The Power of Opportunity(2015)
Your Attitude Determines How Successful You Can Be
Not everyday is the same; every moment brings with it a fair share of happiness, joy, grief and sadness. Unfortunate as it may be, that is the number one rule of life. Waiting for happiness to knock at your door, or waiting for the tides of grief to subside, is not how it works. Struggle is the keyword here, if you want to achieve anything in life, or simply move on from a current state of mind, you need to buck up, hold your head up high and “strive” through thick and thin in life.
In order to reach anywhere in life, you need to develop the right attitude. You ask what is the right attitude? The right kind of attitude cannot be objectively determined; it can have various interpretations, depending on the situation at hand. It may simply mean going for a jog to clear your head or standing up for what you believe in, even when the winds are in the opposite direction.
If you want to weather any kind of storm in your life, you need to have the right attitude. The right attitude not only helps you focus and get out of a certain situation or predicament, it also helps you identify opportunities, which might open up doors to self-improvement and enhancement, if nothing else.
As they say, opportunity never knocks twice; try to make the most of your present; soak in each moment as it is and grab each opportunity that comes by. Live in the present; learn from your past and start preparing for your future, but also know that nothing in this world will last forever. Having said this, living in the moment does not imply that you become ignorant about your future. The right approach towards life, in general, is to be as proactive as possible and to foresee any changes or evolutions in the future.
Evolve as a Human Being
Develop the Right Attitude
Having elaborated upon the importance of developing the right attitude, it is crucial to identify the nature of the attitude. According to various optimists, adopting a positive outlook towards life is the right way to perceive life. If you are wondering how to inculcate positivity in your life, give the below a good read:
Happiness is a Choice
Engulfed in an ocean of troubles, sorrows and grief makes it increasingly hard for you to re-surface and acknowledge the existence of a lifeboat or an island, by the corner. This simply means that whenever you are depressed or troubled, you tend to ignore that tiny flicker of hope and fail to consider happiness as an option for you. This is where having a positive attitude would help you and make you realize that happiness is just around the corner. But only if you are ready to embrace it.
You need to find the good in the ugly, a light in the darkness and a rose in a bush of thorns. The process of treating happiness as a choice and then pursuing it is no piece of cake. It requires a tremendous amount of perseverance, self-resolve and most of all, the willingness to dust yourself up. However, you need to realize that happiness hardly ever comes as an uninvited guest. Just like everything else in life, you need to strive for happiness and, many a times, this struggle might turn out to be the most difficult of all.
Learn to Prioritize
Prioritizing your life, in terms of the most and least important tasks, not only gives you perspective, it encourages you to think positively. The outcome of prioritizing is always beneficial for you and the people around you. Thus, prioritize your life in the following way:
Reinstate Your Purpose
Time and again, you need to keep reminding yourself of your purpose in life. Years of pain and suffering might have blurred your sense of purpose, but you need to try to rekindle that flame. Try to redirect your life to a time when you truly felt happy and then reassess. Try to question yourself, what changed and why? Try to assess your situation and try to carve a way forward.
Identify Your Purpose
Having reflected upon your actions and words should give you sufficient food for thought to identify your sense of purpose. Start by prioritizing your responsibilities and see where your loyalties should lie, at work or at home. Chalk out a list of positive attributes you wish to develop with time and think of various ways to accomplish them.
Visualize Your Future
Form a clear picture of where you want to see yourself in the next 2 to 3 years. Hang on to that visual picture; if nothing else, it would motivate you to become what you aspire to be.
Look For Positivity Around You
Believe it or not, there is a speck of positivity even in the most negative and darkest of all situations. You might not be able to discover it with the naked eye; you need to use your inner eye to see beyond all the negativity. Faith and belief should be the two constants in your life and they will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever happens in your life is a learning experience and take upon every hardship as a challenge, only to resurface as a survivor, stronger and more powerful than ever before.
Listen to Your Inner Voice
No matter how many motivational sessions you attend, unless you listen to your inner voice and talk to it, you will never develop the will to power through. Having said this, do not let your inner voice dominate you and try to reason with it.
