Tag: Take risks

Activating intelligence

Action is the real measure of intelligence. Napoleon Hill

Without exception, each and every normal individual is blessed with some skill sets and intelligence. Yet when we look around we find that there is a very small minority that has actually utilized their knowledge, their intelligence and their abilities to grow and make a mark in the world. A quick reality check would reveal that many of our own classmates who were toppers, extroverts, go getters and deemed sure shot successes when they grew up, fell far short of our expectations and languished in mediocrity.  Unbelievably, there could also be a remarkable few who beat all odds, surprised most of us and provoked the envy of many by their remarkable achievements and success stories. The success of the latter and disappointments of the former can be attributed to be the outcome of actively using the intelligence in a practical way rather than merely demonstrating it in a class room setting.

As they say ‘ A ship is safe in harbor but that is not what it is made for’. Similarly all the education and intelligence must be utilized in the cauldron of daily living be it at home, the work place, the social setup or the occasional mundane chores that engulf us. This would imply that one uses not only the academic skills but also become worldly wise, street smart, creative, bold and experimental. The learning is actually put to the test when an individual goes well beyond the text book, the laboratory experiments, the perceptions of doomsday predictors and emboldens himself/ herself to challenge the conventions, the stero types and take the ‘ road less travelled by’.

Here are 3 ways to put one’s intelligence into action.

Be creative: The problem that people face when they come out from a rigid and structured education system is their tendency to be logical, to seek solutions in the confines of available knowledge and their fear of being seen as inadequate if they cannot find solutions where they search for. It is not that they cannot imagine or visualize but fear of failure, ridicule and pressures of deadline corrode they self belief and dampen their spirits.

Take calculated risks. The ability to take risks separates the winners from the losers. Yet we would see a number of risk takers who also fail along the way. There are two conditions to be fulfilled in order to mitigate risks. The first is to be aware of the consequences of failure and the second is to discern when to quit and when to relentlessly pursue. Calculated risk takers invariably have loads of self belief, a variety of hedging strategies and fall back options and the guts to take a hit on the chin without flinching.

Experiment.  They say other than death and taxes, change is the only other constant. It is therefore inevitable that we gear up to meet the change as it unfolds. Anticipating change is challenging but introspection, visualization and experimentation will enable one to proactively innovate to keep ahead of the competition. Failures which are inevitable when experimenting should be seen as learning experiences and radical ideas must be allowed to blossom if experimentation has to become a mantra for activating success.

Remember: It is better to have a fair intellect that is well used than a powerful one that is idle. Bryant H. McGill

Try this:

Attempt to make a list of additional features you believe the following gadgets must incorporate

  • A fridge
  • A mobile phone
  • An ATM machine
  • A lap top
  • A bicycle

Find 5 unique uses for the following

  • A tooth brush
  • A pair of shoes
  • A cricket bat
  • The first object that you pull out of your pocket 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

To see the valley you need to go to the edge

In order to find the edge, you must risk going over the edge. Dennis Dugan

Except for those who have a morbid fascination with the taking risks and walking the tightrope daily, the overwhelming majority is risk averse and prefers to play safe.  Yet in our day to day life many a decision we take has an element of risk associated with it that is inescapable; be it simply crossing the road, eating in a way side eatery or making friends online. However consciously flirting with risk is not really everyone’s cup of tea and the rare times we are forced to take the risks we weigh all the options, try to insurance against the worst case scenario and take a decision with great trepidation.

Yet there are times when the inner urge, the sheer lure of temptation and an inexplicable attraction draws us to experiment with risks. These could be in diverse spheres of life, be it in adventure sports like paragliding or sky diving or it could be risks in taking leveraged positions in the stock markets or even in relationships where the consenting parties are completely incompatible by the yardsticks of this world yet share a strange intimate bonding even though it may be fragile. What is common to these risks is that the danger is real, it is perceptible and yet it is that danger which we are willing to risk that gives the high to those who seek glory, happiness and success.

