Tag: Relationships

The company you keep

A man is known by the company he keeps. Anon

Just look around and see how we pass judgment on people around without ever knowing them. In most cases we base it on their mere appearance and personality and unconsciously we also give a lot of credence to the type of people with whom they are seen moving around and interacting extensively.  In effect, our perceptions about people are largely dependent on physical appearance and physical company that one keeps. While it is quite possible that we may be wrong in our initial assessment and discover that the individual is made up of much more than just the outward appearance our initial assessment ahs a large bearing on how we interact with the person later on.

In the 70’s for example, anyone with long hair and flowery clothes was broadly described as a hippy and anyone who associated with these people was perceived to be cool by their peers but viewed with disdain by the society at large. Today the same people following similar trends are either cool or geeks and seen as a breed apart who merely march to a different drummer. Funnily enough most people would think that geeks and cool techno savvy people are brilliant but at the same time they wouldn’t really want their own children or siblings to be influenced by these geeks. They would rather that have their kids and siblings follow the straight and narrow path that is the family tradition or the societal norm. It is human nature to rebel against norms and confines and it is also human nature to view rebels as social pariah’s who are forever stretching the boundaries of convention and customs. Obviously anyone who is seen as associating with such a crowd is inviting trouble and the wrath of the majority who view them with disdain.

In most formal settings there is a social hierarchy and pecking order that is determined by the social status of the people around. There are no fixed norms or clear cut boundaries but by and large the social order is based on financial muscle, perceived social standing and power play. There are of course some incongruent elements who are thick skinned and shameless enough to ignore the social rules and by stealth or cunning attempt to be seen in the company of those on the highest pecking order. The hangers on around politicians or the entourage that accompany film stars and high flying business men are ample evidence of the crazy to be seen in the right company. They thrive on portraying themselves as close to the seat of power for the general perception is that those seen with the high and mighty are influential, powerful and useful.

There are two outstanding examples of how each of us is deeply influenced and is easily influenced by the need to be seen with the right company. The craze of people to be seen with celebrities who will never ever know them or recognize them again is not just a fad but an expression of our urge to be seen with the extraordinary. Sportsmen, actors and writers are among the most sought after celebrities. The second example pertains to the new age social networking trend where a look at our friends list reveals a lot about ourselves and the company we prefer. Our preferences for certain blogs of celebrities and following the posts of celebrities/ high flying  individuals on twitter etc. are also pointers to our need to cozy up to power, status and social visibility.

Remember: Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. Mark Twain

Try this:

  1. List out 3 individuals who are still alive who you would like to meet in person if the opportunity arises. Now note down the reasons you want to meet these people and the line of interaction you would ideally have with them.
  2. Make a list of the types of people you will never associate with. Now make a list of people who you would love to associate with. Now check and jot down at least 3 things you love about your current friends and at least one irritant in them.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Valuing friendships

A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad. Arnold H. Glasow

It is tough to find good friends not because they are not made anymore, but because the slightest of misunderstandings can kill a beautiful friendship. People today tend to be more sensitive, have greater expectations from friends and are quick to pull the plug from a potentially lifelong friendship because they get impatient, take offense easily and often let their ego overrule their judgment. On the other hand if one has the ability to be non judgmental and love a friend unconditionally, overlook his/ her faults nonchalantly and be able to put with their idiosyncrasies be it their silly jokes or their oversensitive outbursts then the fruits of those friendship never go stale and they will make our life heavenly.

Friendships blossom on compatibility, affection and trust. Each of these parameters poses a challenge and it also provides the platform for friendships to begin, grow and blossom. Most people view compatibility to mean that good friendship s can be formed only by people in near similar age groups. This is largely true because many friendships are formed during school and college days and invariably all the friends are in a similar age bracket. However the critical factor in compatibility is the meeting of minds; the ability to find common ground, the possibility of moving ahead hand in hand and the insight to reconcile differences if any.  Many a friendship has perished when the apparent initial compatibility began crumbling under the weight of impossible expectations and unreasonable demands.

