Tag: Problems

The secret to a happy marriage

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. George Levinger

Strange as it may sound, the theory of opposites attract as is proven by magnets is perhaps just as applicable in marriages. The genesis of the marriage could be anything from love marriages to arranged marriages or marriages of convenience as would perhaps happen when a divorcee marries another divorcee or   a widower marries a widow ;  the focus though  is often on how compatible the couple is and we mistakenly believe that compatibility will cement the relationship. Compatibility certainly plays a vital part in getting a couple together else there would be no commonality of interest/ purpose/ objective/feelings. However compatibility does not really address the reality that surfaces after the courtship and honeymoon, that of the individuality of the partners that manifests itself in differences, disagreements, opposing style and personality traits  and even in completely divergent expectations and behavior.

The real issues in marriage often surface soon after marriage but the emotions of love, tenderness, joy and the eagerness to please the partner and respective families and friends camouflage the differences that may have crept in. In many ways the earlier the differences come to the fore the individuality of partners becomes more obvious and enables the couple to find ways and means of handling it using all the positive emotions and by suppressing ones ego and making adjustments. There is no doubt that in this process each partner also does sacrifice a part of his/ her individuality and adapts and adjusts to the demands of married life. The good part is that we get used to the adjustments early on and so the process is easier than unlearning and relearning which is tedious, painstaking and above all a major psychological hurdle to cross. To explain, if one partner is obsessed with brushing the teeth before going to bed and the other couldn’t care less the earlier they adjust to the reality by either accepting each one’s differences or one of them adjusting to the others pet peeve it won’t be long before the issue becomes a major bone of contention in a temperamental married life.

It is essential to accept the fact that when we express our individuality there would be a hugely disproportionate number of differences that come to the fore. While many of these could be insignificant it is the serious differences that could often mar an otherwise harmonious marriage. It is equally possible that the differences small or big get to be more frequent, more stressful and more acrimonious and that is when the strain of living together comes to the fore. The chief culprit that actually stretches the relationship to breaking point is often cited as incompatibility but this is just a pseudonym for intolerance, ego hassles, inflexibility, bickering and nagging not to mention finger pointing and possibly culminating in use of vile and abusive language tone and threats. If one can manage to bridge the differences that crop up in a relationship through a combination of understanding, give and take, acceptance, adjustments, sacrifices, forgiveness and unconditional love, handling incompatibility would never pose a problem ; ask those couples who tenderly hold hands even when they squabble, have a love tinged mischievous smile when then poke fun at their other half and revel in the affection of their partner and display both concern and pain when the other is suffering. The vows of marriage when the couple get married offer a clear clue to the incompatibility that is central to marriage when they  vow to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us par.

Remember : “More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.” Doug Larson

Try this:

  1. If you are married outline the 3 most annoying traits in your spouse that you never realized before marriage. In the same breath also jot down 3 wonderful traits that your spouse has that really surprised and elated which you never knew before marriage. If unmarried, list 3 traits that you would hate to have in your future spouse and 3 traits that you hope he/she will have.
  2. Identify 3 ideal couples known personally to you (other than your own family members)who have been married for  less than 5 years, married for 5-10 years and 20-25 years. Why do you think they are an ideal couple? Is there some trait that you can emulate in your relationship now or in the future?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

 

When troubles simmer…

The only incurable troubles of the rich are the troubles that money can’t cure. Ogden Nash

If we pause for a moment we would realize that in a sense each of us is rich when compared to the vast majority around and yet we keep bitterly  complaining about the numerous troubles that we are confronted with daily. On closer examination we would realize that the troubles we complain about are mostly the ones that we cannot handle despite us being financial well off mainly because they concern issues that cannot be solved by money alone. For most of us, our troubles broadly fall into three categories – personal problems, relationship issues and irrational worry. In all three cases the common theme is that we as individuals are the cause and hold the solution to the problems.

