Tag: Start

Start and then only will you succeed

Action will remove the doubts that theory cannot solve. Tehyi Hsieh

When I first started writing this blog a year ago, on 1st January 2010, I had planned to write around 500 words, daily on the quote of the day. No sooner had I decided on it I was assailed by self doubts. Would I be able to stand up to the rigors of the target I had set for myself? Was I competent to propound on topics / quotes that could stump me? Would I be motivated sufficiently to write consistently and maintain quality? Who would read the blogs? The questions were coming in torrents and with each question I started questioning my own wisdom of setting myself an ambitious target. Fortunately for me, the rational side of my brain was overwhelmingly urging me on to start the blog and then experience the pain and pleasure of the venture before I succumbed to my own misgivings and self doubts.

Today as I complete one year of almost daily blogging, I have realized how true the quote of today proved to be. There have been breaks in my steadfast resolve; there have been times when I was sorely tempted to give it all up and there were times especially during the initial phase when I really wondered if my efforts were worth it. The key is to begin in faith, pursue with purpose and to find motivation along the way in whatever we attempt. Most times we make the startling discovery that most of our fears were imaginary and completely irrational if put to the test.  To test our theories, it is essential that we begin in faith else we will be attempting to fail. Faith in ourselves, our beliefs and our abilities will ensure that we work in earnest, have the fortitude to overcome obstacles along the way and will ourselves to succeed. On the other if our focus is just on making a cursory attempt the chances are that we will give up the moment we run into some problem or encounter some roadblocks for these will reinforce our original theory that we may not succeed.

Although well begun is half done as the popular saying goes, doing the next half of the task requires us to have a definite purpose and focus. Take the case of student studying for a competitive exam. The amount of effort put in to succeed with high marks would be boosted by a larger goal of not just getting good marks but having a more tangible goal like getting into the top 3 universities. In writing my blogs, the goal was not just to write everyday, but to write so that I could influence lives everyday. This gave me the firm resolve to write no matter how tired I was, to work on the posts even when circumstances did not encourage me and to put the posting of the blog posts on a higher priority than what it would be under normal circumstances. Ultimately it is our motivation that is the icing on the cake that makes the whole effort so attractive and alluring. The number of hits on the site (currently around 43,250), the number of followers (currently around 330) and the comments and feedback (check these on https://actspot.wordpress.com/comments/feed/ ) were the motivators that spurred me on to write daily, write passionately and rewrite when the contents didn’t meet my own standards of excellence.

Permit me the liberty of taking this opportunity to thank all my readers and particularly the followers of this blog for their encouraging feedback . The visitor statistic indicates that this blog is fairly  popular and as I understand also motivational and inspirational for many. I would welcome your feedback on how this blog can be improved further and would request your inputs on other/  additional the topics that you want me to cover in this blog .I would also invite you to visit my Weekly Blog. www.poweract.blogspot.com

Remember: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Try this:

  1. If you have liked this blog have you attempted to write a comment or give a feedback? If not what has held you back from giving a feedback? If you disagreed with some of the contents have you expressed yourself? If not can you attempt it now?
  2. If you haven’t listed out your New Year resolution this is the time to do it. Take a pen and paper or simply type in your resolutions on the computer right now. BEGIN working on those New Year Resolutions RIGHT NOW.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Chasing dreams

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” Vincent van Gogh

As we journey through life we are prone to fall into the trap of pessimism, get struck in the rut, believe that failure is an irrevocable tragedy and therefore we do not take courage to think beyond the confines of our perceived abilities and domain.  We are myopic in our thinking, our visualization and our risk taking perception when we get pessimistic and nervous. Yet when we have the urge to think radically, see things differently and imagine possibilities we just need to look at the stars in the galaxy that twinkle surreptitiously and taunt us to aspire to reach the skies like them. While there can be only one moon, there are a million stars that beckon us to chase our dreams and be up there and sparkle every night.

One of the reasons we fear dreaming is that we want to be sure that our dreams will materialize. This is but a catch 22 situation because dreams materialize once we start chasing it. As a result we think small, minimize risks and believe we have limited talents and abilities. On the other hand if we set out to achieve our dreams, then we have at least got started and then we can gather momentum. The other reason we are hesitant to chase our dreams is that we lack the foresight to visualize the scale and success of any dream. We tend to automatically scale our dreams down and then come to the bitter conclusion that it is not worth chasing. We miss out on so many opportunities that way.