While compatibility can be there between people as it is possible with two people who share a common interest or hobby, it does not necessarily mean that they have any affection for each other. Affection begins with understanding and then proceeds to the next step of liking and culminates in being completely at ease in each other’s company. Many a time they understand each other so well that they are able to instinctively anticipate each other’s emotions and feelings be it one of elation or sorrow. Trust is what cements a friendship. Trust is all about having implicit faith in one another being able to see only the good in the friend, being able to overlook the idiosyncrasies and quirks of the friend and being able to stand up for the friend through thick and thin. Trust will ensure that friends are open in their communications, respect each other’s individuality and be magnanimous in pardoning friends faults. A true friend will never let a good relationship die because of lack of trust.

The challenge to maintaining friendship is in ensuring that all the three pillars of friendship remain strong and upright always. Communication is a critical ingredient in the reinforcing the bonds of friendship. Humor is another factor that goes a long way in cheering up friendships. Above all faith in one another will eliminate misunderstandings, suppress ego’s and ignite the candle of friendship on the rare occasions that the flame gets blown away. The beauty of true friendship lies in its nebulous property to endure the limitations posed by time, space, silence, indifference and separation.

Remember: “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”  Brandi Snyder

Try this:

  1. Pause and look back at a close friendship which has either died out or that has end on a bitter note. Can you make the effort to forgive and forget and begin again by reaching out to that close friend and making him/ her know that you still value their friendship?  If you are rebuffed do not take it personally but try to ignore the hurt and rather cherish the good old days.
  2. Some friendships become too demanding and it is possible that we are guilty of having too many expectations from a friend which ultimately snapped the friendship. Some friendships may have withered away for lack of effective interaction and communications.  If you feel that you are guilty of either of these two strikes that robbed you of a very good friendship, put your ego behind and rekindle the friendship. You may discover that the new bond is stronger than ever before.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Keeping friendships alive

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept. Samuel Butler

Ever notice how our income barely seems to help us keep our expenses covered even if we are earning more and more each year. The reason for this is very simple; we really don’t pay attention to our money matters as much as we should. Now if we substitute the word money with the word friends, we notice that we have made so many friends but find it hard to really maintain the relationship. The reason is the same; our inability to take care of our friendships.

In today’s technology facilitated world, making friends across the globe is passé. Yet while we may see many of them online for example, either we do not converse with them or they are too busy. Over time we delete these contacts with no remorse. Technology allows us that liberty without any pangs of conscience but in real life, we rarely delete but we rarely connect either. When we look back at the close friendships we have made in school, college, our neighborhood, at work etc. we find that we are open to most people when making friends. However when we interact more closely we could be changing our opinion and then the friendship starts to fizzle.

To begin with any friendship to be called one needs to be developed and this is a time consuming process. There has to be some commonality of interests for a friendship to begin and flourish. More importantly the wave length of friends should match so that there is understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and a strong bonding. These are traits that are discovered slowly as one nurtures a friendship. There are three pillars of friendship Communication , Trust and Openness. All friendships are built up on this foundation and so it is important that one is not only aware of this but also makes an effort to strengthen each of these qualities in our interactions with friends.

Communication is of course a two way process and unless both parties interact and share thoughts ideas fears hopes expectations and very often discuss on mutually interested topics and also indulge in talking shop, the friendship will not really flower. Of course we must be careful that we are not too blunt or insensitive while communicating or else we would be making a very counter productive move. Trust is the soil in which the seeds of bonding are sown and it is here that friendships take roots and sprout into a life long bonding. We have to be careful that we never betray anyone’s rust in us for there is no second chance when trust is betrayed. Openness is the fertilizer that nourishes the friendships and ensures that the growth is healthy, robust and invaluable. Openness is tough because we expose ourselves and we hope that our open communication is accepted with out bias and the underlying trust is never shaken.

