Tag: Habits

Reading is breathing for the mind

37- Reading is...

Reading is perhaps one of the most enjoyable leisure activities. It certainly is an unavoidable compulsion for students and teachers alike. The ability to read and write is also the yardstick used to distinguish the literate from the illiterate. What makes reading so unique is that it has the ability to evoke emotions, feelings, thrills and fears, laughter and sadness, pain and pleasure apart from allowing the reader to vividly visualize, leisurely contemplate and at times act decisively. It is breathing for the mind because it keeps our mind active, vibrant and alive to possibilities.

To get the best out of reading and to cultivate the art and enjoy the experience focus on the following:

Variety in reading – If you can bring yourself to read a variety of genres, styles, topics, authors and have different reasons for reading you will never tire of reading. Reading the newspaper is perhaps one of the most common reading activity indulged in by the overwhelming majority. This is because in a dynamically changing world, each one of us wants to know what is going on. The newspaper also offers variety in terms of current affairs, sports, leisure, and politics being major areas covered. However a visit to the library or a book shops opens up a enormous possibilities to explore and there is limitless variety in reading material.

Purposeful reading – If there is focus on why you want to read you will ensure that you read just what you want to read without feeling that you have wasted your time. Students largely have focus on their reading because the objective is appear for exams and score well. This enables them to cope with the reading that they may not necessarily like but which is unavoidable. Similarly, having focus helps you identify what interests you, the styles of writing and genres that engage you. You may even switch genres which are completely different but it ensures that you are never bored or that the content is monotonous. It also allows you the freedom to stop reading what does not appeal to you without feeling guilty.

Enjoy what you read While reading as part of learning can at times get exhausting, it is your attitude that will determine how tedious the reading is. Obviously given a choice, you will read just what you fancy and hopefully you enjoy what you read. At times, you pick up a book either because it is a best seller or because it is highly recommended but if you are plodding through it, it is best you switch to what interest. The pleasure of reading comes from how easy it feels to ones senses in terms of style, content, appeal and pleasure it brings to the reader.

Share your learning – By sharing the key concepts or the salient features with others, you actually relive the book and the pleasure it gave you. It is also indicative of how it has impacted you and how eager you are to ensure others too get a pleasure out of it.

Cultivate it as habit – The more you read, greater the pleasure and the learning. Cultivate reading as a habit. It refreshes the mind, enhances your knowledge, gives you stimulus and is a wonderful companion especially when you are alone.

Try these

  1. List out 5 of your favorite books and authors. Identify one reason why each book appeals to you.
  2. What types of books appeal to you? What genres of writing do you like?
  3. Which characters in the books you have read endear themselves to you and why?
  4. Which well known book did not appeal to you? Can you identify the reasons you did not like the book?
  5. Name one incident from any of your reading that you still recall vividly or with nostalgia.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

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It is easy to be rich…

3- 17 Jan 16 It is easy to be richMonetary riches are tangible, easy to identify and hence envied by many. It also has tremendous value, influence and power for it is a common denominator for transactions. As a result, monetary riches assume importance, play a significant role in daily life and amassing it is a prime objective of human beings. However, money has its severe limitations; it cannot be traded for happiness, peace and bliss. On the other hand, if we looked around and identified our friends almost of all them would are your friends not because they are rich but because you find happiness, peace and bliss when with them. Your friends are perhaps the best riches you can ever possess.

However, you can also be rich in words, deeds and spirit by focusing on very personal and intangible riches that you can cultivate and personalize. 

Adopt good habits – We humans are creatures of habit. We tend to repeat, retrace and respond to daily happenings in almost identical fashion. Our attitudes, our beliefs and our behavior is largely influenced by the habits we have adopted and cultivated. If we cultivate the right habits we would be rich beyond measure because our responses would be exquisitely carved out, our manners and etiquettes would be prim and proper and above all we would be affable to others. Your habits enrich your interaction with others and in turn they value you.

Embrace lofty values – Your values would determine and influence your habits as also how you evolve. Your values would also determine the type of influence you exert over others for leadership is often an outcome of being steadfast to core values that are exhibited in thought word and deed. Values are like a compass that points you the right direction. Your value system determines your convictions, ability to hold your own even in the face of stiff opposition and your determination to keep going even when the odds are stacked against you. In embracing your values you enrich your spirit and your ideals.

Have a big vision Most of us meander through life simply because we do not have a big enough vision for ourselves. We work because we have to earn a living. We then end up hating our job, our routine and work becomes a drudgery. On the other hand those who progress in life, envision themselves doing work for a larger purpose. They do not see themselves as a mere cog in the wheel but aim to be the most important cog in the wheel that keeps the whole machinery going. Their big vision enables them to work with zeal, put in more effort and grow in their jobs and their life. With a big vision one can display enterprise, creativity, commitment and tangible worth. They enrich their own future and life by thinking big and widening their vision.

