Tag: Yesterday

The hues of life

41-the-hues-of-lifeAs we enter the last couple of weeks of the year, it is an ideal time to look back on the year gone by. Perhaps many a day was mundane, quite a few days could reflect pain especially when we reminisce about a loved one who has departed but look again and most days would have been actually joyous for never a day must have gone by without some laughter. That we are alive to read this is a blessing, that we have the eyesight to read is a blessing , that we are blessed with riches and resources is a precious gift denied to many; oh just look around and you will realize you are blessed beyond imagination.

The tapestry of our life mimics the changing seasons; there are the monsoons, the winters, the spring and the summers. Individually we all have our preferences for the season we like best and the season we dislike; yet we value each season for it is essential for our survival. The seasons also influence the environment around and bring us the varied joys that nature has blessed us with. True when the season is at the extreme it brings with it pain, suffering, destruction and disruption but from that chaos we have only grown bigger, better and stronger. Look back on the year as well the years gone by and you will recollect with fondness how every event has helped shape you to be the individual you are.

This is a time for thanks and this is a time for hope.

We must be thankful for not just the blessings but many a time, it is the pain that helped us become stronger. We need to be thankful for the people who hurt us;  because of them when we realize the value of the people who stand by us and those we love. We need to be grateful for the times when we fell and bruised our self, for that is when we understood how strong we are. If we had not failed, we would not appreciate the value of getting things right and if we had not occasionally lost our temper, we would never know our limitations. We may not be proud of the vain things we did but for sure it taught us that we have a mean streak in us. We hate those who criticized us and gossiped about us but certainly if we pause and reflect we must thank them for opening our eyes to our own faults. Most of all we must be thankful for the love we are blessed with; family, friends, colleagues and strangers who in varied ways stepped up when we needed them the most.

As we round of the year, it is wonderful time to look forward in hope. It is that time of the year when we jot down our New Year Resolutions. Yes a large part of the list must be carry forwards from the year just ending, but now we can hope to begin anew and succeed. Oh yes, we have new dreams that we need to realize during the coming year and we have the faith and hope that we can attain it in the coming year/s. We have hope for our loved ones to discover their own individuality, chalk out their own paths and make a smooth transition towards their destiny. We hope that the world would change for the better and that we would be part of that transformation. Most of all we must hope to play an important part in contributing to that hope through our thoughts, words and deeds. Unless we have hope, we will never have the courage to ‘stand up and be counted’.

Try these:

  1. Begin with making your New Year Resolution list. You have still have 3 weeks to reflect and update it but you need to start now.
  2. List out 2 things that you will do in the coming year that will enable you to :
  • Improve you as an individual
  • Make you involved in your favorite social cause
  • To expand your social / friends circle
  • Surprise your family
  • Change a bad habit that you are often criticized for
  • Improve your financial health
  • Ignite a latent talent or indulge in a latent passion
  • Connect with a long lost friend/ relative

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Evolving through a cocoon of positivity

5 - Positive evolutionEvery event, be it of the past, the current or the imagined future, influences our thinking, attitude, behavior and responses. Those events from the past that have scarred us, those that we do not like in the present and those that we fear in the future keep impacting us negatively. These tend to largely overshadow the blessings of the past, the wonders of the present and the opportunities of the future. It is therefore essential that we learn to reorient our thinking, start seeing the past present and future through a filter of positivity if we are to make our life more fun, more meaningful and more productive.

Be grateful for the past – If one were to dispassionately evaluate the past, for most of us it would become obvious that barring a few stray awkward, embarrassing, challenging and painful incidents life had been fun filled, happy and enjoyable. Yet we tend to largely focus on what has not gone right overlooking the more significant, satisfactory and fulfilling parts of our journey thus far. Of course the failures, the hurt and the pain of the past cannot be brushed aside but focus on the lessons learned from it. Focus on the transformation that took place because of it and made you a better person. If you still carry the baggage of the hurt of the past, it is a good time to offload it today. Relook the past with an eye to refresh, recollect and reflect on the blessings of the past; the wonderful childhood you have had, the loving care of the family around, the friends and relationships you have built up over the years, the success your were cheered for, the memories that you can forever cherish. If one uses that as the fulcrum of the past life, the present would also be seen in the same perspective provided one makes that effort.

