Tag: Perceptions

Oh this is me !

13-7-Oh this is me

First read the words above again and then proceed to read further with a smile on your face for you have discovered your true self now. Not just you but check with family and friends and you will find that each one of them will identify with the above reality. The pain, sufferings and mistakes are often the first thing that we recollect when we try to rationalize our journey thus far.  The successes we have enjoyed, the achievements and accolades received are often seen as insignificant compared to the effort, the hurdles and problems that we have battled. Yet, we would in rare moments of candidness, admit that the journey thus far has been worth it for it made us better, more resilient and definitely proud of ourselves.

The reality is that almost everyone feels that he/ she could have done a lot better if only…

  • We worked harder
  • We were a wee bit luckier
  • We had the daring to follow our heart
  • Were a wee bit more patient
  • Could control our emotions and manage relationships better etc.

Since the past cannot be undone, there is little to gain by ruing over it. Yet, by our very nature we tend to lapse into ruminations about the past, particularly those events/ situations that we wish could be undone. That is when, we need to be more pragmatic, be more optimistic and seek out the blessings that every experience has given us.  To begin with, you are alive and well enough to still influence the course of your life and destiny.  No matter what your age, what your social or economic background or what your education is, hope exits as long as there is life.

Here are 3 steps to lead a more fulfilling and rewarding life

Map your coordinates. Do a realistic assessment of your personal, financial, career related and social status. This could involve deep thinking, extensive note making and should ideally also include free and frank discussions with family and friends.  Do not shy away from noting the negatives, the concerns that need to be addressed and the occasional candid but unpleasant feedback you get.

Adjust your compass. If mapping the coordinates felt like a burden, adjusting the compass is sheer torture. This is because for once you have to purposefully look to the future with hope and fortitude but with the baggage of the coordinates grounding you to reality. So while we may have fanciful ideas, imagine pots of gold at the end of the illusionary rainbow we fancy, the path would we long winded, uphill and rocky. The secret lies in generating enough passion within yourself to sustain and motivate you to that goal.

Proceed purposefully. Once the goal is clear and the current coordinates established no matter how far the goal is we need to proceed with hope, determination and joy. While hope kindles the spirit, determination propels is in the journey and it is the joy in the journey that makes the effort easier and smoother.

Look in the mirror and do you see a more confident you?  If you have cone thus far, there is nothing that can stop you now from attaining your goals.  Keep striding , striving and succeeding !

Try this:

Go in front of the mirror and try to get the following expressions on your face

  • Happiness
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Frustration
  • Pain
  • Irritation
  • Coyness
  • Indifference

(How tough or easy was it for you to do it? Do you have a better appreciation of the job of an actor/ actress when they have to emote on screen? Do you think you can do a better job of emoting in front of the mirror if you had a situation or scene or script to give you an authentic setting for the emotions to be expressed? Do you think that script is equally to the Compass for an actor?)

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The END or is it???

Effort Never Dies & Next Opportunity
Effort Never Dies & Next Opportunity

As this year comes to an END each of us would have a number of thoughts; many pleasant and quite few pensive ones. When things have gone as per plan or we have been fortunate to be given some unexpected surprises in personal, professional and social life we look back with an elated feeling and perhaps a word of thanks for our lucky breaks. However it is the thoughts of pain, failure, death, surrender and regret that tend to linger longer and sadden us immensely. What hurts most is the realization that you have tried your best to mend a relationship or do a diligent job or for being provoked into saying or doing something that you regret later. You get that sinking feeling that all your efforts are in vain and that in the final analysis, the year has ended in failure. That is when you must see the END differently as Effort Never Dies.

Students in general and those studying for highly competitive examinations are particularly vulnerable to the ‘this is the END ‘ syndrome when despite their best efforts, they fail to fulfill their own expectations or fail to live up to their potential. Sometimes we are denied our desires by a quirk of fate which is perhaps nature’s way of saying a polite NO. This NO must be seen as Next Opportunity because then you are forced to explore alternatives that you could otherwise have never tried. Many of us would have found our true calling in the next best alternative.

