Tag: Patience

No gain without pain

Dear Readers

At the outset let me thank all of you for regularly reading my blog (as on date there are 176 followers too who get this blog in their email inbox) and for your valuable comments and feedback.  As I am traveling out of the country for around 2 weeks, this blog may not be updated till 24th Sept.10.

I would request you to please bear up with this break. However this offers you a good chance to catch up with some of the older posts…there are 250 odd posts to choose from. In addition you can also visit our weekly posts in www.poweract.blogspot.com I   am sure you find the posts refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating. Do spare time to also post your comments which are both a motivator and a reality check for me.

Thank you for your patronage of this blog.


If you want a place in the sun, you’ve got to put up with a few blisters. Abigail Van Buren

Each of us craves to be acknowledged, if possible recognized and we would be delighted if we are perceived as successful icons. We would like to be on the highest rung of the pecking order and should we be lucky and talented then ideally we would like to call all the shots. In short, each of us seeks to have a place in the sun; high up, shining bright and basking in glory. However there are no shortcuts to achieving these accolades and with rare exceptions every single idol be it our heroes on screen, on the sporting field, our politicians, business leaders or our parents have worked hard, suffered in their own way and triumphed over many odds. They can recount the blisters they have had to painfully endure just to be up there.

The three most important qualities that catapult us to managing a place in the sun are hard work, diligence and resilience. Each of those qualities have a major bearing in ensuring that we remain focused, never wavering and are passionate about what we seek to achieve. It is this passion that will ultimately gives us the strength to keep going when we have to face challenges, unexpected hurdles and painful realities. Hard work is not just plodding along but going about our task putting in all our intellectual and physical effort. The jargon smart work has replace hard work  but in reality it requires a lot of hard work to identify how to be smart enough to get work done from others or to simplify the task on hard.

Diligence is all about being attentive, careful, meticulous and conscientious. The objective is to ensure that effort is never wasted by minimizing errors, following standard operating procedures and delivering results within the allotted time frame. Some would argue that mechanization is the perfect answer to ensure perfect diligence but what we fail to appreciate is that diligence is not rote but intelligent action that involves varied managerial skills too like decision making and effective leadership. Resilience is the one quality that needs courage of conviction, tenacity of purpose and a very strong will. It is the one quality that is an insurance against failure. Most people never realize their full potential because they lack the resilience to overcome setbacks. They lack both the energy and the will to recoup and launch a fresh assault to attain success.

In chasing our dreams we would get hurt, be ridiculed, our abilities and wisdom questioned, our enthusiasm dampened by critics and worse of all we could be plagued by self doubt. Each of these are blisters that we have to accept, adjust too and suffer if we really want to make a place for ourselves in the sun.

Remember: Where there is a will there is a way

Try this:

  1. Identify a couple of successful individuals known to you. Try and meet them and ask them to share their most trying moments in their life. Ask them what kept them going and how they managed to face the odds stacked against them. Ask yourself if there are any lessons for yourself in it.
  2. Make a list of activities that you passionately wanted to achieve but never even go around beginning.  Ask yourself what prevented you from achieving your passion. Is there a way out of those problems today or you have simply given up on those passions?

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

Our part has to be played too..

God doesn’t make orange juice, God makes oranges. Jesse Jackson

One of our human failings is our penchant to pass on our responsibilities to others be it a sibling, a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend or as we do in most case pass on our work to God. Most times when in trouble we exclaim loudly Oh God! fervently praying and imploring God to intervene and set things right. Without exception almost all of us have indulged in this before, during and after our exams. Seeking divine interventions is perfectly acceptable but we doing our part and making all efforts is a prerequisite too.

Man of us have strong belief in the almighty but  we have an irrational belief that in a worst case scenario God will take care of our troubles if we earnestly implore him even if we have taken little or no efforts to mitigate the problem. It is important for us to realize that we are given the gift of life and with it so many talents and abilities which we are expected to utilize fully. Unfortunately what makes us human is our inherent abhorrence for hard work, our tendency to find short cuts and worst of all our tendency to cut corners and skate on thin ice just in order to make a farcical appearance of going through the motions.

Ironically it is man being blessed with intelligence that has made the human race more lazy, less patient and completely dependent on extraneous factors be it technology or human intervention to simplify his life. With every labor saving device we have made our life machine controlled, with the growing economic divide we have made a human class separation and with our unabashed  greed we have made life a rat race. Our life therefore is centered around results by fair or foul means, amassing wealth by legal or illegal means and subsisting with minimum effort and maximum relaxation. Obviously life then becomes challenging only for the have not’s and those who are fortunate to be educated, economically well off and street smart life is a breeze. Yet many a time money cannot solve all problems and that is when we are prepared to even bargain with the almighty and make promises of sharing our earthly wealth in return for divine blessings in earthly form be it winning a lottery or curing one from a debilitating disease.

