Tag: Openness

HAIL …

30 - HAIL your worthHere is something that each of us can strive to emulate and thereby let others HAIL us for practicing rather than preaching those very qualities that will make us better individuals.

Honesty – The focus must be on being truthful no matter what the circumstances. At times, perhaps we may have to be a wee bit more careful with our choice of words, the timing and the tone of our communication so as to not offend others but we must never compromise on the crux of the message. This is particularly true when we have to give negative feedback to others. However, if we are not honest about our feedback the other person would never be made aware of the scope for improvement and success.

Authenticity – We normally try to couch our emotions and feelings in a manner that would be more acceptable to others. So we would try not to express our anger, our fears, our annoyance, our hurt and other times we would more gregarious, extra enthusiastic, perhaps too patronizing. While a certain amount of restraint or a dash of energized emotions is acceptable, bottling up our feelings or displaying it in extremes would make us less believable and even less accepted. Authenticity enables an individual to be natural, spontaneous and touch the other person more deeply than a mere air kiss or a casual hug. A firm handshake, a warm hug, a genuine smile and the joy exuded when meeting a person would go a long way in establishing the authenticity of the relationship.

Integrity – The key to integrity is in standing up to be counted. Can you stand by your commitments no matter what the fears, temptations, allurements, pain. Not succumbing, giving it your best shot despite being on the losing side and being able to stand tall knowing you can be in the line of fire are the key test of integrity. At the core of your integrity lies the values you have imbibed and which you are willing to put to the test. In life a common test of integrity is displayed when people do not snitch when questioned and willingly take on the punishment even when not at fault.

Love – This is tricky because no one likes to lose and yet a worthy winner needs to be congratulated and respected. The essence of love is in the respect one has for everyone, the appreciation of the differences and the genuine warmth one has for those who are around you. You may disagree with others, as it often happens when you are on opposite sides of an issue, yet on a personal level one must be able to acknowledge others as equals and respect the differences.

Try these

Flashback on to people or situations in which

  • You were not honest
  • Where you were not authentic about your emotions/ feelings
  • When you compromised on your integrity
  • You found it hard to love / forgive / respect someone

Identify  three positives in the following

  • A historical character who you despise
  • A classmate who you do have any particular friendship with
  • A teacher who gave you a tough time in school
  • An animal / creature you despise
  • A nightmare situation you have experienced

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The masks we wear

10- The mask we wearTruth be told; each of us wears a mask to suit the occasion. We pretend to be happy when we are sad; try to obviate all traces of our jealousy, envy, greed; pretend to like those who we hate but cannot avoid. Many a time we sheepishly smile to disguise our embarrassments and irritation. While we, as individuals use a pseudo mask that attempts to project what we really are not, the clown merely amplifies it with a physical mask, to ensure all those who see it, are in sync with the image being projected.

There is a pattern in facets of ourself that we hide, behind the masks which we put on. The reality is that  ‘Each individual is actual 3 persons. The person I think I am; the person you think I am and the real me.’

The person I think I am : Each of us has an unique identity and that is not merely because of lineage but is also the outcome of how we are shaped by the family, the social settings around us and our own individuality. So siblings could still have widely differing interests, skills, attitudes, display different traits and mannerisms. What is important is how the individual visualizes himself/ herself. Some are pragmatic; some carry the baggage of their own limitations, anxieties, experiences and thinking. There are some who are over confident while others are modest to a fault.  Some are risk takers, others cautious, some reckless and most of us simply flow with the tide. There could be varied aspects of my own self that are probably noticed by others but I remain blind to it.  There could be areas of improvement that I need to focus on or talents and strengths that I can leverage. Listening to others holds the key to understand the person I really am.