If you look back at the New Year resolutions you made last December or early this year, it is possible that we have failed to stick to most of our resolutions. Does this mean that it is the END of those fine intents put down as resolutions? In fact what we invariably do is carry forward those resolutions give credence to the fact that the efforts of writing down the resolutions are not completely wasted. Similarly think of the number of times we were denied by our parents, friends, peers, colleagues, bosses or the system (rail bookings/ air bookings/ movie ticket bookings). Did all those NO’s derail your plans completely? You certainly didn’t let that happen. You took the Next Opportunity available to attain your objectives.

Life is actually a wonderful series of Next Opportunity grabbed  and Efforts Never Dying provided  we can interpret those NO’s and dead END’s correctly.

Try this:

  1. Pick up any old Readers Digest and attempt the Word Power section. It is possible that many words seem new and you could be tempted to give up. If you can with grit and determination regularly do the word power, your efforts will enable you learn a number of new words and enhance your vocabulary.
  2. Here is a little PPT presentation on basic mathematics. I can see most of you cringe on seeing the word mathematics. Now don’t say NO ! Go on try it… and don’t peek at the answers till you have actually attempted to solve it. Barring a couple almost all of them are relatively easy to solve. ..and what if you don’t solve them??? It is not the END of the world…and I promise you your efforts won’t be in vain.  Smarter than a 5th grader

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Set yourself free…

As a social animal, man has to live with fellow human beings for sustenance, companionship and growth. Unfortunately man, unlike other animals that also live in groups or herds or prides has the compulsive unconscious urge to seek acceptance /approval of those around for every deed, action and indulgence. Even more unfortunately, man has also perfected the art of being a born critic and we easily find fault with people, happening and things around. When we analyze the behavior of the critic in us, we would realize that we have subconsciously become negative in our perception and thinking, our negativity has clouded our ability to be more discerning and appreciative and we are easily reconciled to failure, plead haplessness and find excuses to rationalize our personal lack of success.

Let us examine how each of these behaviors’ are self imposed and self limiting.

By being negative in our perception and thinking we let in self doubt creep in; we train ourselves to see the imperfections and we gravitate towards the bare minimum standards of acceptance so that we don’t seem to be failures. The fear of public speaking that an overwhelming majority of people suffer from is a classic case of our negative perception and thinking preoccupies us and restrains us from overcoming our fears.

Negativity clouding our ability to discern and be appreciative makes us succumb to the temptation of fault finding, self depreciation and failure prone. Even if someone else gives us a compliment we tend to play it down or deflect attention to something that takes the shine of the compliment. Similarly when opportunity presents itself we hesitate to take the initiative succumbing to our insecurities. We also naturally end up focusing on those failures that we may have encountered and completely ignore the numerous success that we have been privileged to embrace. Remember how our parents automatically scanned out report card to find the red lines that signified failure or quickly picked up on the lowest marks completing ignoring the numerous high scores we may have got.

By reconciling to failure, pleading haplessness and finding excuses, we do not give ourselves the opportunity to leverage our inherent strengths. Success is actually a culmination of effort most of it repetitive efforts despite failures. Many of us though give up at the first hurdle instead of persisting with hope and faith. We do not even make the effort of trying pleading haplessness or find excuses to wriggle out of a tough call. The overwhelming emotion that envelopes us is fear of failure and ridicule by others is actually the critic in us constantly whispering in our mind don’t embarrass yourself in front of others. How many of us who do poorly in our tasks began by saying ‘I don’t know what to do’ and later go on to say ‘ I am not capable of doing it’ and finally accepted failure by saying ‘ I just wasn’t cut out for it’. Notice that each of those statements are actually directed at others who maybe onlookers, co-participants or possibly evaluators and the statements are crude efforts to avoid any criticism.

The only way to tackle our fears is to confront it by being a participant and not a distanced critic. This is best done by visualizing success, anticipating and preparing for potential pitfalls and wholeheartedly embracing and enjoying the process. The real success would be in conquering one’s fears by setting yourself free of criticism, fear or failure.

