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39-create-opportunityWe have to create our own destinies and this can happen only when we grab every opportunity that comes our way. The trouble is that we eithernkeep waiting for the opportunities to come our way or we do not recognize the opportunities that come our way, unless it is too late. We wait in vain or miss out opportunities simply because most times opportunities present themselves in the guise of hard work. Almost everyone has the intent to get cracking on a task and is prepared to work hard to grab the opportunities that come their way. However, often it is only when we initiate the opportunity, that we are convinced that the hard work, the end result and the success allied to it, is worth it.  It simply means that one has to create the opportunities that one eagerly looks forward to, in order to alter one’s life dramatically. Creating opportunities is not too difficult but it follows a process listed below.

Prepare for it – Look at all the successful people and you will find one common trait that they share. They prepared to make the most of the opportunities that came their way. To begin with, they identified their strengths, worked hard on eliminating their weakness and prepared themselves to get an expertise in their chosen line of work. Even successful actors would have gone to acting school, as did the successful sportsmen who took their childhood grooming very seriously. Even successful businessmen took professional courses, apprenticed with experienced professionals and perhaps even started work on the shop floor. Yes get to understand the job from the basics and work yourself up. Remember ‘ chance favors the prepared man’.

Search for it – Opportunities abound all around. However it may never look so crystal clear to you unless you actually seek it out. So you like the glamour business and want to succeed in it. You may not have any glamour quotient you but there is a lot of background work opportunities that may fit your temperament and aptitude. Similarly, the studious would want to leverage their brilliance but they have to explore hidden opportunities that exist in that space right from teaching to becoming an entrepreneur or a consultant or a professional.

Identify it – This is tougher because all options look equally exciting. More importantly, you are never sure if you miss out on something more exciting once you commit to something. The reality is that you must chose what appeals most to you and then go on to make it the most exciting thing for you. Identifying an opportunity is all about aligning your interests, your competence to fulfill a gap that exists. Opportunities to excel exist in every sphere. Some could translate opportunities into business ventures, others could grow in their workplace and others could become leaders who make a difference in the environment they influence.

Execute it – Merely identifying opportunities won’t take anyone very far. Ultimately, just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, an opportunity has to made use of.  It is essential to start acting on the idea, make things happen and give traction to the opportunity.  All business ventures are largely built around an opportunity identified. Similarly, even in the work place as an employee, by doing something extraordinarily well you differentiate yourself from the rest as someone dependable, a person who contributes qualitatively and is an asset in the corporate. Opportunities can vary in style and substance from cost savings, speeding up activities, discovering something new, to creating something unique. Think then act decisively must be the mantra to create the opportunity and make it work.

Persist This is very critical task that is often overlooked when seeking opportunities. Pursuing an opportunity could be very exciting in the beginning but when reality sets in, there could be surprises, shocks, difficulties, pain and suffering; all of which can be daunting and dissuading. Yet it is persistence that pays in the long run. Persistence means giving yourself enough time and keeping patience. Occasionally though it could also mean deviating if required, dropping the plan for another or simply giving up to pursue a new opportunity. Persistence also means continuing to explore new opportunities for age is no bar, nor is experience or gender.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of 5 things you definitely want to do before you die. Now create ample opportunities to make it happen. Update the list as and when you manage to achieve something from the list.
  2. What opportunities do you see in the following situations?
  • You lose your mobile phone and have no money to procure a new one immediately
  • You have hurt your foot and are house bound for a month
  • You have to travel everywhere either on foot or by public transport for the next two months.
  • You have to look after an elderly senior citizen who suffers from Alzheimer’s, for over a month.
  • You have taken a ‘maun vrat’ (volunteered to keep silence / not to speak ) for one 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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33-a-good-dayA perfect day would always be relative to the experiences of the past days yet each of us can strive to make each day a wonderful day. No matter what happens during the course of the day, if the day has not been wasted, it becomes a wonderful day. So the simple rule to follow is to have a plan for each day, strive your best to ensure you have worked well to achieve your plans and at end of day your heart is filled with happiness and satisfaction.

The trouble most of us have us with our time. For most of us, we just don’t have enough time to do all what we want. For others especially those who are retired, time weighs heavily and each day seems slow and unending. The reality is that if we plan each day, we will be busy; we would have something tangible to achieve and end of day we would have made significant progress and less dissatisfaction. A plan would give us something ready to work on, give us a milestone for accomplishment and ensure that we are kept fruitfully occupied.