Personal problems could include financial issues too but mainly relate to matters concerning our personality, our lifestyle, our work and our happiness quotient.  Far too many of us have low self esteem which means that we are not comfortable with our own physical appearance, social status and our general environment. We go around believing we are short changed by fate and that but for cruel circumstances we should have been destined for greater glory. This though process extends to our dress sense, our living conditions, the food habits and then percolates to our job contents, our responsibilities at work and occasionally we even question our choice of work place. Obviously with this kind of a negative mindset and constant walloping in problems both real and imagined we do not see any happiness in our life nor do we hope to enjoy our life thereby inviting and enduring troubles that could have been largely overcome by a rational thought process and a positive focus.

Just as we make friends with people we also end up disliking a large number of people, avoid an equal number and simply hate a few. That apart we have misunderstandings, we suspect many, we are ill at ease with some and when we fall out with people for whatever reason we carry both a grudge and hope to extract revenge. Under the circumstances the troubles that we invite in our relationships through our often unreasonable expectations and occasionally mistaken beliefs cannot be solved by our money but only by our own proactive initiative and by subduing our ego. Unfortunately, the mind does not forget easily, the heart does not forgive quickly and the ego tends to seek retribution; net result is that we remain unhappy and troubled all the while.

The biggest problem though is worry. Most times the worries are completely irrational and the product of a paranoid environment in which we live. Right from fears of getting mugged to being killed in accidents, we worry about suffering from cancer and life style disease like heart attacks. We worry about job security, the future of our kids, the collapse of the economy and its effects on us, the terrible consequences of nuclear warfare etc. The reality is that theoretically each of them has a possibility of affecting us but the probability is so minuscule that even remotely thinking of them is aggravating worry and adding to our troubles.  Notice that our irrational worries too cannot be solved by money alone.

Remember: “The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.”  Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess

Try this:

  1. Read up on the post on Why Worry by clicking on this link https://actspot.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/why-worry-2/
  2. Make a huge list of all your worries that troubled you last year. Now examine each one and see how many of them came true. If the vast majority didn’t come true then ask yourself was it worth worrying about?  Now just list 5 of your major worries for the coming years.  Examine them rationally and assign each a probability of occurrence. For this year worry only about the 2 troubles/ worries that have the highest probability assigned. Also work on finding solutions to mitigate those troubles.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Why worry?

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. William Ralph Inge

Anything that disturbs our equilibrium, will pressurize us, make us anxious and continue to be an irritant that constantly nags and worries us. It could be as simple as awaiting ones exam results or it could be more life altering as awaiting the diagnosis of a biopsy report or it could be trivial issues like not being able to find a matching pair of socks or a clean handkerchief. While there would be many reading this post who would discount all the above examples as not relevant to them, it would help to just pause and reflect on our pet peeves and irritants that get us worried so often.

Interestingly, if we are honest to ourselves and study the actual happenings which initially got us worried, we would notice that barring rare exceptions most of our worries were ill conceived and completely misplaced. This brings us to an important lesson in life; that most worries never come true or happen in reality. The reason we keep worrying could possibly be explained by our parental guidance to be well prepare for all eventualities. As a consequence we have honed the skill of anticipating problems and troubles, working out alternatives to combat the perceived problem and thereafter worry that every alternative has a limitation. The irony is that originally perceived problem morphs into a myriad of subsidiary niggles each of which keeps pricking us and disturbing our peace of mind.

When seen from a different perspective, worry is simply hoarding a lot of useless stuff in the hope that it will prove useful when the time comes. Alas, this is like accumulating a sack full of salt, when all we need is a pinch of it. The excess baggage weighs us down, preoccupies us and diverts one from focusing on the more practical and meaningful activities that should ideally be our priority. Another angle to understand the futility of worrying is to see it as an off shoot of a poor me syndrome. Here we condition ourselves to believe we are in pain, in trouble, in dire straits and are constantly seeking the attention and sympathy of those around. Worry manifests itself as a bait to lure those around into paying attention, offering their support and fawning over the worrier.