Once bitten twice shy is the old adage that is the bane of dream chasers. While failure is hurtful and perhaps very shocking to our psyche, our temptation to succumb to that failure and refusal to attempt again is the real loss for us. We tend to worry, lose confidence in ourselves and worst of all blame ourselves for failure. In this process we are neither objective in analyzing the causes of failure nor are we daring thereafter. No pain no gain is another saying that aptly summarizes the inability of people to chase dreams. Anyone who chases a dream knows that the possibility of failure is embedded in that decision.  Yet most times we try hard to cover all the bases only to realize that competition has got  a head start over us or that we have depleted our resources on frivolous ring fencing exercise. We must have the daring to take chances and calculate risks if we have to achieve our dreams.

Look again at the stars and then we make the profound discover that despite their miniscule size as we see it from here, their light twinkles and catches our attention. We are also aware that they are size able and light years away from us and yet they draw our attention to them. If we look carefully we might even see patterns in them and we know that for centuries the North Star was the traveler’s guide and companion. Can we take inspiration from the stars and find our own north star in our hearts, and map out our own success plans and begin our march towards achieving our dreams?

Remember: “Dreams are like stars…you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.

Try this:

  1. What are your three dreams for this world you live in? Now how can you contribute to those dreams? E.g. Save tigers is your dream. Are you spreading this message? Are you contributing or raising resources for it? Have you adopted a tiger in the local zoo?
  2. Write down your dreams for the following and after that ask yourself what are you doing to achieve it
  • Dream house
  • Dream job
  • Dream holiday

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The fruits of persitence

Courage to start and willingness to keep everlasting at it are the requisites for success.  Alonzo Newton Benn

The easiest thing to do is day dream when awake and dream when asleep and one is transported into a world of pure magic and make belief till we are rudely awakened. It is at this point that we make the painful realization that real life demands that we can attain success only by the courage to begin working towards our dream and more importantly keep at it till we attain it. (Let me take the liberty of sharing a personal example here. For years I believed I was a good writer and I had the right blend of academics to back up this belief. The trouble was, I always believed that I could pen to paper and presto my book would be ready but I just never got around to doing it. On 1st Jan2010 I finally took the first step to write a daily blog. The going was very tough because I was not quite sure that I really could write consistently and interestingly daily. With a wide variety of motivators, particularly the number of views nearly 34,900 at this point and fast growing numbers of followers 260 as on date and the numerous positive feedback and comments, I have managed to write almost every day for 300 odd days)

There are 3 secrets of success. The first is to begin. We often confuse thinking about an activity as the beginning, which is partially true but far too often we are just planning and planning and remain at the drawing board for eternity. In reality what we are doing is giving into our own laziness and lethargy and camouflaging it under the veil of planning since it is done in a very passive way most times. A plan is not even worth the paper it is written on, unless someone actually rolls up his/ her sleeve and BEGINS. It is the execution of the plan that proves that the plan is complete and workable. We do not start because we lack confidence, we are afraid to commit and we fear failure. As long as we are in the planning stage we believe that we can succeed but when we begin there is no looking back for the die has been cast.

The second secret is to persist no matter what the odds are. Anything that we first attempt always seems daunting and tough. Remember the number of times you fell down while learning to ride a bicycle or the tardy and embarrassing attempts at first playing pool/ snooker.  The learning process and the success achieved are testimony to the reality that if we persist we will be able to mange success provided we have the aptitude and attitude for the venture. Aptitude and attitude are very vital qualities that have major bearing on the success of our venture. If one does not have one of the two attributes persistence will be akin to foolhardiness and obstinacy. The key is to do what our heart desires and not to chase goals that we have neither the interest in nor any aptitude for. E.g. It is widely expected that a child of doctor parents will become a doctor but if he/ she chooses to become a painter or historian, there will be societal pressure on him/ her to follow in the parents footsteps. Succumbing to that pressure is a sure shot way to failure.

Success is really established by the third secret viz. consistency and quality of output. Mediocrity is the bane of success, for anyone can attempt and mange to do something without any urge to excel. It is the urge to be excellent, the pride of being recognized, the appreciation of the peers and competitors that one must aim for to really relish success. This involves continuous improvement, benchmarking and strict quality adherence. This is therefore a slow process for there is a lot of trial and error that goes into the process of improvement. When we improve, we enhance the output and establish our own benchmarks of excellence. The beauty of success is that it is not a destination but a journey and so every single day one can savor unlimited success.

Remember: “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”  George Sheehan

Try this:

  1. Outline 3 changes that you will work on to improve your own personality. By Monday ensure that you are implementing your plan and see the results after 1 month. Repeat this exercise every month.
  2. List out your 3 major success in your life and the reason you succeeded. Also list out 3 plans you have for the future that when achieved will be a major success for you.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The TIME for ME is NOW

The most important thing in our lives is what we are doing now.

