Tag: Mistakes

Forgiveness is sweet revenge

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. Isaac Friedmann

On the face of it, the very thought of forgiveness being sweet sounds like a sugar coated pill bitter inside but sweet on the outside. When we add the word revenge the whole meaning changes and now it has become as effective as chemotherapy with side effects, for the cure is almost as bad as the disease but then it cures. The reality though is that forgiveness is very tough for it requires a very large heart, a bigger attitude and tremendous courage of self belief. This is mainly because, we cannot forgive when our ego is hurt, if the hurt and bitterness is very painful , if our trust has been betrayed and if our anger has never subsided. Even worse is a situation where we are convinced that an eye for an eye is the best policy to be followed in life.

However if we pause to have a relook at forgiveness, we would realize that in the long run forgiveness heals us more than anyone else. When we carry our hurt, we are spreading a slow poison inside us, the guilt gnaws at our conscious from time to time, the need to extract revenge pricks our ego very often and a good part of our life is spend in bitterness and frustration.  Instead if we made up our mind to forgive, we would be happy in the realization that a big load is off our chest and very ironically, our enemy who is forgiven suddenly has the burden of living with his conscious. It is in transferring our burden to our enemy by forgiving him /her that we extract sweet revenge.

In forgiving we are taking a conscious decision to let bygones be bygones and to exonerate those who have wronged us. For many of us this is a very painful and heart wrenching decision because we may have suffered immensely, there is social pressure on us to prove ourselves by extracting revenge and  psychologically it becomes painful to hate someone whom we have forgiven but we find it very hard to both forget and love those whom we forgive. Yet in this one life changing moment when we forgive, there is a peace that nestles in ourselves that we have overcome the barrier of hate, bypassed the need for revenge and made our oppressor a victim of our magnanimity. In that final twist in the tale we taste the sweet revenge that is embedded in forgiveness.

Remember: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

Try this:

  1. Think of a couple of people who may have hurt you in some deep and painful manner either by abusing you/ insulting you/ ignoring you/ lying to you/ gossiping about you/ etc. Ask yourself if you still are carrying the hurt with you long after the episode is over. Try to forgive those who were hurtful to you. If possible ensure they are made aware else just let your mind be free of their injustice. See the difference in your life thereafter.
  2. Look back and see if others have asked your pardon and you have refused to forgive them. This is the right time to reach out and forgive them. It could be someone who accidentally put you in trouble, some who lied to you, a person who refused to obey orders, a person who misunderstood you etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Nurturing friendships

Hold a true friend with both your hands. Nigerian proverb

First of all, apologies to all my readers for uploading this blog a wee bit late. As I was out of town, despite my best efforts this post and the subsequent post could not be written and uploaded on time.

One of the things that money can never buy is a good friend. Unfortunately money attracts a lot of friends but most of them are more interested in the good things that our money can buy and ultimately almost all these friends turn out to be fair weather friends. It is those friends who we make more because of our common bonding, comfort level and above all implicit trust who will become our confidant, companion and collaborator. Yet we would make the painful realization that many a time, some of our closest friends have faded away from our lives and it is only much later that we wake up to the realization that we have missed out on an invaluable relationship.

If we are to look back and trace the roots of how and when these friendships started fading away, the one striking realization we would make is that invariably most friendships faded because of a break down in communication. When either we have not kept in touch with them over extended periods of time or vice versa, the bonding that is originally sealed gets weakened and gives way and then before we realize it, the friendship has ceased to exist. Other times, misunderstandings and mistrust snip of the thread of friendship and then it is very difficult to sew the whole thing up again. In fact good friendship gone bad can actually lead to enmity which is the opposite of friendship.

 It is clear therefore that friendships may blossom suddenly but it is imperative that we nurture it with care and affection. It is essential that we make the realization that no one can take friendships for granted. There are so many emotions at play in a friendship, that it is imperative that we pay close attention to how these emotions have a bearing on friendships. The most important thing is never to take emotions of our friends for granted. Sometimes a mild teasing or a sarcastic comment or a hurtful remark could spark out tensions between friends and be very damaging to the relationship. Other times our impatience, our inability to listen or our habit of not taking our friends into confidence can have serious negative repercussions on friendships. We must also watch out for our own emotions that maybe triggered by our own ego, emotions or poor judgment that may precipitate a crisis that can strain a friendship.

