Tag: Support

Leave a little sparkle

15- Leave a little sparkle

Most of us go through life feeling that we are just one in a crowd and that no one ever notices us nor values us. Yes it is true that parents would always have a special place for their kids but even that is often liberally sprinkled with do’s and don’ts and an incompleteness that suggests we need to still exceed their expectations.  As a result, we are often trying to match up to expectations, trying to prove a point to others and do not really offer to the world around liberally of our talents, our abilities and our real self. The reality is that our individuality has much to offer that is unique and that is valued by others. It is the little things that we do, that is more significant than the convoluted efforts we make to impress others and gain approval. By being ourselves we are more natural, caring, feeling and expressive.  There is always a lot of sparkle that we leave behind when we are natural not artificial, genuine not put on and when we can freely offer of our self without expectations from others.

Our natural self is often influenced by our upbringing, our family values and the inputs in our formative years in school and social settings. Our own attitudes, beliefs and thinking too have a major bearing on how our personality shapes up. There is a lot of positivity, goodness, care and concern that we are born with but these can be reinforced or negated by influences as we grow up. There is so much that we offer the world around that is valued, appreciated and eagerly sought for without us being conscious about it. So what is it that we can offer spontaneously, amply and freely that will always sparkle up our environment and the people around us?

A smile is obviously the most obvious and easiest sparkle that we can share with others. With a smile we acknowledge another person in a warm way. It is a sure way to state we notice the other person and a way to silently inform that we appreciate their presence. Very often it is also the beginning of a communication and possibly a friendship and a connect. A warm genuine smile brightens up the environment, lightens the mood and livens up the spirit.

Appreciation is something that every individual seeks. It is also something that can be easily given for there is a lot to appreciate in others. We tend to be stingy with our appreciation mainly because we are not aware how effective it is in creating a bond and building up relationships. Appreciation must not be confused with flattery. Appreciation is a genuine expression of a good sentiment towards an other. It can be simply an appreciation of the good work done by someone or your acknowledgment of something good in the other person. The best appreciation is when we respond positively to the individual concerned but we can also be appreciative of the person in a forum or setting where the person is not present.

Empathy is our ability to understand and feel a person’s pain and if possible to act decisively to mitigate it by our actions. Empathy goes a step beyond sympathy in that we don’t merely understand the others pain but we also attempt to walk with the person in discomfort and try to alleviate the pain to the extent possible. We are active participants in the process of healing for the others. This is difficult to spontaneously do because we often tend to hold back our feelings and expect others to ask us for our support.

Encouragement is a simple yet powerful technique that enables one to motivate and support others thereby leaving our little sparkle in their lives. Lots of people constantly need support in their emotional life as well as in coping with the stress of failures. Often they blame themselves for their inability to cope with the challenges they face. As a friend or well wisher or even as a bystander we can perhaps try and take a detached view and offer encouragement to the individual concerned and motivate him/ her to have fresh perspective and try again. With our encouragement we rekindle hope in them and they begin to pursue with greater vigour.

Support comes in many forms. Encouragement is also a form of support. However it is the support that we lend in practical terms like financial support at crucial times, being with them physically when they are in trouble, like when are involved in a calamity, that is really cherished.  One could also support by putting in a word to influencers who can help their cause or just being with them when they are at their lowest depth psychologically and emotionally. Even if we cannot support them directly we must be able to at least guide them to find support or suggest to them alternatives to explore. Even the tiniest of support offered is the little sparkle that you offer them.

Keeping in touch has become easy nowadays because of technology. Yet, it is the personal touch that one craves for. Wishing people or expressing sympathy or forwarding messages through the electronic means has become so easy that it is done with little or no personalization or feeling. The real touch is in our ability to talk, meet, getting together and in giving surprises to those around. This does take both time and effort, but it is the time and effort we invest in keeping in touch that sets us apart from the others. The sparkle that we leave behind is the memories of those wonderful moments when personal touch actually touched the heart. The sparkle of those memories would always be cherished and would always remain priceless.