The circus provides a live and evergreen example of people who find the edge and take the risks. Each act and each performance is fraught with risks despite the fact that the parties are well trained and well equipped. The participants know the risks and yet revel in displaying their risk taking abilities and find ecstasy in the thunderous applause of the audience. In our growing up years, many of us have also taken such risks by not studying enough for the exams and daring to attempt the question papers. Choosing a career too has an element of risk but it is setting up an independent business that really brings one to the edge of the precipice for there are teething troubles, issues with scaling up and getting customers and payments always remain a daily challenge. Yet the sense of freedom to operate, the pride of having established ones self and the possibility of ramping up the operations often give us the daring to take the plunge.

For the modern generation who are brought up on a liberal dose of reality TV, it is these very TV auditions that provide the risk, the reward and also loudly rings the death knell to the ambitions of many a hopeful . Unless one dares to participate one can never knows ones mettle and when one gets rejected and is told the bitter truth of being incompetent or not being good enough one has already gone over the edge and the fall is harsh, hard and heavy. There are other times when someone has to bite the bullet and express the truth in relationships. Initiating a divorce is perhaps one of the toughest chasm that one of the two partners/ spouses has to boldly initiate, which often is much to the chagrin of the other. If both parties are mature the divorce is often by mutual consent and the relationship continues harmoniously despite the relationship having walked along the edge for a long long time.

Remember: “You have to risk going too far to discover just how far you can really go.”  Jim Rohn

Try this:

  1. Watch some of the videos of wild life enthusiasts who take risks photographing and observing the wild animals.  Here is a video link to the antics of the Steve Irwin the Crocodile Man http://tinyurl.com/2ygc32
  2. You will also enjoy this motivational clip ‘Even Eagles need a push’ that emphasizes the need for baby eagles to be pushed over the edge to discover their Eagle Power to soar the skies. http://tinyurl.com/6g3rdyu
  3. Make a list of the riskiest thing you did when
  • You were in school
  • You were in college
  • At your work place
  • When in a relationship
  • When confronted by another powerful adversary (eg. Principal/  boss at work/ burglar etc.)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Dream big

A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows.  John Powell

If we see some of our major achievements in our lives, we would feel elated at some and a trifle disappointed at others. The ones which we are thrilled about are invariably those in which we have achieved some tremendous success and possibly scaled some dizzy heights. What disappoints us often are achieving relatively lesser success where in our view we set our standards a lot lower and could have excelled far beyond our own accomplishments.

The realization that we did not think beyond our comfort zone and our fear of failure are two critical reasons why we are unable to stretch our imagination and widen our horizons. Moving beyond our comfort zone poses problems because we are not used to thinking big nor are we having the conviction to attempt something different. At best we move the bar a wee bit more and then since we are not convinced ourselves our efforts to attempt it are also feeble and half hearted. Obviously when the crunch time comes we may not achieve the goals set and we reinforce our belief that we should not try too much.  Most times it is fear of failure that is the mill stone that bogs us down. When our focus is to avoid failure rather than achieve a spectacular win, we are completely risk averse. The fear paralyzes us and the word failure conjures images of shame and loss of face. In reality failures should spur us on to prove that we are up to the challenge. Very few of us take this as the trigger to set our eyes on bigger goals and worthwhile challenges.

Lack of a worthwhile motivation can also prove to be a dampener when it comes to seeing beyond the visible horizons. Unless we can see a reason, a reward, honor, glory or the sense of ecstasy at the end of the journey, we would not even attempt anything that we perceive as risky, daunting and cumbersome. Motivation is what acts as the carrot that teasingly dangles ahead and we are keen to grab it even if the challenge is way beyond our capabilities. The vast majority cannot think beyond simply because of sheer laziness and / or they have always operated within a regimented paradigm.  When people prefer to do bare minimum work and operate within their own set routine and parameter, there is very little scope to be adventurous and imaginative. They would dream of spectacular triumphs and ground breaking achievements but would shy away from even visualizing it when awake. They are just satisfied with the routine, the time tested and the limited role they have chosen for themselves.