A plan helps us have a roadmap but we have to walk the talk if we have to reach the destination. The problem for many begins here. While our plan and intent are positive, when it comes to walking the talk, we have a number of excuses, problems and explanations to rationalize our inefficiency and inability to give our best. The trick here is to find a passion and motivation to begin and sustain doing all what we have to do to make our plans become fruitful. In the process we would forget the time, lose ourselves completely in doing what has to be done. Success is never guaranteed but the satisfaction of done a good job, a great effort and a fruitful use of time is certainly guaranteed.

The one issue that spoils an otherwise wonderful day are the sudden unexpected failures, bad news and coping with negative energies and thoughts. Managing that is challenging but not impossible. The way to do that is to change perspective. View each such impediment as ‘ it could have been worse’ or ‘now I have learned that…’ .  It is important to be reasonable and rationale in our thought for it is our thoughts that spur emotions and actions. Once you can control or reorient your thoughts, every day will be a wonderful day, for you would have learned how to appreciate the wonders of each day.

The happiness that follows when we are satisfied that we have given our best shot, is something that is priceless. The happiness is reflected in the sparkle in our eyes, smile on our face and then everything else fades into oblivion. We may look overworked, we may be wearing crumbled clothes, our hair could be ruffled and unruly but there would be a spring in our step, our aura would exude success and excitement is palpable.

A wonderful day would be all these and more…try it and see the difference.

Try these:

  • Write down a plan for 2nd weekend of the next month. Follow the plan and find out for yourself if plans work.
  • What would you do with the money you win of Rs.1 lakh in a lottery?
  • What are the three priority areas in your life that you would want to improve upon? Do you have a plan for achieving it?

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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In an ideal world everything would be in order, there would discipline, the mood would be idyllic and the setting serene and majestic. In short everything would be perfect. Perfection is also a virtue that everyone would love to embrace and hence it is a virtue that is mistakenly kept as a yardstick to judge competence, efficiency and excellence.  The reality though is that, there is imperfection all around, chaos abounds and uncertainty is the only certainty.  Coping with this reality of imperfection is the real challenge.

However since we are ingrained with the ideology that ‘perfection’ be the norm we get limited by one or more of the following ‘perfection traps’

We pursue perfection. Are you one of those who can spot a slight tilt in the photo frame hung on a wall or someone whose attention is immediately drawn to the broken tile on the floor or someone who is obsessed with order, neatness and immaculate appearance? If you answer is yes, then chances are that you are a perfectionist and anything not up to your standards can be exceedingly distressing to you.

Remember it is ok to be imperfect; but that is no excuse not to aim for perfection.

We imagine perfection to be a stumbling block. Are you waiting for the perfect moment to begin working on your wish list? Are you afraid to try something new because we want to be perfect? Do you write poems or stories but keep them hidden because we fear criticism?

Remember perfection is a relative thing; you will definitely be better than someone else in something that you do. So why not try?

We crave for perfection but hate the discipline. While we envy those who are orderly, disciplined and immaculate we would hate to emulate them for fear of having to work in an organized and disciplined manner. Perhaps we want to be a sports icon or a bestselling author; alas the discipline required to work on our dreams seems too tough. Have you wished to be a magician or at least master a couple of magic tricks? What stopped you from trying out a few magic tricks and then perfecting it?

Remember that perfection is not a gift but is an outcome of diligent effort, sacrifice and self discipline. Let us make a beginning and while we may not be perfect perhaps we would see a change in us for the better.

We can cope with chaos but cannot fathom a perfect beginning. If there was no chaos we would have no opportunity to try out new things. It is because there is imperfection around that we strive to find solutions to the problems that abound. When was the last time you had a daring haircut that shook all those around? Ever experimented with some daring outdoor activities? Did you wish you could do something for the under privileged, the illiterate, the marginalized? So why haven’t you done something yet?

Remember that imperfection is a reality that challenges us; use it as a motivator to innovate, experiment and discover.

 Action Points:

  1. Prepare a wish list of things you want to achieve. Identify 3 of the items on which you will begin work within a week. What do you want to achieve within a month, a quarter and in 6 months. Assess the progress made every week.
  2.  Everyone would like to increase his/ her income. List out 3 ways in which you believe you can try to increase your income. By how much have you increased your income by the month end? Make a similar assessment every month end. Identify how and why you achieved what you set out to do or reason for not achieving your target.

