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Four Secrets of Happy Living!

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Life has many facets: habits, aspirations, goals, significance etc. It is rare that there has been an artist who was also a good householder and a progressive human being. When I say a good householder, I mean one who facilitates the family in all respects. He not only provides for them materially but also emotionally. This is so, typical for a family man. But when we talk of an individual who doesn’t have a family, they too will have to find out their goals; what they want to do in life by controlling or changing their habits. In these circumstances it is difficult to imagine an artist who is totally devoted to his/her passion for art putting similar emphasis/importance on all the other aspects of life, as said above.

Therefore I think we must understand and practice the ‘Secrets of Happy Living’.

  1. The first secret, according to me, would be ‘Self Awareness’. An individual needs to be conscious of his own body, state of mind including thoughts, actions, ideas, feeling and interaction with others. Besides, self awareness has to be a continuous process. It’s only then that you can mould your thoughts, actions and relationship with others. Without doubt, this requires a constant review. The process teaches you how to go about finding solutions to the problems.
  2. The second secret is setting priorities. It is not only fixing the priorities but also scheduling them according to their relative importance. We must remember that when we schedule a task and provide a time slot, it is not necessary that time allocated will always be found sufficient. Time management is another important aspect to be reviewed from time to time. The discipline that you require for constant follow up requires a logical approach. It should have nothing to do with the moods of the person. When a particular task is not finished as per schedule you need to provide the next slot and abide by it. This protocol alone can bring about the desired results.
  3. The third secret is necessary to develop a keen sense of focus. To my mind doing only one thing at a time is the best approach. As far as possible there should be no interruption. Equally important is your total mind and soul into what you are doing. One has to start living in the present, moment to moment. Deliberate effort may be required for some time but then it becomes your habit and you start navigating you life as if you are flying an airplane.
  4. Lastly, the fourth secret is your speech. It is critically important. Because we have to interact with colleagues, family members and the society at large, we must choose our words and use them effectively. Any wrong choice or casual approach towards this very important aspect of human personality can be disastrous. Speech must always be clear; words should be chosen with discretion and spoken effectively. Speech helps to maintain and improve our relations in any environment.

To conclude I would like to say that a successful life in modern times requires us to know and practice these and any other secret that works for us.

Thanks for reading.

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Dictionary meaning of POISE enlightens us!

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What is Poise?

  • According to the Cambridge Dictionary, poise is defined as calm, confidence in a person’s way of behaving or a quality of grace moving in an attractive fashion; balance in the way a person moulds or moves their body. Examples: he would be embarrassed for a moment but would quickly regain poise. Her confidence and poise show that she is a top model. Further example:
  • A lady with a lot of poise says – I am enough, I am full of sparkle and compassion, I genuinely want to make world a place I love. I practice kindness; I am not afraid of truth, I am loyal, adventurous, supportive and surprising. I am a woman, I am enough, I make mistakes but I own them and I learn from them, sometimes I make a lot of mistakes.

Only if you have poise, you can be confident, you can be graceful & elegant; you can be anywhere and make your presence felt. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it as explained by the famous philosopher, Aristotle.

Oscar Wilde once said “Now-a day’s people know the price of everything and the value of nothing”.

A poised man knows the value. He may also know the price but considers value more important than price. It can also be attributed that grace and elegance will never go out of fashion as poise and elegance are always loved and appreciated. It can also be said that key to winning is poise to be maintained under stress, among other qualities. Such is the importance of poise. Poise can also be felt inside one’s feelings, character and thoughts. It’s  just being oneself, being at ease and never fighting oneself, never underestimating one’s abilities. It is pretty impressive to see students standing in front of their peers. It takes poise, talent and courage because poise remains with us. Audrey Hepburn, a British actress of yester years said “poise is the knowledge that you are never alone, for beautiful eyes, look for good in others, for beautiful lips look for words of kindness and poise. Opt for the knowledge that you are never in dire difficulty”.