Be engaged in the present – One common aberration in our daily living is the habit of lapsing into the ‘Good old days’ syndrome. The opposite extreme is to find fault with everything that does not happen the way we want it or the way we expect it to be. The present is where we are living and if we can see it as a wonderful place and time to be in, one can experience the joys that abound everywhere and all around us. Mechanization for instance has made our life a lot easier but do we value it? Communication technology has ensured we can be in touch instantaneously and with numerous people; yet do you feel lonely? Transportation revolution has made movement faster, cheaper and more pleasurable but do we keep cribbing about the costs, the lines at the airports, the railways stations and the bus stops? Disposables have become the order of the day saving time and effort yet we see the mountain of trash to which we also contribute conveniently overlooking our own part in it. The present has to be embraced with pragmatism. You may not be able to change what is happening around but one can surely appreciate the good, influence the ills by being sensitive and caring ( use less disposables / be more orderly in queues / cut down on indiscriminate usage of mobiles and internet etc.) but most importantly be involved in the moment. Don’t let the present fly past without it having improved you as an individual.

Be enchanted by the future – The future is a haze and that is precisely why we are wary of it. Strictly speaking if we can appreciate the wonders of our past, see the positive side of the present we must able to look forward to exciting times in the future. However, the future holds an undeniable reality; death. This unfortunately is a scary thought for the overwhelming majority and while we may never consciously reflect on it, subconsciously we are always hoping to prolong life be it our own or those of our loved ones. What adds confusion and apprehension when thinking of the future is the fear that the future may not be as serene as the past and the present. We worry about paying bills, hospitalization, relationships, old age, loss of income, loneliness and ofcourse death. These are all realities but a fair bit of timely planning and mental preparation to cope with these realities would ease our concerns and surely help one prepare to embrace the future. The first step to such preparation is not mentally running away from our fears. How many of those reading this post have prepared a will? How many of us have got our retirement plans chalked out? How many have saved for a rainy day? These can be done only if one is prepared to be realistic and give the future a more concrete shape rather than blindly walking into a hazy sunset. The sunset is surely the beginning of the night but when on an outing don’t we eagerly wait to see the glorious sunset and ensure we are the right place at the right time to enjoy it. See the future as a wonderful sunset and do what needs to be done to enjoy it!

Try this:

  1. Jot down 3 to 5 most wonderful memories from the past. Visualize the situation and the persons involved and revel in the blessings they were for you.
  2. What are the 3 significant contributions that you can make to ensure that the world around you is a better place? So have you started on it ?
  3. Make a list of the following
  • How much money do you think will suffice to ensure you have a comfortable retired life assuming you live till 90
  • What are the 3 things you will do to ensure that you are productively and happily engaged after retirement?
  • What are the 5 most important things you will want to incorporate in your will?
  • Make a list of surprise gifts that you will send this year to at least 3 of the above listed friends.
  • List 10 friends who you can count on to give you support and courage should you be in any trouble in the future.
  • Write down an epitaph for yourself that would best describe you / your life.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Discovering the real YOU.

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Thomas Jefferson

Many of us spend a lot of time pondering over the future and going around in circles confused and fearful about our fate. We shy away from finding out answers to some fundamental questions like

  • Who am I and how do I hope to shape my future?
  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • What are those values and qualities I cherish?
  • What are the fears that torment me?
  • Who are the people I can depend upon?
  • What are my yardsticks for success?
  • How do I go about achieving success?

Obviously there are no easy answers that will emerge in a jiffy but if we dismiss these questions as impossible to answer, the questions would keep lurking n our mind and torment us thereby impeding our productivity, happiness and peace of mind.

The answers to all the questions seem hidden, obscure and / or elusive but in reality they are merely packaged within the individual personality that you are. If you want to discover it, you would need to see yourself as a package doing the rounds in a game of ‘passing the parcel’ where a dimension of you is subtly revealed when you are vulnerable, exploited, hurt, abused or manhandled like the parcel, by those you interact and deal with. When every layer of the parcel is peeled out and you delve deeper and deeper, suddenly the parcel opens up to throw up a surprise gift ‘YOU”

The practical way out to discover yourself now is to unravel the real you and that can be done when you Act with Purpose, Ponder with Insight and Accept the reality with Grace.

Act with purpose : While our formative years were by and large guided and molded by parents, elders and teachers, our dependence on them will reduce as the years go by and we grow up to be mature individuals. Hopefully we would have accepted sane advice and guidance and focused on our values, education, manners, career choice etc. when we begin to furrow our own path our upbringing should discipline us make choices with positive purpose. The learning both formal and informal, our intelligence, our experience, the feedback we receive, the risks we take, the options we avoid are all partly subconscious but largely a purposeful goal driven activity. In effect we never idle away our time or waste our resources but act with purpose to achieve our goals.

Ponder with Insight: Of and on we do tend to look back and wonder about the twists and turns in our life and occasionally we would lament and rue some mistakes and lost opportunities and also be pleased about those right moves we made. Often we will keep analyzing the present, keep attempting to improve up on the existing and make efforts to learn, improve, adjust and adapt to the changes that we experience, perceive or imagine.  We would simultaneous also look ahead and with the wisdom of past experience, the knowledge of the current trends and the applying our commonsense and foresight, ponder with insight and plan for the present and future. Without realizing we would have discovered some key competencies, some harsh realities and the real facts about ourselves.