The consequences of worry are what should really worry us; it affects our health, our psychology, our relationships and completely disrupts our personal, social and professional life. Ranging from sleeplessness, our worries create anxiety, panic and could end up with depression and other psychosomatic illness. What is more subtle is the elaborate process of denial that we are worrying. More often than not we have the urge to portray a happy and contented personality for the world at large while deep inside our heart and mind are progressively being weakened by our inability to eliminate, accept or confront our worries. The realization that our worries are best confronted when they really come true will help us build up the ability to reduce our anxiety, temper our fears and seek positives in perceived problems.

Remember: Don’t trouble troubles till troubles trouble you.

Try this:

  1.  Think of what would be the main worries of the following people and analyze if their worries are justified. Also try to group the worries in order of seriousness as perceived by you.
  • A chief executive of a company
  • A solider on the battle front A student who gets average marks despite working hard 
  • Parents of mentally or physically challenged children
  • An unwed mother.
  1. Check if you suffer from the following symptoms of excessive worry
  • Less sleep or restless sleep Bouts of anxiety and depression.
  • Constant negative thinking.
  • Unexplained fears Feelings of jealousy/ envy

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The focus of prayer

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. Oswald Chambers

It is typical for most people to pray either as a ritual or when I desperation and in both cases the focus is our own paranoia. As a ritual we pray because we are afraid of divine wrath that may befall us and when we are desperate we automatically gravitate to seek divine assistance. It is significant to note that in both cases it is our self centered interest that is the bait that lures us into prayer whereas real prayer is a mix of spontaneous thanks, praise and a reaching out to god. This means our focus should be on GOD and not our personal motives or hidden agenda.

Our difficulty is that we believe in a god more because of our upbringing that focused attention on GOD, but there are many times we seem to take God for granted and/ or  wonder about the truth of GOD’s existence. Most times we have that niggling doubt that stops us from freely acknowledging God’s presence in our life. We pray without faith, we pray mechanically and we pray superfluously and more often than not we simply chant in unison with no understanding of what we are saying. When we pray without feeling, we cannot hope for our prayers to be answered, we lack the faith to believe our prayers will be answered and we are often blinded to the reality that our prayers are answered in different ways.

Since prayer is a communication with GOD, it is essential that we are able to visualize the recipient of the communication. The message has to be tailored to suit the understanding of the receiver of the communication. By focusing only on our self centered message we miss out on the opportunity to interact with GOD spontaneously and share from the bottom of our hearts. More critical is the reality that with focus on our message, which mostly is all about our wants and needs, we do not LISTEN to GOD’s communication to us. Far too many times, we never get what we seek, but in the long run we realize that we got something much more valuable than what we sought. Eg. We don’t get the marks we want but as a result we take up an education which is not out first choice. Later we realize that we got the perfect career choice.

More than anything else is the reality that when we focus on God, we seem to be able to get inspired in finding solutions to our dilemma. We also realize that our problems are really minuscule as compared to those problems of others and that many solutions are within our own grasp. Instead when we focus on our difficulties, we believe that we have passed the buck to someone more powerful who is expected to solve the problem. Thereafter, our urge to resolve the problem by using our own means is not considered a very favored option. Finally focusing on GOD gives us a peace of mind that whatever the outcome it is GOD’s will.

