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Posts Tagged ‘Learning’

41- Dec 17-Let it goAs we near the end of the year it is perhaps an ideal time to look back and review the happenings in our personal life. Perhaps the three most important aspects of our life that we need to pay attention to are our relationships, our lifestyle and our job. Ideally no matter how each of those aspects of our life is, in an ideal world we would try to remain happy with the cards we are dealt. In fact most times we try our best to adjust to the situation even if we are not very happy it  partly because we worry about loss of face, partly because we fear change but largely because the world around us expects us to have a perfect life. It is also true that finding an alternative is challenging, making a decision to change is tougher but the toughest part is to admit to ourselves that we have to let it go if we are merely suffering in the relationship, lifestyle or job.

It is obvious that any drastic decision to be taken regarding any aspect of life has to be examined thoroughly, given sufficient time and effort so as to be sure it is not working out and then a firm decision taken if the surgery is to be done. Here are a few questions that one needs to honestly answer before you conclude that something important to you is not making you happy and that you have to let it go and cut it off from your life.

  • Is it really important to me?
  • Can I do without it?
  • How much am I responsible for not making it work for me?
  • I am being fair in my judgment?
  • What are the alternatives that I believe will work best for me?
  • How / what can I do to remedy the situation?
  • Should I seek another opinion before I give up?
  • Once I give up would I ever regret it?

The above are just suggestive questions and depending on each individual situation, one must ask the appropriate questions and more importantly objectively analyze the answers.

You must begin the change you want and you must reflect the change too.

Begin the New Year afresh with hope, dreams and passion.

Try these

  • List out 3- 5 changes you plan to bring in your life in the coming year. E.g. getting rid of a bad habit or inculcating a good habit
  • Outline three relationships you will attempt to strengthen in the coming year.
  • What is the one new thing you will dare to attempt in the coming year.
  • What is the one question that you seek an answer to?

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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38- Faliure is not the opposite of successOnce we can orient our thinking to appreciate the tremendous insight provided by the above quote, chances are, we will never be apprehensive or fearful of failure. Failure has been stigmatized, it has been projected as the antonym of success and it has been the one word that every individual has been cautioned to keep away from. The reality is that failure has merits but unfortunately the word failure has been demonized and the merits cast away.  A glimpse of how failure is an essential part of success is shared below.

Provides painful lessons grasped quickly – While success is craved by everyone, the lessons from success are not as strongly ingrained in the mind as much as lessons learned from failure. Failure could be a painful outcome despite a good effort so it hurts more. However, it is the lessons learnt  from failure that enables one to reorient ones thinking, enables one to be creative, helps change ones approach to a problem and remains a constant reminder on how to avoid previous mistakes so as to achieve success. E.g. if one was tardy in studies the fail result in the report card and its consequences would be a good reminder to be more diligent in studies.

It is a hard rock on which one can built something strong – Failure provides one a strong rock like foundation to build on simply because one has to start again but this time one would be more alert, agile and astute. The pain and shame of failure is always a bitter pill to swallow.  Hence next time around one would invest time, energy and effort very cautiously and prudently so as to ensure one does not fitter away one’s resources.  At the same time failure highlights the chinks in one’s armor, helps one realize the importance of going back to the drawing board to work on a more robust plan that can succeed.  E.g. Steve Jobs life provides you a perfect script of success being tempered by failure and subsequent bigger success.

It acts as speed breakers on the high way of success – Success is often very heady and that can lead to reckless behavior. A failure is a wonderful speed breaker that tempers one’s exuberance, helps slow down ones pace to suit our temperament and above all ensures that we pause to refresh, recharge and resist the temptation to be over ambitious and take reckless risks. E.g. look at the monumental failures of once billionaires who took dubious means to multiply their wealth till their failures were exposed

It sensitizes one to be more humane and pragmatic The true measure of success is how one can have a positive influence on the environment around. Yet many equate success with wealth, influence and power alone.  Failure helps one realize his / her human failings, makes one look around in a more humane way and then channelizes success for the larger good of society. E.g. The spurt in voluntary CSR initiatives of corporates or the philanthropic initiatives of the rich are an acknowledgement of their belief that they have failed to use their wealth for the larger good of mankind and they are now making efforts to correct that.