Remember: Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

Try this:

  1. Take a fresh look at the names appearing in your friends list in your email contacts, chat lists, social networking sites etc. Are there some people who you should delete to make the list more manageable? Are there others who you realise have been unfairly ignored but need to be communicated with. Go ahead and do just that.
  2. Ask yourself if you prefer an email greeting or an old fashioned snail mail greeting card / letter. Make a list of people whom you feel will much appreciate a and written letter and personalized card. Ensure you write the note and get a card and if possible go and deliver it personally to such people. The recipients need not be friends of your age but could be teachers, friends of your parents or neighbours who have moved away.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The riches of friendship

They are rich who have true friends. Thomas Fuller

It is not said for nothing, that a dog is man’s best friend.  A dog is completely loyal, non judgmental, gives itself completely to its master and would never ever betray the trust placed in it. If there is a flaw in a dog, it is its inability to communicate in words, but there again it more than makes up by its phenomenal non verbal communication, the furious wag of its tail, snuggling up and its mournful demeanor when it senses tragedy and pain around. Can we claim to have a human friend who has all these attributes? If you can honestly say yes, then you are the RICHEST person in this world.

Our need for friendship and companionship emits from the reality that we are social creatures who cannot live in isolation. When seen from this point of view, it follows that we will naturally socialize, befriend people, perhaps dislike some and be indifferent to the vast majority. We would also identify some people with whom we share a good connect, feel comfortable in their company, trust them even though occasionally they may hurt you, rush to them when emergency calls and magnanimously forgive them when they may have wronged us. The common name given to such a relationship that evolves is friendship. It may begin as a casual acquaintance, with more interaction it can develop into a friendship, with proximity it can blossom into a good friendship and with intimacy and trust it can flower into an intimate friendship.

Most friendships would be seen as having a strong commonality like similar age group, social status, financial status, shared value systems and styles and of course common interests and strong mutual bonding. However, there could also plenty of friendships that hinge simply on the pure comfort level that people enjoy with no other major commonality to speak about. Comfort level holds the key to enduring friendships. We might have strongly differing views on many issues but if we have the comfort level and trust a strong friendship will naturally blossom and there would be strong ties that bind. In such intimate friendships there can be gross misunderstandings, deep hurts caused by one another and even the threat of broken friendship might loom in the background, but most intimate friendships over come it as long as the ego does not play spoilt sport. Saying sorry and the magnanimity of forgiveness must be embedded in an in the friendship to qualify to be called an intimate friendship.

The bond of friendship transcends widely differing thought process, diametrically opposite styles and even possibly complete different value systems simply because friends find a treasure of love that tramples over these differences.  Some friendships involve tremendous sacrifices like lovers who are hounded by societal pressures or standing by a friend accused of gross misdeeds. It is these visible examples of boding that become so priceless that such friends actually believe that they have the greatest treasure the treasure of enduring friendship. In some extreme cases, friendships may have to be sacrificed for it to be really realized as it would happen if two ardent lovers have to give up their passions just so that social stigma and ostracization will not make life hell for either one or both of the parties involved. The ultimate testimony to the riches of friendships is ironically in the sacrifice that a person makes with his life to ensure longevity for the friend. The battle field is resplendent with examples of such rich and heroic friendships.

Remember: “Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

Try this:

  1. Can you think of the 3 greatest sacrifices you have made for a friend? Did you feel these sacrifices were acknowledged by the friend? Do you regret not having stood by your friend at any time? Do you remember the time when a friend let you down badly? How did you feel and how did you react then?
  2. Read the poignant Eulogy to a Dog by George Graham Vest by clicking this link http://www.milwinkennel.com/poems/FaithfulFriend.htm

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Nurturing friendships

Friendship is a plant which must be often watered.  Anon

Each one of us would recall wistfully, that over the years we have made friends with so many people. Whilst some bonds still remain very endearing and strong there are so many friendships that have simply withered away over time.  Nurturing friendships holds the key to ensure that the friends we make continue to have a special place in our hearts and we in their hearts too. Strangely enough if we were to attempt to pinpoint the time when our friendship with a person drifted apart, we would just not be able to identify any such specific time frame. It then dawns on us that we just did not use the opportunities to reconnect, rebuild or restore our intimacy and camaraderie.

