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Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

14- 10 Jun 15-The real YOUThere is a different prism through which we can see ourselves more clearly; uncomplicated, realistic and honestly. That prism is through the eyes of others who are around you, with who you interact, your colleagues, friends, family and even worthy opponents. They value you not in terms of your wealth, your education or your achievements but seek out the person you really are by stripping of the external trappings and going into your individuality.

This is how your individuality is seen by others and your worth assessed by others.

Kindness = Greatness – Can you stop and help a blind man cross a road? Would you be able to spend time with the aged and infirm who are in institutions. Would you be able to respond charitably to those who may have wronged you? Can you forgive or be magnanimous to acknowledge your fault? There are numerous opportunities to give of yourself and be kind to those who seek your indulgence. Do you seize the opportunities to let them pass by either because you are not inclined to or because you believe someone else will take care of the same? Citations and awards maybe cherished by you and seen as the pinnacle of achievement but it is in giving of yourself that your greatness is brought to the fore.

Modesty =Education and intellect – The college degrees, the merit certificates, the academic performances are just a formal way to acknowledge an individual’s academic performance. To some extent they are also a barometer of a person’s intellect. However, the true worth of one’s education and intellect is reflected in the person’s ability to be humble, modest and graceful to the less equals. Making tall claims, boasting, names dropping, self centered conversations, refusal to respect and appreciate others, running down people etc. are some definite pointers to academics not translating into sound education and appreciable intellect.

Suspicion and prejudices = Ignorance – Insecurity, mistrust, ignorance are negative traits that trigger the mind to be suspicious and prejudiced. The tendency to read too much between the lines, casting aspersions on others, being biased, playing favorites, planting the seeds of doubts etc. are sure signs of a deeper malady of suspicion and prejudice. In reality it reflects one’s ignorance about one’s own competence and also betrays one’s ignorance about the complications and damage that one is inflicting by such behavior.

Consideration and tolerance = Caliber – While personal achievement demonstrate one’s ability, the caliber of an individual goes much beyond personal ability. When an individual can not only perform well but can influence others to give off their best, that is when the real caliber of the individual is on display. Great coaches are a prime example of people with exceptional caliber for they are able to get the best out of their wards. Similarly, team leaders whose teams achieve excellence and retain both the competitive and the team spirit are people with excellent caliber because often they would have to groom people far better than themselves with a healthy dose of encouragement, motivation, firmness and flexibility. Caliber is excellence put to the test and coming up triumphant.

Try these:

  • List out the names of 3 individuals who you have personally interacted with and who you believe are modest people. Pinpoint at least one incident / happening for each individual that made you come to this conclusion about them.
  • Outline 2 of your pet suspicions about others and 2 of your frequent prejudices. Do you have any tangible evidence or proof to harbor such thoughts?
  • Next time you are in a one to one conversation with another individual consciously make it a point to count the number of times you use the word ‘I’ or ‘my’ in your conversation.

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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2-18 Jan 15 The world you seeUnlike a camera that we use to focus on the image we want to capture, our eyes and our mind tend to wander, largely ignoring the wonders around us and often seeing things in a critical light. As a result we tend to mainly notice the ugly, the evil, the negative and the disheartening which in turn makes us frustrated, critical and whiners about everything around us. While it is true, that there is ample unpleasantness that we are subjected to, overlooking the brighter side of life would make us despondent and anxious. More importantly we fail to allow the wonders of life soothen our spirits, cheer us up and discover the elixir of life.

To focus better you need to adjust the lens of your heart first and the eyes will soon focus more clearly. Adjusting the lens of your heart involves 4 steps

Being grateful – Just being alive is a miracle for every day we read a number of obituaries and we also become aware of so many others who are not as fortunate as us. While that is big miracle we are also fortunate to be well educated, economically far better off than the vast majority, enjoy reasonably good health, have the love of family and friends and have the courage and hope to improve our life. Have you taken all these for granted or are you consciously grateful for the numerous gifts you are bestowed with. Once you can identify all that you are grateful for you have already begun to adjust the lens of your heart.

Seeking joy – Joy is found in the simplest of things provided we seek them out. The new bud or the blooming flower in the garden, the chirping of birds, the appearance of the rainbow is natures of way of providing you joy. The gurgle of a child, the giggle of a teenager, the hug of a friend and the blessings of elders are joyful bonuses given to you to make you feel richer even when you don’t have a dime in your wallet. Find joy in drinking a refreshing glass of water, in the unexpected lift you got to a far of destination, in an unexpected email from a long lost friend . Soon you will graduate to saying ‘ it could have been worse’ and find joy even in your time of trails and grief. The lens of your heart is now focusing even more clearly.