Try this:

In the next one month ensure you attempt at least one of the following tasks that you have never attempted before

  • Learning a new form of dance
  • Easting with chopsticks
  • Learning to speak 10 sentences in a new language
  • Inviting friends to an exotic meal cooked entirely by you
  • Participating in 3 contests
  • Try your hand at origami

From the following situations, rate the situation that would embarrass you the most to the least. Reflect on why each situation gets the rating you have assigned.

  • Your boss getting hold of a love letter written to you.
  • You going for an important meeting post lunch and your shirt has a big stain because you spilt coffee on it at lunch time.
  • You excitedly greet and animatedly talk to a very charming person, who then gently tells you he/she is not the person you thought he/she was.
  • You are making an important presentation and by error click on a PPT you were studying of a competitor’s product.
  • You are with guests in a restaurant and despite the guests offer to foot the bill, insist that you will pick the tab only to discover that you forgot your wallet which contains the credit cards too.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Shaping your future

When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat? Chuck Palahniuk

The average person is always fearful of the future and unfortunately almost everyone who is reading this identifies with this. Part of our fear stems from a subconscious reality called death which we know will overtake us in the future and that is an extremely unsettling emotion. Part of the problem comes to fore because we tend to focus on the obstacles that we visualize will impede a smooth future. Some part of the threat we see in the future is due to our own lack of self belief, our inability to commit ourselves and the worst is an abject surrender to an uncontrollable variable labeled destiny. How ironic that in the process we fail to appreciate the glorious opportunity that the future places before us, we do not grasp the immense possibilities that are ours for the asking and miss out on the joy, delight and thrill of making new discoveries, harnessing our personal abilities and unleashing our full potential.

Now that you know that the future is really not so demonic or uncontrollable you need to reorient your mindset to embrace it with both arms. Here are three ways to create the future you want.

Vanquish the demons in the mind: The first step is to have a relook at all the negatives that stress you out when you attempt to peep into the future. This could begin with letting go the past ills / failures / hurt that touch a raw nerve and create that phantom pain when you have to traverse a similar path mentally into the future. Typically it could be things like changing jobs and landing in a bigger soup or experiencing failure in some ventures that you have attempted. The next is to snip of the negative thoughts that seep into the mind and rust away the iron will that you originally had. These could include self doubts about your own competence, worries about finances, fears about ill health and the tendency to surrender to fate or destiny.

Visualize the future you crave: Once you can vanquish the demons in the mind, your mind is at peace, your confidence is restored and there is a fresh energy that revitalizes you to think hard and deep about the future you want. Of prime importance is planning the future. This involves a great deal of effort in working out the blue prints, clarifying the goals, assembling the resources and then diving into the ocean called the future. Sometimes you may fantasize, occasionally you may think big, perhaps there are times when you can almost touch the future but the real test is when you cannot stop thinking about it. When the urge becomes irresistible that is when the future is within handshaking distance and we need to make the move to cajole the future into reality.

Venture into the future with confidence: For many of us identifying the moment when we can roll out our plans and get the momentum going is a tough challenge. This is because we try to connect all the dots and have the perfect future in place so that we do not experience failure. The reality though is that a large part of the future evolves only once we begin the journey. So the key to getting the future you want is in taking the plunge. There cannot be any half measures about it or else you would at the first signs of trouble turn tail and attempt to get back into your cozy nest. The future will then remain just a blueprint. On the other hand you must  when ready be like the eaglet that makes its first flight from the lofty perch with no parachute to rely on except its natural instincts and the craving to be a real eagle. If you want to kiss the skies bring out the eagle in you and stop twittering like the sparrows. A film director is a living example of how a person carves out the future that he/she visualizes. The success or failure thereafter of the movie or play is incidental.