Accept the reality with Grace: Where we fail is in accepting the reality of our personality. We would need to enthusiastically accept our strengths, our abilities, our talents and our potential and leverage them to raise the bar of personal excellence. Tougher still is the challenge of accepting the reality of our limitations, our weakness, our insipid temperament and our irrational fears which curb our risk taking,  restrict our horizons and expose our inadequacies.  Once we learn to accept the reality of our personality with grace we would have discovered the secret of how to find happiness within ourselves.

Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.  William James

Try this:

How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 being very poor and 10 being excellent) your abilities on. Now ask your spouse or sibling or close associate to do a similar rating for you. Compare the results.

  • Managing your time
  • Taking decisions
  • Interacting with people
  • Handling crisis
  • Being creative

Download the attached file Human Emotions  and from the list of emotions list out 5 Positive Emotions and 5 Negative Emotions that are typical of you. Now for emotion that you have listed give a suitable example from your life to make sure the emotion has been experienced by you. Next take a print of the file and show it to the following people and ask them to outline those emotions which in their view are applicable to you. You may make some revealing realities about yourself from the replies of others.

  • A family member (preferably a sibling)
  • A close friend
  • A colleague
  • An old school chum
  • A new acquaintance (they have to judge your emotions based on your interactions)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The secret to your future

Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you. Frank Tyger

All of us, me included have a hundred different reasons and excuses to justify why we haven’t realized our full potential. The reality though is that nothing absolutely nothing is going to chance the past. Yet irrespective of one’s age, social status, financial status, academic background, past history and the like, there is a wonderful future that each of us can embrace whole heartedly if we are prepared to boldly accept the challenge and work purposefully towards it. There are 4 conditions that one has to fulfill in order to make the future you want for yourself.

The first is to remember the lessons of the past without holding on to the past. We fail to progress beyond our past performance simply because we live with ghost of past failures, keep brooding over the wasted opportunities that we never took advantage of and often meander into some of those rare moments of triumphs and successes we did relish occasionally. While we certainly cannot erase the past completely, we must learn to identify the key learning and keep that uppermost in mind as we proceed further so as to avoid the same pitfalls of the past. We must never let the bad past ruin a perfect present or take away from us the immense possibilities that lay ahead of us.

The second is to believe in yourself and yet be pragmatic about your strengths and weakness. Each one of us has it within us the ability to stretch ourselves to excel. Excellence is ensuring that we use our abilities to the fullest extend and must not be mistaken to mean always out performing others. It is obvious then that we need to asses ourselves dispassionately and leverage our strengths without letting our weaknesses become a stumbling block. It would also entail us having the courage of conviction to take calculated risks, the daring to fail and yet not give up and to pursue our dreams with steely resolve and self confidence.  As rightly said it is our attitude that determines our altitude.

The third is to always have a goal to focus on. What really lets us down is an indisciplined approach to the future. The prime reason for this is lack of clarity as to where we want to go and what we want to achieve. Perhaps we would be a lot happier if we could simply identify our personal, professional, financial and spiritual goals. Perhaps we have a hazy idea of our goals, but then we are tempted to change the goal posts in the hope of scoring at will. Goals helps us concentrate, enable us to channelize the resources required and helps us chart our progress and if need be take the corrective measures to ensure that we make the best of our future. It is sarcastically observed that if we do not know our destination any road will lead us there.

The fourth is to adapt, change, improve, transform yourself to ensure that you are progressing towards your goal. Simply put this means that one has to make umpteen sacrifices if one were to make the best of the future ahead. Look what happened to the dinosaurs of old who became extinct simply because they could not adapt, change, improve or transform themselves to meet the onslaught of change. While we make not suffer such an ignominy, it is very possible that the future we face by being rigid and uncompromising can be painful, frustrating and very regrettable. Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. It is imperative that  we change else the chances are that we will fall in the second category.

Remember: “Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.”  Denis Waitley

Try this:

  1. Jot down 3 lessons you learnt from any failures/ regrets that you have from your past.
  2. Ask a few close friends to name 3 of your strengths and one weakness they perceive in you. Reflect on these particularly on the weakness and work out how you can use the new knowledge about yourself to shape your future.
  3. Take a pencil and paper and do the following
  • Make a sketch of your dream house. Now put a realistic price tag to it.
  • Make a realistic assessment of what your monthly savings should be and what you think should be your monthly income after you attain the age of 60.
  • Make a plan for an overseas holiday with your spouse and the roadmap to make it happen in the next 2 years.
  • Outline your definition of a successful person. Now write down your own success statement.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Don’t let yesterday ruin today

Never let yesterday use up today. Richard H. Nelson

When we tend to reminiscence there are two types of viewpoints that come to the fore.  One set of people are prone to look back at the good old days and lament that the world today is in terrible shape and that they would love to relive the past.  The other reaction is that of those who may have gone through terrible times in the past and are unable to exorcise the ghost of the past and they repeatedly relive that trauma messing up their present. What is common in both sets of reactions is the fact that the people involved prefer to let the past dominate their present and as a result they just cannot utilize the potential of today to the full.