Try these:

In addition to the above explore how you can leave a sparkle through the following

  • Your manners
  • Your etiquettes
  • Your initiative
  • Your impartiality and fairness
  • Your tone/ language/ conduct
  • Your talents / abilities
  • Your wit/ humor/ presence of mind

 List out the following

  • Names of 2 individuals (other than immediate family) who have deeply influenced you.
  • Recollect 2 wonderful moments from your life where someone played an important part in making it memorable.
  • Can you remember at least 2 incidences where your involvement in some way made a person thrilled and ever grateful for your presence.
  • Are there memories of times when you did not get the appreciation /support or encouragement that you sought from someone? Do you still feel bad about it?
  • Do you remember an embarrassing moment/s when you backed out from offering support / encouragement to someone who placed his/ her faith in you?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Identifying people who have a positive influence

When one looks back on the days gone by, there will be some people and some incidents that you will recall with great fondness. Focus on these people whose memories always bring a smile to the lips and warmth in the heart and you will be transported to a world of nostalgia. If you correlate some of your successes with the influence these people have had on your life, you would be amazed at the volume of positive inputs they have given you. These inputs could be as varied as having full faith in you, encouraging you,  guiding in you, comforting you, giving you tips, empathizing with you, allowing you the freedom to pursue your passion, supporting you when you falter etc.

Here are a set of people who would be ideal people to associate with and benefit from.

Those close to you.  Beginning with parents and siblings, the list includes friends, colleagues, teachers and seniors. Of course it is possible that some of those close to you would find it hard to empathize with your thoughts and views but it is in your interest to give their counter point of view a hearing. The best part of their support is their response is always keeping your best interest in mind.

Those who have a natural flair to be cheerful and positive. Some of these people could be from the above list but it is equally possible that you do meet others who radiate positive energy. It could be trainers, motivational speakers, superiors from other departments, neighbors etc.

Those who you find knowledgeable, fair, impartial and open. These could include people in positions of authority like the principal of an institution or a senior academician, senior executives in your organization, experienced professionals, a friend’s parents etc.

Those who are good listeners.  Anyone who is willing to lend you an ear, pay attention to you and express interest in your thoughts, views, hopes and aspirations. They may counter question, raise objections, have a different point of view but as long as they pay a lot of attention to you, you can be sure their patience and genuine interest will accelerate your progress.

Those who display appreciation, give proactive encouragement and offer creative solutions. You often meet people from varied backgrounds, experiences and views at seminars, conferences, meetings etc. It is possible that they have some insights that are congruent to your line of thinking. If they display interest in your views, ask relevant questions and give encouraging feedback you can be sure you can profitably tap into their vast repository of knowledge, experience and wisdom.

Action Points:

  1. Make a list of 5 people at least 2 of whom are senior citizens and one of whom is younger than you who you believe would be excellent people to associate with and who would appreciate, understand and encourage you.
  2. Can you list out 3 of the best advice that you ever received. How did advice have a major bearing in your life?
  3. Who was the one person who offered you the best solace when you were very low or depressed? How and what did the person do or say to reassure you?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Encouragement does wonders

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success”

One of the casualties of intense competition are the school going children who are constantly prodded by parents to excel at examinations. While it is necessary to ensure that the children study hard and do well in the exams, matters become absurd when parents want their wards to top in all the subjects and focus attention on academics at the cost of sacrificing their games and extracurricular activities. The ultimate damage is done when parents instead of appreciating the success of the youngsters dwell on them having missed on a few marks, find fault with the method of study or berate the children for being careless and or not putting in as much effort as required. It is this irrational criticism that stresses out the children for they would have sought praise for their efforts and encouragement for their performance even if it fell marginally short of expectations.

Over an extended period of time we tend to perfect the art of finding fault, being critical and wantonly berating subordinates in  particular, under the mistaken notion that ‘fear is the key’ to discipline, performance improvement and productivity. While some of these techniques would have some positive effect, the negativity that permeates this approach makes it a very questionable tactics when the chips are down.  On the other hand lavish encouragement and tempered praise would restore self belief, enhance confidence and plant the seeds of positive thinking which can then go on to be the bedrock on which to build success. Often a good mentor or coach will strategically resort to this style especially when things seem hopeless for at the stage human frailty would tempt one to throw in the towel. A good dose of encouragement actually pumps up the recipients, rejuvenates them and they are boosted in their intent and then‘ fortune often favors the brave’