Remove Negativity From Your Life
If you are trying to be positive, you cannot afford to surround yourself with negative people. They will simply discourage you and dampen your spirits. Moreover, try to rid yourself of negative thoughts, actions and things. The aim is to build a positive aura around yourself and not to let any unnecessary negativity seep through.
Looking at the Bright side
What is the bright side? Have you ever really given it a thought? Some people simply cannot acknowledge the greener side of the pasture, especially when they are buried under the rubble of troubles and sorrows. What they fail to understand is that the hope of a brighter side is going to help them survive and wage all of life’s battles. Even when you see no light at the end of the tunnel, you need to believe that it exists and the only way you can get there is by being optimistic.
For those who have given up hope and are finding it extremely hard to get out of their current predicament, looking at the bright side is not at all easy. For such people, the following tips might come in handy:
The fundamental step towards a happy and contented life is to embrace life with open arms. Instead of whining over petty issues and your current state of affairs, learn to accept each facet of life, no matter how ugly or unpleasant it may be. Things just do not happen, the sooner you realize this, the better it will be for you. If you want to change your life, you need to take control and take the necessary steps to right all the wrongs. Always remember that time and tide waits for no one; your fate is in your hands.
Remind Yourself that You are Capable
At times, we don’t know just how strong we are, unless being strong is the only option we are left with. You need to remind yourself, over and over again, that you are capable of dealing with whatever comes your way. Do not let your caste, profession or your relationships define who you are. Your inner potential is hidden and only you can truly exploit it, especially during times when you are tested. Ignore the voices around you and assess yourself, then only can you truly determine the power and strength you have within.
Disregard Others' Opinions
We spend too much time fussing over what others think about us. This only makes us weak and dependent on people and soon enough, we start looking at the world from other people’s eyes. Always remember, you are who you want to be and you can never become a figment of someone else’s opinions, unless you let them control your feelings and emotions. Analyze your inner strengths, weaknesses and disregard what other people think of you. At the end of the day, you are your best judge and the way you know yourself, no one else does.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
The brighter side of life will cease to exist for you, if you keep comparing yourself to others and complain about the blessings they have and you have been deprived of. If you have a habit of comparing, do it with someone who is less fortunate, so that you can count your bounties and become grateful. As for the voids you feel in your life, roll up your sleeves and strive to fill the gaps. What you need to believe is that your struggles, your faith and your capabilities are more than enough for you to strive through your life.
At times, when your faith is shaken, you tend to bury yourself under a pile of complexes and try to hide from the world. You need to realize that you need to start loving yourself, before you can love others, be it people, your work or your external environment. Accept your weaknesses, bask in your qualities and try to love yourself, just the way you are. You need a reality check, every now and then, that whatever you are and whatever you have is enough to struggle through rough patches.
Keep Your Calm
Do not let others influence your behavior and no matter what they say or do, try to keep your calm, at all times. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you end up acting irrationally, due to a nasty or ugly remark from a friend or family member. Always remember, you have everything at stake, you have everything to lose, not the other person. Therefore, be mindful of your behavior because, at the end of the day, you are the only one responsible for it.
Treat Life as a Journey
Do not yearn for the perfect destination in your life. Your entire life is a journey and it needs to be undertaken, one step at a time. Accept whatever life offers you and make the most of this journey, even if things do not work out the way you want them to. They never do, do they? Try to live in the moment, knowing that nothing lasts forever. This will make you appreciate the little things in life and give you the strength to tackle obstacles along the way.
Share happiness and it will multiply. Ever heard this phrase? It is not only restricted to books of philosophy; it has a deeper meaning in life. Try to develop a positive outlook towards life and share that positivity with people around you. The aim is to share happiness and inculcate a feeling of mutual sharing and appreciation between your friends, family and colleagues.
Keep the aforementioned tips in mind and try to implement them in your life, regardless of whether you are weathering a storm or contented with your life. Positivity doesn’t develop overnight; it takes considerable time and patience to look at the brighter side and to maintain that outlook, even during hardships and difficulties.
Always remember that life does not stay the same, all the time. Change is the only constant in life and the sooner you learn to be positive, the easier it would be for you to embrace the bitter reality of life. A little patience, perseverance and faith would go a long way. Rest assured, being an optimist would surely pay off, if not now, then in the long run.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
In order to achieve anything worthwhile in life, you need to make an effort; there is nothing like a “free lunch” in life. Yes, good things come to those who wait, but opportunities do not knock on those doors, where people are too comfortable with their current way of living.