For the human race it is important to realize that we are responsible for our actions and our inactions. We can only reasonably expect to relish the fruits of our efforts, toil and diligence. However we are also fortunate to be showered by the blessings of the almighty especially when he gives us an unexpected bounty, ignores our frequent ungratefulness and waywardness and never ever lets us down for even when we feel he hasn’t answered our prayers he has kept us in the palm of his hands and cupped us in protecting us from bigger pain and suffering.

Remember: If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice. Meister Eckhart

Try this:

  1. Make a list of very special blessing you received even when you did not deserve it. Did you express your thanks to God for it?
  2. How do you respond when someone asks you for help? Assume that you see a stalled car and the driver is an elderly gentleman. Will you stop to help the old man? How will you help out?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Cool enthusiasm

The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool. William McFee

Though it sounds paradoxical, an enthusiast while being overtly exuding energy and confidence can succeed only when he can rein in his exuberance and calmly go about achieving his goals. As Dale Carnegie correctly identified, enthusiasms holds the key to success. Without enthusiasm we can achieve very little but we can definitely hope to achieve much with enthusiasms simply because your heart and mind is focused on the task on hand. Enthusiasm however has the tendency to let people get carried away. They get so focused and energetic that they may be oblivious to some pitfalls along the way or may ignore the strengths and strategy of the opponent with disastrous consequences.

Keeping cool is a pretty tough task for an energetic, charged up and high strung person. When the adeline is pumping, when the competitions is hotting up and smell of success overpowering it takes a lot to calm down and relax for the tension is at its peak and the keeping the momentum paramount. However, time and time again one will see that it is those who can keep their nerve by taking things calmly and approach a task systematically who often triumphs. Take the case of a pulsating T20 cricket match. No matter what score the team batting first scores, there is always the perceptible tension when the team batting second begins. No doubt the larger the score to chase, the greater the tempo and the tension. Most times, the results vindicate the approach of the team that has kept its nerves.

Many of us are guilty of enthusiastically staring a task and then feeling deflated at every obstacle and if we are losers, we simply give up. The challenge for the enthusiast is to pick up tasks that are within the ambit of his/ her capability and to approach the task systematically and methodically making due allowances for setbacks and hindrances. Sad to say, most of us lose steam midway not because we are not capable but because we don’t have the persistence and discipline to see the task to its logical end. Assume you have the stamina and technique to run a marathon and complete it with a decent timing. However, it would be futile and foolhardy to participate in a prestigious tournament without adequate preparation, practice and sufficient motivation.

Enthusiasm will ignite the spark that sets us on the path to glory; but we need to have enough resources within us, the right temperament to leverage the resources correctly and above all a cool head to ensure that we think and act in sync with one eye on our goal and the other on ourselves. That is when we can honestly say that we have kept our cool and grasped the world.

Remember: “Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Try these:

  1. Stop reading the post pick up a pen and paper and list 3 things you hate to do. If writing is one of the things you wrote, attempt to enthusiastically add another 5 pet hates. Choose the first 3 things you hate and for the next one week, attempt to enthusiastically attempt it. Eg. You might hate to do anything that involves maths or numbers. So your challenge is to enthusiastically do a Sudoku challenge daily or attempt a maths based puzzle daily.
  2. In your daily routine, it is possible that you have formed the habit of doing the unpleasant tasks last. During the coming week try to make a conscious and enthusiastic effort to do those tasks first before you go on to do other chores. Also make an effort to postpone or avoid those tasks that you look forward eg. Reading the newspaper first thing in the morning or drinking a hot cup of coffee. Can you inject some enthusiasm into the postponement?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Bless us with patience…

God grant us patience!  William Shakespeare

Just visualize the scene where as a family we are sitting in a restaurant and debating what to order. We take our time about ordering the food, since most of us take an eternity to make up our minds. Finally when we give the order to the captain, we have this compulsive urge to instruct him to ensure that the food is served fast. While we dilly dally about our choice of food, we have no patience to wait for the food to be served. In a day and age where instant coffee and instant noodles are standard fare, where pizza delivery is timed in a clock work fashion and where ‘please hurry up’ is a standard appendage to any request, the virtue of patience is at a very high premium.