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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“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy — I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it” ~ Art Williams

With the exam season around the corner both parents and students start getting worked up, become edgy and stressed and have self doubts slowly creeping in. For a few, the studies just seem terribly hard, for the vast majority they are a necessary evil and for the diligent, studies are a way to showcase excellence. The common difficulty for all of them though is that the whole business of studies seems so hard. In the same way life in general and daily living in particular seems so boring, tough and fruitless. However, if you just pause to think again, the routine can be made interesting, fruitful and fulfilling for no effort ever goes waste be it studies or living.

How does one turn a routine into something exciting, desirable and fun? Surely studies aren’t fun (except for the nerds) and certainly these nerds are boring personalities. Here are some pointers to get to enjoy the routine, the boring, the repetitive and the despicable

Make it fun:

Anything if visualized as a chore will always remain a painful experience. On the other hand anything that we enjoy we crave for it. In the context of studies, mathematics and science often prove to be the toughest for students to grapple with. Part of the problem stems from the subconscious fear ingrained by constant parental attention to the complexities of the subject. If on the other hand the subject is learnt as an outcome of joyous discovery both the teacher and s the student will revel in the unfolding of knowledge. The inevitable byhearting of multiplication tables or the mathematical / chemical formulae too must be an outcome of gentle coaxing rather than brute adherence to conventional learning.

 Have a visible target

For progress to be recognized it is essential that targets or benchmarks are established so that there is a goal, an objective and a milestone to be achieved. Targets motivate, challenge and establish definitive ends to a means. Exam marks are targets that spur us to study. We need to ensure that we do not fall prey to the irrational expectations of meeting our targets all the time. We must not be disheartened either if sometimes the targets seem beyond our reach.

Aim for the bulls eye:

The routine often gets boring so the best way to motivate one’s self is to focus on trying to achieve perfection each time. This is akin to shooters and archers practicing day in and day out to hit the bull’s eye. Of course many a shot misses the target but they continue undaunted because they know that it is the only way to make progress and achieve excellence. For students in particular this must be a seen as an excellent example of how one needs to motivate one’s self in order to work on subjects one is weak in or those subjects one dislikes.

Color up the routine:

To ensure that one has both the energy and the drive to continuously work it is essential that one interjects the routine with some fun, interesting breaks, pep up diversions and stress busters. Music is a commonly preferred stress busters aid to many a student. Similarly others find relief in watching TV or reading while some find even more innovative diversions like playing computer games or a round of Sudoku. Some indulge in their favorite hobbies like painting or humming a tune while others would go for a walk to clear their mind and stretch themselves. It is important to be aware that diversions must be short and sweet and should not end up distracting completely.

Relish the success:

Since every action that is purposeful has a reason and an objective it is essential that one learns to enjoy the success that one attains. It is true that occasionally there could be cause for some regrets and in rare instances despite our best effort we may have to confront failure but we need to quickly overcome our disappointment and launch ourselves with more determination. We can focus on the takeaways from our failures or disappointments and even learn to find some positives. From a student’s perspective the results are a good yardstick to judge one’s efforts and performance. However brooding over a few marks missed should not distract one from enjoying the miracles of a few marks scored elsewhere or from the jubilation of the success that one has attained.

In the final analysis the reality is that one cannot avoid the inevitable, one cannot escape the reality and so one has to simply do the best one can with hope, faith and sincerity.

Remember: “The most painful thing to experience is not defeat but regret” ~ Leo Bascaglia

Try this:

  1. For those who have long left school behind, look back and recollect those subjects that you disliked in school. Get hold of a class VII or VIII or IX or X text book of that subject and revisit the contents. With no fear of examination but perhaps with the dislike for the subject still not overcome see if you can cope with some of the lessons in the book and learn to appreciate them.
  2. Outline 3 things that you really dislike doing but which you are forced to do. Now find 2 positive things about each of these activities. Does it make your dislike a wee bit lesser now?
  3. List 3 regrets that burden you occasionally about
  • Your school days
  • Your childhood
  • The past 3 years
  • Your emotional side
  • Your financial status

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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Nothing is really work unless you’d rather be doing something else. James Barrie. Peter Pan

This is a very unorthodox way of viewing work, but if one ponders long enough, the truth in the statement will liberate us from feeling like a bonded laborer.  The reality is that each one of us without exception would have experienced the pangs of having to do something that is unappealing, boring and perhaps unavoidable. No sooner that task is replaced with something that we are keen to do, appealing to us and exciting to our way of thinking, we enjoy the process. With rare exceptions, there is no task that is so engaging that one can happily embrace it for the rest of our lives. The trick in making our living worthwhile is in focusing fully on the task on hand as an opportunity to leverage our time, talent and our temperament. There is no better example than the cheerful way a mother goes about her chores despite the children making the most unreasonable demands on her.

