conveys to you?
  • Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. [For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.] Amen
  1. Make a prayer list as under
  • List of people whom you would like to pray for
  • List of things you want that you would like to pray for
  • List of special favors you seek that your would like to pray for
  • List of blessings you have received that you would like to say a thank you prayer for
  • List of sins for which you seek forgivness

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one for a fellow creature. Sydney Smith

It is but natural for each of us to want to have a lovely day full of happiness and joy. We yearn for some good news, some happy happenings and if possible some lucky breaks all of which we hope will brighten up our day and our life. Unfortunately almost all these wishes are uncontrollable and unpredictable thus making each day filled with suspense and curiosity. It is also possible that most days we end up feeling disappointed, sad and depressed because our yearnings were never remotely met or because there were troubles, turmoil and tensions that overwhelmed us.  At such desperate times we fervently seek a  magic wand to make our woes disappear and instead make our dreams come true.  What we are not aware is that we actually have a magic wand to simply ensure happiness each day.

There is nothing very magical about the magic wand we have.  In fact we use it unconsciously very often and consciously too in quite a number of instances but we do not really appreciate the power of this magic wand. The magic lies in the power we have to help another fellow being in any which way we are capable of. Whenever we help another, we are bound to get a sense of satisfaction that invigorates us, boosts our morale and elevates our spirit. Our act need not be something grandiose or spectacular. In fact it is the simple acts of listening, empathy and appreciation, extended to another human being, that never fails to make us so happy to have been of some service to another. We are often sorely tempted to limit our help to doling out some financial aid  be it as a donation, be it a charitable contribution or sponsorships. The act of financial support while being very welcome will not be as effective for the giver for it has a tinge of impersonality to it. The giver gives because he can afford to and not because he really cares for the cause.

To ensure that we are happy everyday we must begin first by aligning our attitude, our behavior and our actions to be positive. If we are constantly worried and yet spare some alms to get rid of a beggar, we end up making ourselves more miserable for we feel that our alms were wasted, lie hasn’t changed and the worry just keeps increasing. On the other hand if we begin a day with a smile, some pleasant thoughts, some affirmative action and concrete plans to help everyone whom we meet, our mind is already at peace and we simply enhance that peace through extending a hand to a fellow human being.  Simply being friendly and polite to all is a wonderful way to ensure that we experience joy in our heart.  With time and imagination, we will seek out new opportunities to contribute more meaningfully to all those around us and we will then never have to worry about finding peace and solace in our lives.

Remember: “Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.”  Storm Jameson

Try this:

  1. One excellent way to contribute is to become a blood donor. Donate it twice a year at least once on your birthday and then six months later. Alternatively do social service in an institution on fixed days and taking on jobs that others are reluctant to do.
  2. Communicate with people warmly; listen to them with great interest; give out a warm smile; use the magic words please and thank you. These simple actions if sincerely out in practice will reduce your stress, bring tranquility to your life and keep you happy every single day.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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Talking about God is not at all the same thing as experiencing God, or acting out God through our lives. Phillip Hewett

God has been central to the lives of human kind and religion has been the vehicle used to reinforce the belief in god amongst the believers. Religion itself has evolved over time and has acquired various hues, has been instrumental in polarizing people and continues to be the epicenter of fundamentalism, bigotry and extremism.  When objectively studied from the point of view of the metamorphosis of religion over time two facts emerge – God becomes a tool in the hands of the religious and we become slaves to our religion. In effect what we end up doing is preaching and practicing as per our convenience.

To begin with almost all religions have a predominantly ritualistic bias. This is partly a social need so as to rally in numbers and become aware of our faith. Without exception each religion fiercely protects its turf from any form of thought that even remotely questions its dogma or authorities. Followers are happy in the solace they draw from the unknown power of God and rationalize their suffering, pain and fears. They will with impunity amass wealth illegally, part with the spoils under the garb of religious donations and won’t hesitate to pay obeisance at the cost of other ordinary mortals. The outward symbol of religion becomes the focus of people, while they blissfully ignore, sidestep or blind themselves to the core of religion viz. experiencing God and being a living example of God.

To experience God the fundamental requirement is deep faith, undying love and crystal clear values. When these are aligned, one can experience GOD in the wonders of the beauty that abounds in this world; be it the beautiful sunrise or sunset, the lush green meadows and flowers that bloom in spring or in the dazzle of the fireflies that light up the dark evening. One can experience it in the silence of the heart or in the chanting of the prayers; in the solemnity of the rituals or the boisterousness of festivity. The peak experience is the peace and calmness that pervades our stressful life, the joy and ecstasy in the  cry of a new born and the comfort that we get in believing that a loved has gone on to eternal reward.

The ultimate experience is in being a living example. We must be able to touch other lives with empathy and love bringing peace and hope to all those who come in contact with us. We must be prepared to sacrifice so that others can benefit; be merciful just as we are merciful judged by the God we believe in and be unbiased and fair and ensure that everyone gets justice without fear or favor.  If we truly love god we must be able to spread that love to every human being that we are privileged to reach out to through our own personal, caring and loving touch be it in words, thoughts or deeds.

Remember: “What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” Eleanor Powell

Try this:

  1. Read the famous Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi by clicking the following link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Francis You can also hear the audio song by clicking on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRvtkZs7oNg
  2. If you are finding it hard to be at peace, not experiencing the joy and happiness of life, if every day is stressful then ask yourself if you truly experiencing God in your life or being an example to others.  Examine the inconsistencies in your life where you are often found doing what troubles your conscience be it telling lies, defaming people, being brash, rude and brazen or pilfering and robbing, being unfaithful etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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