Sharing more – Give of your time, your talents and your possessions and the joy these bring are immeasurable. A smile costs nothing and the same is true of a word of encouragement and appreciation. Making a sick visit or a visit to an elderly and lonely person would bring the other person joy for sure and double your own joy too. Nothing stops you from giving away what you don’t need; it also helps clear clutter not to mention that is will surely help you experience the joy of having done a good deed. Go and volunteer for that is when you commit what you really value- your time; for it can never be replaced. Your heart is clearly filling up with joy for the lens just needs a slight adjustment now.

Be forgiving – You can never experience joy if you carry a hurt, nurture a grudge or seek revenge. Letting go of the past, letting bygones be bygones and being magnanimous enough to forgive would be both a test of character and the key to happiness. No sooner you let go of the negative emotions and feelings and whole heartedly forgive those who have wronged you, the last bit of blur in the lens of your heart clears up. You can now see the world around you in its pristine glory, appreciate fully the blessings showered on you, acknowledge with pride and a joyful heart that ‘life is wonderful’!

Try it now no matter what your age, gender or status; awaken and experience a new person.

Try this:

  1. List 2 ways in which you will give of your time, talent and possessions. Put a deadline in which you will implement each of your 6 commitments.
  2. Choose from this list of activities and attempt to do at least 3 in the coming 3 months
  • Volunteering to help in clearing up a hill slope / river front / an open space
  • Donating blood at a blood donation drive
  • Signing up for eye/ organ donation
  • Spending half a day at least at an old age home/ orphanage / prison/ mental asylum/ school for the blind / a home for the physically challenged
  • Teaching at a school for the under privileged
  • Organizing a fund raiser for any one of the above activities
  • Seeking pardon from someone whom you have wronged and apologizing for the anguish you caused the person

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog
www.poweract.blogspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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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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13-29- How to overcome JealousyWith the world being influenced by a slew of marketing gimmicks we are brainwashed into thinking that we are incomplete without possessing the product we are seduced by. Obviously lack of funds is often the one single reason that we cannot posses what we crave for. However the pain is made worse when we notice our peers or friends or acquaintances possessing things we craved for. This added pain is an outcome of jealousy; the feeling of not merely craving for what others have but more importantly the hurt that he / she possesses it. Jealousy is a self inflicted pain that we carry around with neither a cure in sight nor the possibility of not adding to our pain.

We become jealous for 2 reasons.

We ignore or discount our own blessings.

Almost all of us are guilty of taking all what we are blessed with for granted. This means that we simply discount the value of our blessings and never ever value it till we are deprived of it. A simple example is good health. It is only when we stub a toe or sprain our ankle or suffer a fracture that we realize what a blessing it is to have good health. In a similar way we do not realize the value of the intangible blessings we have like the love of a family, the liberation got from our education, the freedom of speech and much more because we are in a democratic set up etc.

We are however equally quick to outrightly discount our tangible blessings; be it money or possessions because when we look around there is always someone who has more. Be it a mobile or a car or a house, ideally we would want to own a version higher than what we are blessed with.

We focus on others and selectively choose to highlight what they are blessed with.

Look back at your school days and recollect the times your parents compared your marks of each subject with the marks of the person who scored the highest in the respective subjects. You would have hated the fact that this was done and you found it unfair that toppers marks were used to gauge your performance and possibly also suffer the ignominy of being berated. Now pause for a moment and ask yourself if you felt jealous about a colleague’s lavish lifestyle or her wardrobe or their swanky new car etc. Do you have similar jealous feelings for some else who owns a roaring business or has a enviable social life? Have you ever paused to find out the price they have paid for those trappings of success that you are jealous about? Are you aware of the undercurrents of worries, possibly hurt and worse still fear and loneliness that could possibly be a hidden part of their real life?

Jealousy can be overcome by simply being grateful for what you have and by focusing and proactively going after the innumerable opportunities life gives us to aspire, perspire and acquire what we want.

Try this:

  • If you were to suddenly inherit USD 10,000 what would you splurge it on? You must use for at least 5 different items or purposes. Now ask yourself if any of those purchases were subconsciously dictated by a desire to own it because someone else known to you has it or because of the snob value associated with it. Is there any item you plan to purchase that is purely to indulge in a personal passion or yearning.
  • Can you identify 5 things which you are certain will make you happy. The cost should not be a limiting factor in deciding these 5 things. For each of these things can you be very specific as to color, features, measurements etc. e.g. don’t simply say ‘ I want a car’ but specify the make and type and features of the specific model you crave for. Now that you have written it for what worthwhile causes will you sacrifice these indulgences without a trace of regret.

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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True peace of mind is not dependent on circumstances. It comes from the inside.

The most common ailment that people complaint about is anxiety/ stress/ lack of peace of mind. Ironically, almost all of them believe that they are the part of a minority of unfortunate ones with the problem whilst the majority of people are blissful, joyous and at peace with themselves.  In fact the major cause of stress is this belief that everyone else seems to be so lucky and happy and that we are denied that pleasure. In this process we blame everyone and everything for our woes but our major complaint is against our lack of financial well being which we are convinced can be a single dose pill for all our worries and the anti depressant that will bring forth peace of mind.