Remember: Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet. Victor Hugo

Try this:

  1. Jot down your most passionate social concern (corruption/ child labor/ environmental concerns/ clean energy/ etc .are some pointers for your ready reference). Now outline how you will get actively involved (candle light marches/ email forwarding/ plain discussions with friends etc. do not count as active involvement) in it and how much time you can spare for it each week. Can you begin to get involved by the first of next month?
  2. Write down 3 goals each for the following facets of your life. Make sure they are not wish lists but practical and time bound goals. Also outline 5 steps that you would have to take for at least one goal in each list.
  • Your professional life
  • Your family life
  • Your personal passion
  • Your spiritual/ social service aspect

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Simple ways to gain self confidence

“Self-confidence gives you the freedom to make mistakes and cope with failure without feeling that your world has come to an end or that you are a worthless person.”

For many people finding their passion is relatively easier than having the confidence to trust their judgment about their passion. Similarly, barring a miniscule population, the vast majority of people are always very frustrated with their life, be it their personal life, their professional life or their social life. The common thread that binds both sets of people is the root cause of their disenchantment and disillusionment, which in a nutshell can be said to be lack of self confidence.  Lack of self belief is often  a byproduct of numerous unpleasant influences which could include negative childhood scripting, a not so outstanding academic performance, social pressures coupled with unreasonable parental expectations, unfair and odious comparisons with more talented siblings or peers, a poor self image etc. That apart, the pressures of the competitive world, the stress of coping with comparisons compelled by a consumerist society and personal weakness in attitude, behavior and actions add to the woes of an individual. Yet, it is never too late to regain your self confidence and enjoy the riches it brings in one’s life.

Here are four ways to cope with the problem of lack of self confidence.

Know that you are UNIQUE: It is essential to realize that even if you have an identical twin, YOU will always remain unique and special for no one can ever duplicate you in any way. This realization that you are an unique individual, should strengthen your belief that as an unique individual you have every opportunity and responsibility to leave your mark in this world. The simple proof is the uniqueness of your signature. Sign on a piece of paper and enjoy the power of your uniqueness reflected in that signature.

Identify your strengths and build up on them: Our biggest problem stems from the fact that we are constantly trying to outdo others rather than focusing on leveraging our abilities and our strengths which are unique to us. Some of us are physically strong while others are gifted with intellectual brilliance, while some others have strength of character and others endowed with moral and physical courage. Perhaps some have the ability to be self disciplined, while others are dogmatic and persistent while there could be others who are calm collected and unfazed even during the most trying times. Ask yourself what are those unique strengths that you posses and find ways and means to leverage that in your work and life. Self confidence will automatically embrace those who focus on their potential.

Make a fresh start everyday Everyone has good days and bad days. No one can perennially live of the good days and it is equally true that the bad days never have an extended run. Obviously then the best way to treat life with confidence is to relish those good days when they come and to quickly get over the bad days. In effect, be aware that each day is an opportunity to have a fresh start and a positive approach nurtures positive results which in turn reinforces self confidence.

Nurture self confidence. There are no self confidence pills that can boost ones confidence in a jiffy.  Instead look at nurturing self confidence as a process of going a few steps forward each day and on a bad day perhaps we may slip a step or two behind. The focus must be on the progress made. Viola, before we know it we are confidently marching towards our goals, realizing our ambitions and adding to our self esteem with each milestone we cross.

Remember:“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”  E. E. Cummings

 Try this:

  1. Identify 3 of your greatest apprehensions / fears. Work out a plan to overcome this apprehension and actually confront it in the next 3 months. ( Here are some examples of fears/ apprehensions for you to get an idea of what you may have to confront.  Fear of public speaking;  fear of lizards/ snakes; attempting to bowl in a bowling alley; wearing flashy clothes; confronting an insolent subordinate/ desperately wanting a pet but fearful of your ability to manage it )
  2. Attempt to do the following
  • Engage in arm wrestling with a friend/ colleague/ your sibling/ spouse/ children
  • Take two pieces of  A4 size paper and with one of them make a paper boat and with the other an aeroplane. (Did you feel foolish when you did not know how to proceed because you had forgotten those kiddish activities?)
  • Borrow a bicycle and ride it for a kilometer or so at least. (Did the legs creak, were you able to balance easily, were you embarrassed that you tired very quickly and had to dismount, did you feel silly because others were watching?)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The challenge of decision making