The person you think I am : Who I perceive myself to be is what I largely tend to display; notwithstanding the fact that occasionally we attempt to sugar coat ourselves subtly to gain acceptance and occasionally we project a tough principled disposition so that we are seen as fair, upright and no nonsensical. However, there would always be some skeletons in our cupboard that we go to great lengths to hide. It could be some misdemeanors that we do not want others to know, we obfuscate inconvenient truths so that we are perceived more favorably and many a time we tend to display our deftness in ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hounds’ just to ensure that all our interests are projected. The person you think I am may be a far cry from the real me. Yet my style, mannerisms, behavior and attitude are tuned to make others think about me the way I subtly project myself. Phrases like ‘ still waters run deep’ or ‘Janus faced’  are testimony to the reality that ‘the person you think I am ‘ may be quite different in reality. Opening up with relevant facts will ensure that others get to understand me better.

The real me : The real me is largely hidden from others. Even I would known only myself better only when put to the test.  Occasionally some hidden aspects of me are known to very close family and friends. My insecurities, my fears, my hopes, my aspirations, my anxieties, my deepest thoughts, my confidence, my exuberance, my feelings of love, hate, revenge etc are part of me that very few know about. There are aspects of me that even I have yet to discover like my true potential, my natural aptitude, my yet to be discovered talents, my weakness, my mannerisms, my body language etc. The real me may crave for attention, may seek to be understood, may yearn for acceptance or may search for companionship. The real me could be fearful but when put to the test dare to confront his fears; she may be docile by nature but her wrath could be devastating. The real me strives to maintain equilibrium amongst the chaos of life or it could crumble like a dried leaf when trampled upon.  The real me lurks within. The real me is often searching to discover myself. The quest for individuality is what makes me uniquely ME.

Try these:

  1. Read up on or attend a session on the Johari Window concept.
  2. List out the following
  • Two criticisms about the person you admire the most
  • Two points of appreciation about a person you detest.
  • Two secrets you would find it hard to share in a public forum.(just a brief one line statement would do)
  • Two of the naughtiest things you did
  • Two actions that you took that you are really proud of
  • Your biggest fear
  • Your greatest strength

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Friendship

When it hurts to look back, and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.

Many of our actions today are subconsciously affected by our past experiences which in turn also have a major bearing on our attitudes, behavior, thought process and decision making and that indirectly has a bearing on our future too. For the overwhelming majority it is the hurt, the humiliation, the failures, the taunts and similar negative experiences that remain deeply ingrained in our psyche and percolate into our thinking and our action which are often defensive or aggressive. Looking back at the past therefore hurts terribly. Looking ahead seems and equally frightening prospect and that is when one really longs for someone to be right besides you to support and encourage you, help calm down your anxieties, point the right way ahead and accompanying you when are fearful and scared. While family would often offer all this it is only one’s best friend who will really understand you and accept you the way you are. It is the best friend to whom you can open up freely, fight with remorselessly, shout and scream at to let out our frustrations and confidently turn to when there is no one left to lend you an ear and a shoulder to lean on and cry upon.

Most times our best friends are school mates/ college buddies or neighbors but we can also get fortunate in meeting some new people who providentially cross our path and we become soul mates. Similarly most times the best friends are of the same sex and age group but some people get exceptionally lucky and discover their best friend in someone much older or younger and someone of the opposite sex too.  What is important to note is that TRUST holds the key to friendships, OPENNESS crowns the interactions and TRANSPERENCY holds the mirror to show up the warts and moles and ACCEPTANCE cements the relationship. Each of these elements needs to be present for a friendship to develop into a relationship of BEST FRIENDS. More importantly we need to nurture and treasure these critical components that make us fortunate to have BEST FRIENDS.

Without trust no relationship can develop.  For friendships to develop there must be implicit trust. This means we not only believe the person but are willing to overlook his / her transgressions, forgive their mistakes and place your faith and possibly your life in their care. One can do this when one has to know the person intimately and accept the person as he/she is. Interestingly even if the person has breached your faith you will continue to give the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to both redeem themselves and also reaffirm their trust. Openness relates to our willingness to share and disclose our personal,  private and privileged information partly to unburden but mainly to get a an honest  feedback and unbiased suggestions from the friend. This is risky business because we may divulge information that could be misused or misunderstood too. We may even open up a Pandora’s box that could have potentially devastating effects on relationships and friendships too. It is by being open that we crown the relationship and turn friends into best friends.