The one common balm that can always ensure that friendships will endure and can be mended is honest communication. At the first signs of a strain in friendship or relationships, the moment we are uncomfortable with some thought, idea or observation of a friend or when we have the urge to clarify or apologize to a friend, we must instinctively use all means of communication to reach out. We are fortunate to live in an electronic age where we have so many varied and discreet ways of communicating effectively we need to use all those means. It would also help if we develop that ability to be proactive and actually take the lead in surprising friends with little gifts, some surprises and some out of the way pampering. We often do it when in love with someone of the opposite sex, but seem to miss out on using it to nurture the real friendships. Finally leaving aside all our ego and hurt aside we must develop the fine qualities of apologizing and forgiving. With these twin balms in our custody, all hurt and ill will can be got rid off and we can nurture friendships to bloom all the year round life long.

Remember. : Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose  Tennessee Williams

Try this:

  1. Look back and recollect 3 good friendships that you could not nurture and wish you could be in touch with them and review the old bond. Are there some tips from the above blog post that you believe that you can immediately implement to activate those friendships?
  2. With the New Year season around the corner how about exploring the possibilities of getting gifts for some friends and surprising them?  Don’t wait for the New Year’s eve to do it. Go today and explore possibilities both for friends and family.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Footsteps to success

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Sir Winston Churchill

Even if one is born with the proverbial golden spoon, failure is an unannounced visitor that will drop by at the most inopportune moment. For the less fortunate, failure is a constant companion, despite the best efforts to befriend success. Failure obviously conjures a negative, unsavory and avoidable image in our mind and so we often side step the issue of failure even if it is looming large or literally staring us in the face. Escapism is the first reaction of those who are paranoid about failure. However escapism is only a temporary relief with the probability of it turning into catastrophe remaining very real. So the question uppermost in our mind is ‘How can we cope with failure’?

The first step is to accept the reality that failure is an unavoidable evil that we cannot escape from. Once we are prepared to accept this reality, then we are prepared to face it fairly and squarely when we stumble upon it or when failure pays us a visit. Most times, we cannot recognize failure because we are not prepared to believe that we can fail. Accepting the reality about failure, allows one to be forewarned and forearmed to identify and square up with failure when the time comes.  More importantly we won’t brush aside failure as just a passing phase but we would give it the importance that it deserves so that we learn from it and use the learning to our advantage.

This brings us to the second step in tackling failure viz. learn from our failures. This is a very tough step because the natural tendency when we fail is to rationalize it. In addition we try to find a scapegoat to blame or conjure up numerous reasons to deflect attention to our own shortcomings that was responsible for the failure.  There are times when the failure is taken so personally that we try to blank it out completely but refusing to analyze it or even talk about it. On the other hand we must pay attention to our failures and study it closely to find out the reason for our failure. That way one can pinpoint our mistakes and take corrective action.

The final step is to enthusiastically correct the mistakes and never give up pursuing your goal. Correcting a mistake is often very tough because it hurts the ego. To do it enthusiastically takes a lot of conviction and a strong will. The true test of a person’s character is reflected in the person’s ability to not just correct mistakes but to do it with zeal and enthusiasm. Unless the person is enthusiastic the will to learn and improve will be lacking. In the long run to be motivated and pursue ones goal, mistakes have to be taken in ones stride and corrections effected to proceed ahead. True success is not merely in attaining a goal but in also enjoying the process and striving to set bigger, better and even more challenging goals. It is when one can enthusiastically overcome every failure that one has developed the right mindset to pursue success, more success and still more success.