It is just one extreme end of the continuum called life– Success is one end of a continuum called life. At the other end is failure. Seen differently they are two sides of a coin. You cannot relish success with out a taste of failure. One can better appreciate the joys of success only when one has tasted the bitterness of failure. Winning a game with no opponents will never give you an euphoria as much as winning games beating tough opponents. It is because failure exits that quest for success becomes more challenging and enjoyable. E.g. Ask Usain Bolt how much more valuable his gold medals from previous Olympics are, especially after his relative failure in his last races.

Try these

  • List out three of your major failure and the lessons each failure taught you.
  • List out your three major successes   and identify any failure that had a part to play in each of those successes.
  • What is the best compliment you ever got? Can you identify 3 reasons that made the compliment really worthwhile?
  • What are the areas of concern for you where you fear failure? What steps are you taking to ensure success in those areas?

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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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 

 You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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31- 31 Aug 17-A makeover for Myself

It is an excellent practice for every individual to take time out to re-energize, recharge and reinvent herself/himself. The problem is that one has to often do it all alone because no one knows the self better than the individual concerned. The simple mantra to achieve it is to believe and practice the phrase ‘ I am working on myself for myself by myself.’ The mantra sounds simple enough but the practice of the same is tricky because it involves the following steps:

Analyzing the self – This has to be done objectively. Spend time reflecting about your strengths and of course your weaknesses.  Apart from thinking, reflecting and analyzing on your own, take time to also seek clues in appreciation, criticism, feedback you get from time to time from family, friends, colleagues and experts. Their feedback would have some correlation to the reality and hence could provide you a better insight into your own self. Focus also on your interests, your latent passion and skills and your dreams for the future.

Identifying the areas of improvement – It is possible that there could be a wide variety of feedback that indicates areas for improvement. Some of these could be frivolous, a few very pertinent but the key is in identifying those areas of weakness that you need to strengthen because they are critical to your success. It could key competencies related to your profession or behavioral aspects or new skills to be learnt or bad habits to be eliminated. E.g. you maybe a poor listener or you could be an introvert both cardinal sins if you are a sales professional.

Finding a method to strengthen the weak areas of the self – It could be by sheer will power or by constant practice or it may require an external intervention. An external intervention could be in the nature of attending a specialized course or attending a relevant workshop or by sourcing the relevant material to read up on etc. At times despite your best efforts, you do not seem to be progressing and that is when one gets demoralized. At these times, you require a good mentor; perhaps a good friend or a strong tutor or the support of an understanding boss. Take strength also from the encouragement of others, the positive feedback you get and from seeking the progress you make even if it is a wee bit slow and sporadic.

Leveraging personal strengths – While focusing on overcoming personal weakness it must also be borne in mind that we can leverage our strengths to progress rapidly and become effective in our personal, professional and social life. If we do not utilize our talents, abilities and strengths we would be losing out on opportunities to grow and excel. Sometimes our abilities need to be sharpened and strengthened with external inputs and one must invest in the same. Paying attention to feedback also helps in identifying our strengths about which we may not be confident or lack awareness of. It may also give us clues on the areas requiring our attention to ensure we give out our peak performance.

Setting new standards of personal excellence – Growth in any form indicates that we are striving to move beyond our current standards, challenge ourselves to exceed our own boundaries and take risks to explore beyond our immediate horizons. All progress has been the outcome of people who focused on excellence. They looked out for solutions to problems and improvised on the same. At times people have gone back to the drawing board and turned the solutions on its head to come out with something more revolutionary and effective. Medical science provides ample evidence of this. With the help of technology, almost every aspect of our life is being revolutionized.  As individuals we too must strive to ride the technological wave, adopt/ adapt it and innovatively leverage it to set for ourselves new performance standards and raise the bar for our personal excellence.

Repeating the process – Constant review, making notes of learning outcomes and repeating the process of personal improvement would help make us change for the better and enhance our or effectiveness and output. Sitting on our laurels would only set us back because others would overtake us. We need to constantly reinvent ourselves to remain motivated, goal oriented and success focused.

Try these

Identify the following:

  1. Two inventions that you have the highest regard for.
  2. Two individuals who have had a significant impact on your life and the reasons for their extraordinary influence on you.
  3. Two gadgets without which you would be hopelessly ineffective. ( Do NOT include computers, internet, telephones or  mobile phones in it.)
  4. Two inventions that in your opinion are useless
  5. Two fictional characters who have had a great impact in your life.