In being transparent one does not hold back one’s feelings of hurt and disappointment in our relationship with our friend. It also implies that one would not hesitate to call a spade a spade and would show courage of conviction in firmly articulating a view resented by a friend. As individuals each one has a different thought process and view and even between friends there could be vastly divergent views and equally controversial positions being taken up on matters. Transparency ensures that one is brave, bold and business like in openly articulating feeling and thoughts. The high point of the blossoming of a relationship between best friends is the unconditional acceptance of each other.  As individuals we may have radically opposing views and philosophies. Yet when one is willing to give space to the other to follow his heart and yet accept that person unconditionally that is when one discovers ones best friend amongst a multitude of friends.  Even when there are serious differences, perhaps even disparaging comments and remarks made in anger but when the dust settles and the individuals can look eye to eye and embrace each other without rancor or disapproval that is when one knows that your best friend is there by you ALWAYS.

Remember: “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.

Try this:

  1. Look back and ask yourself if you had a best friend in school, in college and in your work place. Do you still remain good friends? If not why do you think the friendship did not sustain. If it sustains till date can you identify one reason why you have been able to cement your relationship so well.
  2. Think of your best friend and honestly answer if you know the following about him/ her
  • His /her worst fears
  • His /her real passion
  • His/ her worst moment or experience
  • His / her most annoying quality

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Keeping friendships alive

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept. Samuel Butler

Ever notice how our income barely seems to help us keep our expenses covered even if we are earning more and more each year. The reason for this is very simple; we really don’t pay attention to our money matters as much as we should. Now if we substitute the word money with the word friends, we notice that we have made so many friends but find it hard to really maintain the relationship. The reason is the same; our inability to take care of our friendships.

In today’s technology facilitated world, making friends across the globe is passé. Yet while we may see many of them online for example, either we do not converse with them or they are too busy. Over time we delete these contacts with no remorse. Technology allows us that liberty without any pangs of conscience but in real life, we rarely delete but we rarely connect either. When we look back at the close friendships we have made in school, college, our neighborhood, at work etc. we find that we are open to most people when making friends. However when we interact more closely we could be changing our opinion and then the friendship starts to fizzle.

To begin with any friendship to be called one needs to be developed and this is a time consuming process. There has to be some commonality of interests for a friendship to begin and flourish. More importantly the wave length of friends should match so that there is understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and a strong bonding. These are traits that are discovered slowly as one nurtures a friendship. There are three pillars of friendship Communication , Trust and Openness. All friendships are built up on this foundation and so it is important that one is not only aware of this but also makes an effort to strengthen each of these qualities in our interactions with friends.

Communication is of course a two way process and unless both parties interact and share thoughts ideas fears hopes expectations and very often discuss on mutually interested topics and also indulge in talking shop, the friendship will not really flower. Of course we must be careful that we are not too blunt or insensitive while communicating or else we would be making a very counter productive move. Trust is the soil in which the seeds of bonding are sown and it is here that friendships take roots and sprout into a life long bonding. We have to be careful that we never betray anyone’s rust in us for there is no second chance when trust is betrayed. Openness is the fertilizer that nourishes the friendships and ensures that the growth is healthy, robust and invaluable. Openness is tough because we expose ourselves and we hope that our open communication is accepted with out bias and the underlying trust is never shaken.

Remember: Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

Try this:

  1. Take a fresh look at the names appearing in your friends list in your email contacts, chat lists, social networking sites etc. Are there some people who you should delete to make the list more manageable? Are there others who you realise have been unfairly ignored but need to be communicated with. Go ahead and do just that.
  2. Ask yourself if you prefer an email greeting or an old fashioned snail mail greeting card / letter. Make a list of people whom you feel will much appreciate a and written letter and personalized card. Ensure you write the note and get a card and if possible go and deliver it personally to such people. The recipients need not be friends of your age but could be teachers, friends of your parents or neighbours who have moved away.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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