Remember: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”  Herman Cain

Try this:

  1. Take a daily news paper and attempt to do the crossword or Sudoku or any of the other challenges. The challenge is to do it for at least a week continuously and to enthusiastically work on it and improve your performance.  After a week ask if you are enjoying it or finding it painful and laborious. If it is painful and or laborious find reasons for it and work out your won solutions. Eg. If you chose Sudoku and don’t like dealing with figures then change the game to a word game or attempt to like figure work.
  2. List out 3 aspects of your daily work that you dislike immensely or are prone to make too many mistakes.  Attempt to find a way to either like the work / do it efficiently by motivating yourself properly or find an alternative to ensure the job is efficiently done.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The greatest mistake…

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

Fear paralyzes and that in two words is the only problem with fear. Unfortunately those two words are responsible for a whole life time of failures, dashed hopes, unfulfilled potential, abject performances and even financial woes. When we are afraid, our natural instinct is self preservation and this means taking evasive action pronto. Moe often than not the flight response is so dominant that we are mentally set to flee long before the feared possibility even appears on the horizon. However when we are suddenly faced with a fearful situation, often we find ourselves quaking in fear and rooted to the spot unable to move or react.

One of the most commonly experienced fears is the fear of making a mistake. Perhaps this is one of the chief reasons why the majority of the population around the world is terrified of public speaking.  Usually if we maintain status quo the chances of making a mistake are minimized for then we haven’t triggered anything that will be linked back to us. However while most times we can get away with doing nothing, there are many critical times when being paralyzed with fear can be life threatening. Take the case of a person trapped in the topmost floor of a high rise building on fire who is asked to cross over to the next building by slithering across the ropeway attached. The fear of the fire and the fear of heights can trigger panic in the person who might end up immobile.  A similar fate could befall a person who suddenly encounters a big cat like a lion or a tiger in the jungle.

A situation that drives people crazy with fear is the possibility of public humiliation if one commits a faux pas or mistake in public. Rather than seeing a mistake as a natural outcome of action gone wrong, people with a tremendous ego, fragile confidence or those who are timid by nature avoid any situation that brings them to the spotlight. As a result some of the most talented people never display their talent or ability and lead an inglorious life, punctuated with regrets and envy of others. There are many others who are so fearful of mistakes that instead of learning from mistakes, they are constantly trying to cover up, give excuses, find fault with extraneous things and absolve themselves of all responsibility. In the long run their growth is stunted, their potential remains unfulfilled and at best they play second filled all the time.

The best way to overcome the fear of mistakes is to realize that the vast majority of mistakes are never fatal. Equally important is the realization that mistakes will happen no matter how well one prepares. Eg. Look back at the numerous silly mistakes you made while answering your examination papers. Perhaps they may have cost you a merit rank but it never dampened your enthusiasm to do better next time. Mistakes are a humbling experience and reveal to us our human weakness and fragility. Finally if  one has  benefited from a mistake, then one needs to take that as a rare grace of a mistake.  When one can overcome the fear of mistakes, only then can one explore the frontiers beyond and yonder.

Remember: “If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t make anything”

Try this:

  1. Total the following numbers (without jotting it down again and without using a calculator or excel sheet or any external aid)  23456+45678+98765+413289+243546+765849+132589=             Jot down the speed with which you calculated the total. Now try to beat that speed by calculating the same numbers without counting the fourth number. Recheck your total using a calculator. If you made a mistake in totaling is it because you were focused on speed or simply careless.  If you didn’t even attempt it, is it because of your fear of mathematics or you think it is absurd doing the exercise. Do you think you are making a mistake by not attempting?
  2. If you have to relive your life again, list at least 3 mistakes in your life that you would correct or ensure you would never repeat.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Growing through our mistakes

The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything. Eleanor Roosevelt

There might never be even one individual in the history of mankind who can state that he/ she has never stumbled or fallen down . The same is true about mistakes because no one is so perfect that every action results in the expected outcome. It obviously stands to reason that anyone who claims to be perfect and without blemish is either lying or has never attempted anything worthwhile. The point that is underscored here is that fear of making mistakes must never be a deterrent for anyone to attempt a task. Mistakes happen for a wide variety of reasons. Carelessness is the most common cause of mistakes. Inefficiency, tardiness, ignorance, all taken together, forms the bulk of the reasons for other mistakes.  Unforeseen circumstances would be the next major cause of mistakes.