For every human being, time is the most precious resource for the simple reason that it cannot be replenished. Time lost is lost forever and since it is said that time is money, every second lost is money lost. Viewed differently time lost is actually opportunity lost; for grabbing opportunities is possible only when they present themselves at the right time. Does this mean that the time we waste in gossip, watching TV, sleeping or idling away are a frivolous waste of time?  The answer to this depends on our priorities. Sleep is mandatory but oversleeping is criminal. Similarly watching TV to relax and unwind is excellent use of time except when we become a slave to the TV. Yes even gossip is a social need to bond and possibly let out steam. This brings us to an interesting conclusion, that what we are doing now is the most important thing for us.

The question for most of us now is how to ensure that we do only the most important thing with our time. The trick is to be pragmatic in allocating priorities. Being pragmatic involves knowing what we want to achieve, having clarity on the reason we are pursuing that goal and ensuring that the priority does not rob us from leading a quality lifestyle. Setting goals will help us focus on what we have to achieve. SMART goals vis. Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound goals are what we must set for ourselves. Getting clarity on the compelling need for us to pursue that goal is much more tougher. This would involve us asking some hard questions about the potential benefit of the goal, the effort result payoff and the influence the attainment of the goal has to us personally and to society at large. E.g. Doing a Ph.D after retirement would be a worthwhile goal to pursue, provided we leverage that qualification and learning. Doing a Ph.D just to keep ourselves occupied would be a very poor goal to pursue.  The final question that we need to honestly ask is Are we pursuing a goal and allocating a priority purely for our own self gratification needs? Will the goal we prioritize seriously disturb our family life, our social life and our own personal life?

Why are we so ineffective in managing our time? A large part of that blame rests purely on our shoulders. While there are external time wasters over which we have limited control like telephone calls, meetings being called by seniors, being kept waiting despite having appointments etc. the real culprit is our own personal tardiness and casualness which we can really control. The two biggest culprits that make us ineffective time managers are Procrastination and Decision making.  There are other contributors too like personal disorganization, poor listening skills and our inability to say NO to any time commitments that come our way. The way out is to be aware of these time robbers that we are personally responsible for and either through training or a disciplined approach we have to over come them.

When we are sure that what we do now is what is the most important thing our conscious is at peace, our efforts are rarely in vain, there is a sense of achievement and most importantly we would never have any regrets in life.

Remember: “Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”

Try this:

  1. Prepare your own SMART goals. Make it exhaustive and where ever possible break down large goals into smaller goals with target dates penciled in. Prioritize the list in order of importance and urgency. Ensure you read it frequently and act on it daily. Review your day before going to bed and plan the day before you begin work in the morning.
  2. Attempt this Priorities Test
  • Five things are happening in your house at the same time. In which sequence would you solve them?
    • The telephone is ringing!
    • The baby is crying!
    • Someone’s knocking or calling you from the front door!
    • You hung the clothes out to dry and it is beginning to rain!
    • You left the tap on in the kitchen and the water is already overflowing!

(View the next post in www.poweract.blogspot.com for an interesting interpretation of your time priorities. Ensure that your own answer to the above is kept at hand when going through the interpretation.)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The first step…

The distance doesn’t matter; only the first step is difficult. Madame Marquise du Deffand

Even as I write this post I am acutely aware of how relevant the above quote is, for when I started this blog on 1st Jan 2010 I had plenty of misgivings about my ability to sustain writing regularly. Yet today while writing my 173rd post at the rate of one post a day, I feel a sense of exhilaration, that I began despite my misgivings and that I have a decent readership and realized my own potential. The toughest part of a long journey is the first step for despite our best preparation we are assailed by self doubt and always left wondering if we are really well prepared to begin. Fear of failing is perhaps the biggest single reason for us not even attempting a task let alone beginning a challenging task.

There is always the unknown factor that will be spoilt sport to the best laid plans, but that should never be a deterrent to us aiming high and realizing our dreams. The trick to beginning lies in us being clear about our goals and our ability to break down the goal bound process into smaller manageable intermediary goals. A good example is how a marathon runner plans out his / her strategy. Unless one has a world class timing winning the marathon may not be the real goal but finishing the marathon will be the primary goal. Thereafter the entire marathon is divided into distances to be reached within the preplanned time frames. Depending on the ability and style of the runner the strategy is planned for each stage of the race and a suitable training schedule, diet plan and fitness schedule is designed. The toughest part is to motivate oneself to run daily without missing the training schedule.  The goal  of completing the  marathon is a great motivator and the prior planning provides the right dose of impetus as well as focus for each day’s practice schedule.