Stand by your commitments There is nothing as valuable as your word. A person who cannot stand by his commitment loses respect, is viewed as unreliable and is largely shunned by those who have had a bitter taste of his/ her false promises. A person who can stand by his/ her commitment gets endorsed, is respected and is trusted. Being trusted is a richness that no amount of money can buy.

Be disciplined – Our failures are not because we are not competent but because we lack the ability to be disciplined. Our ability to stick to our plans, our ability to keep going even when we do not seem to be succeeding, our ability to adopt a tough path so as to get closer to our goals require us to be disciplined. Discipline is the only way to align our values, our vision, our habits and our commitments so as to succeed in life. When we are disciplined we have an extra ordinary control over our own life. Discipline is not a virtue we can ever buy and yet it is a richness that each of us can nurture and cultivate within us.

Try this:

It is now midway through the first month of the year. You can still write down your resolutions, modify the resolutions written, write down an action plan to succeed in fulfilling your resolutions. Keep the above points in mind when doing this exercise.

What is your vision for a better city that you live in? What commitment can you make to ensure you contribute to that vision? What habits will you adopt to ensure you make significant strides towards contributing to your vision? What is the one discipline you will follow diligently to ensure that your habits and commitments are synced with your vision and values so that you can make a difference to the city you live in.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Self inflicted pain

The greatest grief’s are those we cause ourselves. Sophocles

The common tendency among people is to claim credit for all success and pass on blame for all failures. While there are many times we can legitimately claim to be the chief architect of success, there are as many number of reasons for us to take blame for.  Broadly we are guilty of failing on 3 counts and causing grief for ourselves; Poor attitude, ineffective communication and terrible time management.

The great fault many of us are guilty of most often is our very poor attitude. Most times we are negative about happenings in our lives. Other times we are extremely critical and go around as if on a fault finding mission. This results in us making more enemies, being critical unfairly and we find it very difficult to appreciate something.  Some of us have perfected the art of having excuses for every criticism that is directed at us and we have honed the fine art of escaping all responsibility. There are others who can always find someone to blame for anything that goes wrong. At various times we display other unproductive tendencies like being indecisive, self centered, loud mouthed, boastful, bashful and in extreme cases being foul mouthed and brazen.

Our ineffective communication manifests itself in us being ‘I’ focused and not ‘WE’ centered. This implies that we draw attention to ourselves thereby alienating peers, subordinates and group members. This also makes us vulnerable to be perceived as selfish, self centered and sly.  We are also guilty of being selective in our communication, either not communicating to some people or holding back critical information with deliberate intent. To be effective in our communication it is imperative that we have both the right spirit and use the right tools to communicate appropriately. A common tendency for most people is to delay communicating any bad news for fear that the messenger will be shot in the process. If communication is not timely the consequences can be disastrous for it can be too late to take corrective action. The greatest communication crime is to be silent when one has to open up and to be over communicative when one has to observe restraint.

In business terms not meeting deadlines is the greatest crime for it upsets carefully laid out plans and causes monetary loss as well as loss of reputation.  On a personal level not keeping appointments, being frequently delayed on flimsy grounds or being fashionably late are unpardonable crimes in the lexicon of the disciplined and punctual. Not keeping time implies that we are casual, unprofessional and disrespectful to others. There are other time related crimes that we perpetrate like giving unrealistic deadlines,  giving casual time commitments like saying ‘ We can revert in 1 – 2 months’ and not being apologetic for not meeting our time commitments.   The worst possible time management crime is penalizing the punctual person by keeping them waiting despite having a prior confirmed appointment .

If we look at the above ineffective behaviors that each of us guilty of sometime in some degree, the common thread is that we have full control over these and are fully responsible for it and yet we take the whole business casually.  What we don’t seem to consciously realize is that in the whole process of being tardy, casual and inefficient we are hurting ourselves the most.

Remember: Casualness leads to casualties.

Try this:

  1. The next time you are going to miss an appointment, make it a point to inform the concerned as soon as possible.  When giving commitments think twice and make sure that you can live up to your promise.  Use the maxim ‘ Promise less and deliver more’ to guide you in being perceive as more effective.
  2. Watch your attitude, words and habits for anything negative, disruptive, cynical, casual and self centered. If one can control these and turn them around to something positive, energetic and exciting we would be enhancing the quality of our lives and the lives of those who come in contact with us.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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