There are many people who go through life moaning and wailing that they made a terrible mistake/s and they cannot get themselves to forgive or forget the painful past. It is essential for such people to realize that most mistakes can be undone, a few mistakes can be salvaged and it is just a miniscule portion that lends itself to irreversible consequences. However human nature being what it is we are not prepared to risk anything and so in mortal fear of committing a mistake we fail to even attempt. Unless one attempts one can never be aware of one’s potential, let alone the possibility of leveraging one’s potential.  Look back and see the carefree way one went about learning to cycle in our childhood; falling off the bicycle and scraping ourselves was the norm. A few tears shed, some painful gashes perhaps even some harsh words from elders who advice us to be careful may have temporarily dampened our enthusiasm but one soon puts all these behind and once again peddles with gay abandon. Yet as we grow older rational and logic instill in us the fear of mistakes and we succumb to its scare instead of enjoying the bliss of taking on a challenge and surmounting it.

A pencil with the eraser at the end is a fine example of the balance between action and mistakes. Notice that the pencil is pretty long and the eraser consists of a very very small part of the whole pencil. It connotes our confidence in being able to use the pencil effectively and yet conveys our pragmaticism in accepting the reality that there could be mistakes. The eraser is a strong reminder too that mistakes can be erased and the work redone to an acceptable level. Mistakes in real life though, particularly those that violate our sense of fairness, justice or  feelings often tend to leave an emotional scar on a person and it is not easy to clear up those scars. A jilted lover, someone cheated by a close associate or friend, a person who has been a victim of a character assassination or personal dignity find their mistake of trusting someone  too unforgiving that they sometimes lose their ability to sufficiently recharge their own emotions of love, faith, belief etc.  Yet with time on their side and the power of love on the other  people will erase the memories of the past mistakes and give themselves a second chance. The biggest mistake one can ever make is the mistake of not getting up when one stumbles; for if one remains on the ground one can never go anywhere but six feet down.

Remember: “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.”  Winston Churchill

Try these:

  1. Recollect the 3 monumental mistakes you have made in your life. If you had a second chance how  would you have insulated yourself against committing such a mistake? What is the most important lesson you learned from these mistakes?
  2. Try and recall the stupidest mistake you made in the following cases:
  • In an examination
  • In a relationship
  • Travel goof up
  • Written communication
  • When you were really annoyed

Do you feel embarrassed by the recollection of any of the above events?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Pardon is a test of character

Any man can seek revenge; it takes a king or prince to grant a pardon. Arthur J. Rehrat

When we are wronged or we perceive ourselves to have been wronged, our immediate reaction is one of anger and possibly we also harbor intentions of paying back in the same coins. When the urge to get even and if possible inflict punishment on those who wronged us becomes obsessive, we are actually actively contemplating revenge. Revenge in simple terms is an eye for an eye policy and we are all guilty of at least fleetingly entertaining the idea o revenge at some point in our life. That we may have rarely or never got our revenge could partly be attributed to us not having the courage for it or because with time our original hurt was healed.

With age and maturity all of us slowly realize the futility of extracting revenge but we fail to forget the hurt caused to us. In our psyche we do not really excuse the preparatory of the hurt and we make all attempts to possibly avoid, shun or ignore him or her. In effect what we are doing is neither forgetting nor forgiving the person who has hurt us. This attitude actually affects us more because we are constantly resurrecting unpleasant memoires, subtly carrying the hurt and pretending to be in a state of happiness and bliss. The most horrible part of this behavior is that we are in denial about our metal state, overburdened and stressed with the excess baggage of past memories and move around like the walking wounded.

If we had the character and temperament to be both rational and pragmatic we would not only forget the hurt but also forgive the culprit. Not very many can take a high moral ground and let bygones be bygones. One needs to develop the imposing and powerful personality of a King or prince if one has to really be both magnanimous and dignified and take that significant step of pardoning a person who we believe has hurt us. When one pardons we actually forgive the person and ideally we must also forget the hurt caused. Those who we accused of hurting us now stand exonerated of their crimes and we accept them our own with no remote threat of any form of retribution. This requires a large heart, the courage of conviction and the power over our emotions; qualities that are found only in people who have a kingly stature.

