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Posts Tagged ‘Self Development’

6-6-feb-17-what-is-your-excuseExcuses come naturally to us. It is our defense mechanism against inertia, criticism and failure. Part of the reason is our upbringing. As children, if we were encouraged, appreciated and motivated chances are that we minimize excuses and focus on getting results. On the other hand, if as children we were discouraged from exploring, criticized for failing and shouted at for the mess created rather than appreciated for the outcome, excuses are the only shield we have to take refuge under. Unfortunately, over time, excuses become an extension of our personality and we rationalize every unsavory action of ours with creative excuses, most times merely fooling ourselves.

Once we remove excuses from our lexicon the benefits are enormous; just try it and see the difference.

You begin to dare/ explore – Fear of failure and criticisms are the two red flags that often derail our hopes and ambitions. We limit our actions to only those that we are sure will succeed, those that meet approval of peers and elders and those that are tried and tested. We have ready excuses for anything untoward. Give up excuses and then you become more daring and start exploring options that you are passionate about. Success and failure are just milestones/ markers along the way not millstones that weigh you down.

You discover hidden potential – You give expression to your passion, move out of your comfort zone and discover talents and potential that remained dormant within you. You do not have to rationalize your actions or the consequences; no excuses for anything; you take responsibility. Dare do win is your only motto.

You become creative – When failure is not a fear, when justification is not needed, then excuses have no place in your lexicon. You can give expression to your inner spirit, the vivid imagination you have, the adventure of a lifetime with you owing no one an explanation or justification. No excuses needed; more life explored; fun and failure is just a phase of life but the process is what brings the thrill.

You do not fear failure – If at first you don’t succeed you just begin to try again. If you find that you were following the wrong trail in life, all you need to do is change tracks with no excuses for your actions or the past. No fear of failure comes from the freedom of not having to explain or justify or give excuses.

You succeed – Success is not just a destination; it is actually the enjoyment of the journey. The destination is merely a marker in life that tells us how far we have come. Every moment is a challenge, so also an opportunity to make life more colorful and meaningful. When we leave behind the baggage of excuses to be given we are no longer weighed down by expectations, More importantly we are on a journey in which we set the pace, the destination and the breaks. Every move forward is success for we have traversed ahead. No excuses, no regrets, no failures, no finish line.

Try these:

  1. How can you color up the monotony of your work life, personal life and social life? Be creative, be daring, explore and act.
  2. Find creative ways to do the following:
  • Overcoming a bad habit / addiction
  • Becoming more productive in the work place and at home
  • Surprising friends and family
  • Overcoming an inhibition or fear
  • Picking up a good habit
  • Increasing your savings every month

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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13-26- life is about creating yourself

Take a second look at the picture before you read further. Is that a male or a female protagonist? Do you see YOURSELF in it?

There are times in our life when we ask some difficult to answer questions of ourselves. Who am I? Why was I born? What am I supposed to do with my life? How can I make a success of my life? What are my value systems? What motivates me? What influence do I have on others? If you haven’t asked these questions of yourself perhaps this is the best time to ponder over them. The answers will become the blueprint for you to create yourself anew!

No matter what your age, gender, background or status in life you can still improve, grow, change and create the person you want to be. Here is how you go about it.

Think out of the box – Either due to peer pressure or a lack of self confidence, most of us have trodden the beaten path, often to our omnipresent regret. So now is the time to dust the cobwebs in the mind, crank up the shaft of imagination and get the engine of life started. You should now identify your passions, imagine varied possibilities, visualize the happiness you can embrace and try to touch the pot of gold at the end of that imaginative rainbow. To make it more meaningful channelize your imagination into broad categories. It could be categories like personal happiness, comfort and security, my indulgences, philanthropic initiatives etc or it could be simply personal goals, financial goals, professional goals, self growth goals etc.

Sketch your own blueprint – Now that you have imagined it and possibly embraced and touched your dreams figuratively, it is time you actually sketched it out literally and figuratively. This goes a little beyond writing down your goals and is not so difficult to sketch, just in case you are worried that you are no Picasso. All you need to do is take the effort of identifying specifics about your dream and you can either physically create a dream book or have it done as a PPT. The key is to get the specifics clearly visualized. E.g. Don’t say I have a dream car that I hope to own  but instead find the picture of your dream car and paste it.

Assemble the resources needed– If you have started on your dream book or the dream PPT, you have assembled the most crucial resource. If you haven’t done this, stop reading further and at least open a new PPT and call it MY Dream Outline. The key resource that actually limits our dreams from taking wings is financial security; either lack of resources or the fear of going bust. So think long and hard on how best you can cope with this uncertainty. Jot this down too for now you have begun to assemble the brick and mortar required to give concrete shape to your personal blueprint. Now that you have got the right start don’t get bogged down by self doubt, fear of failure, lack of motivation, criticism or any form of negativity from forces within or outside. E.g. If you have identified that being a Chef is your dream but your family consists entirely of engineers, once you have put pictures of dreams menus, dream kitchen, the chef coat and perhaps even your dream eatery you will reinforce your self belief.