 It is well worth pondering that ‘success is never final and failure never fatal’. Unless we can appreciate the profound truth in this statement, the approach taken would be crass, crude and condemnable for the stick would be given more prominence than the carrot. A very unique and effective technique of encouragement involves leaders standing up and taking the rap when there is failure. This takes both a lot of courage and immense belief in the teams efforts. Going a step further when there is success the leader must take a back seat and let the team members believe that they accomplished it all on their own. The beauty of this approach lies in the fact that the leader has full faith in his/ her team and so ‘failure’ if any is deemed to be a collective failure with the leader standing up for his/ her team members. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam former President of India gives a very vivid and detailed example of this leadership quality that he was privileged to experience firsthand from his leader Prof. Satish Dhawan. See this link to read about it http://tinyurl.com/3dl2mtg

Remember: “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Try this:

  1. Can you recollect 3 of the most demoralizing moments of your life? Who helped you overcome those terrible setbacks? How did you find the strength to bounce back?
  2. How will you use the learning from today’s post in the following situations
  • Your best friend has misplaced your favorite pen gifted by your grandfather and you are distraught and he is just as disturbed as you are.
  • Your colleague is great photographer and one of his photographs is tipped to win a major international competition. Unfortunately due to a technical error his entry is not taken into consideration for evaluation and he is terribly disappointed.
  • Your next door neighbor is very keen to get his son admitted to a prestigious school nearby but for reasons not known the bright child could not make it to the final admission list. Your neighbor and his wife are devastated and their anguish has spelled gloom in the house and the child too is terrified.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Help others too…

Charity begins at home, and usually stays there. Elbert Hubbard

Strictly speaking we must ensure that what we preach is practiced first in our own immediate set up be it our house, society, workplace or social circle. In this context it is obvious that we must make a start by identifying those areas which need out immediate attention and plan out a course of action to bring about the changes that we envisage and implement those plans. Unfortunately we are often tempted to make suggestions and forcefully impose our ideas, plans and beliefs on others where as when we attempt it in own backyards we end up facing stiff opposition.

Let us assume that we passionately believe that we need to go green and so we participate in go green rallies, marches and similar events creating awareness and hopefully getting converts to our cause. However most times when we attempt to implement the same in our immediate family and social circle we meet with stiff resistance for the then the reality is quite different. It would mean things like carry a cloth bag, not getting any plastic bags for any purchases, using products made of natural fiber which have a very short life as compared to a plastic alternative etc.

On the rare times that we are able to get going on a plan that we believe is best for all we attempt it with great gusto. If all are taken into confidence and the plans executed meticulously the immediate success will spur and motivate all those involved and perhaps also influence the onlookers too. While we will be elated by our success it is possible that fatigue sets in and then we lose our zeal and enthusiasm and so we make a pedestrian effort at translating our good intent into concrete action in a larger sphere. The bane of many a good welfare project is that once we taste success at home we are quite content to sit on the laurels and reap the harvest rather than go and sow the seeds of the same all over.

Consider a situation where we are part of a group that is seriously concerned about the quality of water being received and the acute shortage of potable water. We will align with liked minded forces to pursue our common interests. Assume that by a quirk of fate you have been given access to all that you sought and so logically one must support the cause of the rest who are still battling the system. The normal tendency is to rationalize that since your demands are met, it is pointless wasting time, money and energy on supporting the rest. It is this kind of myopic viewpoint that is at the root of labored progress and lopsided growth.

While charity must begin at home, that is not where it must rest; help yourself too but we are duty bound and morally obliged to extend charity well beyond the confines of our own limited homes!

Remember: “Charity sees the need, not the cause”  German Proverb

Ty this:

  1. Identify 2-4 causes very dear to you. How will you first implement it in your own house? Make a plan to ensure that you can later replicate it in your immediate neighborhood.
  2. Make a list of 4-6 personal traits that are often criticized by your family and friends eg. Using foul language when excited/  Making your feeling of disgust apparent when you meet people whom you dislike etc. Can you make a conscious effort to tone down these traits at home? Will you also make the realization and be on better behavior when in public?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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