If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late. Lee Iacocca

One of the toughest parts of decision making is trying to minimize the uncertainties associated with the decision so as to ensure that we improve the chances of having taken the right decision.  There are numerous reasons why getting answers to all uncertainties is extremely difficult. To begin with there is a tradeoff between the time available to get all the inputs required to answer all uncertainties and the time frame within which to take the decision. There are numerous uncertainties where a judgment is the only way one can use to determine the probability of nailing the uncertainity.eg  if we visit a couple of doctors for each ones expert opinion on a serious illness and all of them suggest a different line of treatment, we have no choice but to go with one of those recommendations.  As a result, most times apart from using the available data we end up having to use our judgment and rely on our prior experience to arrive at a decision.

One of the most common ailments of decision making prevalent largely in the corporate world is described as Paralysis by analysis. Here the problem arises not because the decision to be made is really tough but more because the decision makers don’t want to be held responsible in case their decision goes wrong.  As a result they would attempt to use all techniques and tools to study and analyze the data available and they would even tweak it till it confirms what they want to believe or prove so that there is ample paperwork to justify their decision. Unfortunately since most decisions are time bound, decision makers can be mentally paralyzed by the reams of analytical data that is generated which may be quite at variance with our expectations and the decision making process goes for a toss.

Decisions concerning relationships are even more tough because it calls for a value judgment. A simple test is to write down the qualities of an ideal spouse. Most times this process for married people poses a serious problem of having to forcefully appreciate the qualities of a spouse. For those yet unmarried the problem is one of how to prune the list. The tough part is yet to come;  for those who are yet to be married the question is how does one really recognize this quality or attribute in their to be spouse for the married person it is accepting the reality that many of those attributes longed for are utopian and unrealistic now. Breaking off a friendship or relationship is perhaps one of the toughest decisions because it is hurtful, painful, emotional and distressing for all concerned. Many a time this happens when there is mistrust and doubt and an amicable parting is often difficult but inevitable. Here the sheer pressure of the uncertainly in the relationship could prove to be a mill stone in the relationship which ultimately drowns it perhaps a wee bit too late.   Even more tough is to take a decision to part because pure rational itself does not provide the answers to all the uncertainties associated with the relationship. E.g. An office romance between a married boss and a subordinate or social pressures associated with a gay relationship or the breaking up of a partnership or a joint venture because the parties have divergent view points.

Remember: “My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”  Theodore Hesburgh

Try this:

  1. Your most intimate friend has picked up a new job and ever since his visits and interactions have come down.  You are disappointed and not sure if it is only the new job that is the reason for this sudden drop in communications and interactions. You are confused and hurt but you still cherish his friendship. How will you ensure that you don’t take a drastic or wrong decision by cutting off all your ties while at the same time ensuring that he still values your friendship?
  2. You are at a famous art museum that has a Picasso, a Rembrandt and a Van Gogh painting among some other prized paintings being exhibited. Suddenly there is a fire in the museum and you are able to save just one painting. Which painting will you save?  (The answer to this will be published in our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com before this weekend)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Taking interest

Real unselfishness consists in sharing the interests of others.  George Santayana

In our daily interactions we are bound to meet a large cross section of people some of whom we forge friendships and with others we maintain a purely professional relationship. What is common to both types of interactions is that there is some common ground for dialogue, discussion and decision making. When the area of common ground expands professional associations migrate into friendships and we forge stronger bonds and ties. The undercurrent that is flowing all the while is in the interchange of ideas, thoughts and interests that the interested parties have in common. If there is no commonality of interest the possibility of that relationship sustaining is very minimal.