Nurturing friendship takes effort, requires the right frame of mind and a very positive attitude. It is akin to planting a seed, watering it, caring for it and patiently awaiting the plant to flower. The big challenge in nurturing friendship is ensuring that we are in sync with our friend, have implicit trust in the relationship and be confident that the other person will reciprocate in like manner. Occasionally even friends would have their moods and disagreements. Respecting both the mood swings and the differing point of view are both implicit in the process of strengthening a friendship. It is important to understand that it is not just those who agree who become friends but those who also appreciate each other for the independent views, contrasting styles and yet find vast expanses of common ground.

There are various reasons why a friendship fizzles out. While misunderstandings could bring a good friendship to a dramatic break off, most times circumstances play a very vital part in us not being able to nurture friendships. With people moving to far distances there is both a big chasm and a huge void in relationships. Similarly people discover new friends, change their social circle, change as individuals, have widely different expectations etc. all of which slowly but surely contribute to a break off. Fortunately technology has now made it possible to dramatically close this growing divide be it by email that is instantaneous and the mobile phones with video technology that ensures real time communication and visual proximity. Searching and locating long lost friends are now become the norm and a favorite pass time. With alumni networks proliferating the time is ripe to reconnect and relive the good old days.

Connecting and reconnecting through technology is but a small but significant step in the process of nurturing friendships. Any feeling of burden, expectations, force or hypocrisy would sound the death knell for even the most intimate and close friendships. The real connection involves nurturing relationships, seeking out areas of common connect, going that extra mile to cement the friendship and reveling in the joy that the friendship provides.

Remember: “A friend is a hand that is always holding yours, no matter how close or far apart you may be. A friend is someone who is always there and will always, always care. A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart.”

Try this:

  1. Take out an old photo album of your school days and attempt to recollect all the classmates. Now choose 3-5 classmates  or childhood friends with whom you were very close then but who have disappeared from your life. Using the various social networks and other resources try to locate at least 2 such friends and try to revive the relationship and friendship.
  2. During the coming year make a firm resolution to wish your friends on their birthdays, anniversaries and other happy occasions with personalized messages not plain and staid run of the mill messages. Perhaps you can even attempt to surprise them with an unexpected visit or an impromptu party or just a gift for an occasion he/ she is just not expecting. See how your friendship really blossoms.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Friendliness

One thing everybody in the world wants and needs is friendliness. William E. Holler

It costs nothing and yet is so invaluable that we are often left wondering why people can’t be more friendly and spread good cheer. In fact if you look around there is an acute need for friendlier people  for you will see plenty of glum faces, worried expressions and harried people ambling around with shoulders drooping  and a defeatist attitude written all over them.  Notice also the sudden spring in their steps of people when someone comes along who is enthusiastic, sports a big smile and goes around back slapping one and all enthusiastically. Man’s best friend, dogs, have perfected the art of being friendly and anyone who owns a dog will swear that a dog can lift your spirits, soothe your nerves and recharge your batteries without uttering a word or more correctly a bark. What is their secret?

Friendliness is something each of us can learn from a dog.  A dog has no particular expectations except the warmth of its owner; it never carries any of the past hurts in its mind and so is unhibited in its responses; it has no mental blocks and warms up to anyone and everyone; it understands moods and can sensitively respond appropriately; it expresses itself freely and generously by wagging its tail, jumping around and cozying up to its masters. Unfortunately we human beings have too many expectations from our fellow human beings. We carry our burdens in our minds and use that as a convenient excuse to behave in an aloof manner. We carry our baggage of social status, caste, creed, nationality and the like in choosing even our response to friendly overtures by others. We are constrained by our inhibitions and upbringing in giving measured responses to our innermost feelings and thereby erect an unseen barrier in both our behavior and responses which lack the spontaneity to seem free and friendly.