The first and foremost rule of accomplishment is to step out of your comfort zone, do things which you never thought you were capable of, say things which were never said before and tackle obstacles along the way. You cannot expect your fate to do marvels for you, without even twitching a single muscle and making the tiniest bit of effort. If you are truly determined to achieve something, make that your aim or goal and give it all you have got.
If nothing else, stepping out of your comfort zone would expose you to a different facet of life and will enrich you with such a learning experience, the likes of which cannot be found in textbooks or motivational lectures. Life is surely a gamble, you need to play your cards wisely and always remember that risk and certainty is part and parcel of the game.
If you are wondering how to step out of the safety shell that you have built around yourself, here are a few helpful tips:
Embark on a Different Journey
If you truly want to step out of your comfort zone, try doing something different and ambitious. Until now, you might be used to doing activities and tasks, which were aligned to your personality. This puts a cap on the nature and type of experiences that you are exposed to. Try to do something which contradicts your personality and is a little demanding, so that you can experience something new and exciting. You never know, you might end up surprising yourself or the people around you.
Embrace Your Fears
The fear of a bad outcome or the fear of failure usually stops people from stepping out of their comfort zones and striving to accomplish something meaningful in life. If you want to approach a certain loved one and express your feelings, the fear of rejection and being let down might stop you from entering the battlefield, with your head held up high. You need to face your deepest and darkest fears and embrace them, as a part of life. Failure to do so would impair your ability to bring about significant changes in your life.
Many people have such strong fears that it becomes next to impossible for them to overcome them. Having said that, this process cannot be completed overnight, it takes a lot of time and dedication. The trick is to take one-step at a time and let yourself get used to the fractional changes, instead of drastic ones.
Before embarking upon a new journey, involve a friend or loved one. You would be surprised to find out how much that would help. Having someone by your side, one who is facing the exact same things that you are, is soothing and comforting, at the end of the day. However, if your journey is all about self-exploration and self-assessment, involving a third person would fail to do the trick. Several journeys are meant to be embarked alone, so that you can truly capture the essence of the experiences you face along the way.
Make New Friends
Many a times, when you are desperate to step out of your comfort zone, the best way is to stop hanging out with your current group of friends. Try befriending someone, with diverse interest and hobbies and you will see a noticeable change in your thoughts and actions. A person’s company plays a vital role in his/her personality development and what better way to change your perspective towards life, than to make a new friend.
Think of Positive Memories
Stepping out of your comfort zone usually means focusing on the positives and ignoring the negative voices inside your head. Before delving into something completely new and different, think of the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and try to relive the positive memories of that specific incident. Negative thoughts would automatically perturb you and would distract you from your main goal and/or purpose. Do not let them get in the way of trying out something different. Adopting a tunnel vision approach would probably work best here. Therefore, eyes should be on the prize and the only way you can get hold of the prize is by thinking positive.
Do Your Homework
Sometimes your imagination becomes your worst enemy and tries to paint a gruesome picture of whatever you are delving into. Being double minded is completely natural, but you need to exercise a bit of self-control over your thoughts. Try to do a bit of research on whatever it is that you want to try and experiment. Try to track down various other people who have embarked upon the same path and gauge their experiences, thoughts and reactions. Rest assured, a positive word of mouth would benefit you greatly.
Stepping out of your bed of roses always requires a high level of control of the mind, over your body. In order to reach such a level of control, you need to soothe your emotional state of mind. You need to have faith; you need to believe in yourself and your inner capabilities. The following might help you stabilize your emotional state of being:
- Use your imagination to your own advantage and try to let it wander in a positive manner. Try to form a rosy picture of how exciting and thrilling it would be to try something new and different.
- Food for thought is as important as food for the soul. Music is the most effective way to lift your spirits and helps you gain perspective.
- Practice a few breathing exercises on a daily basis, you would be surprised to find out just how effective they are.
- It's also helpful to take meditation classes and learn the various arts of meditation, yoga being the most popular one.
