Tag: self control

Peace of mind

Peace of mind is that mental condition in which you have accepted the worst. Lin Yutang

Just as a clear conscience is considered the best pillow to get a sound sleep, peace of mind is the best tonic for an adventurous spirit. When we are restless it is usually a sign of worry, anxiety and nervousness; and a restless being can never focus on anything because of the distractions that permeate his/ her mind. The antidote is peace of mind. While the cure is obvious, the medication is both complex and a bitter pill to swallow. Perhaps that accounts for the vast majority of us being restless, listless and depressed.

Look around and count the serene, happy and calm faces around you. You would be lucky to even spot one individual with all the three traits. You might hit pay dirt momentarily with one or two people who would exhibit these traits but maybe for sometime but rarely for the whole day. Why look so far; ask yourself I you are at peace with yourself. The realization might be painful but then so is an injection and hopefully the pain comes with a cure. It would help if we can identify the cause or source of our tensions for then we can address it and obviously then you can enjoy peace of mind.

If we dispassionately examine life around us, it is obvious that like the Chinese say there is Yin and Yang in equal measure around us. In effect it is complimentary opposites, like two sides of a coin/ male and female/ good and bad. This means that each of us will have to go through a cycle where there will be ups and downs, happiness and sadness, turbulence and calmness. Peace of mind comes about when we are able to maintain our feelings, our temper and our actions as close as possible to the median in our life. To explain further, neither be so excited by success that we forget there is failure nor be so despondent by failure that we cannot hope for happiness.

In most cases, it is our inability to accept the reality of failure, death, sadness and despair that leads us to a situation where we have lost our peace of mind. Constantly brooding over the past, fearfully living the present and anxiously awaiting the future are typical of those who have lost their peace of mind. What we forget is that Yin and Yang are there in equal measure and that the cycle of life keeps moving on so while happiness is a flavor that one can relish for a long time, unhappiness is not a bitter taste that will last for a very long time. Once we reconcile to the reality that what cannot be changed has to be accepted, what can be changed will change and that life is an adventure that unfolds everyday, we can be relaxed, calm and blissful in the knowledge that we have to enjoy the moment.

Remember: Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind – Buddha

Try This:

  1. Write down you worries. Write each worry on a separate sheet of paper. Fold each paper into four and put all the papers into a big envelope and seal the envelope. After six months open the envelope and add new worries but before that examine the old ones and those that have quietly slipped by can be torn and thrown away. Soon you will find that the envelope has very few things that will make you lose your peace of mind.
  2. Are there irritants in your life that annoy you a lot? It could be a pesky neighbor, a next door pet like a dog that keeps barking most of the time, it could be an irritating colleague, possibly it is the long and tiring daily commute to and from work or it could be guilty gnawing away at your conscience. Force yourself to look at the good thing about these irritants. See what are the advantages provide by the irritants. Ask if your irritants are self inflicted like guilt. Perhaps by seeing things in different perspective you feel less anxious and calmer.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Reactions

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

Like marriages, life may be made in heaven but has to be lived on earth; this poses a dilemma for many; for we are forever oscillating between heavenly bliss and earthly reality. The wonder of living is that every moment brings about surprises, pains, hurt and hope. While one moment we maybe up in the skies the next moment we could be down in the dumps; ruing missed opportunities, cursing fate or wistfully longing for the good old days. The key to happiness therefore lies in our ability to react to our circumstances in the same manner as Rudyard Kipling says in his poem IF  ‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two imposters just the same’   Click here to read the poem  If_by Rudyard Kipling.

Unfortunately for the vast majority of us we are swept away by the momentum of triumph and then when disaster rears its ugly head, it pulls us down to the depths of misery. It is our ability to squarely meet our challenges, the difficulties and the ill luck that is the reality of life that will determine our strength of character and steely resolve. Levinger has wonderfully juxtaposed the learning through the example of how one deals with married life, He cleverly underscored the point that when there is compatibility and things go right, everyone is perched on the tall branches of comfort, peace and happiness; it is when we are not compatible, when there are differences, when we have to cross the bumpy roads on the highway of marriage that the true test of understanding, trust and belief in the other is put to the test.  It is that point which charts out the course for two lives to meet in unity, two hearts to beat as one and one life to reflect the light from two souls as a lighthouse would in the midst of thunderous storms and rough seas.