Begin from anywhere but begin – Lethargy and self doubt often paralyze good intention. They bring about rigor mortis in the living. The most common excuse for not giving life to your good intentions is that you do not know where to begin. Ever tried pushing a stationary car? It is tough to get it moving but once it gets the initial thrust it is easy to push it. The same principle of physics applies to life too. So the stress must be on beginning. Then keep that momentum going somehow. Look at the picture above and you will notice that the protagonist is sketching the left leg even though the right feet is still undone despite the rest of the right leg being fleshed out.

Give it the finishing touch with love – Sometimes we fail to live upto our expectations and it can deflate our ego / self confidence at other times we get irritated and frustrated and occasionally we just get over with the challenge we set ourselves as an antidote to our feeling of being a failure. No matter where we are in the continuum of our pursuit, the outcome even if half done must measure up to our standards of excellence. This is possible only if we enjoy what we do and inject a healthy dose of love in to doing what we want to succeed in. e.g. list out those tasks that are terribly boring for you but inevitable.  Now visualize yourself doing an excellent job of the task and do it with that spirit. You will find a marked improvement in the end result. To give you a more tangible example have you ever gone through the process of covering your younger sibling or children’s school notebooks. After some time it is get boring, tedious and frustrating. If you simply see each neatly covered book as a a thing of beauty or if you can see the joy of the child when he/ she sees the neat pile of books your output will be fabulous.

Try this:

  1. Identify 3 tasks that your mom or best friend does exceedingly well but something you haven’t ever tried. Your challenge is to attempt each of these tasks over the next 2 weeks and show improvement in each attempt.
  2. Try and make a kite and try to fly it along with a group of children. (Ideally I suggest you try and make more than 1 kite so that you have one or two more spare kites just in case the first one gets cut loose or torn)
  3. Write down what you would do with the following sums of money
  • If you had 1 USD
  • If you had 100 USD
  • If you had 1000 USD
  • If you had 10,000 USD
  • If you had 1,00,000 USD

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Any concern, too small to be turned into a prayer, is too small to be made into a burden. Corrie ten Bloom

There is no single day in our life when we are not beset by concerns; small or big , rational or irrational, manageable or unmanageable. Corrie ten Bloom, has succinctly put across this point that, while every one has concerns, if we do not pray for deliverance from that concern, then it is never a burden but just an irritant. For example, one key concern that distinguishes human being from the animals is our constant concern about managing our time. Yet how often do we pray that we must be given the wisdom to utilize our time effectively?

If your concerns are very serious, then you constantly worry about it and seek help from specialists, experts, family and friends and of course from the almighty. While the PUSH formula Pray Until Something Happens (see the PUSH post dated 23rd Dec.2009 in our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com to know more about it) is a great comforter and tranquilizer for the soul, it has to be supplemented by our personal belief and a healthy rational for it to be effective. Far too often, we in our anxiety and desperation, tend to visualize our problems as fatal, unfair and unbearable, psyching ourselves into experiencing phantom pains and frightening visualizations.

Paradoxically, a more common practice amongst the large majority, is our habit of blaming, what in our opinion are trivial demeanors and indiscretions, for our transgressions like being late, coming ill prepared, doing a tardy job or not doing a job at all. Worse still is our feeling that we are absolved of the transgressions once we have apportioned blame. We view these indiscretions and transgressions as minor concerns but if it repeatedly and routinely becomes part of your personality, it is no longer a minor matter but something snowballing into perhaps a cancerous personality disorder. When we do not pray for deliverance from such weakness, does it mean that they are not major concerns? Certainly not; in fact not praying for deliverance is a sure sign that, what in reality is turning into a major problem is seen by us as plain hiccups of daily life and just minor concerns. Alas the reality is that we are blissfully ignoring the symptoms while the disease is gnawing us bit by bit.

Remember: “What I must do is all that concerns me. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Try these:

  1. There are many social issues that concern each one of us. It could be environmental pollution, garbage disposal, rising trend of accidents, blood donation, education for the poor, economically weaker, child labor etc. Choose one or two of these and make it you personal social concern. Outline ways and means you will get involved in these concerns so that is it not just a concern but a social evil that is challenge close to your heart.
  2. From the numerous resolutions you have made, select one or two that you think need immediate attention. It could be undergoing a personality development course, or learning a new computer language or working towards owning your own house etc. The scope of your resolution or the magnitude is not important, but the focus should be on the urgency of it. Preparer an action plan and start implementation immediately. Share your plans with a close friend who you can request to monitor your progress and give your feedback, encouragement and also reminders when you are slipping.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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

Observe children playing and you will notice, that they are enjoying with gay abandon their pursuits. If we analyze this phenomenon, you will realize that it is not just that they are doing what they like best, but giving of their best in the process and this is what doubles their joy and triples their fun. Examine our daily routine, and you will be hard pressed to find that sort of gay abandon in your routine. If you do a clinical examination of your day, it is possible that you will discover some interesting facets that you were blissfully unaware, that camouflaged your efforts from being truly satisfying and rewarding. (Before you read on, can you pause and take a pen and paper and attempt to retrace the activities of the previous two days of your life, putting it into hourly slots?)