It also means to beat defeat with dignity, to receive criticism with homour and humility. These are also the marks of maturity and elegance. All in all, it is poise. It can also be stated that one should never hesitate, never try to hide oneself and be afraid of facing consequences or have shame, standing up on the values one believes in. Never to regret the past; it’s a waste of time as there is a reason for everything. Every terrible thing that one must have gone through in their lives also leave some messages. Every mistake that has happened would have a deep meaning associated with it. The only way one can earn respect is if one respects themselves and to do what he/she considers is the right thing; not to apologies for being oneself. Accepting your mistakes committed requires a lot of poise.

In a stress full situation, one can be concerned or little worried as well but maintaining poise you can overcome all negative feelings. Poise can also be mean as one’s ability to balance the extremes of life. Sometimes we find life difficult like a turbulent sea. But poise helps to maintain equanimity and dignity.

It is said that “never go through life, but grow though life”. In other words always be original, be yourself. Don’t try to duplicate someone in the process however successful the person may be, never try to copy or imitate others.

Further, life is like riding a bicycle. To keep one’s balance he/she must keep moving and never be stuck. Never think of past; never worry about future, but learn to live in the present. Our present alone and shape our future.

How to achieve poise?

Focus in your work gives you poise; patience gives you poise. But achieving success without work can only be found in the dictionary. Likewise maintainning poise without efforts is  not conceivable at all .The necessity to do one’s work or perform duty has been emphasized in our  great book of knowledge – The Bhagwat Gita. It says man maintains his balance, poise and sense of security only if he is moving forward. If he is stuck, he is dismayed and not able to perform his duty. He loses poise as well.

Sir Winston Churchill who had set an example and was an institute in his own right wittily said. “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity but an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty but keeping balance in both the situations”.

We must remember that poise and power are inseparably associated. It can be stated that the calm and balanced mind is strong and great mind but the hurried and agitated mind is a weakling. So never be in a hurry and never try to do anything ‘yesterday’. Be patient as the things do take their own time.

Never be upset with the circumstances if it is not in your favour and despite genuine hard work. One is not able to perform, as per expectation always. But patience is the key. And so is poise the ultimate key to elegance and success.

Thanks for reading.

Power of Good Habits!!

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What is habit?

Habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated frequently, and tends to occur unconsciously. Bad habits intrude your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals.  Breaking any habit can be difficult. For instance, if a person smokes regularly, it becomes his habit and even if he wants to quit, it becomes difficult for him to give-up.

Psychologist and philosopher William James proclaimed that the entire life is nothing but a series of habits that we form repeatedly. The power of habit has been explained by various authors, world leaders and motivational speakers.  One of the famous Authors, Stephen R. Covey, wrote a book titled “The 7 Habits of successful People” describing an approach to being effective in realizing your goals.

One can create excellence in big things, by developing good habits even in small matters. Keeping the desk clean, using mobile with discretion, removing the clutter from your mind, etc. All these  can be practiced again and again easily. When you instill these habits into your life, you create the foundation for achieving your goals.

Here are 8 Habits of highly productive people that you may adopt to get the best out of you!!

  1. Ruthlessly cut away the unimportant

That’s right. Try to focus only on the important things, and cut away everything that’s unimportant. There is no point doing something that is not needed for the desired results. So push yourself to quit wasting time, and bring yourself back to the production mode.

  1. Allocate breaks strategically

Productivity declines over time without taking brakes. Take many small breaks during the day. The rule of thumb would be to take a 5 to 10 minutes break every 2 hours of work. Breaks are a highly effective way to boosting your productivity.

  1. Remove productivity pitfalls

Things that limit your productivity must be thrown out.  It can be the loud music you listen to when you work, your phone calls, alerts from your inbox, your slow computer, the internet, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. These things trap you and prevent you from getting things done.

  1. Tap into your inspiration

No matter what field you’re in, your inspiration is the key to your output. So, channel your inner muse. Keep on thinking and contemplating the things that motivates you. And definitely you will find that your focus increases thereby up surging your productivity.