List out

  • One weakness in you and the steps you will take to overcome it.
  • Outline you greatest strength and how are you using it in your day to day life
  • One quality you wished you possessed
  • One hobby you would be keen to develop
  • One practice / habit  that you would want to adopt shortly.

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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15-11 Apr 17-Steps to takeThe lessons of life are not learned by reading text books or self help books or by observation alone. The real learning happens when we apply the knowledge and get a firsthand experience. Imagining the outcomes won’t help. It is in doing that we appreciate the nuances of the learning, the pitfalls that we never visualized, discover our own strengths and resilience and occasionally realize our own inadequacies. The best part of applying our learning is that we know instantly how capable we are of fulfilling our potential and how much more capable we are of doing a task even better. There is of course the risk of failure, of the realization that perhaps we are not cut out for something or painfully discovering that our potential is not good enough to be the best. However, there is also the possibility of discovering some unknown strengths, talents and potential that come to the fore only when we apply our knowledge. The Try This activities listed in the end of each post are a simple method for each reader to apply the learning from each post and get to appreciate your own strengths and potential.

The best way to get yourself going is by getting started by following the steps listed:

Have a personal vision – This is the key to every activity a person undertakes. Without a vision there is no goal, no motivation and no sense of accomplishment. Never do anything to fulfill an obligation. Instead do it because it challenges you, it motivates you, it interests you and because you want to do it. See yourself playing a vital role in huge process and suddenly you realize your own worth and contribution to the larger goal. This will stimulate and motivate you not just to begin the task but also to do an excellent job of whatever you undertake.

Barricade yourself from negativity – There would be well meaning critics who often would not be able to see your vision in the same light as you do. Listen to them but let not their criticism be a dampener to your vision. Failure could be another de-motivator but the challenge for you is to overcome it. The slow pace of progress, unexpected obstacles, the pressure to deliver results, self doubts etc. are all negative forces that could distract and distress you occasionally. Keep your eyes on your vision and proceed with faith.

View every experience as learning – Once you master the art of treating every experience as a step forward towards learning, you will treat success and failure with equanimity. Your motivator is the learning that you gain. Success and failure are simply milestones along the way of progress that indicates to you how far you have come and how far more you have to go.

Embrace success – While humility is an essential requirement to remain grounded, it is equally important that one learns to embrace and enjoy success. Enjoy the accolades, the recognition, the applause, the thrill of achievement. It is in embracing success that you fulfill your vision. For sure you can set up a new vision after that and proceed ahead. Occasionally there would be times when success comes at a price. At other times success is elusive despite your best efforts. Be realistic and focus on the progress made; that is success. Discovering your own inadequacies reflected in not being successful is also a learning and in a convoluted way, a learning success.

Try these:

  • Make a list of unfulfilled potential that people have often spoken to you about. Alternatively, list out some of your childhood dreams that you never pursued. Prepare a plan of action to get going on realizing at least one of those dreams.
  • From a personal growth / learning point of view, list out the activities that you do daily. Is there something more you can do to keep you physically and mentally upbeat.
  • Take the daily newspaper and go the leisure page and attempt some of those activities listed. E.g. Sudoku, cross words, wordplay, spot the difference etc.

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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03-first-3-wordsOne of the problems many of us have is our inability to really identify something positive to focus upon. This is partly because our minds tend to stray towards what troubles us, our problems real and imagined and varied anxieties that we have made ‘much ado about nothing’. The problem becomes more acute at the start of the year for most of our plans/ resolutions tend to center around unfinished business, challenges to be met and overcoming our limitations. The grid above, however, has ample positives that stare at us and it would help if we focus on the first 3-5 positive words noticed and for the rest of the year align our goals to meet the goals those words beckon.

Honestly I would have loved to list out some of the words above, but then it would take away the fun for you.  Instead, my friends, I am using my power of identification to share my experience of using my time to focus on some goals that have helped me gain friends, popularity and happiness. While money is important, it is the fun of influencing lives that really drives me. The beauty of this is that, I can with all honesty confess, that I have a large circle of young friends and interacting with them makes me feel young at heart. By the way, you also need to use your time not just for yourself but also for others. Keeping busy would also ensure good health in mind and body. If you look carefully there is something positive in every line except for one word. It is not for me to identify it but yes if you have the lust for life, even that word would be positive although most times we use it in a negative context.

