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Posts Tagged ‘Mistakes’

38-did-you-noticeIf you get irritated by the fact that despite your best efforts, all you get is criticism for what could have been done better, then ask yourself if you are guilty of the same mistake.  Each of us guilty, albeit in varying degrees of being critical, unappreciative and  finger pointing, especially when things do not happen as we plan or hope for. Occasionally some of us even berate ourselves for our lack of success and / or our failures because we find it hard to accept that we could not achieve what we set out to do. The point is that we are pained when others do not appreciate our toil, sweat and tears and unfortunately we too succumb to the same when we undervalue ourselves and others.

Obviously no one can avoid mistakes. However we need to look at mistakes, failures, lack of success from a more holistic view. This will enable one to be less critical, more appreciative and value the efforts, the sacrifices and the struggle without overvaluing momentarily success. The former gives us work ethics; success is an important milestone and motivator but cannot substitute for the discipline, the hard work and the rigor that is the corner stone of every successful person.

So how must one react to mistakes?

Acknowledge – Mistakes happen but it is the way we acknowledge the mistake that ensures it does not cascade into a disaster. If we have made a mistake, be honest about it and acknowledge it. If others have made mistakes, acknowledge the mistake without passing judgment and / or getting emotional about it. Mistakes happen for a variety of reasons and it is patently unfair to judge the mistake without grasping all the facts.

Appreciate – Mistakes happen because someone decided to do something. Even not doing something is a decision. In most cases there is honest effort, clear goals and possibly deep thinking that preceded the action.  One needs to appreciate all these, for often mistakes are not an outcome of these but a result of calculations gone wrong. By appreciating something, the signal is that one values everything done to get success and that not achieving it, is painful for all concerned.

Motivate – Criticism is the easiest thing to do; the challenge is to find something to motivate those who failed, to try again and hopefully succeed. Motivation is essential to keep up morale, kindle hope and most of all to express confidence in the person/s. Motivation pushes people to overcome the past, focus on the future and succeed beyond their capabilities.

Suggest – In the chaos that often follows failure, critics would give opinions, point out mistakes and berate the failure. Instead, an objective feedback in the form of suggestions would be more acceptable to those who are already dejected. In calmer moments they would review the performance and ponder over the suggestions and possibly come out with a better game plan to succeed.

Exude optimism – Every individual requires reassurance; if you are successful you need to be reassured that you can have a repeat performance but it is when you fail that you need to feel that still have it in you to try again and succeed. You exude optimism by being willing to lay your bets on success the next time around, by willing to join the journey the next time around and by proclaiming aloud that you have full faith and confidence. Optimism opens up numerous possibilities, gives greater confidence, you prepared to correct your previous mistakes and most of all you are ready to begin again.

Make it a point to notice the tears, the sadness and the pain first; acknowledge that and only then focus on the mistake.

Try these

  • So list your top 3 failures and what where the reactions of people close to you then. How did you cope with those failures?
  • What did you try differently and did not succeed in the first attempt?  What did you learn from that experience?
  • Do you recollect a time when you criticized someone for a failure and on hindsight realize that either you were wrong or too harsh?
  • What are the things / activities that you are keen to start experiment with but fear of failure is holding you back? How about giving some of those desires a try?

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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27-Do you have the scars

Taking the easy way out, is what most of us do when faced with a choice. Yet, our mettle is tested and out abilities judged by how we stood up to be counted when the chips are down. Volunteering in class, for example, is always a tough proposition because there is a very high probability of failing in the assigned task.  Yet, notice that the ones who usually volunteer to answer questions, take on a challenge are often the more brilliant ones or the real daring ones and occasionally an average joe who possibly has a more incisive motive. The rest of us do end up having a hearty laugh or a feeling of awe at the outcome of such daring. What we do not gain though, is the learning from the first hand experience, the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to try something different and display our inner strength no matter what the outcome.

Commitment is an essential trait of all successful people. As they say ‘when the going goes tough the tough get going’. Sharing messages on social media, trolling people, liking and disliking matter posted by others are simple and passive action. The challenge is to put into practice the exhortations in the messages. This means taking the initiative, being prepared to get bruised, being ready to learn from mistakes and giving all one has got. Success is not guaranteed but learning sure is. While failure could be a real possibility it is in the participation and scrimmage that one gains experience.

