Tag: Rewards

B C D of Life

17- BCD of lifeLife is often over simplified as being a journey from birth to death. What this does not consider, is the enormous opportunity / potential / alternatives that life freely bestows on us, to make that life a voyage of adventure, thrill and fulfillment. Each of us has the choice to pick from the alternatives, explore and select the opportunities around and utilize our potential the way we want. Our individuality is expressed through the choices we make. Our choices determine our future, our progress and ultimately lead us to despair, indifference or fulfillment. So the quality of our life, the way we go about living and the impact we have on the world around us and vice versa is all linked to the choices we make every moment. Choices are boon for those determined to use it wisely and it is a bane for those who get overwhelmed by the alternatives.

Making the right choice is again dependent on the individuality of the person making that choice. Yet there are some pointers to enable one to make the right choices.

Align choices with your values – Our values or principles that we imbibe and choose to follow would have an overbearing role to play in the choices we make. It is essential therefore that we are aware of those values we cherish and ensure our choices align with it. If these are not aligned, the choices may yield expected results but it will taunt your conscience, negate your happiness and depreciate yourself worth. E.g. You appear for an exam which is tough. You have a choice to copy from another and possibly get more marks but for the rest of your life you will find it hard to shake of the feeling of having been a cheater provided you value fair play and honesty as critical uncompromisable virtues.

A choice is your commitment- fulfill it – A choice is a commitment you willingly make.  Once you make that choice, it is essential that one make the best effort to fulfill that commitment. Self doubt, rethinking, confusion could possibly occasionally peek in and sabotage your commitment. Unless there is absolute clarity in your mind that you made a poor choice, the way forward is to fulfill the commitment you made when you chose a course of action. E.g. You chose a branch of study for your future. Somewhere along the way you begin to realize that the choice is not aligned to your passion. If you are convinced that a change is warranted immediately make an informed choice to deviate else fulfill the first choice you made before you rethink the alternatives.

Consider the risk reward payoff when making choices –Many a choice is placed before us by circumstances. There are shades of choices that come before us. Some are tempting but unethical, sometimes the choices are unpleasant because the alternatives are less than palatable but frequently the choices we have to make are thrust upon us with a deadline that forces us to choose. Ironically not making a choice, which is letting the status quo remain, is also a choice. Subconsciously we are always making a risk reward payoff analysis when making a choice. What is important is to view reward as the cumulative long term effect of our choice rather than immediate short term gains which could cost us dearly in the long term. e.g. watching an exciting final match of a game could be a costly price to pay if a critical exam in a paper in which you are not too strong is due the next day.

Make your own choices – don’t follow the pack – Most erroneous choices are made because we are impulsive, we are influenced by those around us and because we don’t think through with calmness and intensity. Branding is one of the marketing strategies to which many of us unconsciously fall prey too. We are tempted by the hullabaloo about a product / style and often are under peer pressure to follow the trend that others follow.  Your choice must be based on your own personal understanding, your evaluation and your need. Your individuality in many ways is reflected in your choices.

Take responsibility for your choices – No matter what method you choose to make your choices, the most important aspect of the choice is to take responsibility for that choice. Owning the choice empowers the individuality to face the consequences of the choice. It also makes the individual more confident, competent and clear headed all of which are vital traits of successful people. Ultimately our successes and failures are largely influenced by the choices we make.  If our choices go wrong and we take responsibility for our choices, we would examine the reasons for our mistakes and take corrective measures not to repeat our mistakes.  If our choices are right we can take pride in our abilities to choose wisely.

Ultimately, the quality of our life from birth to death are the outcome of the choices we make every day of our mature life.

Try these:

Rank these choices in the order of what you think is the worst choice, terrible choice and bad choice

  • Good outcome ethically wrong choice. e.g. Getting good marks by copying in an exam
  • Bad outcome lazy choice made e.g. Failing in an exam because you didn’t choose to study
  • Ugly outcome silly choice made. E.g.  Not appearing for an exam for fear of failing.