Many times the work we enjoy doing best is ‘doing nothing’ because then there are no targets set, no deadlines to be met and the icing on the cake is the fact that it takes very little effort. However, sooner than later, we are racked with guilt that we have whiled away our time, the miserable feeling of productive time having being squandered away and our inherent sense of responsibility prick us. We then put our nose to the grind not willingly but more as an obligation to be discharged and the resultant effort becomes work that is unavoidable. Yet if can reorient our thought process to view the effort as harnessing our resources to do what is essential under the circumstances, the time spent would seem to fly and the entire process would seem to be enriching and rewarding. E.g. Very few of us enjoy the process of filing our income tax returns because we see it as ultimately ‘giving to Ceaser’ what belongs to us. However if we can see it as an opportunity to better plan our finances and taxes we would eagerly put our heart and soul into it and ensure we don’t have to worry about the taxman’s ‘Damocles Sword’.

How does one cope with tasks that one despises, finds repulsive and would rather avoid given half a chance? The strategy to cope with such a situation is to first be fully aware that each and every individual does face this dilemma. The second is to accept the reality as it exists and not to make any pretence of ignoring its existence. The third is to avoid procrastination and take the bull by its horns so that we tackle the issue rather than spend futile hours speculating on how to bypass the unavoidable reality. By this three pronged strategy, we reconcile to the reality that there is nothing else that we must tackle than what is staring at us. Once we begin the task with earnestness and fortitude, we would relentlessly pour our energies into  completing the task. The euphoria that we experience soon after we tackle our demons is the ecstasy of life.

Remember:  It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.  Pablo Picasso

Try this:

  1. Assuming you are shifting to your new house, list out what excites you about it and what are those activities related to the shifting process that you dread most ? How would you cope with those tasks that you dread but cannot avoid or pass it on to anyone else?
  2. What are those demons in life you would ideally love to avoid? (Here are a few pointers to help you reflect on various possibilities.) How would you use the learning fro, today’s post to tackle the demons and actually enjoy the process??
  • Exercise to lose weight
  • Making  a list of resolutions and following it faithfully
  • Carrying work home
  • Having to sacrifice your favorite TV show (being shown live) to accompany your child to his/her best friends most (boring in your opinion) party

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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“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out” Vaclav Havel

At the outset let me thank all those who took time out to comment and give a feedback on my previous post and for their warm appreciation of the blog in general. During this last 6 days there has been a spurt in the viewership with over 2,400 more views and 20 more followers. A year and half ago, when I first began writing this blog, I had no clue as to how the whole adventure would turn out. On hindsight I now realize that it was my passionate belief that I had something interesting, important and invaluable to share irrespective of who would appreciate, acknowledge and act on it that spurred me to plunge headlong into writing this blog . The quotes for today, in many ways unlock the secret to making that leap of faith.

The tragedy that befalls many is that they suffer from a syndrome called ‘paralysis by analysis’. At various times each one of us may also have briefly fallen victim to this ailment, where our ability to think and act seem to freeze, more so when the stakes are very high because we do not want to fail. Choosing between two equally appealing alternatives, deciding on a course of action when the end outcome is extremely uncertain and identifying the way ahead when the heart urges and the head rules, are typical situations that sap our confidence, dent our self belief and dash our hopes of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The net result is that we procrastinate, go forward tentatively, keep looking over our shoulder and /or take a half cocked stance leaving us stranded in no man’s land.

Logic is the bugbear of hope. With or without substantial analysis, based on past experience, our classroom or imbibed learning and our rational unemotional structured thought process we come to some conclusions. The problem with logic is that if it is not structured properly, we tend to arrive at conclusions that meet our preconceived hypothesis. However, there is always that nagging feeling that something is not right that keeps pricking us and in the stalemate between logic and feeling we choose to do nothing in the belief that there will be clarity soon or that the problem will be solved over time. Inaction often leads to missed opportunities, stress and frustration and futile attempts to justify the status quo. 

The handmaid of logic is analysis. Analysis is definitely a tool that aids and supplements the decision making process to arrive at logical conclusions. What limits its effectiveness though is complete reliance on it, for pure analysis has strong limitations in front of human emotions, sentiments and quirks. Moreover, one needs to make allowances for unexpected dynamics that can waylay the most carefully chalked out plans. This situation is common enough in daily life be it choosing a career path, making a career shift, choosing a spouse, making investment decisions etc. This does not make analysis redundant, but merely reinforces the fact that analysis cannot be stretched beyond a point and that once broad facts are known and some conclusions reached we need to pause and listen to our heart.