Sometimes we are caught up in a battle of wits when faced with the awkwardness of differences of opinion. Often it is selfishness and our personal ego that blinds us to our folly of reacting impudently. Most times it is our inability to discern and listen to the voice of reason that brings about our downfall.  Reactions are by and large spurred on by impulsive thought and compulsive action, a potent and dangerous mix if any, for the effects are no less toxic than if one were to consume poison or be bitten by a rattle snake. Alas ill timed, ill conceived and foolhardy reactions are worse than poison, for when we consume poison there is only one fatality but here the consequences are deadly; it might involve more than two lives and affect many more and the repercussions could be felt for a lifetime nay possible for generations.

Remember: “The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.” Bertrand Russell

Try these:

  1. The next time you go to a dentist or have to take an injection be aware of your reaction to the process. Do you dread it? Are you terrified? Do you look away from the needle? Do you sweat long before the syringe is even unpacked? Do you put up a brave front and smile nervously while the doctor banters with you? There are no right or wrong reactions; just be aware that your reactions are unique to you and could wildly differ from another close relative or family member.
  2. Look back at the times you have panicked; perhaps before a major examination paper or on hearing news about the sudden accident or death of a close relative or loved one.  Clinically examine your actions and reactions. Did you go blank? Were you hysterical? Were you too emotionally drained to react? Were you composed and be able to comfort others in distress?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Mistakes

Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good. Bertolt Brecht

No one can go through life without stumbling or falling down. Mistakes are but a stumble in judgment and must be viewed as glitches that have to be set right. Very often, when we stumble or slip and fall down, we get up looking around with a foolish grin, to see if anybody noticed us fall and we try to make light of the incident. Alas, when we make mistakes we are often beset by the fact that they are pointed out to us by someone else, usually a person in authority, who will then proceed to chasten you and then rave and rant about your inefficiency and casualness.

While the superiors retain the prerogative of pointing out our mistakes, apportioning blame and suggesting corrective action, you must correct the same if you are responsible for it or have the ability to rectify it. Prudence demands that we have the heart to accept a mistake, feel remorse for it and then have the courage of conviction to burn the midnight oil and be able to rectify the error. Quick corrective action has two advantages; the mistake is rectified and the damage minimized and it also limits your own feeling of guilt and remorse, thereby enabling you to chanelize your energies into more productive tasks.

What if you are not responsible for the mistake and yet you are caught in the crossfire? Your feelings will range from dismay to annoyance and then move on to defiance and aggression. If you persist with these feelings, there is a remote possibility that  you may win the battle, but there is every possibility that you will lose the war. The best way forward, therefore,  is to do your best to correct the mistake. Once that is done, perhaps others will see your point of view; some might even feel guilty enough to own up. Thereafter, if things go on smoothly, who knows, you might even become a hero for initiating the corrective measures.

There are times when a mistake cannot be rectified. In such cases, the only possibility is damage control and salvaging what ever is possible. These are short term, possibly face saving remedies. The real learning comes from analyzing the causes for the mistake and focusing on putting in place a system that can flag of anomalies, trigger alarms to alert those in charge of the system and in extreme cases have a self correcting solution like shutting of the entire system like an automatic aborting of a space missionwhen the computer detects an anomaly or flaw. Intelligence is therefore not just new creation, fresh perspectives and thoughts and / or leveraging of brilliance for wealth creation, but it includes putting in place checks and balances to minimize mistakes,  shock absorbers to cushion the impact of mistakes and alternatives to salvage and rectify mistakes in the quickest possible time.

