Tag: Optimism

Choose joy

Choose joy

Happiness is a choice that you make every moment of your life. You are reading this possibly because you are happy to read it. Possibly you are reading this post to divert yourself from some pressing worries. Perhaps you are reading this because you hope to be inspired or your get to learn some new words or simply because it appeared in your inbox and you are curious to know what it is all about. Whatever be your reason to read, it better be a conscious choice but more importantly it must be a choice that makes you feel happy. Choosing joy is not an option but a compulsion because the world around has enough and more challenges, worries and problems that will engulf you and joy is that antidote to cope with it.

Finding joy is not as complicated as one may think, considering the numerous challenges one faces daily. It is all about adopting /embracing the right mix of self belief, attitude, optimism and being pragmatic.

Self belief It is the belief that you are blessed with choices and that you will choose the right path as long as you can visualize joy at the end of it. E.g. A student has studied well but unfortunately gets a very tough question paper. Despite the possibility of not faring well or even failing, he/ she refuses to copy because in her/ his eyes that would be cheating. It is the self belief that no matter what the outcome, I will remain true to my character and values.

Attitude – It is how one approaches each moment and the changing landscape that makes life so unpredictable. E.g. The student referred to in the previous point can become despondent that all her/ his efforts are in vain or can choose to look at the challenges as a learning to put even more effort or to be more selective in what is being studied. The attitude decides how one embraces joy no matter what the situation.

Optimism – It is seeing the bright side of things. Even in the darkest hours look for a glimmer, a ray of sunshine or at least a twinkling star. E.g. The student who gets a tough paper must make an effort to attempt the paper and be optimistic that her/ his effort will give a favorable outcome. The assumption of course is that the student has studied well and so can put in a decent effort.

Pragmatic – Choosing joy is always the result of pragmatic thinking. If the situation is hopeless it is better to embrace it stoically rather than in grief and despondency. E.g. The student can keep wondering and hurting that all his/ her efforts are in vain or could lament his/ her fate. On the other hand of one is practical look at the tough exam paper as an eye opener on how one must be better prepared. Focus in doing one’s best using all the knowledge gained through the hard work put in. If the paper has been uniformly tough for everyone, chances of those giving it a great shot passing are much higher. Giving up and not answering is a pragmatic but wasted effort as the outcome is now never in doubt.

Try these:          

  1. Can you recollect two of your most terrifying moments in your life? What were your reactions? How did you overcome the situation?
  2. You arrive at the airport for a much awaited foreign holiday. The airport suddenly announces that all flights are cancelled due to major technical glitch at the airport. It is peak holiday season and you can never get a booking again.  What will be your response to the situation? How will you choose joy after the initial shock and despondency?
  3. How would you react to the following situations?
  • The police has issued a fine for over speeding. The car was being use by your friend when the incident occurred which was captured on CCTV.
  • You dropped your phone accidentally and by mistake a passerby stomped on it with her spike heels. The screen is shattered.
  • You go for a health check up and the doctor says you need a specialized check up for what the doctor suspects is rather serious ailment.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Live a life that helps you leave a legacy

5-21 May 14- Live a life -Leave a legacy

Like the Northern Star that steadfastly guides the lost traveler, the quote today provides us an excellent pointer to what must drive us in making our life more meaningful, fulfilling and exhilarating. It also offers us a fresh perspective about our existence, reminding us that we need to make the most of life, for someday we will cease to be alive physically but we can ensure our legacy lives on.

Many of us get disheartened because we view ourselves as mere mortals who cannot create an impact on the world nor can we escape the drudgery of living as destiny has chosen us to. This is a fallacy that we have ingrained into our psyche and can be easily corrected by being aware that our life can positively impact all those you come in contact with and that each of us is given the opportunity to make the best of all we have. It is apt that at this juncture I share with you a link (http://chairbornewarrior.wordpress.com/category/my-second-life/ )that outlines the story of an extraordinary individual Mr.M.P.Anil Kumar who passed away yesterday. In many ways this post is also a tribute to him but more importantly his story captures the very core of today’s post.