Negative thinking accounts for all the stress that we undergo. We enjoy visualizing the worst case scenario in the hope that if it occurs we would not feel so bad about it and that we would be well prepared to meet it. Negative thinking can take on bizarre proportions right from blaming corruption and nepotism for our personal woes to wondering aloud about our own future be it in relation to a job or family life or wealth accumulation or relationships.  Instead of being pragmatic we lapse into reminiscing about the wonderful past that we believe will no longer come back and / or we morosely anticipate a future that we believe will be bleak, insipid and possibly terrifying.

Our temperament, temper, anxieties and negative feelings of jealousy, hate, revenge, envy, fear etc contribute in large measure to us not enjoying peace of mind. If we can examine the root cause of what ails us and makes us sleepless, fearful, worried and anxious we would realize that almost of all of it has its origins in our mind and heart. Comparisons are perhaps the single most destructive trait / habit that we posses that eventually wrecks our peace of mind. We compare our looks, our talents, our possessions, our fortunes, our academic credentials, our material possessions etc  and conclude that others are by far much more lucky and we then fall into the quagmire of self pity. Many are fearful of failure, others wary of success for then the benchmark could be hard to emulate; others are suspicious of the motives, the intent and the large heartedness of others who apparently freely give and share without any expectations.

Self belief, openness, gratefulness and trust are virtues that if we can posses or cultivate will de-stress us and nurture peace of mind.  With self belief we overcome fear, with openness we accept the reality, with gratefulness we value our own riches and with trust we remove ill feeling and misgivings and can easily forgive. Notice that all these are positive traits, are traits that fertilize the mind and help cultivate positive thoughts and traits that are within us waiting for us to discover it and bring it to the fore. No matter what the situation, whatever be the problem or however complicated the reality, we develop the mental strength to cope with it without undue stress and quickly regain our peace of mind.

Remember: When you unclutter your mind, you enjoy peace of mind.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 positive things about stress. Are you harnessing these positive things when stressed or do you end up losing your peace of mind?  What are the 3 obvious mannerism that you display when you are stressed or worked up? Do you deny being stressed if someone remarks that they think your stressed?
  2. On a scale of 1- 10 (with 1 being no stress and 10 being acute stress) rate the stress you will be subject to in the following circumstances. Give the list to your close friend/ colleague/ spouse and ask them to rate how they perceive you to be stressed under these conditions. Compare both scores and if there are large deviations between both scores ask yourself the reasons for the same.
  • Your doctor tells you that you may be having cancer.
  • You lose a substantial amount when your investments go bust.
  • Your friend and you purchase lottery tickets in sequence. The friend wins the bumper lottery and you do not.
  • You win a 2 week all expenses paid holiday to Europe but unfortunately you are down with chicken pox and cannot go on the trip.
  • A close family member announces that he is gay
  • You think your best friend has betrayed you.

 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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I wept because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet. Ancient Persian saying

Look around and you will find a hundred things to be grateful for but most times we are bitterly complaining, comparing and cursing our fate simply because we do not get what we want. As human beings we have the yoke of the seven deadly sins of Lust, Anger, Pride, Sloth, Envy, Gluttony and Greed. Each of these sins provokes the human mind to visualize images of having the second best or noting at all and therein lies the bane of the human race; our envy of others, our feeling of dissatisfaction and our propensity to rave and rant about the unfairness of life.

On the other hand if we consciously look out for people who are contented with life, you will find that almost all of them sport a smile, they are simply happy to be blessed with whatever they have and they have no materialistic desires or cravings. Study them from close quarters and we also realize that their happiness stems from their contentment and joy they experience by whole heartedly embracing the bounty they are blessed with. The issue that often worries us is that many of them seem to be in far worse of position than our own and yet they seem to be in a perpetual state of bliss. We cannot comprehend how those who have far lesser than us who are always cribbing can find so much of riches in their own life. Ironically their happiness and contentment make us more frustrated that they are happy and we are not.

Instead one must seek out how and why those less fortunate than us can live in peace happiness and contentment. The secret lies in their mindset and their attitude. Anyone who is happy has first of all decided to be happy. No matter what the circumstances they make it a point to see something to cheer about, something to warm their cockles and keep their spirits up. The next thing they consciously do is be grateful for whatever they have. Even if they have an illness they are grateful that it is nothing more serious. If they have lost something, they would be grateful that the loss is limited. The one thing they don’t do is compare what others have with they own possessions. This enables them to avoid feelings of envy, jealously, frustration etc. It also enables them to understand their own requirements better and aspire only for what they really need and therefore limit their wants and desires and quite often attaining it and thereby managing to live in a perennial state of happiness.