Remember: By my definition, prayer is consciously hanging out with God. Being with God in a deliberate way.  Malcolm Boyd

Try this:

  1. Make it a point to have 3 special intentions focused on our nation, the world at large and some individual known to you in your prayers. Have new  intentions  periodically if needed.
  2. Think of 3 specific instances in the past when your prayers remained unanswered. Reflect if you focused on God or the problem while praying. How much impact did the unanswered prayers have in your life? Was the impact positive or negative in your view?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Overcoming obstacles

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it. Moliere

Sir Edmund Hillary the first to climb mount Everest along with Tenzing Norgay, had failed on two earlier attempts but persisted and finally achieved their dream. It is said that on the second failure, Sir Edmund challenged the mountain stating “I’ll come again. As a mountain you can’t grow but as a human, I can.” In many ways this statement epitomizes the spirit of the quote for today.  Each one of us has an endless stream of obstacles of varying types and we deal with them in varied ways. Most times the obstacles could take the form of minor irritants which we can deftly tackle imaginatively. At other times the obstacles seem insurmountable and terrifying leaving us paranoid and frantic.

What we often fail to recognize is that many a time, obstacles are created by us. This is mainly because of our tardy ways, casual approach, irresponsible behavior and lousy temperament. If we objectively look at our own responses we would perhaps notice some glaring weakness in us like poor time management, an exaggerated self opinion, a pompous ego, a tendency to be too critical, strong personal biases, certain person idiosyncrasies etc. Fortunately self realization will open our eyes to these personal weaknesses and with the right attitude and determination one can iron out the problems and minimize the obstacles that we create for ourselves.

The real challenge is to overcome the obstacles that life in general puts up on our path. Sometimes fate plays a part in it too, like contracting a major illness or being involved in an accident and the consequences thereof.  The first thing is to see all obstacles as challenges that test one’s own inner strength and to believe that the obstacle is an opportunity to leave a mark in this world. This means that we have to reorient our thought process from that of a defeatist to that of a fighter. It takes more than mere raw courage to be a fighter, for the battles are mainly fought in the mind. A strong positive attitude coupled with a positive personal vision statement offer a two pronged strategy to fortify our mind and hearts. Equally important is the need for us to have the vision similar to that of  Sir Edmund Hillary in seeing the problem in the right perspective. The reality is that there could be obstacles that would be far too challenging to be tackled in the fist attempt, but the victory is in not giving up and attempting.

We also need to realize that there could be some obstacles that are impossible to overcome and then retreat is the best strategy. There is no shame in accepting a reality that may be a blow to our ego but a very strategic necessity from the large perspective of winning the war as against the probability of dying in trying to win a mere battle. Many times we make the obstacles take on draconian proportions purely because we have failed to see the challenges in the right perspective. E.g. Students and parents often complaint that question papers were too tough but the reality must be that the studying habits and work ethics of the children may be at fault for them not being able to answer most of the questions. If one were to list out some of the most satisfying moments in life, it would invariably be an event where the challenge was daunting, the effort stupendous and the success unexpected and complete.  Surely that underlines the point that the greater the obstacle the more glory in overcoming it.

Remember: “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”  Frank A. Clark

Try this:

  1. Name 3 of your worst fears.  Now try to see how those fears prevent you from realizing your full potential. Ask yourself if those fears of yours are the obstacles that are blocking your progress and preventing you from achieving the success you dream of.
  2. Reflect on the sweetest victory you have had in your life. Contrast that with the worst nightmare that you ever faced. Can you find any commonalties between both these events? E.g. Standing first in the class for the one and only time was the sweetest victory. The worst nightmare was reaching the airport and realizing that you had forgotten your passport.  The commonalities include the reality that I was responsible for both situations. Both situations demanded a disciplined  and serious approach.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Fear not…

Fear is the dark room in which negatives are developed. Anon

With the advance of technology, the concept of dark rooms and developing of negatives is almost nonexistent but the reality of fear will always lurk as long as mankind exits. The concept of fear takes on various hues. While many are irrational fears, there are a few fears that are obvious and realistic. Similarly many fears are avoidable but a few are inevitable and unavoidable. Another way of looking at fear includes the fear of the past catching up, fear of the present over whelming us and fear of the future lurking around. Some fears are so extreme that we even have terms ending with phobia to classify it. The worst type of fear is the type that we visualize and hype up simply because we imagine ourselves to be victims who can then get some sort of attention.

