Tag: Humble

Core life skills

Core life skills

In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, the challenges of coping with the changes and the evolving dynamics, are both stressful and laced with apprehension. Yet what does not change and what helps one remain balanced during testing times, are the core beliefs that we should embrace with faith. It is not just the technology that challenges us but more worrisome is the human dynamics that have been cast asunder; the traditional family values, societal norms and the fragility of the bonds between cultures, regions, religions, beliefs and values.  Yet to retain our sanity and remain equanimous  in the face of changes that tend to overwhelm us, all we need to do is focus and implement the core life skills which are:

Calm, but alert – If you see a duck paddling in the water, you would never notice how frantically it is paddling below the water because above the water it looks exceedingly calm and serene. Similarly, in the wild, observe the docile creatures like deer’s and gazelle’s. They remain calm but constantly look around to be alert to any danger lurking in the thickets. They do not visualize trouble in their mind and get anxious but they do anticipate trouble, as they are aware of predators around. We humans tend to absorb negativity and project it in our outlook instead of taking calculated risks with an inbuilt trigger to help us remain safe.

Relaxed, but ready – Observe the great athletes of the world. They know that they are competing against the best and that the results are quite open ended giving everyone a fair chance to win. Yet when they warm up before the event, they are fairly relaxed, prepped up but calm, anxious perhaps but equally excited because they know that it is crunch time. Their training and self belief have got them thus far, it is just their performance that matters. Winning and losing are par for the course and that is why they prepare well and compete hard. They are always ready for the competition. No tensions, no anxieties, no worries.

Smooth, but sharp –A pin, a needle, a nail have a sharp point but the rest of it is sleek and smooth. A football or basketball too is smooth but only when it has the air that sharpens its contours. A cricket and golf ball gets its sharpness when the exterior is hard but it is the smoothness that allows it to roll well. In life you can be smooth by being empathetic, polite, respectful, committed, loyal and honest. At the same time you need to be sharp by being assertive, determined, confident, courageous and focused.

Humble, but confident– Success must breed humility not arrogance. Failure must be seen as a stepping stone to success. When you get success, there is no virtue more important that being humble to keep your grounded. When failure unexpectedly makes its rounds in your life, believe that they temporary hiccups and be confident that you are well prepared to overcome the setbacks. As they say, a Lion never roars after a kill; it never has to announce his accomplishments. At the same time be aware that a Lion is successful only 17-20% of the time it attempts a kill. Yet it is supremely confident that it can succeed the next time around. Your humility must never be seen as your weakness nor must your confidence morph into arrogance.

Try these:           

  • What are your three favorite quotes / proverbs / inspirational sayings / poem’s? Do they reflect any of the above core principles of life?
  • Which of the above 4 principles best represent your nature? Which principle do you think you will find most difficult to implement and why?
  • Can you identify one teacher, one friend, one colleague and one relative who best display most of the above principles in their life?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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Simplicity makes life fuller

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough. Charles Dudley Warner

When we talk about simplicity the names that come to the forefront include Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and our former Prime Minister Lal Bahadhur Shastriji, George Washington Carver and Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank fame. The common thread that binds these simple people is their nonchalant attitude towards clothing, appearance and appreciation. On the contrary, they were focused on far more nobler deeds and targets that would have looked foolhardy and utopian to the average person but in their simplicity and innocence they never saw themselves as attempting something improbable  nor did they doubt their capacity to achieve their goals. The power of simplicity lies in the reality that no one needs to complicate thought, words or deeds.

Simplicity has a charm that is unique in as much as it does not put pressure on anyone to conform, act artificial or stick to a prepared script. In effect this allows the person to be free of any social, psychological or personal pressure. In fact being simple allows a person the freedom to set self imposed boundaries, norms and regulations which are often harsher and more challenging that what an average person can endure or put up with. The average person is often compelled to dress up to suit the societal norm, behave in a more artificial and stilted manner as determined by local custom and etiquettes and interact within the strict confines of social grace which often stifles one’s own individuality and personality.