  1. Create barriers to entry

Don’t make yourself too accessible. If you’re too accessible, then you will face a lot of interruptions. Nowadays, people can connect with others very easily- with the touch of button (text, emails, calls, etc.). Therefore, guard your time to improve your productivity.

  1. Optimize time pockets

Make the best of every minute. For instance, if you’re working for 10 minutes, ensure that you achieve maximum outcomes in those 10 minutes and then you can take time off.  You usually get time pockets while waiting for people, commuting, chess app, reading books, or planning.

  1. Set timelines

Be clear on what you want to achieve, and then set your timelines for them. When you set timelines, you commit to yourself to complete the work on time, hence, paving the way for the reality to manifest.

  1. Automate everything possible

Technology today has made automation possible for a lot of things we do.  Hence, find a way to automate every task and let it be your habit. If you outsource, delegate. Delegation and automation wherever possible will enhance your productivity.

By no means, this is a complete list. But as you focus on improving productivity by adopting good habits you will be inspired to adopt more such habits which are particularly useful to you.

Thanks for reading.

Bad News: Time Flies Away / Good News: You are the Pilot

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If there is one thing that is equally distributed by the Lord Almighty, that is Time. And it is the most important of all resources. Proper use of time makes the people very successful and vice-versa. With the fast development of technology, executives are expected to be far more productive. It is possible. But it calls for more efficient use of your time.

In fact, over the years our attitude towards time has changed. Today, each one of us has become aware of cost of time.

One can effectively use time if the goals are written down. The specific goals make it mandatory to write down a plan of action. And when you have worked out your plan to achieve your goals in respect of important aspects of life, there is hardly any time which you can afford to lose.

I would like to mention here that some habits need to be changed to be more time productive. These are:

  1. Procrastination is the most potent culprit which destroys some of your most precious time. It is only important tasks that you want to carry out as a priority. But if the task is challenging, many a time you tend to postpone it. In the process, you lose time but more importantly the burden or guilt of not attending to important work makes you time inefficient. So having a habit of procrastination even in the smallest measure is not permissible.
  1. Time has the habit of expanding to work to the time allotted. Even if you are able to do a job in two hours, but you have four hours available, the work will expand to fill all four hours. So what is the remedy? Allot lesser time to the task. You may have to stretch yourself a bit. Do it. But, save time.
  1. Another villain which steals away your time is indecision. Whenever you are not able to decide between two or more options, you lose time. You must learn to be more decisive. Normally decisions are not taken because of risks associated with the decision. We must remember that not taking any risk is the biggest risk of our life.
  1. Verbosity in our speech is another time-wasting demon. We need to be terse in our communication. It just requires better focus and a determination of not using more words than are necessary.
  1. If we follow the system of diving our tasks into four quadrants as propounded by Steven Covey of “Seven Habit of Successful People”, we can surely save time which is often wasted.

There are some suggestions to use our time more productively. These are:

  • Keep a Time Log for 2-3 days. Understand the normal, routine use of your time. Now study the same to find out where you can save time. The exercise will not go waste. In process the credit balance of your time current account will increase.
  • If you want to become really time efficient follow the rule of 60 : 25 : 15.You must try to complete your routine (daily tasks) in 15% of the available time. Besides, 25% time should be spent on ongoing projects. Finally, spend 60% of your time on developments, innovations, and new projects.
  • Make a to-do every day morning and try to complete the jobs which must be done on that day. In this list, you must keep in mind the priorities. In fact proper prioritizing your tasks enables you to use your time very productively.

Working out priorities:

You must analyze your tasks. Then place them in three distinct categories:

  1. Tasks which are important as urgent. These cannot be carried forward.
  2. Tasks which are important but not urgent. For example, looking after your health and going for a walk daily is important but not urgent.
  3. Tasks which are neither urgent nor important. These should always receive the least importance.

While making your to-do list you must be realistic. Don’t pack too many things in a day which cannot be completed. If is unnecessary to create a burden for yourself. This will decrease your efficiency.

Thanks for reading.

12 Questions for Self Assessment in respect of your Attitude:

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Scores: 36 and above – you are doing well. Excellence has no limits. Keep going!