The most common fear is fear of the future. We worry about what will happen tomorrow, how we will manage if we lose our job, if we lost our investments, fell ill or if we are invalid and dependent on others. The most common fear is the fear of dying. The irony is that almost all of these fears are realistically possible at some point in time, but by giving in to our fears and worrying about it won’t help us very much. Instead, all we do is waste our energies and our productive time trying to avoid the pitfalls of the fear. If we see fears in  a different way, we will find some tremendous ways to use the knowledge about our fears.  To begin with we can take action to minimize the risk of the fear overtaking us e.g. We can start exercising and eating right to ensure we remain healthy for a much longer time. We can attempt to insure against our perceived fears e.g. By taking an insurance policy or doing proper investments for the future.

Many of our fears never ever come true. However our fears overwhelm us to such an extent, that we then begin to actually visualize minor distortions in our everyday life pattern as indications of our fears actually coming true. Eg. We may have bumped and got a lump which may take some time to heal, but in panic we imagine them to be some tumor and to make our dark imagination even more darker we may see it as cancerous too. It is also possible that some of our fears are rooted in some unfortunate childhood experiences eg. Being locked in accidentally in a dark room could trigger claustrophobia. Extreme fears like claustrophobia may require us to take expert help and counseling support. There is nothing wrong in that but here again we run into a problem. We believe that anyone under counselling treatment is mentally ill and we fear being branded that way.

Being pragmatic, rational and realistic holds the key to mimizing our fears. In any case most of our fears never come true. It is strongly suggested that we try to overcome our fears because otherwise we may be letting our fears effect us mentally, physically and emotionally. Fear will breed negativity, paranoia and insecurity and we would never really realize our full potential then.

Remember: “You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” Mary Manin Morrissey

Try this:

  1. Read the following post on FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real  by click this link http://poweract.blogspot.com/2009/12/fear.html
  2. Choose from the following fears your worst fear and attempt to rationalize it and minimize your fear.
  • Fear of snakes
  • Fear of Ghosts
  • Fear of being locked up all alone in a dark room
  • Fear of Death
  • Fear of parachuting
  • List any other fear that you believe terrifies you more than any of the above

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The benefits of troubles

That which does not kill me makes me stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche

Yes, troubles come in all shapes and sizes and often at the most unexpected moments. While the normal troubles of illness and niggling interpersonal problems can be relatively easily handled, we are nearly always stressed out by troubles that are of a much larger proportion.  Since none of us like any form of disturbance in an otherwise tranquil life, we also tend to exaggerate our troubles on very many occasions and make it look like a terrible cross to carry. On the other hand there are a few unfortunate people who by a strange quirk of fate, are destined to be in a vice like grip of unending troubles and one must doff our hat to these individuals who still manage to retain their sanity and embrace life with regret perhaps but not rancor.

The real trouble starts when one gives up battling the troubles that are both inevitable and unpredictable. Of course there are times when we invite trouble by our own stupidity, greed, ill temper or some similar vice or irrational behavior. In such cases, one must be ready to faces the consequences and invariably such troubles are anticipated and appropriately managed. How does one battle something like a debilitating disease, an accident that seriously impairs the person, the sudden and unexpected death of someone his/ her prime? Whilst people react in various ways to such sudden upheavals in their life, the most important aspect of the response is to accept the troubles as a reality and not to sweep it under the carpet of daily living. When one is not reconciled to the reality of the existence of the problem, one is prone to live in denial and then life becomes complicated since no proof will help mitigate the problem or resolve it.

