Tag: Success

It is OK to make mistakes.

Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can’t accept your imperfections, that’s their fault.  Dr. David M. Burns

Perfection is what is ideally expected from each one of us; our parents want us to excel in academics and sports and the extracurricular activities. The expectations from teachers, friends and extended family are almost equally demanding. Subconsciously then, we have imbibed the need to be fiercely competitive, strive to be perfectionist and despise mistakes of any sort. There are broadly 3 long term negative consequences of these subconsciously imbibed thoughts .

Our fierce determination to succeed no matter what the means used. With high expectations prodding one along, the pressure to succeed and the terrible fear of failure invariably leads one to find ways and means to succeed. We may find some ingenuous loop holes, interpret the rules to suit our needs and in rare cases even resort to dubious means to succeed. The most common example is the invariably temptation to copy, be it in exams or in assignments. Bribing, cheating, swindling are the invariable scale up of this mentality that pressurizes us to seek success at any cost.

Our reluctance to accept or understand our imperfections When criticized our immediate reaction is to rationalize and often we accept the criticism with poor grace. With rare exceptions almost every time a criticism is leveled against us there is fair bit of truth in it, but alas our mind has been conditioned to accept only praise and acceptance and criticism is taboo. Our imperfections become more accentuated when we face more competition, are exposed to people having superior skills and we face challenges that daunt us. Excuses are the most favored means of deflecting criticism. Fault finding, rebuttal, counter criticism, backbiting are other common means of expressing our reluctance to accept the reality of our imperfections.

Our reduced risk taking ability. The fear of not succeeding, the lack of confidence that comes from the intense pressure of expectations and the inability to accept failure as an acceptable option, forces a person to avoid taking any risks. In life taking a calculated risk is the norm but when our calculations are mentally skewed to ensuring only success then more often than not we prefer not to participate if given the option. Other times we put on a facade of participation giving up too quickly under some pretext, make excuses to prepare others not to expect too much and line up a litany of reasons to rationalize or justify failure or non participation.

All this adds to up to one leading a life filled with numerous negative emotions including remorse, regret, fear, jealousy, doubt and a feeling of inadequacy.  To overcome this one has to do the following 3 things.

Learn to accept the reality. Be pragmatic about ones strengths and weakness. In every race on the tracks there can be only one winner, yet there will be numerous participants who despite their reservations about being the best believe they have a chance for they are one of the best. There are many who participate to gain experience and learn from it.

Be less critical both of self and others. We are often harsh on ourselves especially when we make silly mistakes. In the same vein we can be extremely harsh with others who we perceive to have made silly mistakes. This attitude minimizes our ability to trust ourselves, makes us habitually see the pitfalls and does not infuse enthusiasm to attempt. By being less critical, more tolerant and heartily embracing the outcome of our efforts and that of other irrespective of the results, we can emerge from our self imposed hiatus.

Prepare and participate enthusiastically, embrace failure with grace and try again with fortitude and self belief. Unless one has taken efforts to succeed mere participation won’t result in success. Just as studying is a prerequisite even for the most brilliant to succeed it is essential that one prepares before enthusiastically participating. Thereafter the outcome should not be seen as indication of either a comprehensive success or a decisive failure but merely as a fair outcome. Let not failure impede your will to try again nor let a fluke victory be seen as the pinnacle of success. What is important is to try to exceed the benchmarks attained.

Remember: The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. Elbert Hubbard

Action Points:

  1. Choose the one or two aspects of your life that you are most criticized for and try to resolve the issue by trying consistently for a month. Eg. Reducing your weight/  girth or a bad habit of being critical of everything / your tendency to overuse certain words like you know, ummm., hmm, you see  etc.
  2. Try the following simple activities and see if you can overcome your own inhibitions.
  • Thread a needle
  • Learn 3 new words every week and use it in your communication
  • Find something positive everyday in someone you dislike
  • Experiment with something goofy eg. Wearing mismatched clothes/ wearing a hat to work (if that is not part of the attire)/ surprising your friends/ colleagues with some goodies for no particular reason.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Dear Friends,

Today’s post is very different from the normal posts. I am taking this opportunity to share with some salient features of this blog and to update you about how it has shaped up over the last year and a half. For me, the very thought that I have managed to last so long in my quest to share with you some Inspirational and Motivational content is both  an exhilarating feeling and a humbling thought. Exhilarating because this blog has achieved a milestone of over 70,000 views and 500 followers in this realtively short span of time.  A BIG THANK YOU to EACH of you who visit the blog and especially for the 500 odd ardent followers of this blog. I am humbled by the realization that but for your encouragement, this blog would never have reached these milestones.  A special thank you to the many followers, who have given their comments, rated the blog and passed on the links to friends and contacts.