A person’s simplicity is his enduring identity for in a world that is competing for eyeballs and attention, the jarring note of simplicity stands out.  The catch though is that when we are non conformists, acceptance takes a very long time and can test anyone patience and sanity. Well meaning and intimate friends and associates in particular would pressurize one to give up some of the radical ideas and instead toe the line as determined by the environment. E.g. attend a formal banquet in a suit and tie or struggle with a fork and spoon whilst at a formal dinner even if the food is Indian and the dishes most suited to be eaten by hand. Anyone who dares to deviate from these social norms is often viewed disdainfully and could also face the wrath of social isolation. However if they have the resolve to steadfastly hold on to their personal convictions, their fortitude, honestly and transparency will endear them to the world at large and they will find both acceptance and hearty support.

Frugality in living, steadfast personal conviction and a lofty thinking are the hallmarks of simplicity. There is no flamboyance, no power play, no one-upmanship or vulgar display of wealth, all of which are associated with the cravings and desires of the average person. The ability to be humble, open, determined and focused characterizes the spirit, the work and the success of the simple people who are the change agents in society.  For every well known Gandhiji, Mother Theresa and Shastriji there are a thousand others who in their own quite, focused and simple way remain true to their ideals and remain unsung heroes of simplicity. The dabbawallas of Mumbai and  the women’s self help groups are prime examples of the power of simplicity.

Remember: We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants.  Not wanting something is as good as possessing it.  ~Donald Horban

Try this:

  1. Try and go to the simplest restaurant and or wayside shack and make an effort to sit there and eat the local fare. Be aware of your emotions. Did you feel overdressed for the setting? Did you feel uncomfortable when the local people looked you up and down? Were you apprehensive of the quality of the food?
  2. For the next one year, resist all temptation to send e-cards or readymade cards. Instead, either prepare your own greeting cards or write a letter by hand and snail mail it to the intended recipient.  Did you find the task laborious and not worth it? Did you feel nice about the effort you took? Do you feel hurt that the recipient has not acknowledged your efforts?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

An exercise in humility

When the knees are not often bent, the feet soon slide. Anon

Humility is a great virtue and even the most egoist person would have to bend his knees to offer his / her prayers to the almighty.  Often there are times when we have to bow down to other forms of authority and as many a business man has realized ‘customer is king’ and ‘customer relations’ the mantra that brings even the biggest business man to his knees. The finicky movie business demonstrates it best when we see the lead actors and actresses forced to make public appearances to promote their latest movie simply because there is no guarantee of success and connecting with the audience is mandatory.

Being humble is a sure shot way to connect with reality. The fact is no one can achieve anything all on his/ her own. You have family and friends to thank for their implicit faith and trust in you, colleagues and associates for their part in supporting your endeavors, your competitors and critics for keeping you on your toes and making you competitive and there is the world at large who is the reason you become someone. Failures are inevitable but they reinforce the reality that you are vulnerable and that is a sobering thought that keeps you grounded. Your mistakes force you to apologize and that is a humbling experience and an ego buster.

Humility is an excellent ego monitor. While ego propels people into venturing into unchartered waters, success pumps the ego and one can tend to be over bloated with pride and arrogance. Humility comes as an antidote to such crass and crude mentality. Dynasties and kingdoms have met their Waterloo not because of social revolution as much as because of the lack of humility that blinded the power hungry to the reality of a changing world order.  The days of monopoly business are over partly because of the technological revolution but in large measure due to a brash management cozy in their ivory towers blissfully ignorant of their own inadequacies and bashfully brushing aside the any suggestion that competition is heating up.

Networking and connections are best established if one is humble. The lowest to the highest person in society can connect with a person who is perceived as humble. Humility empowers a person to be open, free and frank, virtues that immediately attract others to ones aid. The remarkable achievements of social activists, local level leaders, visionary citizens and the like can be traced to the fact that almost all of them is humble enough to go to the people with their pleas and get the necessary resources from the very people whom they want to serve.  Rich or poor if a person requires to ensure the availability of fresh blood for a surgery to be undergone, it is the network and connections that will come in handy more than money and power. Humility will be the one virtue that ensures people connect with your need and go out of their way to help.

Remember: “To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.”Benjamin Franklin

Try this:

  1. Reflect on the 3 individuals for whom you have a very high regard. Ask yourself if their Humility is one of the virtues that influenced your appreciation of them?
  2. On Good Friday, the Pope washes the feet of 12 people who represent the disciples. It is one of the most public display of humility. Do you recollect any such similar incidents or events that you have come across?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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