The problem with living in the past is that the whole exercise is in the realms of fantasy or borders on psychological trauma. Either way we cannot either duplicate the past now nor do we attempt to erase the horrendous memories; the net result is that we continue to be in the vice like grip of the days gone by. This impacts us today in a wide variety of ways. To begin with, our focus on today is blurred by the constant unconscious interferences by the memories of the past. Indirectly, we become victims of past prejudices, unrealistic fantasies and frozen memories. Those who were blessed with a very pleasant and satisfactory past would make efforts to duplicate the same today thereby ruining the harmony of the present. This is because while the whole world has moved forward these people are caught in a time warp and fight progress in general and change in particular.

For those who experienced a traumatic past, the present seems to be an extension of the past in as much as they see a demonic future and so get sandwiched between the demons in the mind. They adopt a fatalistic mentality, become superstitious and seek refuge in the powers of the occult or succumb to the lures of faith healers and spiritual guides.  Today then becomes burden for this lot, painfully experienced, wearily lived and fatalistically approached. Innovation, change and progress are often sacrificed today simply because the way ahead is perceived to be best lived by emulating the past for then we have the past experience to fall back on should lightening strike twice.

One needs to become aware that the past is long dead and though history may repeat itself, with the help of past experience we can always face up to the challenge. One must also not let the past overwhelm us to the point where we cannot think logically, act intelligently and live confidently. We must constantly remind ourselves that today has to be encashed and the past is a cancelled cheque that is pretty much worthless.

Remember: “What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.”

Try this:

  1. Read the contents of the following blog http://poweract.blogspot.com/2009/12/8-only-today-is-ours-use-it-now.html
  2. List out 3 most painful memories of the past and 3 best memories of the past. Reflect on how these events impacted your life subsequently. Objectively ask yourself if any of these events still play a big part in your attitude, behavior, style and temperament.  The feedback you get from others would be a good mirror to your life and a good reference point for evaluation of how your are utilizing today.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future and impossible to live in the past. Jim Bishop

With the pace of change and the fast pace of life, living a balanced life is a challenge for each one of us. While the poor have to worry about their daily bread, the filth rich have worries about maintaining their fame, wealth and relationships. The difficulty of modern living is not just one of managing the hurly burly of life but even more difficult is maintaining a balance within ourselves so that we are neither swayed by success nor despondent when we fail. Quite often our problem is one of choices. We are spoilt for choices be it entertainment, spirituality, food, clothing or shelter. We even have a choice of death; being a martyr for a cause, a gangster falling to the bullets of the cops, a junkie dying through substance abuse, an innocent victim of a hit and run or accident or being prey to disease and illness. While today poses tough options, we are prone to seek refuge in the memories of the past or the hopes of the future and that is when today morphs into day dreams or nostalgia; both of which give us pseudo pleasure and an escape from reality.

If we seek refuge in the ‘ good old days’, we are prone to be selective in our thinking conveniently blanking out the tough phases, the difficult times and the varied pains one has been through. We gloat on the euphoria of success, the pleasures of simplicity as compared to today and the relatively slow and beautiful pace of life then. What is then left is wonderful memories that span a life time but alas like a lovely movie briefly flashes before us the scenes of wonder which have long gone past and can never be caught again. We might pine for it, seek refuge in its memory and hope to relive those days; alas it is craving for the impossible.

Most of us indulge in positive thinking, which in effect means we see the future as being even brighter, hope filled and rewarding. This will give us the strength to bear our problems today, fortify our faith in our abilities and enthuses us to look forward to the future. However the future when it arrives is nothing but the present; and lo and behold we feel inadequate to meet the rigors of the future for the problems of today are telescoped into the future when it arrives. This brings us to painful truth that while the future holds hope, it is ridiculous to live in the future for to turn dreams into reality we need to wake up, roll up our sleeves and put our nose to the grind.

Remember: The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it. Thomas S. Monson

Try these:

  1. List out 3 achievements from your past, 3 disappointments you faced and 3 poignant memories. Now out line 5 goals you have set for yourself. Ensure you have at least one goal for personal improvement, one career related and one for a social cause.
  2. Do you have a list of jobs for the day? If not stop everything and write down at least 5 things you need to do today. Also make a list of things you need to do in a months time and in the next 6 months and by the year end. Have a method to evaluate your progress and a reward for achievements too.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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