Tag: Perseverance

An effective way to make New Year Resolutions

At the outset let me thank all my readers, blog followers and well wishers for your encouragement, feedback and support over the past two years.

Let me also wish each one of you a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2012

“Clothe with life the weak intent, let me be the thing I meant.” John Greenleaf Whittier

Every individual resolves to make at least one resolution during the New Year, which he/she hopes to faithfully adhere too during the course of the year.  In reality many of us actually have more than one hope, expectation, resolution that we secretly aim to achieve. The overwhelming majority of us, unfortunately end up with regrets and excuses for either completely abandoning most of the resolutions or vainly attempting a few. This is invariably followed by a temporary fervor to once again make a fresh set of resolutions and a short lived attempt at it. Are there ways and means to help one achieve one’s resolutions? Outlined is a 5 step method to go about making resolutions that can be achieved.

Think carefully write clearly. Resolutions are nothing but goals ones sets for oneself. Obviously therefore one must think carefully, ponder insightfully and commit wholeheartedly by writing down the resolution. Many of us have a vague notion of a goal e.g. make more money or get a good job or enhance my savings. The adjectives only obfuscate our real desires. Instead make the resolution more tangible so that one can visualize it clearly. Spell out the money you want the type of job and work environment in mind or put a number in real terms or as a percentage of income that one seeks to save.

Allocate a time slot for each resolution. If for example one wants to increase the savings then one needs to carefully record expenses or find alternatives to increase income. This cannot be done as a casual exercise but can be achieved if it is well entrenched in our regular routine.  A fixed time allocated to record expenses will bring about the disciple also to collect bills as well as make you think twice before you actually spend. Similarly one would explore alternatives to enhance income only if one seriously sits down and explores possibilities.

Make a commitment aloud. This does not mean shouting from the roof tops (this can also help too) but refers to ensuring that the written goals are keep visible so that one is often forced to look at it. Maybe a copy of it can be pasted on the mirror on your room or a small list put in your wallet or the list is put on your computer as a start up icon that pops up on booting. An alternative is to actually share some of your resolutions with close friend and well wishers who can keep reminding you of it off and on.

Never let slippages become excuses. For various reasons, despite ones best efforts one may not be able to faithfully adhere to the time slots allocated. Many of us take that first slippage as a fatal failure and let tardiness and casualness overcome us. This is a fatal mistake. Never let such slippages bind you in its clutches. Instead be aware of the slippages and make a determined effort to double your efforts next time around. E.g. If you plan to learn a musical instrument and because of a bout of flu you were forced to miss a week of class do not give up completely.

Inbuilt a success acknowledgement. Every individual needs to relish every success that comes ones way. The same holds true with the small victories and the large triumphs that involve ones numerous resolutions. If we have shared our resolutions with others and we share the progress too then the sharing itself gives one a high and more often than not the congratulatory responses adds to ones elation and reinforces ones resolve. Other times take stock of one’s progress and visualize the distance one has travelled to achieving ones goal.

Remember: “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”  Benjamin Franklin

Try this:

  1. Here is a PPT that was shared with me which gives you some Positive Thoughts to keep in mind this New Year 2012. You can make this your first resolution for the New Year. Think about the positives
  2. Jot down 3 resolutions each, under the following heads
  • Personal resolutions
  • Career related resolutions
  • Social commitment resolution
  • Financial oriented resolutions

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Commitment makes the difference

Nothing of worth or weight can be achieved with half a mind, with a faint heart, and with a lame endeavor. Isaac Barrow

To really understand this saying, look back at your school days and reflect on those subjects that you disliked, found it hard to study, got relatively poor marks and those that you desperately wished could be done away with. For many students mathematics was their bugbear, for some it was science, for others it was either languages or the social sciences. Of course there could be some who hated the art and music class and those not liking physical activities the PT classes were dreaded.  What is uniformly true for all students who hated any subject was their half hearted attempts at studying, their inherent dislike and fear of the subject and the very low priority they gave to the subject.