Here are a few tips on making your life a legacy

Know yourself – This is the toughest part, partly because we can never be completely objective about our self but mainly because we are constantly evolving and our personality evolves with varied experiences, new knowledge and changing perspectives. Accepting our limitations also requires tremendous courage while identifying our strengths requires passionate self belief. Yet once we begin to understand and accept the being we are we can carefully circumvent our limitations while fully harnessing our strengths. E.g. Academics may not be everyone’s strength but some of us have diligence, commitment, hard work, vision etc as allies that we can harness fully to succeed.

Identify your passion – Many of us would candidly admit that lazing around, sleeping, day dreaming or being a couch potato is our most passionate activity. Yet we are also conscious that all of them are unproductive passions. So leaving aside these, list out some productive activities that you will happily engage in. Now creatively work out ways and means to make these activities fetch you income / returns. E.g. If you are a movie buff see if you can be a movie critic or if you have a natural flair for gadgets / gizmo’s find opportunities to leverage this passion.

Be zealous in what you do – Visualize a wonderful outcome of whatever activity you are engaged in.  This will provide you the impetus to be zealous and meticulous in whatever you are engaged in. The zeal you bring to your work will always give you an edge over others for good work is always noticed and rewarded. E.g. Have you noticed who is the co worker you can safely entrust a task to? Think about why you value his work so much.

Listen to the criticism but never let it overwhelm you – Since we cannot live in isolation, it is obvious that different people will form varying opinions about us. While some will be appreciative, there would be very many who will be extremely critical. There could be others who are indifferent while some others could be openly hostile. Be aware that there could be some truth in the criticism of others, so do not ignore the negative feedback. Yet do not let criticism dampen your spirits or cloud your judgment. Take corrective action where required but stay the course. If you know yourself you can never go wrong. E.g. If Ms. J.K. Rowling believed all the 12  publishers who rejected her first Harry Potter draft, those books would never have been published nor would millions of young readers have the pleasure of reading those books nor would she have become a millionaire and celebrity. What stops you from aiming so high?

Be the person you want others to be – If we have expectations of others, we must be prepared to walk the talk. In effect, our yardsticks of excellence for others must be the same yardstick we follow for ourselves. If we set a good example, all who observe us will attempt to imitate us. If we can simply be diligent in what we do, be truthful to our conscience, be fair to others and appreciate the efforts of those around, we would be living and leaving a legacy for others to imitate and emulate. E.g if we want our children to be honest we must ensure we don’t do any dishonest act ourselves or if we want the world to be a happier place learn to be happy first. Remember Mr.M.P.Anil Kumar and the cruel joke destiny played on him; yet he left behind a legacy hard to imagine and impossible to match.

Try this

List out 5 limitations/ weakness that you believe are hampering your progress in life. Now identify a quality that you posses that could be a possible antidote for that weakness. E.g. You are lazy. Antidote could be your ability to be disciplined or your ability to be committed to your goals or it could be your fear of monetary/ reputation loss. Now use the antidote as fulcrum to overcome your laziness.

Identify 3 people who in your opinion have left a legacy behind; (one must be a person from a historical / scientific / political / social service background   ; one from your friends and acquaintances and one a former teacher / superior ) Give an example of the one sterling quality they exhibited.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Listen to your heart and give it a try…

13-13-Give it a try..

Today’s words of wisdom hold a special significance for me personally and hopefully it would also be an apt quote for all those reading this blog. Around three and half years ago in Jan 2010, when I conceived this blog, it was actually my second attempt at experimenting with the medium called blogs. I had first started off on 1st Dec. 2009 (http://www.poweract.blogspot.in/2009/12/poweract-fission-of-ideas-to-fusion.html ) and was fortunate to get a quick comment from a friend which was motivation enough to write regularly. However, when I began this blog and kept a target of writing daily, all three of the doubts expressed in the quote above overwhelmed me. Fortunately for me my heart was in the right place and nudged me hard enough and I am delighted that I have kept my pride intact, gained invaluable experience and have reason enough to make the point that unless you try you will never know what you can achieve.

When one is setting off to explore unknown territory, it is good to have some apprehensions but it is terrible to start with doubts. Apprehensions are nature’s way of injecting a sense of responsibility, caution and pragmatism all of which are essential to complete a challenge. Doubts on the other hand, fuel fear, deflate self belief and allow irrationally thoughts to creep into our mindset thus heightening the chances of derailing the journey almost as soon as we attempt it. Apprehension stems out of our inexperience coupled with the realization that there are lot of unknown variables along the way. Doubts on the other hand seep in when we let our pride assume humongous proportions morphing into false pride. There is no shame in failure if despite our best efforts we fail but there is no pride in chickening out for fear of failure.