The big trouble of communication in any relationship is that we cannot always find common ground that interests all parties.  There is always at least one topic which one party loves and the other party finds it hard to appreciate. If a person is passionate about something he/ she will always be gung-ho about it and would love to find an ardent listener, alas if we do not like the topic we would make all attempts to indicate so. The reason for this is that we are selfish by nature and find it painful to put up with what does not interest us. If we are prepared to see things from the other person’s point of view and be patient we would make the profound discovery that we can forge wonderful relationships.

Do we fake interest in others interests? Good salesmen are quite adept at doing this, for they have with experience learned to initially fake attention, pretend to show interest and try to pry into the passions of the buyer. They are well aware that if one can pander to the interest of the buyer, it won’t be long before they can get the potential buyer to be interested in what they have to sell. Notice that the salesman has a long term motive that drives him/her to start off by faking interest but then quickly reorient their mindset to actually participate in the potential buyer’s interest.  Each one of us must make this effort when we are clear that we have to be interested in the other party. Mark McCormack in his bestselling  book What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School gives an example of how he paid attention to the secretary in the office of a potential sponsor, who was cutting stamps from the inward mail envelopes, for the bosses  son who was an avid stamp collector. The next time Mark visited the sponsoror, he carried with him a huge collection of stamps for the potential sponsor’s son. This little gesture of paying attention to an innocuous activity paid rich dividends for Mark who bagged the huge sponsorship deal.

One can really benefit by paying attention and taking interest in others because, we establish common ground, draw people to ourselves and forge new alliances. In the long run, it is to these relationships that we can safely turn to and leverage whenever we need to. This is because we have unselfishly made the effort to draw people to ourselves and by taking in interest in them we have reinforced the bonds of friendship. In being unselfish we have not laid any conditions nor kept any expectations and so the relationship is spontaneous, genuine and endearing.

Remember: “A person with a hundred interests is twice as alive as one with only fifty and four times as alive as the man who has only twenty-five”  Norman Vincent Peale

Try this:

  1. Try to learn a new sport/ card game./ card trick/ skill. How easy was it to pick up the new activity? What contributed to the speed of picking up?  Did you get frustrated initially and how did you motivate yourself when frustrated?
  2. Identify 3 boring people who you prefer to avoid. Analyze why you find them a bore? Make an attempt to meet one of these persons and spend at least an hour with this person. Have you made any new observations about the person? Identify 3 strengths of the person that you never knew.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Trust begets trust

The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him. Henry L. Stimson

Human nature being what it is, we tend to have strong likes and dislikes largely based on our perceptions which in turn are deeply influenced by our biases and prejudices. One of the most  common bias pertains to assuming that someone who is shabbily dressed is poor and perhaps not to be completely trusted whereas  someone nattily dressed is rich an therefore trustworthy.  World over the quantum of white collared crimes is rapidly growing and yet using our quixotic logic, we tend to mistrust people who we are biased against. What we forget this old adage that ‘trust begets trust’.

As individuals we may have often resented our own parent’s inquisitiveness into our affairs which may have bordered on the cusp of insensitive distrust of our activities.  Our rational and oft repeated argument would be that we are mature and responsible and so we must be trusted to do the right thing at the right time. In fact if we are pressurized by the constant peering over our shoulder behavior, in frustration we would resort to some unruly behavior, bend some rules, express our annoyance more aggressively or simply revolted.  The human mind is conditioned to value its independence and responsibility which unfortunately is often overlooked by those in authority or power, be it parents, teachers, superiors or colleagues.

On the other hand, observe the behavior of people to whom we entrust responsibility and also express our confidence in. More often than not they exceed our expectations, simply because they do not want to let down our confidence in them. There would always be exceptions, but they are few and far and in between. Many of those who fail our trust have either foolish self centered interests or are simply incompetent. While the later can be excused and if possible given a second chance, those who deliberately fail us also need a second chance and perhaps closer supervision.  Trusting a person also offers the other person a chance to act independently and discover his/ her own abilities and potential. Even more important is the fact that by trusting a person you are giving the persona seal of our approval not just for his / her integrity but also for their skill, their competence and their resourcefulness.