Now look at those areas in your life which you excelled in or indulged in. At this precise moment, there is a feeling of euphoria in you, a sense of self worth and a rising passion merely thinking about those activities that you really relish. Notice that it is these very feelings and approach that have made you both successful and committed to those activities. In effect, this means that once we make up our minds to be involved in something because we like it, we normally give it our best shot and even if we don’t get the expected results we still enjoy the effort and resolve to commit to it again.

We can distill these feelings and learning into 3 broad requirements; passion, motivation and commitment.

Passion is what makes a person become deeply interested, focused and determined to make a success of his/her interest. This means that he/she will be constantly seeking out ways and means to be involved in those activities that are very fond of.  They will also try to improve themselves so that they are the best in what they do because they are passionate. When a person is passionate, the person automatically gets motivated. Motivation ensures that the person will accept any challenge, work extra hard and will sacrifice a lot to get success in their passion. Motivation also ensures that people have the drive and energy to wait for success and they do not get discouraged easily. It also provides the energy to people to keep pegging away patiently in faith and hope. Commitment is ability to continue to traverse the path chosen even if it is paved with thorns. This means overcoming many obstacles, being steadfast in ones resolve and being thick skinned enough to shun criticism, negative thoughts and occasional failures.

The life story of the rich and the famous would reveal that without exception each one of them exhibited strength of character, had clear vision and focus and above all believed in themselves and worked to attain their goals no matter what the cost.  Ironically the valor and sacrifices of our freedom fighters, our soldiers and our martyrs reveal the same sterling qualities. To cap it all the great sporting icons of those nation, the superheroes and heroines who have a large fan following and our well respected seniors and colleagues in the workplace also are testimony to the success story that they have scripted through dint of hard work, vision, self belief and commitment.

Remember: “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

Try this:

  1. List out 3 of your passions. Now for each of them identify 2 icons in that field, 2 new areas of opportunity to be explored by you and find out 2 new websites that will help you develop your passion even more.
  2. How will you be able to motivate yourself in your current field of study / current job/ current profession? If you are struggling and not able to break free of the shackles that weigh you down how will you find the energy and resources to be committed and be positive. If your current activities does not enthuse you how will you motivate yourself for a change?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Determination makes the difference

The will to conquer is the first condition of victory.  Marshal Ferdinand Foch

Success tastes sweeter when it is obtained by overcoming near impossible odds, but if one has to overcome those odds, it is not mere ability but determination that ensures a dogged pursual of the goal. While we are quick to applaud success we fail to give the due recognition to the sheer will, tenacity and focus that have been chiefly instrumental in attaining the goal. While talent would make the performance look simple, it will never guarantee success; and talent without any conditioning by way of hard work and appropriate technique would be as good as a rough diamond, valuable but not priceless.

To begin anything new, there must be a lot of ideating and planning involved. In this process a lot of tough realities come to the fore. Unless one has the heart and determination to take on these challenges and overcome it, in all probability our efforts would be short lived and the results disappointing. Any first time entrepreneur will vouch for the fact that while the business plan may look rosy, once in business the reality would surprise, shock and occasional devastate a person who lacks the determination to pursue his/ her dreams. Take the case of slow and bumbling bureaucracy; it can drive a person nuts but it is the few individuals with determination to take on the system who tackle the problem and show the rest the way.

Determination is not mere tenacity. Tenacity is more passive because it presupposes success if we hang in there long enough. Determination on the other hand creates conditions for success even if there are new odds coming in at every stage. When one is determined the approach is solution centric and this ensures that no problem becomes an impediment or hindrance for attaining the goal set. While determination may not necessarily mean success always, it definitely sets the tone for a long term success plan. Look at the rise of countries like Japan and Germany which were in shambles after the world war. By sheer determination based on nationalistic pride and personal ethos, they clawed back to become economic power horses.