Experience is either first hand or it is second hand (that what we see/ hear about others). Either way each adventure poses new challenges that even past experience may not necessarily equip us to handle. In fact experience should guide us to make the necessary adjustments to ensure success. At times though, experience can give valuable insights that could temper our pride especially so as to ensure that we do not do anything foolhardy. The key to leveraging experience is in making a realistic assessment of the risks, finding innovative means to minimize the risks and then translating the risks into worthwhile targets for us to pursue.

The toughest obstacle is posed by our logical mind which reasons out every action but is not fully equipped to accommodate variables like creativity, individual resilience and risk taking ability. Reasoning is an excellent mechanism for analysis, provides reference points that flag off caution and alerts and is a dispassionate tool for exercising our options. However, far too often reasoning tends to err on the side of caution thereby reducing the potency of our decisions. We cannot dismiss reason completely but have to temper it with our personal insights, gut feeling and a healthy dose of self belief. Don’t always let the head rule the heart.

The heart has its reasons; not necessarily logical nor would it be completely irrational. What it does is prod, push and nudge one to become aware of some hidden and untapped abilities, potential and daring that is ready to be harnessed. When we can add this mix to our rational and logical self we get a holistic mix far more potent than we can ever imagine. Success is all about finding this right holistic mix and using it appropriately by balancing our mind and our heart.

The voice from the heart may sound fainter than that from the mind; but it is for you to seek it, listen to it and then believe in it.

Try this:

  1. During the coming month participate in at least 3 contests. It could be giving answers to contests run by radio / TV channels or sending in your entries to contests run by newspapers/ magazines.
  2. Find & execute innovative ways (in which you are an active participant) to raise funds for your favorite charity. (Do not involve family or friends in raising the monetary resources) e.g. putting up some unused things owned by you  for sale on a website with the sale proceeds earmarked for charity.
  3. Prepare your own crossword/ quiz (the answers to which must have some relevance to your family and friends or your neighborhood or city) and use that in the next get together or party. E.g. which person in this group stays on the top most floor of his/ her building? Or  The person in this group who is born in Lucknow. Or find out some well know spots in the city which have a colloquial name but which can be translated into English. In the quiz give the English translation and ask people to identify it. For example in my city of Pune we have a Phoolwalla Chowk (Flowersellers roundabout) / Lakadipul ( Wooden bridge). These can be innovatively used to prepare your quiz.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

True peace of mind can be got by…

True peace of mind is not dependent on circumstances. It comes from the inside.

The most common ailment that people complaint about is anxiety/ stress/ lack of peace of mind. Ironically, almost all of them believe that they are the part of a minority of unfortunate ones with the problem whilst the majority of people are blissful, joyous and at peace with themselves.  In fact the major cause of stress is this belief that everyone else seems to be so lucky and happy and that we are denied that pleasure. In this process we blame everyone and everything for our woes but our major complaint is against our lack of financial well being which we are convinced can be a single dose pill for all our worries and the anti depressant that will bring forth peace of mind.

Negative thinking accounts for all the stress that we undergo. We enjoy visualizing the worst case scenario in the hope that if it occurs we would not feel so bad about it and that we would be well prepared to meet it. Negative thinking can take on bizarre proportions right from blaming corruption and nepotism for our personal woes to wondering aloud about our own future be it in relation to a job or family life or wealth accumulation or relationships.  Instead of being pragmatic we lapse into reminiscing about the wonderful past that we believe will no longer come back and / or we morosely anticipate a future that we believe will be bleak, insipid and possibly terrifying.

Our temperament, temper, anxieties and negative feelings of jealousy, hate, revenge, envy, fear etc contribute in large measure to us not enjoying peace of mind. If we can examine the root cause of what ails us and makes us sleepless, fearful, worried and anxious we would realize that almost of all of it has its origins in our mind and heart. Comparisons are perhaps the single most destructive trait / habit that we posses that eventually wrecks our peace of mind. We compare our looks, our talents, our possessions, our fortunes, our academic credentials, our material possessions etc  and conclude that others are by far much more lucky and we then fall into the quagmire of self pity. Many are fearful of failure, others wary of success for then the benchmark could be hard to emulate; others are suspicious of the motives, the intent and the large heartedness of others who apparently freely give and share without any expectations.