Remember: Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.” -Swami Sivananda

Try these:

  1. What are the mistakes that you still regret? Do you think you can do anything to minimize your regret or let bygones be bygones? Do you think that you need to say sorry and or apologize to someone for a mistake that you did but refused to take blame for or your ego did not permit you to say sorry?
  2. Do you still hold a grudge that you were unfairly blamed for a mistake that you did not commit? Are you harboring ill feelings and feelings of revenge for those responsible for putting you in a spot? Can you forgive all those who knowingly or unknowingly have accused you of mistakes and tarnished your name / image? (See the post here on Forgiveness dated 4th Jan 2010)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

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

God’s Test

God tests His real friends more severely than the lukewarm ones. Katheryn Hulme

More often than not, we remember God when we are in trouble and our constant plea then is Oh God Why did this happen? Troubles make us realize how helpless we are, how dependent we are on God and humbles us into accepting his will. Very often, we are left perplexed when we see bad tings happening to God fearing, warm and loving people. Take the case of innocent victims of terrorist attacks, accidents, heart attacks or someone suddenly diagnosed with cancer or Alzheimer’s or numerous youngsters resorting to suicide; our hearts go out to them but the mouth painfully articulates the real feeling in our heart – Oh Go Why them?

Look at it differently. The more prestigious academic institutions have more rigorous entrance tests and selection criteria, which can be matched by just the top students. Similarly, while we all love our creator, many of us being overtly religious and ritualistic, some of us fully devoted to the almighty service, God has his own plans for each one of us. He tests us in so many ways, through challenges of inflicting pain on us or our loved ones, through the freedom of choice given to us to choose to turn away from temptation or to fall prey to it and by withholding from us many of things we crave for. For those being tested, it is not just our faith that is being put to test but also our ability to endure, and our capacity to love him even when the road ahead seems endless and pave with thorns.

It is but human to also feel jealous, that those whom we see with our jaundiced eyes as weak in faith, having fragile morals, leading carefree lives and being showered with blessings denied to us. We are tempted to questions God’s wisdom; wonder about his impartial ways and get a feeling of being under his foster care. We then let our hearts harden, our minds dulled and our actions leaden with the weight of both envy for the fortunate and grief for our own plight. If we only stopped to seek answers in his challenges rather than search for loopholes in the questions God asks of us; if we let our faith be unwavering and our love for him endless; if we accept his wisdom without question, and let our hearts answer it rather than our minds; we will see that God is putting you to the test because you have committed to him that you are his faithful, obedient and loyal follower. Ask any coach and he/ she will tell you that the toughest, most competitive and the mentally tough players are the ones who deliver when the chips are down, the ones whose presence uplifts the team and the one who strikes fear in the hearts of the opponents. You must be that player, hence you are being sought by God to stand up and be counted!

Remember: God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way. The way we learn those lessons is not to deny the feelings but to find the meanings underlying them” Stanley Lindquist

Try these:

  1. Out line the worst experience of your life from age 7 -15 and from 15- to date. What was the feeling you got. Who was to blame or that experience? How did that experience impact your life? Did it make you more resilient or more cynical?
  2. If God were to give you a choice between the following pains which one would you choose and why? Death of a very close loved one? or You going blind?
  3. When in pain; physical or otherwise what would be a religious text you would turn to find comfort, hope and faith in God? It doesn’t matter which religion you belong to or which texts you use; just choose the words that will give you courage. Copy it and put it in your wallet.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Self-Control

Self-control is the quality that distinguishes the fittest to survive. George Bernard Shaw

Ever since Eve tempted Adam with the apple, self control has been a challenge for the human race. Take an example of a simple task of  getting up in the morning when you are cozily tucked in bed, and going for your daily jog and exercise routine. The temptation to enjoy the coziness overwhelms you and only a very determined effort can make you get up and go for the jog. How about your craving for tasty, fattening, calorie filled junk food. How often do you manage to exercise self control and resist all temptation to even nibble at it ?

Self control is not just self denial but encompasses an array of actions including discipline, focus, determination and restraint. Anger, is one of those feelings, that often overcomes even the most timid person and poses one of the biggest challenges in self-control. Impulsiveness and sarcasm come a close second when it comes to exercising self-control. Jumping to conclusions and not listening are not far behind in the list of tough acts that constantly tug at our leash on self control. Temptation is the root cause of all cravings and self- control the antidote.

Remember : “Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.”

Try these

  • List out at least 5 of your most hard to resist temptations – eg watching TV, fried food, sleep, bad habits like biting nails, smoking etc.
  • Draw up an action plan to get a couple of these under control. eg. fasting on a fixed date, disconnecting the TV for a month etc.
  • Reward yourself every week for the self control you have exercised.

This daily blog is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are welcome to visit our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com for more inspirational and motivational material.