Being friendly is the best gift that you can give yourself. Try smiling at someone and giving them a hearty greeting and chances are that they will respond equally enthusiastically. Such a response more than makes up for any worries or cares that have being bothering you. A friendly approach helps you widen your circle of influence and helps you network effectively. With a friendly attitude you can banish negativity, inject enthusiasm and grasp success in relationships and life. By being friendly, we help others view us as approachable, stimulate dialogue and interaction and initiate the possibility of having a long lasting and enduring relationship. Similarly friendliness injects vitality into the environment by bolstering those around; kick starts new associations, ignites communication and spreads the fragrance of joy, peace and happiness all around.

Friendliness is as simple as giving and accepting a smile, encouraging with a word of praise, appreciation or a pat on the back, empathizing with someone in trouble, soothing the pain of others by our simple presence, comforting those in agony and being there for those in despair. All it takes is some time, our involvement and a very large heart and mind. Real friendliness is reaching out!

Remember: “A good motto is: Use friendliness but do not use your friends.”  Frank Crane

Try this:

  1. Over the next week starting today try to be friendly / express your friendliness to at least 3 people who can never repay you in any way. E.g Smile at the bus conductor or appreciate the good work done by the watchman etc.
  2. List out the times when you are least friendly and most friendly. Examine the possible reasons for these drastic mood swings. Be aware of the times others have been friendly to you and your response to their friendly overtures. Can you reciprocate similarly to others who you are not so comfortable with?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Clear direction in life…

The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving. Oliver Wendell Holmes

The extraordinary success of some of the movers and shakers of this world who have had humble beginnings like a George Washington Carver or A PJ Abdul Kalam are torchbearers who have reinforced the belief that it is what you do with yourself that matters more than how you started your journey.  While some of these names evoke awe and admiration there are millions of such individuals who are less well known but just as influential because of their ability to translate their vision into transformation of the society.

At this point anyone reading this post will wonder if they have achieved much in comparison to the movers and shakers that they have heard of. Pause and look back at your own upbringing and growth. If you have added value to what your childhood, schooling and education have provided you with, take a bow for that in effect confirms the fact that you have been successful in your chosen field of endeavor.  The yardstick for measuring your success is not the material wealth, fame or influence you wield but the values, relationships and goals that you are committed to.

The simple reality check for values is checking how quickly and soundly you sleep at night. As it is correctly said a clear conscience is the best pillow. If your values are geared to meeting the exacting standards of morality, ethics, honesty and transparency you can be sure that you will never compromise them no matter what the compulsions, pressures and temptations. Relationships are not merely and aggregation of the friendships developed but its true measure is in counting the enemies made. You may have very few friends but if you have no enemies you can look at your relationship as being in the top percentile. If your values are in place and relationships very strong, it automatically follows that you are pursuing the right goals. However to double check if your goals aligned to your value systems simply ask yourself if you are fearful, ashamed or indifferent to the goal you have set for yourself.

Finally we do the ultimate test to ensure that you are moving in the right direction. That is like knowing where to go but being unsure of the right way to reach it. The GPS that you must use to go in the right direction is your heart and conscience which must be sensitive enough to nudge you on to the right path lest you stray. In addition it helps if one also calibrates the value system and fine tunes the bandwidth of economic returns.