Some people are able to quickly adjust to the reality of the changed circumstances that the troubles have unwittingly foisted on them. Such people will immediately plan to work out both short term and long term strategies with minimum emotional baggage as possible. They would also attempt to ensure that those around them particularly their loved ones are comforted and put at ease despite their own mental turmoil. Those who cannot accept the reality, have a very tough time even dwelling on their troubles. They could ascribe motives right from their cursed fate, to some terrible past life crimes or to the sins of their forefathers for their fate. Reality won’t change with these thoughts but if one cannot adjust to the reality, they are quickly engulfed by the troubles. Strangely enough most people in trouble suddenly turn more religious and spiritual irrespective of their acceptance of their troubles or not.

Like fire that toughens the steel that is tempered by it, troubles if seen in the right perspective, actually helps one to rediscover the reality of who one is and find hidden reserves and new strengths. For one, almost all of us in trouble suddenly make the painful discovery of who their real friends are. Whilst some come up with the shocking realization that those intimate friends were mere fair weather friends, others from whom we keep our distance surprisingly turned out to be more understanding and helpful. Our perceptions about our friends that were once distorted are crystal clear now. If we objectively analyze the reality post the changed reality, one can get a sense of urgency, a dose of being pragmatic and discover a fighting spirit that was never tested before but which now races to the forefront. Finally it also dawns on us that the troubles never can kill the spirit; it can sap the energy, confound the mind and kills the body but the spirit lives on: forever!

Remember: “Trouble brings experience, and experience brings wisdom

Try this:

Although these links have been given in some other posts, it is highly recommended that we visit these links once again to help us understand our troubles in the right perspective.

  1. Look at this video on the life of Nick Vujicic the man who was born with No Arms & No Legs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F8zK57Wa0A
  2. Read the article Airborne to Chair borne by the Paraplegic Air force Officer M.P.Anil Kumar whose life changed overnight in a tragic accident. http://pallavees.blogspot.com/2006/03/airborne-to-chairborne.html

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

The friends paradox

It is easier to visit friends than to live with them. Chinese proverb

To really understand the significance of the above quote, ask a married couple one year after their marriage about their highs and lows and new discoveries about one another. Both will have very nice things to say about the other, but slowly a litany of complaints will also rear its ugly head and both parties will be rudely shocked to discover that they have their strong limitations. Something similar is in store when we really get too close to our friends. While they must be the best of people and may even lay down their life for you, on a more human level they could have their own quirks and eccentricities that will drive you nuts. So getting to know them from close quarters will be both a revelation and a shock.

When visiting friends the reality is that irrespective of how long we are with them we have the option of leaving. This itself is a big psychological boost and so we are prepared to put up with some strange behavior, some wild suggestions, some intemperate language and the like. No doubt one will be in a fix when confronted with this rather odd scenario but the fact that we can always quietly disengage and head home is a very comforting thought which allows us the luxury of putting up with more than what we can normally tolerate. E.g. There could be someone who is crazy about his pet dog but you are terrified of dogs. When you visit the friend, if he is inconsiderate and lets his dog roam around sniffing you would be definitely upset and scared. If the friend makes light of the situation and goes overboard and chides you for being scared you will definitely consider the option of make a quick gateway.

If we have to live with friends then we are exposed to a whole different world. The friends may have different value systems, varied styles of living, strange tastes in colors food habits and personal hygiene. The challenge then is to adjust be it in being accommodating to others or in gently getting the others to adjust or in both parties making compromises. This is rather difficult to do partly because under normal circumstances we have a wonderful equation with our friends but when one has to live with a friend the stakes are much higher. Imagine living with a friend who loves to listen to heavy metal the moment he gets up and strews his clothes all over the place. How much more difficult it will be for a vegetarian to live with someone who is a compulsive non vegetarian who has no consideration for your sentiments.

In the clash of differences it is the friendship that is affected. This is both a tough price to pay and perhaps a major challenge to relationships. Perhaps this also explains why sometimes roommates become life long buddies because they have managed to resolve their differences and respect each other whereas others have to simply bear up. In the buffet of life we partake in, we are better off in a relationship symbolic as that of a plate and food served in it rather than as incompatible ingredients that spoil the food.