This brings us to the key ingredient that makes a person determined. It is a value system and self belief. If one of these is missing a person will not be positively determined. A person with no values can be determined because he / she is propelled by self belief but the goals could almost always be selfish, self centered and anti social. Pickpockets, pretty thieves and burglars even if they are caught often get back to their wayward ways when released after a prison sentence.  They are determined to prove themselves, determined to outwit the law and determined not to get caught. Obviously with no self belief no one can ever hope to have determination as a virtue. In the final analysis only when one is determined can he/ she eat an elephant slice by slice!

Remember: “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” Og Mandino

Try this:

  1. Outline 3 of your bad habits that you are constantly criticized for. Now make a determined effort to over come it. The key lies in consciously making an effort for a month at least to kick the habit.
  2. To understand how important a value system is assume for a moment that you are planning surprise birthday party for your best friend. Unfortunately a week before that you fall down and fracture your leg and are home bound. How will you ensure that you can still organize a fabulous party even though you are house bound?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Going the whole hog

If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all? Joe Namath

One problem that plagues the vast majority of us, is our inability to keep pace with the requirements of a task and as a result we often give up midway. For many of us who are out of shape there comes a point in time when we are acutely aware of the need to get back in shape. In desperation we then plan to indulge in some sort of physical exercise regime which we begin with great gusto. A few days into the routine, we have all sorts of problems most of it imaginary that gives us a convenient excuse to miss the planned routine. Soon we give it up as a lost cause. Perhaps something similar happens when we try to learn something new be it a game, a dance style, a new academic learning etc.

The problem of not going all the way is not limited to our efforts at something new. On a day to day basis too we display this tendency to be partially interested in what we do. To begin with we never try to make a list of tasks to be attended to and more often than not simply forget the most crucial tasks. We then make solemn promises to make lists but the lists never see the light of day. Some days we are just fed up with a our life style and propose to make drastic changes in it. Yet a year down the line but for some cosmetic changes, we lead the same lifestyle and remain just as frustrated. We plan to save a certain sum each month and before the month is over we are broke and there is no surplus for saving.

There are various reasons why we do not manage to complete the voyage that we have flagged off with much fanfare. The very first problem is lack of adequate planning. With half baked ideas, sketchy details, an unclear goal/objective and inadequate resources all contribute to the abortion of the plans.  The next problem is lack of self belief. There are times we begin a task because of pressure from others be it peers, family or friends.  Other times we simply do not believe that we can succeed and so give up at the first major hurdle. Some are sensitive to criticism while others are too rigid and dogmatic making the going tough for themselves. These people throw in the towel more in disgust at the system they have to battle but never realizing that it is their own personal weakness that is the cause. Finally many people just don’t have the motivation to continue till the end. People who begin a task just to keep up with the joneses or those who take a path that has just be pointed out to them or the vast majority who get distracted along the way by the lure of other options all end up losing the plot and never scaling the peak of success.

Remember: “Success is largely a matter of holding on after others have let go”

Try these:

  1. Choose between learning 3 new card games or 2 new magic tricks. Try to learn the card tricks or magic tricks within a span of 2 months at the most. You must be able to do it with panache in front of an audience and draw loud applause for it.
  2. What do you think is the motivation for me to write this blog every single day? Do you have a similar challenge in mind that you still haven’t dared to attempt? Can you attempt that task successfully before the year is out?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Growing through our mistakes

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

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

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

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

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

Try these:

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

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

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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.

Jacob

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

Light up your life

To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it. Mother Teresa

Sometimes we have no choice but to cheerfully keep doing what seems boring, insipid and repetitive. The fact is that these are small inconveniences that we have to put up with in order to ensure that we can keep going forward and attain our goals. In the winter, when we are cozy in bed enjoying our sweet dreams, the alarm rudely jolts you and signals the beginning of another day. You then reluctantly get out of bed. What is worse is that this goes on for a couple of months and yet you wouldn’t dare to shut of the alarm much as you hate it. Similarly most of our life goes in doing repetitive tasks be it ironing our clothes, polishing our shoes or brushing our teeth and taking a shower and we do it cheerfully sometimes, reluctantly occasionally but most times we are indifferent.