Many of us have grandiose ideas and noble intentions which rarely see the light of day. Part of the reason is that we never commit our ides and visions by writing it down. Even if one were to write it down what really sounds the death knell of all good intentions is lack of self discipline. Look at our school days when we all had to follow a time table. Our parents ensured that we left for school on time and out teachers managed the classes and disciplined us well. We did have a similar time table when in college but with little or no supervision we took liberties with the classes and perhaps did not fully realize our potential. To be self disciplined we must be passionate about our goal for then we can visualize us nearing it every day provided we stick to the regime scheduled. It also helps to find innovative self motivational techniques and reward one’s self on attaining the intermediary goals. Eg. For every 2 hours of study plan a break of half an hour of TV viewing or listening to music.

Finally it is important to realize that it is never too late to start. Neither your age nor your background matters if you are passionate about what you really want to achieve. Every great novel began with someone typing out the first word; the greatest chefs must have definitely begun by tasting their own inedible preparations and there must not be a doctor who began life without toying around with a corpse. Different shades of life but one which has a loud message for each of us: START NOW !

Remember: “The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.”  David Weinbaum

Try this:

  1. Make a START by clicking the following link http://poweract.blogspot.com/2010/02/start.html
  2. Jot down some of your passions that you haven’t even attempted or indulged in. Now choose two of them and work out an action plan to ensure that you get going with attempting it before the year is out.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Get going

If we really want to live, we’d better start at once to try. W.H. Auden

Daydreaming is a luxury few can afford although most of us do lapse into the idyllic of it off and on. There is nothing wrong in day dreaming provided we can quickly get back to reality and then roll up our sleeves and put our nose to the grind in the hope of beginning to work towards those utopian indulgences. The problem though is that while we day dream, we get caught up in the tranquility and bliss of those thoughts that we almost believe that we are entitled to enjoy those moments for ever. Obviously when in such a trance it is very tough to get out of our stupor and face the harsh reality called life.

Real living is all about toil and sweat and the mantra holds true for both king and beggar. In fact the richer one gets the more the toil simply because one has to put that extra effort to stave off competition, increase wealth and maintain a healthy life – work balance. True a farmer or a mason may have to do much more strenuous physical labor but there is a criticality in the intellectual efforts required too. The message is as simple as it is complex; get going!

Get going is not simply slogging it out. Pure slogging is merely expending energy without any resultant benefit. On the contrary if one develops a long term perspective and can break that down into intermediary plans with clear goals to be achieved at every stage then the slogging becomes purposeful, progress measureable and soon life begins to get a new hue. We do risk the danger though of being caught up in our own progress and success that we spend more time admiring our handiwork than in completing the task on hand. If we can overcome such interjections, suddenly life becomes more bearable nay more pleasurable and work is not just a verb but a beautiful adjective.

Perhaps this explains why people seek life in adventurous arenas with real risk of danger too like joining the armed forces or the police department. They are passionate about their life for the adrenal starts flowing when they are in uniform and power is what they thrive on. They are well aware of the dangers of their job but perhaps that is what gives them a real high in life. Contrast that with the staid and rather boring work style of an accountant or a back office clerk. They prefer the predictability of the routine, the laid back life style and relative quite and unflappable nature of their job. Interestingly even these slow and routine works requires commitment, meticulousness and plain and simple hard work.

No one can ever afford to laze around unless there is something seriously wrong with his/ her mental health. Life is all about keeping active, enjoying the moments and looking forward to tomorrow. Make today count …Get Going!

Remember: “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” James Dean

Try this:

  1. Re examine your life style. Are you being purposeful and goal driven in what you do? Do you simply follow orders or do you also initiate and go beyond the obvious in executing your tasks?
  2. Jot down 25 priorities in your life and reorder them in order of importance to you. Star working on the first one immediately.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Unless you try…

No one knows what he can do until he tries. Publilius Syrus

Most people when confronted with a new situation or a new task immediately react with a response that they cannot measure up to it. While it is a normal human response to shy away from what is perceived as tough call, a little rational thinking and logic if applied will make us realize that everything is possible unless we try and fail. To put it differently, unless we try how will we know if we are capable of it? Look at our own life and the numerous new tasks that we have tried at first, failed and yet perceived and become experts at it. Remember the early kindergarten days when evening memorizing the alphabets was a challenge and writing it a very daunting prospect. As we grew learning to swim posed a huge problem of fear of drowning and inability to float and yet today we jump into a pool shrieking with delight. Remember the bruised knees when learning to cycle and confusing clutch and brake while learning to drive. When we persisted we mastered!