Remember: Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.  George Bernard Shaw

Try this:

  1. Examine your wardrobe and observe the commonality in the majority of the attire you have; patterns, colors, styles, designs etc. Now consciously attempt to procure 3 items of clothing that are visible to everyone which is completely incongruent with your current style. Wear these clothes and notice the feelings you get, and also pay attention to the comments and observations of others.
  2. In this festive season, think of 1 imaginative gift each for the following people (price not to exceed Rs.500 or USD 10 approx)
  • A retired teacher you loved very much
  • Your favorite aunt/ uncle
  • Your nephew / niece
  • A gift for an inmate of an old age home
  • A gift for your pet (dog/ cat)
  • A surprise gift that can be won by any one from your friends circle based on a lucky draw

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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



Immense possibilities

From a little spark may burst a mighty flame.  Dante Alighieri

Each of us carries within us a spark that can ignite a fire in the belly that in turn will enable us to be powerful change agents. Not too many of us though, can really identify that spark within us or use it effectively to ignite the fire in our belly. That is the reason most of us go through a mediocre life, content merely with what we get and not venturing into anything that requires us to play a very proactive role. As someone rightly observed there are three types of people in this world; those who make things happen; those who see things happen and those who wonder what happened. Have you at least moved from the last category to the second last category? Here are a few reasons why most of us remain in the last category and never enjoy the warmth of the mighty flame.

The first problem is that we undervalue ourselves. Most times we keep comparing our abilities selectively with others and conclude that we are hopeless or at least mediocre.  The truth is that we can harness our potential and achieve much more than what we are currently doing. The key to realizing our full potential is in doing our job to the best of our abilities not bothering about what others will think or doubting your own abilities. Even the ball boy on the tennis courts realizes that he is a vital part of the tournament and hence takes greater efforts to do an excellent job. Do we see ourselves as vital cogs in the big wheel of life?  Our next problem is that we do not commit ourselves. Commitment is a big responsibility and the burden of that weighs heavily on our minds.  We therefore feel it is safer to just make the bare minimum efforts to ensure that the work is done and no blame is assigned to us. Without commitment we do things by half measure, are not at all quality conscious and worse of all make no effort to enhance the value of the task on hand. When a person commits to a task he owns it and therefore wills himself/ herself to overcome all hurdles and deliver quality.

The third and most serious problem is that we do not have self belief. Only with self believe will someone venture to take on challenges. The rest of us simply trudge along the tried and trusted path and alas the view is always the same.  When one has the self belief, one is prepared to take on challenges, accepts risks and strives to exceed expectations. Take the case of a person who wants to eke out his living as a referee. The pay may be just about average, the work long and arduous and there is always the risk of player discontentment.  Hence it is only the person who passionately believes that he /she does love the sport, the role and relishes the challenges who will make referring a career choice. Refereeing at national and international level will then be the goal.  Finally we douse the spark within us by negativity. Even if a person has self belief, negative thoughts will always be a dampener and will kill the initial spark that a person has. When opportunity comes we have to grab it, not brood over the consequences of grabbing it. Negative people view everything with tinted glasses and so they go in search of imaginary demons that will sabotage their efforts, fear calamity at every stage and rarely take the initiative to volunteer.

Success and exemplary performances are not the preserve of a select few. It is each individuals birthright but when we have second thoughts we end up missing the chances and then ruing our fate. On the other hand if we grasp everything that comes our way, we will definitely succeed in tasks that we are prepared to believe in, commit to, become confident about and see as a very positive and wonderful opportunity. What is significant is that in the process we not only execute and extraordinary job but also make the profound discovery that we have actually ignited our minds and hearts and there is a raging fire in the belly.

Remember: Even the mighty oak was once a nut.

Try this:

  1. Attempt to replicate 5 activities that you enthusiastically did during your school days. Eg. Painting, mimicry, making paper boats or paper planes, sculpting, writing poetry etc. See the joy and delight that you experience when you are doing this.  Ask yourself why you didn’t pursue a career that involved any of these passions.
  2. Make an attempt to study the lives of great personalities who had humble beginnings. Ask yourself what was the turning point in their lives. How did they grow so much when circumstances were completely against them?  The lives of Abraham Lincoln, George Washinton Carver, Mother Theresa,  are some names that come to mind immediately for a closer study.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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