On the larger canvas of life, there are many other tougher challenges that irritate and disturb us but we might be left with no choice but to go through it. Perhaps it is the daily commute, the nasty boss whom you despise but have to meet daily or it could be the insufferable canteen food that challenges you daily.  The real issue is not the repetitive action but the attitude to it. If one were to look at these tasks as chores to be done, it would be painful, never ending and accepted in bad grace. On the other hand if one were to see it as an opportunity to contribute, learn from, influence others etc. we would eagerly await the chance.  When in love for example, we never seem to tire of meeting the same person daily and spend hours with him/ her. When we keep solving mathematics problems because we want to score well we visualize the success and cope with the strain and stress of solving as many problems as we can.

To ensure that we not only cope up with the daily grind, what we need to do is change our attitude. Looking at the resultant benefits is a sure shot way to make peace with ourselves and enjoy the work on hand. E.g. If we are overweight, the thought of losing weight and looking handsome/ pretty will  spur us on to hit the gym and do the workouts with vigor and enthusiasm. If we can see the big picture it helps us better appreciate our contribution to the whole structure and we also realize what an important role we play in scripting the success story. E.g. Instead of merely seeing our job as that of a brick layer if we realize that we are contributing to building a palace, we realize our contribution and strategic utility and then even the most mundane job becomes interesting and important to us.  Be motivated by the opportunity to learn and grow. Then if one has to chase ones dream then no job is too tough or too demeaning. E.g. Most students pursuing their studies in the west are acutely conscious of the steep fee structure and so they pick up part time jobs well below their educational level, status  and dignity but see it as contributing to their long term goals and so they are motivated and charged up.

To brighten our future, our life and the present moment we need to constantly fuel our desires, plans and our efforts, all of which may be very repetitive and monotonous in nature but critical and unavoidable. We need to seek out a reason to like these tasks just as one constantly refills the lamp with oil in order to dispel darkness and provide light.

Remember: It is better to light a lamp than curse the darkness.

Try this:

  1. If you are a habitual procrastinator identify 3 reasons for your behavior. ( If you do not know what is procrastination check the meaning right now or you are guilty of procrastinating.) List out 5 jobs that are still pending and begin attempting to complete the tasks.
  2. If you are guilty of any two of the following, it could signal your aversion to doing mundane / repetitive tasks.
  • Not filing your papers regularly
  • Polishing your shoes only occasionally
  • Delaying paying your bills even if you have sufficient bank balance to pay off your outstanding
  • Not doing some task requested by a family member / friend simply because you can take them for granted.
  • Not keeping appointments because you find there are more pleasurable alternatives

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Self inflicted pain

The greatest grief’s are those we cause ourselves. Sophocles

The common tendency among people is to claim credit for all success and pass on blame for all failures. While there are many times we can legitimately claim to be the chief architect of success, there are as many number of reasons for us to take blame for.  Broadly we are guilty of failing on 3 counts and causing grief for ourselves; Poor attitude, ineffective communication and terrible time management.

The great fault many of us are guilty of most often is our very poor attitude. Most times we are negative about happenings in our lives. Other times we are extremely critical and go around as if on a fault finding mission. This results in us making more enemies, being critical unfairly and we find it very difficult to appreciate something.  Some of us have perfected the art of having excuses for every criticism that is directed at us and we have honed the fine art of escaping all responsibility. There are others who can always find someone to blame for anything that goes wrong. At various times we display other unproductive tendencies like being indecisive, self centered, loud mouthed, boastful, bashful and in extreme cases being foul mouthed and brazen.

Our ineffective communication manifests itself in us being ‘I’ focused and not ‘WE’ centered. This implies that we draw attention to ourselves thereby alienating peers, subordinates and group members. This also makes us vulnerable to be perceived as selfish, self centered and sly.  We are also guilty of being selective in our communication, either not communicating to some people or holding back critical information with deliberate intent. To be effective in our communication it is imperative that we have both the right spirit and use the right tools to communicate appropriately. A common tendency for most people is to delay communicating any bad news for fear that the messenger will be shot in the process. If communication is not timely the consequences can be disastrous for it can be too late to take corrective action. The greatest communication crime is to be silent when one has to open up and to be over communicative when one has to observe restraint.