In January 2010 when this blog began, I kept an ambitious target of writing every single day. The first few days were heady for in the initial enthusiasm I was able to keep writing daily. Reality soon hit me hard, when within a few weeks, the effort became laborious, the ideas stopped flowing and the rather forlorn thought that no one was reading my blog became a big dampener. Fortunately for me a few colleagues, some friends and surprisingly a number of strangers soon signed on as followers and then overnight I felt responsible to ensure that they were given their daily fix of Inspirational and Motivational inputs. I am proud that in the first 365 days I managed to write for a good 340 days or so and some of the days I didn’t post was simply because I was overseas then.

This year 2011, I have cut down my posts drastically. The strain of writing everyday was a wee bit too much and once I had proved to myself that I could write every single day, the challenge was missing too. More importantly, there have been other commitments that have taken centre stage and so the blog has had to bear the brunt of it. I am not too disappointed though primarily because I also got some feedback that there was reader fatigue since the daily posts saturated their ability to imbibe the contents, attempt the Try This and experience the learning. I also noticed a steady drop in feedback and rating which to my mind also signaled an overdose of the blog. However there have been a few ardent fans who have kept inquiring why I have cut down on the blog posts and they have reinforced the belief that my work is not in vain. The sudden spurt in followers over the last couple of months has also been very encouraging. I shall definitely be writing the blogs, perhaps twice a week.

I would welcome FEEDBACK from each one of you about the blogs, my sharing today and would welcome both bouquets and brickbats if any. I would urge you to continue to patronize the blog, spread word about it to those who you feel will benefit from the contents and be assured that I shall continue to pontificate as before.

I take this opportunity to Thank Each One of YOU once again for your support, patronage and appreciation  of both www.actspot.wordpress.com and www.poweract.blogspot.com

Wishing each of you success in your endeavors and in having a fulfilling life filled with love, happiness and contentment.

Warm regards

B.Jacob

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The little things add up

Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things. – Frank A. Clark

As you read this post, notice that it is actually alphabets put together to form words which are placed logically to form sentences. The sentences in turn are arranged sequentially to ensure that a whole thought is expressed and the paragraph contains about one or two ideas. The paragraphs taken to gather will form the sum total of the major subject being elucidated. The key learning is that to translate ideas into tangible offerings, one has to traverse the humble and often painfully slow paths without excluding even the most lowly process. The big accomplishments are actually the fruits of the labor that one puts in with faith, hope and competence.

A close study of the lives of the well know personalities in history be it politicians, philosophers, artistes, musicians, sportsmen etc. would bring out some interesting facts. Without exception each one of them has had to begin in humility, pursue in earnest, work unceasingly and constantly cope with the pain of failure and yet retain their determination, drive and discipline even when standing on the slippery mount of success. A sportsperson provides the perfect example of how the little things in life actually add up to reflect the major accomplishments in their lives. Kenya and Ethiopia throw up the maximum  number of world class middle distance and long distance runners. Also most all of them come from impoverished backgrounds and credit their success to the long distance they travelled as children particularly while going to school. The high altitude and harsh climatic and topographical conditions just helped them become more resilient and sturdy.

It is also important to appreciate that big accomplishments are also relative. For a person coming from an uneducated background, going through school and college would qualify as a major achievement. For an athlete representing his school, college, state and country would be the natural progression of achievement. For a management trainee achievement could begin with getting confirmation as an employee and then climbing the corporate ladder possibly to become the top honcho. On the other hand the parents of new born’s will look out for the baby’s smile and the first tender steps he/she takes and the first words the child says as major accomplishments of the child. While a child’s achievements while growing up would be the result of biological evolution, each of those achievements signals a healthy development and the accomplishment of small but critical stages of growth. The similar feeling of small accomplishments translating into big achievements is experienced by the uneducated when they learnt to read and write and the sportsman when he gets his first and subsequent selections.

Remember: “My mother taught me very early to believe I could achieve any accomplishment I wanted to. The first was to walk without braces.”  Wilma Rudolph quotes (First American woman Runner to win three gold medals at a single Olympics. 1940-1994)

Try this:

  1. Read up on Wilma Rudolph ( she was suffered from polio before she became an Olympic winner) http://tinyurl.com/47duhb6 and on http://tinyurl.com/cm3el3
  2. Outline your major accomplishments in the following categories and also think of 3 reasons why  / how you achieved that success.
  • Academics
  • Sports
  • Honesty
  • Friendship
  • Positive Thinking
  • Overcoming some fear

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Footsteps to success

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Sir Winston Churchill

Even if one is born with the proverbial golden spoon, failure is an unannounced visitor that will drop by at the most inopportune moment. For the less fortunate, failure is a constant companion, despite the best efforts to befriend success. Failure obviously conjures a negative, unsavory and avoidable image in our mind and so we often side step the issue of failure even if it is looming large or literally staring us in the face. Escapism is the first reaction of those who are paranoid about failure. However escapism is only a temporary relief with the probability of it turning into catastrophe remaining very real. So the question uppermost in our mind is ‘How can we cope with failure’?