When we pardon another we actually set our mind free. Free from the burden of harboring negative emotions of revenge; free from the element of self doubt about our character and free from the possibility that we have a fragile temperament.  We also elevate ourselves in our own eyes for we have acted with restrain, maintained our dignity and will have no regrets for our actions. More than anything else we have successfully put to rest any possibilities of misadventures in the form of revenge thus leaving us with a peace of mind that was disturbed from the day we were hurt or felt hurt.

Remember: “Be good, be kind, be humane, and charitable; love your fellows; console the afflicted; pardon those who have done you wrong.”  Maxim Gorky

Try this:

  1. Make a list of people whom you find hard to forgive. If there are none then make a list of people who you dislike. For people on both lists write down 2 positive qualities that you can appreciate in them.
  2. Read the well know story from the Bible called The Prodigal Son and see the commentary at the end to see how message of the story is relevant to each one of us. http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/prodigalson.htm

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Those who act make mistakes…

The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything. Eleanor Roosevelt

Critics particularly move critics are a breed that thrives on running down movies in general and the skill sets of the artistes in particular and by default claim expertise by virtue of their armchair proclamations. Sadly none of them venture into actually making / acting/ directing movies for that is a sure shot way for them to shoot themselves in the foot. This pretty much illustrates the reality of those who are hands on and face the flak and those who do nothing but earn a living running down others. By the way, many a critic has to eat humble pie when their crystal ball gazing goes wrong and what they run down becomes a super hit and what they grudgingly admire is rejected by the audience; further proof that if you do your job you will make mistakes.

The only trouble with mistakes is that in critical areas they never offer a second chance. Take the case of a doctor conducting a major operation or a pilot landing a plane in inclement weather; they never have the luxury of letting down their guard let alone making a mistake. Perhaps on hindsight we too realize the numerous mistakes that dot our life, marring its beauty but perhaps not scarring it permanently. For most of us a cursory glance at our school report cards will highlight the mistakes that were the offshoot of youthful tomfoolery and immaturity.  Closer home, at the work place our daily work might be punctuated with big and small mistakes none of which would have happened if had not done anything.

Mistakes are a result of carelessness, ignorance, misunderstanding, misinformation or sheer bad luck. In very rare cases of course mistakes are deliberately committed to spite or get even with another or for not so honorable considerations. As is obvious, for a mistake to happen there must be some action. Action takes place only when someone does something either as part of his duty or because he/ she is directed to do it. Most mistakes can be rectified and corrective action initiated to minimize the impact of the mistake provided the mistakes are identified at the earliest. Unfortunately many of us are so wary of the consequences of mistakes like getting punished that we first attempt to cover up failing which we try to pass blame and even distance ourselves from that mistake. If people realized that coming clean when a mistake happens is the best bet for you protect your integrity whilst getting help in rectifying the mistake.

There is no one who can claim he did not make any mistake. As someone correctly pointed out even Jesus Christ had to just make 12 right decisions (when he chose his disciples) yet he got one wrong – Judas! We mortals are more susceptible ; so take heart and get along with the job on hand!

Remember: “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton

Try this:

  1. Try to recollect the worst mistake that you made. Can you identify the reasons for that mistake? What lessons did you learn from that mistake?
  2. Examine your own reactions to mistakes made by others. How will you deal with a situation where you notice that your boss has made a major mistake? Similarly how will you deal with a subordinate whose minor mistake has unfortunately snowballed into a major problem for you because your workings were based on his inputs?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Why Worry ?

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. Swedish proverb

The trouble with worry is that we tend to magnify it and treat them as calamities waiting to happen or disasters that have knocked the wind out of our sails. The old English phrase ‘Making a mountain of a mole hill ‘aptly describes human nature when confronted with trouble. True there are varying degrees of trouble that we come upon daily but it is also true that almost all our troubles subside at some point in time or get solved over time. Yet our tendency to view most troubles as tragedies in the making, threatens us with emotional upheaval and personal trauma.