Daring is another trait of trailblazers. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is another old adage. There is always risk in attempting something new. However, if one has prepared well, you increase the chances of success. Yet, one can never know how much one has learned unless one dares and ventures to attempt and find out. Daring improves your self confidence, expands your own daring zone and most of all gives you bragging rights to say I tried it. While people would often only recall the winners, you would always remember every attempt you made. You will never forget  the lessons you learned, the success you enjoyed along the way and can proudly flaunt the bruises from the attempts to prove that you participated and didn’t stand on the sidelines to clap for others.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do in your life. Make it exhaustive and vivid. Remember that when visualizing, imagining and  dreaming you just let your mind soar, your passion come alive and there are no constraints at all. Now identify 3- 5 of the most passionate dreams you have listed and work out a plan to attain them within a time frame set by you.
  2. In this week you are to do the following:
  • Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper about some social issue that you are passionate about.
  • Make an attempt to overcome some fear you have e.g. holding a snake / donating blood because you fear the prick of a needle / learning a new sport
  • Proactively bring about a positive change in your behavior that others notice and appreciate.
  • Buy 2 surprise gifts and give it to some random person who is least expecting it.

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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This is an apt simile that offers so many possibilities to make life interesting, joyful and fulfilling. By following it, one can distill the best that life has to offer and it would make for a refreshing perspective to life.

Here is the way, to make that brew called life, perfect.

Boil your ego. Our ego is what gives us our pride, our individuality and our self respect. Unfortunately, far too often we have a bloated ego, a false sense of pride and quite often mistake unpleasant feedback got from others as an affront to our self respect. A more objective look and a realistic assessment of ourselves can help us boil our ego such that the best in us is distilled out as our unique flavor and the residue can be safely discarded.

Evaporate your worries Man is perhaps the only creature in the animal kingdom that carry’s the heavy load of worry on our backs, minds and life.If we are poor we worry about our livelihood, if we are middle class we worry about being rich and these who are rich are worried about increasing their wealth and protecting what they have. Parental worries about the children future is another never ending soap opera that rewinds itself constantly. Children worry about coping with parental expectations, academic performance and exploring their own individuality.

Dilute your sorrows Death is a certainty and obviously therefore sorrow is a natural corollary of it. However we take every niggle and every trouble to be an unfortunate and sorrowful happening and with rare exceptions tend to focus mostly on our troubles. Rather than make life a permanent mourning one must make life one big celebration and cope with sorrow by using the antidote of rationalization, acceptance, pragmatism and laughter.

Filter your mistakes When in a reflective mood many of us pensively wish we could change the script of our life, erasing the mistakes and the glitches that mar our personality. How we also wish we could redo things of the past and perhaps also do some things that we didn’t do in the past. The problem starts when we use this pensive thoughts as a crutch to lean on for all our inefficiencies, mistakes, failures instead of learning from it. Filtering your mistakes involves accepting the mistake, analyzing the root problem that caused it and taking some tough, bold and firm decisions to ensure it won’t be repeated.

Get that taste of happiness. The essence of life is happiness and that is an emotion that comes naturally to us. Alas, the harsh realities of life, our own complex thinking and our beliefs and attitudes influence and shape our perception of happiness. However, having used the analogy of brewing a good cup of tea, it is for us to finally strain out the cup of tea while discarding the residue. In the process we have got rid of our false ego, our persistent worries, left behind our sorrows and got over our mistakes. What is left is the real you. Some pointers to enjoying happiness include indulging one’s self, letting down one’s hair, enjoying the adulation and feeling light in body and spirit.

Try this:

Every day attempt any one or more of the following

  • Smile with warmth at an acquaintance or stranger or colleague
  • Share a word of encouragement/ appreciation with 2 at least 2 people
  • Forgive someone who has wronged you/ hurt you / been rude/ been disrespectful to you
  • Read one joke or cartoon strip or share a joke with someone
  • Every night think of 3 things that happened in the day that you are grateful for.

Think of the following and the possible erroneous ideas you have about it.