Remember: “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” Tennessee Williams

Try this:

  1. Make a list of your close friends .  For each list out at least 3 irritating things / behavior/ mannerisms/ problems that you simply detest.  Choose which of the friend’s house you will willingly spend a fortnight with along with the friend’s family.
  2. Would you be comfortable staying with the following friends:
  • A friend who suffers from cancer is under chemo treatment
  • A friend who admits he is gay
  • A friend who has just one room and he snores exceptionally loudly
  • A friend who is a compulsive smoker and a hard drinker and you neither drink nor smoke.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Life is…

Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. Margaret Mitchell

When things don’t go the way we expect it to or wish it to go, we blame life’s unfairness and feel cheated and discriminated against. What we often fail to understand is that life offers everyone, without exception, an opportunity and it also poses challenges to each one of us, both of which help shape us and mould our character. That apart, the mere fact that we are alive is life’s greatest gift to us and we need to be both grateful and appreciative of this wonderful boon and must strive to leverage this reality to make a mark on this world.

It is true that a beggar, a handicapped person, an orphan, and illegitimate child, widows and widowers etc. would have a valid reason to ask why life has been unfair to us and presented us with a strike against us so early in life as compared to the apparently happy people all around. The reality is that even the most happy people have spells of disillusionment about the state of the world, rampant poverty, the inequality of wealth, their own personal and private problems like ill health or truant children or sibling rivalry or wealth related disputes etc. Even more astonishing is the fact that there are millions of people actually searching for ‘ happiness’ and pursuing varied paths from spiritual enlightenment journeys to experimenting with psychedelic music to drugs to sex and they even traverse the twilight zone of attempting suicide.

Look again at our own life and we should be delighted that we are spared the ordeal of the numerous types of people listed above. Our complaints if any, are miniscule in comparison and our blessings gigantic in reality. More insightful will be the realization that life has given everyone an opportunity and the freedom to pursue our goals with a few hurdles thrown in between to make us value our life more.  Life chose us to be a visible tribute to the powers of procreation and progress; what we do with our life and how we make it shine and flower are completely left to us. Having given us the opportunity to play the game of life and having given us the broad ground rules of the game, one of which is that there would be new hurdles that we need to cross, life also gives us some potent powers like imagination, fortitude, guts, positive thinking and the like to help us play well. Life is under no obligation to change the goal posts to suit our individual needs.

If there are some who even while reading this post, have their own private miseries and grouse against life’s unfairness. They must be grateful that they have access to a computer, a net connection, literacy and above all the gift of sight which enables them to read the contents of this post and possibly take heart from it. What about the millions who wallow in their own miseries and self pity cursing life and fate with no hope of anyone enlightening them about the opportunities galore around them, which they can harness and elevate themselves from their own cesspool of misery and haplessness.  Will you be able to use the opportunity life has given you to make a difference to those around you and attempt to enlighten the despondent and the failures that life begins when HOPE sprouts within ones heart.  I have attempted to use my talents to share my thoughts; can you carry the message further?

Remember: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”  Charles R. Swindoll

Try this:

  1. Name a person, an activity and a situation that really upsets you. Make a conscious effort to appreciate 3 things in each of these that actually benefits you despite the fact that overall you do not like it. Does this appreciation lessen your dislike for the person, the activity or situation?  Also ask if your irritation, annoyance or dislike is because of you prejudice and irrationality?
  2. Find unique ways to enrich the lives of those around you. It could be simple things like sharing a SMS joke ( not the risqué jokes but something that is insightful), passing on an informative paper cutting, sharing an inspiring Youtube video link, engaging in a conversation with someone who is normally shunned etc.  Experience the feeling of self worth that you suddenly perceive within you. You also realize that you have so many ways to enrich your own life and the lives of those around.
  3. Do also read the post in our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com on the topic of LIFE –  Love Inside Finding Expression

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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