We too can change our mindset and adopt these practices. The first step is to realize that those who are happy are stress free for they have nothing really to worry about. Being stress free automatically improves our health, self belief and attitude. This must be followed up with the practices of appreciating the many blessings we get each day. It could be the pleasure of a bright lovely morning, the aroma of a hearty breakfast, the boisterous and carefree shouts of children at play or the success of a venture or a personal agenda. Obviously the toughest test to pass is a conscious decision not to be envious or frustrated at another’s wealth, possessions or successes. We must when such temptations lure us, remember that if we succumb then it is essential that we also compare the burdens, trials and tribulations of the other person too. After all no one ever lives on a bed of roses perennially.  The happiest person too carries his own cross and personal burden and his happiness is despite these woes that he has to shoulder. Are our problems, troubles or woes as bad as what many others go through?

Remember: “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

Try this:

  1. Can you make a list of 5 things that you desperately craved for in your growing up years but were denied it. Can you think of reasons why you were denied it? On hindsight did those denials affect your life in any major way?
  2. You are in the hot seat in the game ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ / Kon Banega Crorepati. You have Rs,50 lakhs and have to attempt the question to get Rs. 1 crore with no lif lines left.  If you lose you go back with just Rs.3,20,000. However if you win, you get an additional life line for the Rs.5 crore prize which is a roll of the dice. Here for the Rs.5 crore prize, a dice with 4 numbers is rolled and the number appearing will be matched with the answer on the corresponding box. If it is the right answer you get the prize of Rs.5 crores straight away. However if it is wrong then that answer is eliminated and you have to choose from the reaming 3 answers only. Would you attempt the Rs.1 crore question with a great chance of winning the Rs.5 crore prize or take the Rs.50 lakh prize and quit the game ?

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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Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. Estonian proverb

People have a natural tendency to expect a lot but very few deem it necessary to be grateful and thankful in the same proportion as that of the bounty they receive. In fact there are very many times that we rationalize that the haves are morally bound to share what they have with the have not’s. Unfortunately what we do not realize is that our real craving would not be as much for material possessions as much as for our psychological needs and that companionship, understanding, encouragement etc. are what nourishes our spirit and soul and no amount of thanks can ever equal the true worth of the act.

Right from childhood we are trained to liberally use the 3 magic words of please, sorry and thank you. As we grow up these words come unconsciously to the fore at the appropriate time, but alas they have lost the spirit and the feeling that should really accompany the words. Sometimes, a please often sounds like a muted threat, a sorry is said with such poor grace that the intended recipient begins to feel sorry for the other party’s lack of upbringing and thank you sounds harshly indifferent and almost unkind.  However all is not lost. There are still enough people who value their words and are genuine and are demonstrative with their feeling.

Many people believe that a thank you is to be only articulated and so they never visualize other possibilities. Helping the blind to cross a road is also a way of saying thank you for the gift of eyesight that you enjoy. Spending a day out at the old age home is a way of saying thank you for the gift of our wonderful grandparents. When we begin to see our small actions in this light, we realize that we are actually living our thank you. A token of appreciation would be a very tangible and practical way to demonstrate our thanks. However it is the grace and feeling with which we present it that is the real thank you that is valued and treasured.  Has it occurred to you that when we approach someone for help, it is a way of saying thank you to that persons abilities / expertise.  By requesting  their help we are acknowledging their competence and indirectly stating that we are thankful that they are available for us.

There are many acts done by others that we can never sufficiently thank them for.  Someone stepping in to lend you some big sums to help you avoid a major financial crisis or a stranger who helps out an accident victim/s or a soldier who sacrifices his life in the cause of the nations call are examples of people whose efforts can never be thanked enough. There is opportunity for each one of us though, to say a big thank you to the world at large and for the wonders of life. A small beginning is by doing everything within our power to promote ecofriendlyness and reduce the ecological imbalance. Reducing the use of plastics, moving on to using biodegradable items and actively supporting the environmental cause are some ways of saying thank you to our forefathers who gave us a beautiful world. The biggest thank you that a person can offer is to be a donor after death. Be it an eye donor or an organ donor, this is perhaps the best gift that one can give as the ultimate thank you to GOD for the wonderful life bestowed. More importantly the recipients will never be able to feel obliged and they would remain thankful to you in their hearts forever.

Remember: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Try this:

  1. Go and visit some of your old teachers and spent some time with them. Take a gift for them too. If they live too far away at least send them a small thank you card or letter.
  2. Be an active blood donor and at least once a year on your birthday try to donate blood. If you are medically not fit to donate blood you can try and encourage others to do so once a year.
  3. Make an effort to find out about how one can become an eye donor / organ donor. Perhaps you can also pass on the message about such organ donation to others.

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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