How does one trust? It is never easy to overcome our personal bias and prejudices. So the first step is to be aware of our skewed thought process and possible irrational approach when we have to deal with people. Once we identify the people to who we need to entrust work, it is essential that w make sure that they have the ability and knowledge to be entrusted with the task. This is to be followed up with a conscious, well thought out plan of gaining the confidence of the others which often entails explaining our expectations of the other, reasons for our confidence in them and outlining the parameters which govern the relationship. Eg. If we employee a driver, it is prudent to check his credentials, then test his driving skills. Give them the brief and expectations and if possible make reference to any favorable recommendations received.  Avoid all temptations to do back seat driving but do pass on specific instructions that you would like him to follow. It is Bon Voyage then.

Remember: “The key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be- and when they’re not, we cry.”

Action Points:

  1. Read the well known parable of the tree talent from the Bible by clicking the following link. http://bible.org/seriespage/parable-talents-matthew-2514-30-luke-1912-28Notice that the master TRUSTS his servants and the first two servants in turn trust the master.; alas the third servant does not TRUST his master and so faces the consequences of his lack of trust.
  2. Ask yourself if you mistrust people because of your biases and if that is true identify those biases.  Do you attach too much importance to hearsay and as a result do not trust easily? Recollect at least 3 instances where you made an error in judgment about people you had to deal with.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

At judgment time

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.  Mother Teresa

Our perceptions about people have an unusually disproportionate influence on how we deal with them, how closely we interact with them and how much of confidence we have in them. Be it our own countrymen or be it dealing with foreigners, we have our biases that keep triggering our senses at regular intervals and which acts as a filter to ensure that we are communicating to suit the circumstances and the personnel involved. The net result is that we convey a feeling of suspicion, make the counter party wary and lengthen the process of establishing relationships. Ironically most of our biases prove to be negative in nature and woefully wrong which makes us feel sheepish and embarrassed.

The problem with most of us is that we have our own skewed logic that is based upon hearsay, opinions and personal prejudice which results in us judging people all the time. When we judge people the natural tendency is to look at people as prone to being deviant, problematic and difficult to deal with. This negative mindset offers us the luxury of being excessively vigilant, deeply suspicious and probably resentful of the other without feeling guilty, since we see it as a protective mechanism to shield our life and liberty. By the time we realize our folly some connections have been disturbed, many opportunities lost and most interactions have become stilted. Relationships take a lot longer to flower than what would have if we didn’t let our judgment cloud our senses.

Look at the beggars, the marginalized, the poor and the sick and ask yourself what thoughts come to mind. While we begin to feel sorry for them, we quickly summarize that most of them can easily earn a good living by hard work but prefer to be lazy and eek out a living by being parasites feeding of the rich and the hardworking people like us. None of us would have ever cared to talk to them, understand their plight or even bothered to smile at them. In fact we go out of way to shun them lest they take our goodness for our weakness.  The problems of the mentally challenged and those in prison are even more acute because we fear them, conclude that they do not deserve to be set free in civilized society and wish that they be shown mercy by a quick and painless death.  While all of us proclaim to be epitomes of LOVE, we are selective in choosing whom to love and we are very clear about maintaining our distance from those we natural prefer to shun.

While it may be difficult for us to remain unbiased and completely rational, we need to accept the fact that we can with some willpower and by suspending judgment be more pragmatic about those unfortunate people around who crave for love and affection. The challenge for us is be honest about our true feelings and biases and become aware of that influencing our rationality. Do you pass judgment on your parents when you get upset or angry with them? True you may hate them for a brief period, you may wish them to change to your way of thinking but you never stop loving them. What the world needs is for each of us to judge less and love more and automatically the world will be an oasis that for all mankind.