Self belief, openness, gratefulness and trust are virtues that if we can posses or cultivate will de-stress us and nurture peace of mind.  With self belief we overcome fear, with openness we accept the reality, with gratefulness we value our own riches and with trust we remove ill feeling and misgivings and can easily forgive. Notice that all these are positive traits, are traits that fertilize the mind and help cultivate positive thoughts and traits that are within us waiting for us to discover it and bring it to the fore. No matter what the situation, whatever be the problem or however complicated the reality, we develop the mental strength to cope with it without undue stress and quickly regain our peace of mind.

Remember: When you unclutter your mind, you enjoy peace of mind.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 positive things about stress. Are you harnessing these positive things when stressed or do you end up losing your peace of mind?  What are the 3 obvious mannerism that you display when you are stressed or worked up? Do you deny being stressed if someone remarks that they think your stressed?
  2. On a scale of 1- 10 (with 1 being no stress and 10 being acute stress) rate the stress you will be subject to in the following circumstances. Give the list to your close friend/ colleague/ spouse and ask them to rate how they perceive you to be stressed under these conditions. Compare both scores and if there are large deviations between both scores ask yourself the reasons for the same.
  • Your doctor tells you that you may be having cancer.
  • You lose a substantial amount when your investments go bust.
  • Your friend and you purchase lottery tickets in sequence. The friend wins the bumper lottery and you do not.
  • You win a 2 week all expenses paid holiday to Europe but unfortunately you are down with chicken pox and cannot go on the trip.
  • A close family member announces that he is gay
  • You think your best friend has betrayed you.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Ideal life…

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. Mark Twain

For ordinary mortals who flirt with every conceivable sin be it sloth, gluttony, lust and the like, Mark Twain’s observation will come as a breath of fresh air. Partly in jest but full of wisdom, Twain’s outline of an ideal life can easily be identifiable by every human being for it has distilled in a few succinct words the reality that we would long for.

Paramount is the importance of having good friends. This reflects the social side of the human race for none can live all alone. We need to interact, communicate and lean on another’s shoulder if our life is to be more full, rich and rewarding. We as human beings have an urge and need to share our joys and sorrows, express our feelings and aspirations and in turn get support or suggestions, praise or reprimand but most of all empathy from our friends and well wishers. A good friend is like a compass, who will always faithfully point you in the right direction even if you disagree, disapprove or disparage the help and hints given.

Nothing gives one as much pleasure as a good book. It allows one to spend hours together all alone and yet never feeling lonely.  Irrespective of our moods or the weather a good book educates, entertains and engages us thus sparing us the bother of seeking the company of others. Books open the window of the mind and gives our imagination wings to soar on. It expands our horizons because it is a fountainhead of knowledge and entertainment. A good book is of course a matter of personal preference yet books universally provides mankind the mental stimulation and triggers the creative potential which is the basis of all human progress.

It is mans inherent propensity to gravity towards the forbidden that needs to be reined in despite the books and the friends. A sleepy conscience is the perfect antidote for this problem. Whilst we may not entirely agree with all that our conscience triggers  we can selectively interpret, choose and act on what appeals to us. Else we would be nervous wrecks who would be constantly provoked and harassed by guilt for the human mind does know to distinguish between good and bad but prefers to exercise the more convenient option. That is what makes us human.  E.g. We are aware the overeating and lack of exercise will makes us overweight and prone to illness but a sleepy conscience ensures that we still have a good night’s sleep and retain the good sense to realize the perils. That we still give in to our indulgences and conveniently ignore the perils is thanks to the gift of a sleepy conscience.

Ultimately each one has to live his/ her life on their own terms and good books, good friends and a sleepy conscience will ensure that we lead the most ideal life active, happy and guilt free.

Remember: “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” John N. Mitchel

Try this:

  1. Name the 3 books that you would love to read again and again. Expand your list. You are also encouraged to post your list of favorite books in the comments to this post so that others too can benefit by your comments.
  2. Do a net search on the 7 deadly sins and identify the two sins that you are most guilty of falling in. How will you attempt to overcome those sins?
  3. Reflect on your past and pin point the times when your conscience pricked you the most. Eg. The first time you gave in to peer pressure and smoked a cigarette.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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