Remember: “I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.” Douglas Adams

Try this:

  1. If you were to choose between the following which ONE would you choose (there are no right or wrong answers amongst the choices)
  • Lots of fame but no wealth
  • Lots of wealth but no intelligence
  • Lots of intelligence but no wealth or fame
  1. Choose a historical personality as a role model. Now enumerate 5 qualities of the person that endear him/ her to you. Can you identify at least 2 weaknesses in the person?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Make peace with the past

Your past is always going to be the way it was.  Stop trying to change it. Anon

When we look back wistfully on the good old days gone by, it is but natural that our minds also stray into some of the more forgettable, painful and embarrassing moments of our past, that we wish never occurred. Many a time when we are despondent, sad and lonely we are prone to revisit our past and painfully recount those fateful moments, which if we could, we would completely erase from our past. Unfortunately reality cannot be changed and we are destined to be prisoners of our past memories. This does not mean that we cannot escape from this self made prison, nor does it mean that we have to carry our cross of the past for ever. What we cannot do is eliminate the past.

Since we cannot eliminate the past, the next best thing is to understand the lessons the past has taught us. We can try to understand the circumstances that led us to do the negative things we did, be it copying in exams, lying, bullying others etc. and then try to realize that we have progressed a long way from those miserable days.  It will also help us to make peace with the troublesome past so that they are no longer milestones dragging us from realizing our full potential. If in the past our poverty forced us to steal and we get caught and branded a thief, the stigma is very difficult to live with. However, later on in life, if by sheer dint of hard work and persistence, one has made a mark in society, it will do us well to put our stigma behind us and instead strive to ensure that others who are poor do not end up stealing.

It is worth remembering that one cannot expect others to forget your past. People tend to remember the unpleasant facts of other people and conveniently and selectively elaborate on it either to embarrass the other person but more often to gain a bit of popularity by spreading juicy stories of others. We must also realize that we to tend to display similar behavior for similar reasons and so we must make a conscious effort never to embarrass or bad mouth others. The next time you are with your school/college mates, observe how the conversation flows. If at some point we remember only the nasty things of others, if we keep belittling our classmates and just recount their juicy tales, remember it is not just bad manners but downright despicable. Be aware about your own self and your tendency to be critical, sarcastic and nasty about others. Sometime you might be at the receiving end and then you have no right to complaint.

Remember: We cannot change the past, but we can ruin a perfect present by reliving the past.

Try these:

  1. What are the 5 most embarrassing things that you wish you never did? Do you still carry the burden of embarrassment any or all of those events caused you then, even now? Can you forgive yourself for those happenings now ?
  2. Do you have the tendency to pick on some people and run them down? Now that you are aware, will you be able to make a strong attempt to avoi such a tendency. Do you know of people who take perverse pleasure in running down some others? Will you dare to stand up for the person being made fun off and tell the others to be more temperate and considerate? 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

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

God needs you to…

Let God love you through others and let God love others through you. D.M. Street

Yes God needs you! He has no selfish reasons nor does he have a hidden agenda when he seeks to use your help. All he hopes to do is share his love with the world and what better way to do it than to spread it through his own creation – Men and Women. When God created the human race, it was  in the hope that his masterpiece would be one that would manifest itself as a replica of God himself. To attain that perfection, he chose to give the gift of LOVE to the human race so that it would make man happy, united and generous.

We might be often tempted to feel too insignificant to be a messenger of God’s love. Yet every action of ours is spreading love into the furtherest coroners of the world. Imagine the kind of love that you ignited in your mother when you were conceived and the love that you evoked when you were born. Your first baby steps , your first words, your cheery gurgling and angelic smile all brought to the fore the deep love that was stored in the deepest reserves of the heart of all who you came in contact with. In school, your parents entrusted you to teachers and they showered you with their love. Your spouse and the family you have are an offshoot of the love that you have spread and that was Gods plan for you and for me.