In business terms not meeting deadlines is the greatest crime for it upsets carefully laid out plans and causes monetary loss as well as loss of reputation.  On a personal level not keeping appointments, being frequently delayed on flimsy grounds or being fashionably late are unpardonable crimes in the lexicon of the disciplined and punctual. Not keeping time implies that we are casual, unprofessional and disrespectful to others. There are other time related crimes that we perpetrate like giving unrealistic deadlines,  giving casual time commitments like saying ‘ We can revert in 1 – 2 months’ and not being apologetic for not meeting our time commitments.   The worst possible time management crime is penalizing the punctual person by keeping them waiting despite having a prior confirmed appointment .

If we look at the above ineffective behaviors that each of us guilty of sometime in some degree, the common thread is that we have full control over these and are fully responsible for it and yet we take the whole business casually.  What we don’t seem to consciously realize is that in the whole process of being tardy, casual and inefficient we are hurting ourselves the most.

Remember: Casualness leads to casualties.

Try this:

  1. The next time you are going to miss an appointment, make it a point to inform the concerned as soon as possible.  When giving commitments think twice and make sure that you can live up to your promise.  Use the maxim ‘ Promise less and deliver more’ to guide you in being perceive as more effective.
  2. Watch your attitude, words and habits for anything negative, disruptive, cynical, casual and self centered. If one can control these and turn them around to something positive, energetic and exciting we would be enhancing the quality of our lives and the lives of those who come in contact with us.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Be unreasonable and…

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”George Bernard Shaw

Look around you and you will easily identify a number of people who have a mind of their own, have their own pet beliefs and who march to a different drummer.  A few of them may even seem to us to be on the fringes of being lunatic while others we treat as harmless nuts while a number of them seem to be rigid dogmatic individuals. A common thread that binds all these people and a few more brazen individuals is their inflexibility and obsessive urge to get the world to adopt and adapt to their dogma, point of view and skewed logic.

There are as many divergent views as there are people, and the beauty is the majority of the people agree to disagree without being disagreeable. However there is a miniscule population who are convinced that however tangential their ideas or beliefs they seek to get the world to follow them.  While many of them may not be obnoxious or fanatical, they are unshakeable in their conviction and zeal. Some cult followers and religious bigots are the most visible form of those who attempt to make the world follow their dictum. However not all who are unshakeable in their pursuit of their own agenda are zealots’. There are many who are on an ego trip when they rebel against authority or perceived injustice and not really exhibiting a deep rooted belief. The number of small splinter groups who are constantly on strike for frivolous matters or the large number of so called social activists who file PILs are proof of the existence of people on an ego trip or people with a hidden agenda.

There of course still exists the true pioneers who forced the world to adapt to their thinking and have freed us from some of our age old mistaken beliefs and dogmas. Top of the list are scientists. Galileo for example, despite papal sanctions and pressure, propounded that the sun was at the centre of the universe disproving the centuries old belief that had the earth as the centre of the universe.  The pioneering doctors who studied leprosy when little was known about it and removed the social stigma that leprosy was contagious. There are pioneers who discovered the technique of vaccination to protect the population from epidemics. Perhaps the inventors be it that of the computer, the internet, ATM machines or Credit cards deserve special mention too along with the scientist. All progress can easily be attributed to these people who persisted despite hiccups, discouragement and criticism.

At times we too display such dogmatism and obsession but none rooted in scholarly study or rational thought.  For example while all of us are convinced that democracy is the best political system, we bitter complain about its pitfalls and weakness and many of us don’t cast our vote under the garb that any which way a scoundrel will be elected so how does my one vote count?  Other times we are confused and unsure if we are being true to our beliefs or compromising on it. Are we adapting to the worlds ways when we find fault with corruption but prefer to pay a bribe when it comes to us getting our work done? One thing is clear the street smart man is the one who adapts to the ways of the world and he changes the rules of the world too.