Five Ways to Be More Proactive
Do you know what it's like to be proactive? Have you ever given this nine letter word some thought? There is a popular misconception that being proactive is strictly restricted to taking an initiative and making an effort. However, a proactive person plans our each action, every step of the way and takes full accountability and responsibility of the decisions he/she makes along the way.
It is a shining attribute of a proactive person, not to play the blame game and to handle all the success and failures that come along. A proactive person knows that failure is not an end, it is a means to an end and it only helps you realize your mistakes and prevents you from repeating them in the future. Being proactive gives you a renewed sense of purpose and teaches you not to blame anyone else for your actions and decisions. Life in general, and the various challenges along the way, become easier and manageable once you become proactive. If you want to become a proactive person, it is never too late to learn; follow the five essential ways listed below.
Prioritize Your Life
The most important step towards being proactive is to prioritize your life, each and every step of the way. You need to list down your roles and responsibilities, in order and evaluate the relative significance of each in your life. Try to strike a work/life balance and take into account your most valued relationships. Prioritizing your everyday tasks and relationships would, in other words, help you allocate your time and attention, ranging from the most to the least important task on your to-do list.
However, priorities tend to change over time and you need to accommodate them in your everyday life. For many people, their family is the top most priority and for good reason. However, as your life changes, your priorities tend to change and you need to be flexible enough to make room for new people or responsibilities in your life’s equation. It is advisable to schedule your life around your priorities, in order to do justice to yourself, your work and the people related to you.
Make Your To-Do List
Make it a habit, before sleeping every night, to draft your to-do list. If nothing, it will certainly give you a sense of purpose and direction. Chalk out all the activities, be if personal or work-related and write down their respective deadlines. Closely twined with the above point, making a to-do list makes you prioritize your life in a better and more efficient manner. A to-do list is practically a graphical representation of your mind map and lays down what needs to be done and when.
From a psychological perspective, it helps you plan for the near future, in a more constructive manner and helps you predict black swans along the way. What are black swans? They are giant, winged creatures, but not according to the current context. In truly marketing terms, black swans are referred to as events which cannot be predicted in the future and are outliers to the individual or business. The only way one can truly avoid them is by being proactive and planning out every single detail of his/her life.
State Your Outcomes
Failing to plan is planning to fail, right? This might sound as a cliché but has a profound meaning, especially when it comes to being proactive. An inherent part of planning is the process of objective and goal setting. After prioritizing your life and making a to-do list, you need to be clear about your goals and ambitions.
Ask yourself, what is it that you are trying to accomplish? How would you want to see yourself, say at the end of this week or month? Even if your priority is to join the gym and lose a few pounds, your outcome at the start and end of the time period should be clear and well defined. Try linking your objectives to your priorities and accomplish each, in the order of their relative importance. Paint a mental picture and try to use your imagination, in order to successfully define and implement your goals.
Determine High Payoff Activities
Setting your outcomes is always the toughest task and once you have established clear-cut objectives according to your priorities, you are now ready to start with the screening process. Assess each activity on your to-do list and question its importance and role in achieving the respective outcome. Tasks with greater importance and relevance should be included, whereas redundant ones should be crossed off your list.
After identifying your high payoff activities, you should focus on allotting a specific date and time to them, so that you do not end up doing something else in that time slot. Again, your high payoffs are dependent upon your priorities; the greater priority a task has, the higher would be the payoff.
Share Your Plans
The last step in being proactive is to share your plans with people- not everyone, only the ones you truly trust. It can be your spouse, your manager or even your boss. This is the time to reflect upon whatever you have worked for in the past week or month. Give them the accountability to question you on your daily or weekly progress, so that you can reflect on your actions and gauge the relative success or failure of your proactive behavior. Try to identify points of weaknesses and loopholes in the plans and take necessary steps to rectify them in the future.
After discussing the five most crucial steps towards becoming a proactive individual, the relative importance of adopting this concept in your life should become clear. A proactive person is better able to deal with various unforeseen events, as opposed to a reactive person. A reactive person hardly plans and waits for the calamity to strike, before actually taking steps to rectify it. The choice is yours, at the end of the day: if you want to be prepared for the future, even to the slightest degree, being proactive is the way to be.