24 to 35 – please work on the areas that need improvement.

23 and below – there is an urgent need to change your attitude.

Thanks for reading.

Courage to Continue Denotes Success

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The word success as defined in the dictionary means “ the accomplishment of an aim or purpose” . True as it is but definition of the word success changes from person to person. Every individual’s definition of success is different. And why Not? We all have different aims, objectives, goals and purpose of life. And accomplishment of those would mean SUCCESS

to each one of us. Though there is no common definition of success many successful people have presented their views on success. Let us now understand what success meant to them and how best we can add to our success from their experiences.

A writer, statesman and a leader as he was Winston Churchill who has contributed immensely to the Britain’s victory in World War II has quoted that

“Success is not final, Failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts”. Isn’t it true? Many people think that if you fail at something , it is the end of your life. The suicidal stories you hear after the academic results are declared clearly indicate people’s

attitude towards failure. The quote mentioned above re instills the value of courage to continue the effort in spite of several failures. In short, perseverance is one of the keys to success.

When one wants to achieve something one should turn deaf ears to what people say about your endeavors . Because as the quote goes,” At first they will ask why you are doing it ;But later they will ask How did you do it?

Yes, this is especially important for the people who are torch bearers. Torch bearers are people who attempt to tread the less taken path and are the first ones to do so. When you are pursuing something different and novel, skeptic people always try to ask the validity of such pursuit. Well, if you are convinced about your effort and are ready to give in your hundred percent you will be successful at it. And then the same people would ask you the ways in which you tried to achieve such an untapped feat.

Life is a mix of good and bad times. We are successful sometimes and sometimes we do fail. The most important thing in life is to “Be thankful for hard times as they have made you.” Hard times are testing times. Failures should be visualized as a lesson. I t is rightly said,” When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”! Every struggle to get successful will make you wiser and stronger.

While achieving success it is important that you put your heart , mind and soul into excelling at what you have undertaken. If needed you have to sacrifice a lot in order to achieve something great. Swami Sivananda has rightly pinpointed the secret of success. He

quotes ,” Put your heart , soul and mind into even your smallest acts”. It is also very evident that there is no shortcut to success. It is well known that there is “No elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” Hard work in proper direction definitely yields success. ease everybody.

Success is a result of focus, hard work, learning from failure , loyalty and persistence .Indeed when you strives to excel at certain thing you are bound to be successful. When you balance your hard work with persistence and loyalty the end result will be none other than SUCCESS.

Nelson Mandela quotes” Don’t judge me by success but how many times I fell down and got back again”. If you have persevering attitude in life, nothing can stop you from being successful. Perseverance is a factor which differentiates between success and failure.

Success is , thus, relative to each individual. Unfortunately, many people don’t have goals at any time in life. Life is very short and the most important thing in life to be successful is to set some goals. What is a life without goals? People misconstrue goals to be only related to career and finances.

Well, negating that opinion you can categorize goals as:

  1. Career goals,
  2. Financial goals,
  3. Health goals,
  4. Family goals and
  5. Goals for society
  6. Hobby Goals
  7. And Spiritual Goals

You have to take charge and set goals for yourself. The priority of goals would differ from person to person. You may feel family and health goals are more important than the rest of the goals. An ambitious person may prioritize on career and financial goals. Hobby goals are the goals which are meant for yourself satisfaction. Society plays an important role in everyone’s life. You should also set some goals which will benefit the society. It is a way to give back to the society where you belong.

Maslow’s pyramid of self motivation has the self actualization need at the top of it! Spiritual goals help achieve that need of a person.

While setting up goals make sure that your goals are SMART.

SMART Goals mean

S- Specific

M-Measurable

A-Achievable

R-Realistic

T-Time bound

 Well, to achieve success be specific about what you want to achieve. The goals should have some yardstick against which you can measure your success. You should always have realistic goals and not unbelievable ones.

An example of setting a goal could be “ I want to reduce my weight by 1.5 kgs in a matter of 15 days. Once you do that you can start working over it by chalking out a plan and then executing the same.