You win a lottery of Rs.10,00,000. Unfortunately you will not get a single rupee from it. However you must nominate 5 people to get the winnings in any proportion you deem fit.  The only condition is that the 5 people must include just one family member, one friend, one junior work colleague, one senior work colleague and one absolute stranger. Who would you choose to receive the amount and how much would each be entitled too. You would be telling each of the 5 people about the total prize money and how much each member is getting.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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Foolish risks

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down. Ray Bradbury

The concept of risks and reward go hand in hand; the higher the risk the greater the reward. The trouble is that each one of us has a different perception of risk and obviously if we get it wrong then we are in real danger of paying a very heavy price. Many of us have flirted with this type of risk right from childhood; by banking on last minute studies to somehow cleat h exams and if lucky even do reasonably well too. Many of us despite getting into trouble by taking undue risks still thrive on skating on thin ice at great peril to ourselves. Speculators in general and gamblers in particular get a high by constantly wagering and taking chances.

Risk taking assumes that one has some safe guards put in place before we plunge into it. The more macho amongst us would have their ego tickled if told to ensure the mandatory safe guards and would probably rebel and perhaps heighten the risk factor to become a hero. They not only endanger themselves but put at risk others too by their irresponsible and often foolhardy behavior. What they fail to understand is that risk is quite different from a gamble or a lottery. A gamble or a bet is often impulsive, has a predominant financial angle to it and have far too many variables that have a major influence on the outcome. In the case of a lottery, the stakes are much lower, the rewards reasonable and luck plays the most important role in it.

Never put all your eggs in once basket is an old adage that succinctly captures a key element of risk viz. do not risk everything. Yet greed and power are two emotions that have a major bearing on how one perceives risks. When one is greedy our sense of reasoning is completely obscured by the lure of big returns and we ignore the risks involved or rationalize it conveniently. When drunk with power a person’s sense of control and influence takes on a falsely inflated proportion which when pricked can send things into a tail spin and a crash landing is the obvious ending. Often the arrogance of a person goads him/ her to take undue risks far beyond one’s own abilities and when things go wrong there is no safety net to cushion the free fall.

To take reasonable risks, one has to be pragmatic and at the same time have the courage to widen the scope of our comfort zone.  When one is pragmatic the chances of ensuring that we have studied the risks carefully is very high. More importantly the true natures of the risks are clearly understood and a fall back/ safety mechanism is put in place. A pragmatic person will only have reasonable expectations and therefore take on only a reasonable amount of risk. To ensure that we get a decent reward one also has to be a risk taker. That is where courage counts. There is always some danger lurking around but once we know the extent of that danger, and we have made arrangements to minimize that, then one needs to have the courage to take the risk. Without courage there will not be any risks taken and then we would be risking not latching on to some fine opportunities.

Remember: “Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity.”Gary Ryan Blair

Try this:

  1. Evaluate your investments and outline your risk profile. Consult a good investment consultant to guide you about your risk profile and align it with your age profile. The younger you are the more risks one can take and as one gets older the mix changes.
  2. If you were forced to go with friends to a casino how much would you spend gambling? Will you get influenced by the high spending by some of your friends? Would you be under pressure to spend more by friends who chide you and suggest that you are stingy?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Expect nothing…

If you expect nothing, you’re apt to be surprised.  You’ll get it. Malcolm Forbes

We experience most of our disappointments simply because we have unrealistic expectations. Part of the problem stems from the fact that in an intensively competitive world, every one is hoping to stay on top of the heap and so our mindsets are trained to be competitive but often our skill sets are not honed to match that of the competition. While we may crave to be ahead of the competition, we may find ourselves woefully inadequate on the pitch and then the obvious outcome is failure and disappointment. The just concluded World Cup football tournament proves the point in as much as the fact that there were very high expectations from the African nations to prove themselves and yet almost all of them fell along the way. On the other hand very few people gave the Uruguayans any chance of doing well, and they surprised many including themselves with a masterly performance.

Unrealistic parental expectations are often the bane of a healthy upbringing for impressionable minds. Every parent wants his/ her child to excel in school and later in college and career. What they fail to appreciate is the natural skill sets that the child might have and even more fatal would be the parent’s inability to spot the limitations of the child. A child, very gifted in the fine arts, might often find himself /herself being chided for their ‘frivolous’ passion and at the same time goaded into spending more time on what they least like to do ; perhaps studying the languages or mathematics or social sciences. Reality TV has exposed the reality of parents visualizing their children as prodigies who will set the world ablaze with their talent. The inability of child prodigies to cope with the pressures of expectations are never given a second thought and the numerous horror stories of suicides, drug abuse and depression that plague many a prodigy are unfortunately looked upon as aberrations that happen to others.