Those who attain success are people who identify what they can successfully and substantially contribute to and then use the tools of logic an analysis to narrow down the risks and use their imagination and hearts to widen the net of success. They are the ones who take that giant leap of faith not because they can see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but because they know they can create the rainbow.

Remember: “When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”

Try this:

  1. Identify the 3 strengths/ qualities/ abilities/ skill sets/expertise/passion that you posses and which you can utilize to make the world around you a better place. Eg. You are a good painter and you can teach art to economically disadvantaged children or you have great dexterity with anything to do with mechanical things or you are a good singer and you offer your time and services free to old age homes/ orphanages / some NGO’s running vocational schools etc.
  2. At various times you may have felt the urge to do something for society at large. It could be taking care of stray animals or it could be vociferously fighting to keep strays at bay in the larger interests of the common man who could be running the risk of being chased by/ bitten. No matter what your objective is, what have you done more than merely thinking about it? How can you proactively involve yourself in the cause that tugs at your heartstrings?

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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“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.”   T. Alan Armstrong

With rare exceptions for the vast majority of people finding ones passion is a challenge. Part of the problem stems from the fact that during our formative years we seem to flirt with various interests and likings and over time we grow out of our obsession with many of these. The other problem is that ironically,  almost always what we are truly interested in, invariably does not guarantee financial security nor opens up possibilities of good career prospects and if they are unconventional interest they would never meet parental approval or find favor with our well wishers. Confusion, dilemma and indecision are three emotions that overwhelm us and douse the lingering spark of passion if any. Thereafter we become robotic, controlled by what we loosely term as fate, destiny and convention. The fact though is that our passion tugs at our heart strings but we plead haplessness and go on with the business of life less enthused, more frustrated and definitely dissatisfied.

Is it possible to somehow identify ones passion by cutting through the clutter in our mind, by pinpointing what can truly become our real interest and which can motivate, enthuse and propel our life? For those still searching for his/ her passion here are a few pointers to locate that elusive North Star in one’s own heart and mind.

What gets you all excited?  Yes movies, parties, gossip, lazing around, sports, holidays etc would top the list. It would help though if this list also contains a list of at least one or two subjects that you studied in school days or maybe in college to ensure that all those years of education are not considered wasted. Now add a list of alternative career choices that you always fancied. So now you have a wide variety of stuff that gets you excited.

What is that you never get bored of? What is it that will get you of the couch and sweat it out because you can’t resist it? Topping the list will be talking on phone, gossiping, texting, surfing the net, eating, sleeping etc. Now widen the list by adding those activities that got a lot of approval from family, friends, peers and even perhaps some of those who are jealous of you. Lengthen the list by adding a wish list of career choices that you fancied.

Do you have the aptitude and attitude to make your interest your life goal? Perhaps a close hard look at the choices you have listed earlier by holding it up against the mirror of your personality that reflects your aptitude and attitude will enable you to clear see some choices emerging as truly something that you really love and are passionate about.

Would you be thrilled doing what you are doing even if you were to die a pauper, unrecognized and perhaps ostracized by society too? The final test is in making choices and seeing it against the light of the reality check.  The reality check is simple; see if your passion surfaces even if you have no one to support you, even if there are lots of doubting Thomas’s who attempt to dissuade you. Are you so excited about what you want to do that you are willing to risk failure, prepared to battle single handed and are sure that your enthusiasm will neither wane nor your spirit weakened because you are doing what you really want to do.

The real test though is to tweak your passion to ensure you come closest to enjoying what you do. This is essential because only the exceptionally lucky person gets to pursue his/ her own passion in it is original form.  Eg. You might want to be a filmy hero but if you are not really talented perhaps you can still find a niche space in the industry that enables you pursue your interest in films.

Remember: “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”  Hebbel

 Try this:

  1. Name 3 of your passionate career choices in the following fields:
  • Sports
  • Movies
  • Marine related
  • Law enforcement
  1. What are the offbeat careers you can think of in the following fields  (one example each is given for your ready reference)
  • Entertainment business e.g. Film critic
  • Financial services sector e.g. being a technical analyst
  • Education sector e.g. special needs educator
  • In the business of LIFE e.g. being a funeral director

 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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