Coping with worry is very tricky. To understand how tricky and troublesome it is , just try walking with a tiny pebble in your shoe. The size of the pebble is not the problem but it constantly irritates and hurts us and worse still you cannot figure out where it will poke us next. Imagine worry as a similar pebble in your mind. While one can identify and remove a physical pebble, worries will always keep niggling you and it is near impossible to eradicate it from our thoughts and life. Ever imagined seeing a red elephant? Now try to forget that red elephant. You can’t because now that imprint has percolated your thoughts and will be there for quite a while.

Most times our worries are self inflicted. It is stupid not to study and then worry about exams. Similarly it is idiotic to pick a quarrel with ones boss and then worry about his/ her reaction to it. Other times our tardiness, sloppiness, casualness, laziness etc. are responsible for missed deadlines, shoddy work, indiscipline etc. and then it is pointless worrying over the consequences. In such cases we need to change. Other times worries are circumstance specific. An unexpected event, be it missing a flight or misunderstanding in communication could lead to worries. These worries hurt us more because we are not responsible for it but we are responsible for solving it. Here we tend to lapse into a ‘poor me’ syndrome and worry more about how to shield ourselves from the problem than in attempting to overcome the problem.

So do we have to live with worries always? Now that you have identified how the seeds of worry are planted and what happens with growing worries and how they crop up of and on in our thought process, we need to focus our attention on how to minimize or mitigate its impact. Most times we try not to think too much on what worries us and instead divert our mind from it unfortunately realizing very late that the worry remains almost imprinted. The first step therefore is to look at the worry rationally and note the worst case scenario. Once we know the worst case scenario we are reasonably sure things can’t get worse and then we can go about strategizing how to mitigate the worry. E.g. We have the tendency to delay conveying bad news to our seniors or the authorities and we constantly worry about their reactions. Once we visualize the worst case situation, we need to convey the bad news appropriately and at the earliest.

Never let worries bloat up like a balloon and look bigger than what it really is.  A deft prick will deflate the worry balloon and make it more manageable and less scary. It also help sot know that no worry is just one persons alone; there will be many others to share that burden too.

Remember: “Worry is the darkroom in which negatives are developed”

Try this:

  1. List out names of 2-3 people who you think are constantly worrying. Observe their words and communication content. They will be always complaining and blaming. How do you think they can change and ensure that they enjoy life more? Can you gently give them some hints on those lines?
  2. Make a list of things that you regret. E.g I should have studied harder and got better marks or I should not have fought with my girlfriend/ boyfriend and broken off.  Do those regrets still worry you? You can change the past but you can learn from them so how will you see those regrets positively and leverage them to improve yourself?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Degree of forgiveness

One forgives to the degree that one loves. Francois de La Rochefoucauld

An interesting aspect of forgiveness is highlighted by La Rochefoucauld, when he proclaims that the ability to forgive is directly proportionate to our ability to love. If we stop to pause and examine our own behavioral pattern we might find that his observation is almost spot on. The most simplistic example is the mother’s ability to forgive her child whatever the crime and that is just reflective of the deep love she has for her child.

We may be tempted to state that we have experienced sharp jibes, a nasty scolding and perhaps a caning in extreme cases from those who love us very very deeply and so we wonder if that is their way of expressing their love? There may be exceptions like some people having a quick temper or others adhering to near impossible moral / behavioral parameters and then can be pretty sharp in their outburst. Yet, the vast majority of those whose forgiveness includes appropriate punishment actually are expressing their love and seek to provide the deterrents to ensure that you are aware of the mistake and will make efforts to correct yourself. A good teacher who is relative strict, is in fact a blessing for many, for we value the discipline much later in life, though during our school days we may have taken a complete dislike and antipathy to him/ her.