It must be also understood that doing ones work without any expectations is not an ideal situation either. The key to motivation, for example, lies in the fact that people have some expectations of rewards commensurate with the effort and the final outcome. Similarly, it is only when one has expectations that one can set norms and targets that help us benchmark our performance. What is important is to be pragmatic about the expectations and then attaining or achieving anything more would be a real bonus that is both unexpected and satisfying. Many a time we are guilty of being underachievers simply because we subconsciously lower our expectations so that we don’t look bombastic or so that we can ‘hedge against even the remotest possibility of failure’ and then exceed our expectations by leaps and bounds and get a sense of great achievement.

In the ultimate analysis, we need to be aware that we have multiple choices in life and we need to carefully exercise our options. Too much of expectations can lead to big disappointments while too little expectations can be counterproductive in harnessing ones full potential. Be passionate, be pragmatic and be content!

Remember: Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality. Ralph Marston

Try this:

  1. Estimate how much time you will take to unscramble the following 5 words and after estimating the time start the exercise. 1.LEOAN  2. COHAV 3.RAZEG 4. LANAS 5.TSAPM  * Answers in the post dated 14th July 2010 in our sister blog www.poweract.blogspot.com  
  2. Attempt to learn 3 new playing card tricks. Practice hard and then try the tricks on friends and colleagues.  Alternatively try to learn some magic tricks and perform it in front of an audience.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Risk and daring

Unless you enter the tiger’s den, you cannot take the cubs. Japanese proverb

It takes more than just raw courage to take on risky challenges. While raw courage will trigger action, it is a passionate self belief and longing that is at the heart of any risky venture. Strangely enough most of our attempts at something new and different is similar to entering a tigers den to take the cubs. After all there must be a tangible purpose to the effort and a clear strategy to accomplish the task. If the risk is high the payoff must be much larger and the probability of success reasonably assured else taking risk is either foolhardy or outrageously stupid.

A risk averse life is bland and placid with hardly any accomplishments and even less celebration.  Many a diligent employee would perhaps fall in this category for the simple reason that they merely follow orders, meet targets and don’t yearn for change. On the contrary, even the, lowliest employee who  dares to cross the threshold of his/ her job description dares will feel a sense of elation that he / she has taken on some risks and enjoyed the experience. In fact it is when we are prepared to step out of our comfort zone that we get new experiences that would include failures too. Visualize a fresh MBA on his first sale job and making his first call. He is kept waiting despite an appointment, gets irritated because he is in danger of missing the next confirmed appointment and has got two calls from existing customers who are furious that his predecessor has not sent in the supplies promised. Not a very pleasant experience for the first day;  yet at end of day he can look back and note how he managed each situation and also gains the confidence that the next day can’t get worse.

Contrasting this is the trigger happy person who thinks he/ she is playing a game of ‘Fear Factor’ everyday. They get bored with the routine, seek out challenges and pursue it with a vengeance.  Unfortunately many of them bite of more than what they can chew and end up hungry and frustrated. It is not they lack the spirit or don’t have the right attitude.  Their problem pertains to lack of planning, short term goals and inability to sustain their motivation levels. Poor listening skills, abrasive behavior and a purely goal centric approach are often hall marks of such boorish people. While they often do produce results they end up severing relationships, foul up possibilities of repeat business and end up believing that meeting challenges and taking risks is the be all and end of life. What they fail to appreciate is that they can never sustain their momentum over an extended period and that is when the slide starts.

If life is to be a perfect one every day must bring in fresh challenges. One must evaluate the risks and reward and then be realistic about one’s ability to take it on before one plunges into it heart and soul. At the same time being too cautious, risk averse and avoiding any form of risk makes life dull, boring and  wasted.  Poetically speaking ’ it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’

Remember: “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” General George S. Patton

Try this:

  1. Attempt a task that you always fancied doing but never chanced. Eg. Filing your nomination papers for a local election or learning a new style of dancing or Writing a letter to the editor on a topic you feel very strongly about
  2. List out three challenges that you backed out from. Can you recollect the actually reasons for backing out.  On hindsight did you act like a coward or did you take a rational decision even If it meant losing face at that moment.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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