Always check on what you have achieved against what you wanted to achieve And keep on bridging the gap, if any. When diligently persevered, success becomes a habit!!

Thanks for reading.

Four Factual Feature of WILLPOWER

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A Chinese Proverb says “Great Souls have wills ; feeble ones have only wishes .”

What exactly is meant by the word willpower or ‘will’?

Willpower is the ability of a person to decide and execute the course of action in detail to fulfill one’s wishes. It is the strong determination by which a person continuously strives to achieve one’s goals with dedication, especially, when caught in difficult times.

Psychologists have also termed this mysterious phenomenon called willpower as self control exerted to shrug off the inner resistance in the form of discomfort or laziness in order to hit the long term targets. Lack of strong willpower is one of the reasons for failure. Whether it is the goal to reduce weight , to quit smoking or to complete  an arduous project,  stupendous willpower is the key secret to achieve it!

The beauty of willpower is that one can work over it and increase it with a resolve. Let us see the essentials required behind cultivating and developing a strong willpower.

  1. Clarity of Thought : Clear thinking is vital for setting specific goals in life. When we know our particular destination and our purpose to reach there is well defined, we chalk out a  plan accordingly. Without clarity of thoughts, we tend to get diverted as we have no focus and are devoid of specific goal.

Napoleon Hill – There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants ,a nd a burning desire to possess it.

  1. Discipline : “ It is fatal to enter any war without the ‘will’ to win it” -Douglas Macarthur

In order to cultivate a seed of willpower and to develop it further, it  needs to be supplemented with the essential power of self discipline. Self Discipline is the strength to work towards one’s goals with perseverance and tolerance in order to accomplish those. Without self discipline one tends to give up to the temptations, inconvenience, hardships or obstacles which may come in the way to achieve your goals.

  1. Strong desire : “Strong desire is the starting point of any achievement.”

Any successful accomplishment stems from the strong desire . Strong desire to fulfill one’s mission manifests itself into a  disciplined plan  and approach to achieve it. It increases one’s willpower to achieve one’s dream and fulfill wishes. The wishes remain wishes if not backed up with the fire of strong desire.

  1. Great Emotional Intelligence : Emotionally intelligent people don’t lose course of action even in phase of extremely challenging circumstances. They are focused and thus, the willpower to achieve goals increases. They respond to the hurdles, obstacles and the difficult times in the same way as if there aren’t any. Emotional intelligence enables one to think logically when one encounters  a pressure cooker type situation.It  doesn’t let the odds interfere in your way towards success. Thus, with a great emotional intelligence one is always power packed with strong willpower . Success, then, is certainty.

James Gordon has quoted “ Its not that some people have willpower and some don’t . It is that some people are ready to change and others are not”.

Indeed! Willpower is a by -product of how much one can change oneself .

Your willpower is like a muscle. When you use it , it gets stronger. It is a habit when inculcated can lead to several success stories and vice versa. Every success story is an expression of strong willpower.

Henry Ford, who is known for his one of the successful car brands in the world , could achieve so given his firm grit and willpower.

Now let us see how strong willpower is a boon for a person.

  • It enables strong perseverance:- It enables one to continue the needful course of action decided upon at the beginning of the mission. Most importantly during difficult times. Persevering the goal is crucial to attain it.
  • It increases the focus:- With Strong willpower comes the focused attitude. One sticks to the plan even in case of odd circumstances. It is wise to starve your distractions and to feed your focus. With great focus comes a accomplishment.
  • It wards off the hesitations and the doubts if any:- When the willpower is augmented one tends to visualize the goal and hence there is no space left for the hesitations and doubts.
  • It enables to take calculated risks:- When one is backed with strong willpower, one takes calculated risk.

” If you risk nothing, then you risk everything”. -Geena Davis

  • It is the most essential ingredient to the most successful life:- With a strong and

positive willpower one can move mountains. But without the same one is helpless.

So, give the bird of wishes , the wings of magnificent willpower . You will definitely visualize the success soaring high.

Thank of Reading.