The first step is to accept the reality that failure is an unavoidable evil that we cannot escape from. Once we are prepared to accept this reality, then we are prepared to face it fairly and squarely when we stumble upon it or when failure pays us a visit. Most times, we cannot recognize failure because we are not prepared to believe that we can fail. Accepting the reality about failure, allows one to be forewarned and forearmed to identify and square up with failure when the time comes.  More importantly we won’t brush aside failure as just a passing phase but we would give it the importance that it deserves so that we learn from it and use the learning to our advantage.

This brings us to the second step in tackling failure viz. learn from our failures. This is a very tough step because the natural tendency when we fail is to rationalize it. In addition we try to find a scapegoat to blame or conjure up numerous reasons to deflect attention to our own shortcomings that was responsible for the failure.  There are times when the failure is taken so personally that we try to blank it out completely but refusing to analyze it or even talk about it. On the other hand we must pay attention to our failures and study it closely to find out the reason for our failure. That way one can pinpoint our mistakes and take corrective action.

The final step is to enthusiastically correct the mistakes and never give up pursuing your goal. Correcting a mistake is often very tough because it hurts the ego. To do it enthusiastically takes a lot of conviction and a strong will. The true test of a person’s character is reflected in the person’s ability to not just correct mistakes but to do it with zeal and enthusiasm. Unless the person is enthusiastic the will to learn and improve will be lacking. In the long run to be motivated and pursue ones goal, mistakes have to be taken in ones stride and corrections effected to proceed ahead. True success is not merely in attaining a goal but in also enjoying the process and striving to set bigger, better and even more challenging goals. It is when one can enthusiastically overcome every failure that one has developed the right mindset to pursue success, more success and still more success.

Remember: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”  Herman Cain

Try this:

  1. Take a daily news paper and attempt to do the crossword or Sudoku or any of the other challenges. The challenge is to do it for at least a week continuously and to enthusiastically work on it and improve your performance.  After a week ask if you are enjoying it or finding it painful and laborious. If it is painful and or laborious find reasons for it and work out your won solutions. Eg. If you chose Sudoku and don’t like dealing with figures then change the game to a word game or attempt to like figure work.
  2. List out 3 aspects of your daily work that you dislike immensely or are prone to make too many mistakes.  Attempt to find a way to either like the work / do it efficiently by motivating yourself properly or find an alternative to ensure the job is efficiently done.

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

Achievements

Always aim for achievement, and forget about success. Helen Hayes

To achieve success one has to chart out the course of action and mark out the critical milestones that will set you on the right path. Reaching each milestone in itself is an achievement but success is attained only when we have crossed every milestone along the way. It is therefore imperative that while we must seek success as our ultimate goal, we must aim to first achieve every milestone that we have marked out along the way.

If we just look at our own life, we would observer that it is interspersed with an amazing array of experiences. While not all of these experiences would be too our liking, we would on hindsight also realize that many of those unpleasant experiences were the fountain of great learning and often a painful test of our fragile nerves. At this juncture if we reexamined our own life, it would also dawn on us that the most bitter experiences were those when we passionately aimed for success but came a cropper. The hurt was not just failing but the injury to our ego and our inability to accept that we could go wrong. On the other hand if we focused on doing our best, achieving the intermediate tasks and steadily progressing towards our ultimate goal we would be realistic when we start slipping up. This would enable us to refocus on our limitations, seek help if need and try again to get back on track.

Occasionally we are confused as to what is achievement. Take an example of a person participating in a marathon race. If he/ she has practiced for the event and has a realistic target for himself/ herself then meeting that target is an achievement. Exceeding that target is success. Assume that you have simple target of just completing the marathon irrespective of the timing. If you have managed to go ¾ of the way and then given up, you may view it as a failure. However if you factor in some extraneous factors like excessive heat, a sudden bout of illness prior to the race, some unexpected news that caused stress etc. you will still consider your timing an achievement. You can even look at it as a roaring success if you achieved what you never thought you would when you started the race.

The subtle message is that every achievement is a success provided we can orient ourselves to see our achievements in the right perspective.

Remember: “The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one’s opportunities and make the most of one’s resources.” Vauvenargues, Marquis de

Try these:

  1. Assume your sibling/ spouse is a great fan of a celebrity and they would be thrilled to bits if you can somehow get them an audience with that celebrity. Work out how you will attempt to make this a reality? What will be your major achievement and what will determine that you were successful?
  2. What is the one quality that people say you need to add to your repertoire to multiply your effectiveness. How will you work out a plan to acquire this critical competency in the next 6 months?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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