One reason we fail to try is simply fear of failure. The embarrassment of failure has been the biggest stumbling block to people daring to attempt. Most of us don’t even realize our full potential because we are not prepared to take risks, explore different avenues and are secure in the comfort of the routine. In real, almost all of us fail in our first attempt at anything new and yet with singularity of purpose, a steely resolve and a unquenchable thirst we can repeatedly attempt till we achieve what we set out to do. Look at a small baby’s first attempt at standing up and walking all by itself. The child will fall repeatedly, perhaps even hurting itself in the process but it strives and finally achieves its first baby steps.  One reason for it is its natural instincts but equally important is its carving to walk and lack of fear of falling.

Another major reason for us failing to try is because we are tempted to visualize something new in a grossly distorted manner. Right from seeing the task as much tougher than what it really is, we go on to imagine that it requires superhuman efforts to achieve it and as a lastly  simply rationalize that we are ignorant of how to go about it. True that anything new poses a challenge and sometimes by sheer fluke we may get it right first time but that simply boosts our confidence thought it may also trigger grossly exaggerated expectations from onlookers. Imagine trying to play pool for the first time and in your first attempt you manage to pocket the correct ball. You are acutely aware that there needs to be a right stance and proper style to use the cue and yet the thrill of pocketing the ball remains imprinted in your mind.

Most people don’t try anything new simply because they are happy with the status quo and wonder why they want anything more in life if it involves trying something new. At best we may experiment with new restaurants, new malls and new movies and the like. The common thread being it is near risk free and does not make us get involved too much. Youngsters will attempt to imitate others so as to be up to date on style but in reality they are going with the trend and not really creating something new. It takes a lot of courage to buck the trend be it style, beliefs, goals etc. How many of us are prepared to follow ones heart desire when choosing a future? Do we really have to courage to be trail blazers and change agents? Can we let go the security of our normal life and furrow a different path that may be full of surprises, shocks, difficulties but nevertheless promise tremendous adventure and excitement?  When we can cut the umbilical cord that ties us to our past only then can we say, we tried something new and when we did not succeed we tried again until we succeeded!

Remember: “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” Beverly Sills

Try this:

  1. Attempt a new type of exercise routine. Eg. If you do yoga try aerobics or vice versa. Notice how inhibited you are initially but how you soon gain expertise in the new style.
  2. If you have a secret desire it is time you made a beginning towards attaining it. Whatever your desire put on paper the steps required to achieve it. Then before the week is out start working on step one that you have listed. Eg. You want to learn music. Identify the type of music, the time slot available to you and locate the possible teachers. Begin by at least reading up on the type of music you are interested in.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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


We will not know unless we begin. Howard Zinn

Any new beginning makes a person circumspect, apprehensive and wary for the way things will pan out is never known. This rather limited and inward looking perspective does not encourage people to embrace new tasks with enthusiasm, vigor and vitality; in fact more often than not we approach things tentatively. It is not unusual for people to procrastinate and delay beginning the task as they might be paralyzed with the fear of inadequacy and possibility of not measuring up.  The real answer to all these apprehensions lies in shedding our inhibitions and starting the task.

When starting any task we are beset with numerous questions about the task, the challenges that could emerge whilst doing the task, our ability to competently manage the task etc. If we stop to get answers for these questions, we will be only shadow boxing and not really entering the ring. After a brief initial overview of how to approach the task it is imperative that we hit the ground running thereafter. Once we start, the momentum will easily propel us into the new orbit and we would be able to intelligently allocate appropriate resources to ensure that the task is progressing on track in terms of time and quality. It is then that we really get to know the scope and the intricate nature of the job.

By beginning a task the inertia is neutralized, the focus shifts to the tasks rather than the ghosts that we imagine about the task and we gain a measure of self-worth for we now see ourselves as an integral part of the whole system. Progress, however slight it may be motivates us, the challenges that emerge ignite our creativity and success suddenly looks imminent. This recharges us, rejuvenates us and refreshes us both in mind and body. We cannot visualize the amplified effect of simply getting going unless we get going !

Remember: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” Mark Twain

Try These:

  1. Pick up three tasks that you have planned but never got going. It could be simple tasks like a hobby to be pursued, organizing your paperwork, sorting out your mail inbox or it could be more complex tasks like scouting around for a new accommodation, buying a new car, switching jobs etc. Now write down the various steps to achieve these tasks and start on the first step immediately. Track progress.
  2. Also read the post on Simply Trigger Actionable Results Today http://poweract.blogspot.com/2010/02/start.html

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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