Contrast this with natures wonder called life cycle. It still takes 9 months from conception to delivery for a human being. If you plant a seed today, it might take years for someone to be able to enjoy the fruits of the tree. Look at the wild animals patiently stalking their prey or imagine the patience of the migratory birds for they have to fly very very long distances which take days on end. This phenomenon opens our eyes to a very critical weakness in most of us living in the fast paced world- lack of patience. You may disagree and say you are very patient and perhaps you are right too. If you are still reading this post, give yourself a clap for your patience; for the net speed may have been too slow and yet you persisted or the contents up to this point may have tested your patience but you optimistically go on.

On the other hand, examine your own investment strategy. Do you believe in quick money and indulge in daily trading in the stock markets or regularly buying the lottery or gambling? On the other hand are you a long term investor and / or do you prefer slow and steady returns as in bonds and debt markets? Examine your own tastes in music and sports. Do you prefer the classics to rap and metal music? Do you like to watch golf or F1 racing or prefer tennis to a football match? No doubt the choice is based on your personal interests and factors other than just your patience level, but it may give you a clue to your personal operating style which could have patience as dominating variable.

When we get impatient we also get irrational. We are then overpowered by irritation, annoyance and get easily provoked. That is when we attempt to speed up decisions leading to poor decision making, try to short circuit the system and end up messing things up and often lose our bearings and consequentially end up looking foolish and stupid. Worse still, impatience makes us lose time for in our hurry we botch up things and setting that right almost invariably takes double the original time frame. Patience is a virtue that will bring us peace of mind for then you will never be riled or ruffled.

Remember: “Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”

Try these:

  1. Observe your own reaction when caught in the tail end of a line that does not seem to be moving or caught in slow moving traffic. How do you analyze the situation? Do you curse the people in front of you or do you simply work up a rage and abuse one and all or do you calmly use it as an opportunity to think and introspect or if in a car increase the volume of the music and make the best of a bad situation?
  2. Name 3 activities that you think really test your patience frequently.  What are the alternatives that will enable you to cope with that activity with least irritation and most profit?
  3. Ask yourself the following questions .Do you enjoy teaching children?  Do you think you can spend a couple of hours at the home for the aged or with mentally challenged people?  Can you work with slow learners or Alzheimer’s patients? If you answered yes to all of the above….GOD has BLESSED  you with the virtue of PATIENCE…please return the favor and go and volunteer in one of the above activities.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Do unto others …

What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others. Confucius

This is a clarion call to practice temperance in both action and deeds. It is easy for us to be critical of others and to chasten people who do not meet our expectations of them. The classic example is that of most parents, who goad their children to study, frown at them when they are too playful and have an unrealistic expectations that the children must excel in academics consistently. If they only pause to reflect on their own childhood, schooling and performance perhaps they would realize that they are inflicting the very pain that they were subject to and possibly resented and detested.

Things don’t change too much in the general personal life, family life, professional life and social life. We sulk and resent others, who point out our faults and yet we won’t bat an eyelid when we are even more harsh with our spouse, children or family members when they make minor misdemeanors that we resent. As passive sports enthusiasts watching the players on TV how often do we criticize and curse players when they flounder at critical stages and how readily we find excuses for our mistakes and poor performance. Would we tolerate the same criticism if it was directed to us?

 In our anxiety to get favorable output or results, we often become intolerant and too demanding. This results in us setting very stiff targets for performance leading to unrealistic expectations and failure is never treated kindly. Just pause and reverse the roles and ask a question if we can meet our own targets? If the answer is a loud no, then are we fair in being harsh, rude and possibly nasty to others; for we wouldn’t want to suffer the same fate under similar circumstances. So the yardstick we use for others must be the same one that you will judge yourself with. The rewards and punishments must also be in similar proportion to what you deserve.

Remember: The Lords prayer has a line that is the forerunner to the above quote ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’.

Try these:

  1. The next time you go through the report card of your child, ask yourself what was your performance whilst in the same class. It is grossly unfair to expect your kids to extraordinarily well as compared to your own achievements. Also be careful not to compare performance of your child with that of another classmate. Comparison if any must be with the average class performance and the ability of your child.
  2. Any criticism, punishment, ticking off must be in proportion to the deed or offence. Ask yourself if you are letting your emotions get the better of you when you award a punishment or you criticize or tick of someone. Pay close attention to your choice of words, tone and timing too. Also ensure that any negative feedback is never given in public but done privately.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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