Remember: “We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.”  Ian Percy

Try this:

  1. Can you recollect at least 3 instances in your life when you felt wrongly judged and possibly punished for no fault of yours? How did you feel about those times? Was it the unfairness or the humiliation or the fact the culprits went scot free that hurt more?
  2. When you watch some of the reality shows like a Musical reality show or a Dance show or a Talent show are there times when you feel the judgment was biased or wrong? Do you think you are competent to make that observation? Ask yourself if you are being biased because of some remote connect with the participant eg. She is pretty or he shares the same name as you or he /she hails from your neighborhood.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Judge ye carefully

Judge not, that ye be not judged. Mt. 7:1

If and when we are called upon to arbitrate in disputes, be it between children or two bickering acquaintances or in case of a minor accident where both parties claim that the other was at fault the pressure to be fair is tremendous. It is precisely in these kind of situations that the temptation to pass quick judgment pressurizes us into being poor listeners and even poorer arbitrators and the net result is that our own competence and values are under cloud. Suddenly we are being judged and the verdict possibly embarrassing. The reality is that we cannot escape our responsibilities but we surely can ensure that we do a competent job of it.

As we traverse through life, there are numerous occasions when consciously or unconsciously we pass judgment, most of it based on our perceptions. Yes, perceptions are one of those major influencers that prod us on to pass judgments based less on facts and more on feelings. Perceptions are instantaneous judgment passed about a person or situations which are influenced by past experience, our personal frame of reference and the scene as it appears to us at first sight. As an example just visualize the image that comes to mind when you hear the word European or Chinese. Did you visualize a dark skinned European or Chinese?  We are conditioned to visualize certain characteristics and traits based on hear say, learning and influenced by our personal biases.

Facts they say are sacrosanct. In a court of law all judgment is based on the facts made available and the evidence placed before the judiciary. It therefore stands to reason that when we have to judge we too should base our decisions on the facts available. We however have a tendency to prejudge an issue and succumb to the temptation of fitting the evidence to suit our point of view. Assume for a moment that a close friend is involved in a squabble with a neighbor and you happen to be at the scene. It is obvious that if you had to pass judgment, the reality of your friendship with one party will influence your judgment which more often than not will be in favor of your friend.  Personal bias has a disproportionate influence on our judgment.

When judging others we need to be humane and take a holistic view of the case. Just because a student was caught cheating in an exam once, we cannot brand him / her a cheater and rob them of their dignity. We need to also look at the mitigating circumstances for man is not born with bad intent but circumstances and fate may have conspired to put him/ her in the docks. A person committing a robbery in order to treat his ailing wife or kids must have been driven by desperation and would have to be treated differently from that of a habitual robber. We are particularly unkind in our judgment of differently abled people for example, who we pity rather than appreciate their steely resolve and spirit in competing with the rest of the able bodied population. Despite our education and ability to read and understand the vast majority of us have precious knowledge of those having varied problems relating to the mental faculties. We brand all people who suffer from the slightest mentally challenging problems be it slow learners, autistic children, those having motor neuron illness etc. as mad.

Finally judgment is all about a consistent value system being in place.  A high profile senior executive who falsifies his expense statement or fudges the accounts of his corporate are considered wiz kids simply because they manage to please most of the interested parties. If one looks around and tracks the numerous cases of high profile financial fraud, plagiarism by the respected academicians, falsified scientific claims by highly rated scientists and the crooked means adopted by thick skinned politicians to further their own interest we realize that their crime was a result of poor judgment shown by them when they subverted their value systems for short term gains. Their crime has now come to haunt them, embarrass them and punish them; their error of judgment notwithstanding.

Remember: “We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.” Ian Percy

Try this:

  1. Recollect a situation in your life where you were wrongly accused of a crime you didn’t do. E.g. You did not create disturbance in the classroom but the teacher punished you. What were you feelings? Did you want to get even with those who passed the wrong judgment on you? Did you ever once think of the numerous times you went scot free although you were guilty of misdemeanor that deserved punishment?
  2. Read the story about the cookie thief that illustrates how our judgment can go horribly wrong sometimes.  http://www.buddhapadipa.org/plinks/PSAG-77RUEG

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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