If you have the list ready, carefully analyze it and mark out which activities and how many hours of the day gave you 100% satisfaction. Continue this analysis for 75% -50%-25%-1% and then ask yourself; what was the difference between the activity that gave you over 75% happiness and satisfaction and the one on the lower end of the scale. How many of the activities were initiated by you. How many of them were forced on to you. How of them were unavoidable? What were those activities that you did for yourself/ your family/ your friends & colleagues/ your company/ job specific etc. Can you see any correlation between activities initiated by you and higher satisfaction or activities done for yourself and family / friends and higher satisfaction? The converse must be true for the other activities.

The learning’s from the analyses done would give us the following points.

  • When we do things that we like or what we volunteer for or what motivates us, we are willing to give our 100% to that activity. Since we cannot always do what we like nor commit too much time volunteering, we need to motivate ourselves to perform a good job when there are tasks that are to be undertaken by compulsion.
  • The routine is invariably boring since it is often repetitive and has limited scope for variety. You need to be creative in tackling such tasks. Creativity can take many forms, from visualizing the task in a different way to tackling the job in a unique way or exploring alternatives to simplifying the task etc.
  •  Occasionally we get overwhelmed by the scope of the tasks on hand. This results in what we call paralysis by analysis, wherein we keep studying the task but not beginning it. The net result is procrastination and the hope is that the task will get solve over time. In reality, the criticality of the task gets increases, your anxiety levels o up and the possibility of failure keeps looming threatingly. The cure to this is to START. (See the post in  our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com on Simply Trigger Actionable Results Today)
  •  We also, if we are very honesty to ourselves, realize that our personal weakness plays a critical role in poor performance. That is when we make half hearted attempts, display a shallow temperament, find excuses to justify failure, pass on blame etc. The remedy is to address the personal weakness and fortify yourself by academic inputs/ openness to feedback/ getting professional help by way of counseling or attending specialized training like Personality Development or Effective Communication Skills

Remember: To tell yourself ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination’

Try These:

  1. In your daily chores / routine there would be many tasks that you fin hard to do or dislike. List out 2-5 such tasks. Now make a special effort to objectively look at each task and make 3-5 points on how you can get yourself motivated to do the task, Alternatively how can you circumvent the task or delegate it officially.( This is not avoiding the task but handing over the task to someone more competent or more interested or more prepared to do it)
  2. What are those tasks that you love to do? Are there ways to improve upon it? Can you add more value to it? Are there other tasks that you can club with it so that the net outcome is even better than the two tasks being done independently? What is it that motivates you in doing these tasks? Are there other tasks that you can take on based on similar motivational factors being present in those tasks?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com.

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

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Sum up at night what thou has done by day. Lord Herbert

 A long tiring day, in which you have given of your best, provides the ideal setting for a sound sleep. You can have not just a good sleep, but a very refreshed morning too, if you take a few minutes before bed time to reflect on the day gone by. The challenges that you met, the pleasures that you got during that day, the satisfaction of meeting targets and overcoming obstacles, the unfortunate failures that you encountered, the disappointments of incomplete work and inconclusive meetings all add up to make us aware that at end of day there is still unfinished business to be worked on tomorrow.

In reflecting on the day, we can see a pattern in our life, the sense of purpose, the script for the morrow and the rewards of our labor. It leaves us with a sense of contentment, sweet tastes of success, a wee bit of disappointment for the failures and a load of hope for the new day. There is a fresh purpose to the morning, a clearer vision of the path ahead and a purposeful planning to make the new day even better than the previous. More than anything else, reflecting on the day gone by gives us a balance between family, work and self!

Reflection brings to the fore the things we have taken for granted, the people whom we so badly depend upon but ignore often and the tons of opportunity given to us which we have either grasped or lost out on. Reflection is our way of making peace with ourselves, our method of rationalizing our actions and the fruits of it and is a reality check for mind, body and soul.

 Remember: To get a sound sleep, a clear conscience is the best pillow.

Try these:

  •  Maintain a diary or a private blog to write down the summary of the day. Write at least two accomplishments in the day, one shortcoming and new learning you have picked up.
  • Also ask yourself if you could have delegated some work, taken on some new challenges, done something in a different way, planned the day better etc.
  • Try and outline the plan for the next day. Ensure that you have inbuilt time for yourself and family too. Also work on how to improve your own motivation level as also how you can be more creative and motivate others around you.   

This blog is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are invited to also visit our weekly inspirational and motivational blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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