Remember: “If you want a wise answer, ask a reasonable question.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Try this:

  1. Write down the one serious social concern that you have? It could be anything from child marriages, to garbage being strewn around or the problem of stray dogs or corruption. Make an attempt to find out an NGO that is involved in that activity of your concern.  Get involved in their activity and then you can learn and educate people around and make a difference.
  2. List out a couple of problems that you face at home that really irritate you. It could be simple things like family members not switching off the lights when going out of a room or it could be indifference by kids to your efforts to keep the house spic and spank. Now work out a method to be unreasonable and get them to fall in line.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

You may be slow but keep going

It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop. Confucius

There is an apocryphal story about a clock that had stopped working and was sent for repairs. No sooner the clock repairman took the clock in his hands he heard a feeble voice emitting from the clock saying I am fed up of going tick tock every moment and don’t want to live this life forever. Fortunately the repairman was a wise old man who had handled many diffident clocks so he gently whispered to the clock, “You don’t have tick tock all your life, simply take one tick and one tock at a time and keep going”. The much relieved clock immediately sprang to life and began to tick along.

Perhaps many of us can identify with this clock for there are times when the cares of the world burden us and almost crush us under its weight and we wish we could simply give it up all and go to sleep forever. That is when one needs to take a break, refresh and then continue our journey with renewed spirit and hope. The key to overcoming our frustrations, boredom and apparent haplessness lies in self motivation. There must be something exciting that spurs you on every moment. It is up to us to find that activity or thought or inspiration that fuels our desire to enjoy every moment.

It is equally important that we pace and space our life. If we rush through life we will achieve quite a bit but will never relish those achievements because we are by now compulsive workaholics. A fast paced life also brings with it problems mainly life style diseases not to mention turbulent relationships. On the other hand giving people space is critical to ensure each one can shine as an individual without being closely controlled and monitored.  Many a parent is guilty of wanting to plan the life of their children whereas the youngsters, particularly the teens rebel and prefer to follow their heart. Surprisingly many a delinquent youngster actually discover their potential and surprise everyone with their enthusiasm and success. The challenge here is to slow down our pace and let the younger people pick up momentum but this does not mean that we come to a grinding halt and let the youngsters run amock.

The occasional failures that every one encounters should be a stepping stone to reach out and pluck the choicest fruits from the top most branches of the tree of life. Yet we fear failure and so avoid taking on challenges thereby missing out on opportunities for growth. While setbacks will hurt us, we need to endure the pain and plod along with hope. We may pause to rest, recoup and refresh but we must never lose sight of our goals for that is what provides the impetus to keep moving. If the path ahead seems impossible for us to traverse, we need to change tracks or furrow a new path but we should never pitch our tent and give up our aspirations.

Retirement is a fearful taboo for an active person and send shivers down the spine of many a energetic  person.  If one actually plans the future well, retirement becomes a wonderful opportunity for people to realize their self actualization goals. One can keep busy without being overburdened, attain bliss without renouncing life and at the same time play a vital role in shaping the future of society in general and the immediate social environment in particular. It is when one simply hangs up his / her boots and mentally switches off that the mind becomes restless and the soul pines for understanding while the body progressively degenerates and the fear of death rattles our psyche.

Remember: “Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.” Douglas MacArthur

Try this

  1. There is a very inspirational poem ‘Don’t Quit’ Click on  the links below to read it and be inspired by it.                                                      http://www.thedontquitpoem.com/thePoem.htm-Words http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkCFeNeqyHk -Video link of words and visuals.
  2. Write down 2 – 4 social problems that you are really concerned with. Eg. Menace of stray dogs or dowry deaths or garbage disposal in cities or the ecological imbalance or Wastage etc.  Write a letter to the editor of the local news paper and email it or post it. Can you write one letter a quarter / month on similar lines to begin with?

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