Have fun decoding the above and more importantly use those words to make this year a wonderful and productive year for you and all those whose lives you influence.

Try these:

The grid gives you enough to focus on. Break time for both you and me. Actually, it is break time for me just for this post; you have ample scope to keep busy for the rest of the 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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37-look-againEvery one wishes to have a smooth, peaceful and happy life. However, the wonder of life is in its unpredictability, its constant change and the contrasting emotions that spice up life. Like the varied delicacies that we savor everyday, which is a mix of sweet, sour, hot, cold, spicy, bland, delicious, ugh, life helps us experience a wide variety of feelings, emotions, joys and pains. Obviously, given a choice we would prefer to experience only the emotions that appeal to us, those that we enjoy and relish. The challenge then for us is to find those hidden emotions within the moment that we experience particularly when we are distraught, hurt, pained and emotionally drained. To do that we need to look again and search for what we want to feel.

Seek the good in the bad – So you got fired from the job or your boss has just given you are earful and a warning. Hurts terribly, you become fearful, you want to erase the memory of it. Yet the hurt keeps echoing in your mind. If you pause and try to calmly relook the situation making a conscious effort to focus on what is good about the situation you could realize that there are collateral benefits in the situation. Perhaps they just nudged you to do what you always wanted to do; quit and find a new job or begin a new venture. Maybe you realized that your performance was slipping because you were bored in your job and now you are forced to find new opportunities. Maybe you were already planning alternatives but not finding the time to tie up all the loose ends and the sudden turn of events has now given you ample time to finalize your plans faster and move on.

Find something happy in the sadness you encounter – May be you lost a loved one or flunked an exam or your relationship is collapsing. Not the best of times. You are overwhelmed by the sudden turn of events that are now not just painful but the reality is a nightmare that won’t go away. Pause again and try to visualize it from a more positive angle. Perhaps the person who passed away was spared pain and agony; maybe the exam failure was expected but now you know what you did wrong and correct yourself; maybe it is best that the relationship is ending without more acrimony and ill will.

Discover some gain in your pain – Did you lose your wallet or credit cards? Maybe somebody rammed your car and damaged it? Did you hard disk crash and with it your data vanished in a jiffy. Painful no doubt but it is possible that there is some good coming from it too. Look again and search for the gain in the pain you just went through. Maybe you just spend a huge amount using the cash in your wallet so fortunately the loss of the wallet happened after that or you would have lost a lot of money. Perhaps you car need an make over and the accident has grounded you now but the insurance company would settle it now for you. Quite possible that there was a lot of junk in your hard disk and you are now spared the effort of painfully going through each file before deleting or organizing it. Yes there is some gain in every pain; look again for it.

Focus on what makes you grateful not hateful – So you got criticized at appraisal time and you hate your boss for it. Did you just get a feedback from your doctor stating that you have tested positive for some aliment and now you are constantly asking yourself ‘why me’? You find something that you desperately wanted on the online portal but just when you are about to pay you realize that the dimensions of the product is not what you want and that is the only piece available.  You hate your boss, you don’t want to meet your doctor anytime soon and you hate that website that just broke your heart. Look at the events from the filter of positivity. There would be plenty to be grateful for. Now that you have a feedback from the boss, however unflattering it may be, there could be some truth in it and you have a reference point to begin to change. If the feedback from the boss is in your view distorted and not true, maybe it is time you looked for another job opportunity. The doctor is just a messenger of the truth and perhaps he is also the savior who can suggest an appropriate course of action. Did you just save some money by not buying what you longed for or better still you may find something even better later.

When hurt/ pained/ bitter pause. Re-look the situation from a filter of ‘so what is good about the situation’ and suddenly life would be much more joyous and immense possibilities open up to you.

Try these:

  • List out the 5 most painful experiences you have had in your life. Identify one good thing about each of the said experience/situation.
  • List out 5 frequent criticisms that you are accused of by family/ friends / colleagues/ bosses / teachers. Is there justification for those criticisms? What are you doing to rectify / remedy the situation?
  • Make a list of 5 people / personalities who you dislike/ disapprove of. Can you outline 2 points about each of them that you appreciate / respect them for.
  • Name 3 adjectives that apply to your positive qualities and 3 adjectives that describe your negative qualities.  So what is your action plan to eliminate those negative adjectives?

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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