In a reciprocal manner, we too benefited from the love of our parents, siblings, extended families, friends and colleagues. They have stood by us in our sorrows, passionately followed our success and took pride in our achievements. Occasionally when discipline was enforced even if it was with the threat or reality of punishment was an expression of love for you by those who really cared for you. When one suffers failures, setbacks, problems, confusion or frustrations it is to our loved ones that we go seeking sympathy and empathy. Surprisingly many of our woes and worries diminish dramatically when we share it with others who love us. They give us not just a patient hearing but good counsel and assure us of their support no matter what the cost.

As the poet H.W. Longfellow in his classic poem ‘The Psalm of Life” indicates, it is this giving and taking of love is what makes our lives sublime. ( You can read the interpretation of the poem in the sister blog to this one http://poweract.blogspot.com/2009/12/psalm-of-life-commentry.html )

Remember: The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” Morrie Schwartz

Try these:

  1. Make a valiant attempt to find something nice about 3 people whom you detest immensely.
  2. Write down 3 innovative ways in which you will express your love to your best friend, Your sibling or cousin, your colleague at work and a beggar on the street. Eg. Giving alms to a beggar is not innovative but maybe cooking a meal for him / her would be the exception.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Experiencing Peace

If you do not find peace in yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. Paula A. Bendry

Amidst the chaos and challenges of daily living there are opportunities galore for every individual to find a silent space within himself/ herself. The difficulty tho is that often this space is crammed with worries, fears, anxieties and confusion and squeezing in space for peace is exceptionally tough. When the stress and the struggles become overwhelming the craving for peace keeps growing and we are tempted to search for it in the pleasures of the world.  It could be in the form of  dance, music, movies, parties or it could be in the arms of the vices of the world like smoking, drinking, philandering  or in sadistic pleasures like ragging, terrorizing or brutalizing people. Ironically the peace we seek continues to elude us like the butterfly that can’t be caught if we keep chasing it.

Strange as it may sound, peace is calmness within you and no amount of loud music, pulsating sporting victories or extraordinary success can embrace you in its bosom as peace will. To experience peace one needs to give up; give up craving, give up passions, give up power and give up anxiety. In the real world we live in we are constantly being pushed by competition, egged on to aim for the number one spot and expected to be outstanding every single time you in the spotlight. The pressure of expectations, the comparison with peers and the lure of material success are a potent mix that intoxicates even the most rational being to believe that life is a rat race. Every waking hour is then spent chasing success and every moment of sleep generates a new dream of wealth, recognition and achievement. There is  no time to find that little space for peace.

If we look around we can see the beautiful smile on the faces of the little children, the innocence that transfigures their happiness into tranquility for us who watch them and the blissful peace on their face when they are asleep and we wonder if we will ever enjoy such harmony and ecstasy. If we ponder over the matter it will dawn on us that the children are sans any worries, tensions or pressure to succeed. They have nothing to ponder over nor anything to crave for. Peace is what we are born with and till logic and reason takes over and pushes that innocence into the background life will always be peaceful. The challenge then is to regain that peace by looking inside us for it has been only suppressed by the worldly demands and self centered interests. What is hidden within us can never be found anywhere else but inside us.

Notice how hard it is for us to suppress our thoughts and focus on nothingness. Experience the tranquility that accompanies us when we are in a meditative state. Peace is shedding our inhibitions and anxieties, embracing life with equanimity and being ecstatic for the joys of LIFE. All these you find within you and if you can’t then you can be sure you will be searching for it in vain.

Remember: “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it”

Try these:

  1. Go for a week long course on meditation. The practice it as often as you can. Alternatively read up on meditation and attempt it on your own. The key is to reduce distraction in any form and to focus on nothingness. You experience peace when there is no conflict within you in mind body and spirit.
  2. When you can, give of yourself. This means that you have to spare your time and personally participate in any form of social activity preferably for the poor, the underprivileged, the disadvantaged etc. Initially you will experience feelings of sympathy, guilt, anger at the injustice and then you will realize that there is joy in sharing when you give of yourself. Give freely and in return take home peace in abundance.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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