  • Three things that you believe are your strengths. – Do you have sense of false pride / ego about it??
  • Think of one sorrow that you find hard to overcome. Do you feel sad and despondent about any other aspects of your life so far? – By merely feeling sad and/ or worrying about it are you able to achieve anything?
  • Think of 3 mistakes made by you that you wished you could go back in time and correct. Have you overcome the anxiety cause by those mistakes or do they still negatively impact your life?
  • Think of 3 occasions when you are completely stress free, happy and at peace with yourself. Do you enjoy those moments often enough and can you find/ create other such moments to make your life very fulfilling.

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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Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can’t accept your imperfections, that’s their fault.  Dr. David M. Burns

Perfection is what is ideally expected from each one of us; our parents want us to excel in academics and sports and the extracurricular activities. The expectations from teachers, friends and extended family are almost equally demanding. Subconsciously then, we have imbibed the need to be fiercely competitive, strive to be perfectionist and despise mistakes of any sort. There are broadly 3 long term negative consequences of these subconsciously imbibed thoughts .

Our fierce determination to succeed no matter what the means used. With high expectations prodding one along, the pressure to succeed and the terrible fear of failure invariably leads one to find ways and means to succeed. We may find some ingenuous loop holes, interpret the rules to suit our needs and in rare cases even resort to dubious means to succeed. The most common example is the invariably temptation to copy, be it in exams or in assignments. Bribing, cheating, swindling are the invariable scale up of this mentality that pressurizes us to seek success at any cost.

Our reluctance to accept or understand our imperfections When criticized our immediate reaction is to rationalize and often we accept the criticism with poor grace. With rare exceptions almost every time a criticism is leveled against us there is fair bit of truth in it, but alas our mind has been conditioned to accept only praise and acceptance and criticism is taboo. Our imperfections become more accentuated when we face more competition, are exposed to people having superior skills and we face challenges that daunt us. Excuses are the most favored means of deflecting criticism. Fault finding, rebuttal, counter criticism, backbiting are other common means of expressing our reluctance to accept the reality of our imperfections.

Our reduced risk taking ability. The fear of not succeeding, the lack of confidence that comes from the intense pressure of expectations and the inability to accept failure as an acceptable option, forces a person to avoid taking any risks. In life taking a calculated risk is the norm but when our calculations are mentally skewed to ensuring only success then more often than not we prefer not to participate if given the option. Other times we put on a facade of participation giving up too quickly under some pretext, make excuses to prepare others not to expect too much and line up a litany of reasons to rationalize or justify failure or non participation.

All this adds to up to one leading a life filled with numerous negative emotions including remorse, regret, fear, jealousy, doubt and a feeling of inadequacy.  To overcome this one has to do the following 3 things.

Learn to accept the reality. Be pragmatic about ones strengths and weakness. In every race on the tracks there can be only one winner, yet there will be numerous participants who despite their reservations about being the best believe they have a chance for they are one of the best. There are many who participate to gain experience and learn from it.

Be less critical both of self and others. We are often harsh on ourselves especially when we make silly mistakes. In the same vein we can be extremely harsh with others who we perceive to have made silly mistakes. This attitude minimizes our ability to trust ourselves, makes us habitually see the pitfalls and does not infuse enthusiasm to attempt. By being less critical, more tolerant and heartily embracing the outcome of our efforts and that of other irrespective of the results, we can emerge from our self imposed hiatus.

Prepare and participate enthusiastically, embrace failure with grace and try again with fortitude and self belief. Unless one has taken efforts to succeed mere participation won’t result in success. Just as studying is a prerequisite even for the most brilliant to succeed it is essential that one prepares before enthusiastically participating. Thereafter the outcome should not be seen as indication of either a comprehensive success or a decisive failure but merely as a fair outcome. Let not failure impede your will to try again nor let a fluke victory be seen as the pinnacle of success. What is important is to try to exceed the benchmarks attained.

Remember: The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. Elbert Hubbard

Action Points:

  1. Choose the one or two aspects of your life that you are most criticized for and try to resolve the issue by trying consistently for a month. Eg. Reducing your weight/  girth or a bad habit of being critical of everything / your tendency to overuse certain words like you know, ummm., hmm, you see  etc.
  2. Try the following simple activities and see if you can overcome your own inhibitions.
  • Thread a needle
  • Learn 3 new words every week and use it in your communication
  • Find something positive everyday in someone you dislike
  • Experiment with something goofy eg. Wearing mismatched clothes/ wearing a hat to work (if that is not part of the attire)/ surprising your friends/ colleagues with some goodies for no particular reason.

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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