The mistake many make is in equating forgiveness with love.  Yes when we love we are duty bound to ensure that the forgiveness must be in inverse proportion to the crime for that is a mark of showing our deep love for the person. If we equate forgiveness with love, there is a very real danger that our love blinds us to the infractions of those we love. We would also be siding with the wrong doer and thereby stunting his/ her ability to discern wrong doings and worst of all complete forgiveness without punishment would embolden the guilty to wrong rationalize his/ her act and falsely believe that their act is legitimate.

So that bring us to another dimension of forgiveness; the correlation between punishment and forgiveness. Punishment should be in proportion to the infraction and that would be the right measure of  forgiveness which in turn is equivalent to the love that a person shows to another.

Remember: “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”Paul Boese

Try these:

  1. How would you deal with the following
  • Your younger brother is caught telling lies.
  • Your best friend gives you a black eye because of a misunderstanding.
  1. What punishment would you suggest (if you’re a teacher / a parent/ a classmate / counselor)for students who do not do their home assignment.  Would your punishments vary depending on which role you choose from the roles given in the bracket?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Making amends

Our mistakes won’t irreparably damage our lives unless we let them. James E. Sweaney

We are fortunate that most of our mistakes are never fatal. It is only in an  extremely rare case like being involved in a fatal accident where your mistake has taken lives that you will always live with the guilt of your mistake. Despite counseling one will find it hard to erase that colossal mistake from one’s psyche forever.  As you are right now reading this post, you have not made the gravest mistake of all, committing suicide. Every other mistake can be faced even if it cannot be corrected and that is why when the turmoil and pain of the mistake subsides every person can take charge of his / her life and pursue their own path of excellence.

The one mistake that you cannot correct is the mistaken belief that your follies condemn you to a life of misery, guilt and worthlessness. It is therefore necessary for each of us to look back and reflect on our mistakes, be it as trivial as bullying others in school or copying in exams or more serious infractions like physical abuse of someone you resented or stealing and mugging. The normal tendency is to first rationalize the mistake as necessary under the circumstance but with age and maturity we may suddenly feel guilty and remorseful. This is a critical stage when many people find it hard to pardon themselves of the mistakes that have hurt others. Their inability to apologize or make amends for the mistake,  is a cross too heavy for them to bear and they are racked with guilt and in acute cases leads to depression and illness.  Good counseling and the realization that they can make amends by being even more conscientious individuals will go a long way in them getting rid of their misery brought on by guilt.

Take the case of a young boy who despite being warned,  plays with a ball within the house and breaks a priceless family heirloom. The immediate response would be a sound thrashing and an earful of choicest abuse. What is worse is being constantly berated and warned that his indiscretion has cost the family a heavy loss. Long after the boy has reached adulthood if the same charge is leveled at family gatherings the young man is bound to be deeply hurt and traumatized and then begins a tryst with his psychological rehabilitation. On the other hand if the young man is counseled that his mistake has proved very costly but the family forgives him, he would be remorseful but his self image would not be thrashed and tarnished. In any case, it is imperative that the person be made aware of the mistake but equally important that he not be crucified for the one mistake many times.

A very common mistake people make is to confuse failure as irreparable and a colossal mistake made by them. Be it failure in exams or business or marriage, errors of judgment , failure to foresee the future, taking undue risks etc. are mistakes that often even the most intelligent people make. It is interesting to note that there will not be a single person who has never erred. It is the people who try to escape from their mistakes who ultimately become failures. They could turn to addictions like drowning their sorrows in drinks or constantly remaining in an inebriated state or hiding from the law for fear of the law punishing them or the worst cowards prefer to take their life. When you confront your mistakes only then can you fight it and emerge victorious.  A mistake after all is only a little blip in the wonderful life of yours; why let that blip become a constant beep in your life?

Remember: “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.”Winston Churchill

Try these:

  1. List out the mistakes you made yesterday. Ask how many of them were fatal? How many were serious mistakes? Why did you make those mistakes? Was it carelessness; misunderstanding; ignorance; doing work mechanically; not being diligent etc. How do you think you can avoid these mistakes? What other corrective measures did you take?
  2. What was the worst mistake you made in your life? How did you cope with it? Is that mistake still rankling you and disturbing you? Have you apologized for the mistake? How did you make amends for the mistake?

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