Thursday, December 31, 2009


The most scarce resource today is TIME. With every breath we take, we expend our energies and actually reduce our life span. When this thought strikes us, we realize how important it is to make the best use of the time at our disposal  and ensure we have no regrets. A good test to know if your using your time well is to simply answer this question now- If I were to die in the next 5 mins what would I be doing? 
Today I Must Exploit is a wonderful way to visualize how one uses his /her time. Each one of us has a different priority in life. As long as we are comfortable that we have focused our resources and our time to attain those priorities, we will never have any regrets about how we spend our time. If reading is our priority then so be it, watching a movie can also be ones priority especially if you are a move reviewer or sleep could be our prime concern after a hard days work.The problem is that we are rarely sure of our priorities and often we compromise on those priorities for short term pleasures.Students in particular are guilty of squandering away precious time by ignoring their studies and substituting it with frivolous pursuits like watching movies, TV, sleeping or shopping. For professionals, the danger is in wasting time in gossiping, backbiting, leg pulling, ego massaging, texting / emailing, indecision, etc.

Three simple TIME management rules are
  1. Have a place for everything and put everything in its place
  2. Plan your priorities and prioritize your plans
  3. Pursue your priorities purposefully
Action Points
  • Ensure you start with a clean, orderly environment where all your stuff is kept in fixed places and locations. 
  • List out your priorities and plans to achieve them.
  • Make a commitment to avoid all temptation and distractions that will divert your focus from the goal.
              Power Act - from is focused on -
                        Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Self belief is a critical requirement for anyone who believes in Positive Thinking. Unfortunately, most of us tend to focus on our failures, and get paralyzed by the thought that if our actions do not produce the desired results, we have let ourselves and those who have confidence in us down. We therefore choose the easiest option inaction; in effect what we are doing is giving in to our FEAR’s.

FEAR is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real. Let us view it differently. In any race, there can be only one winner. Does it mean that the person with the best timing be the only one to run the race? Sounds stupid, since every one in the race has a fair chance of winning, as they carry the potential to win and have thus qualified to be in the final race. A failure to win one race doesn’t mean that we cannot win the next race. If we let our fears appear so real, then we would enter every race with the belief that we will not win and you can be sure it will be a self fulfilling prophecy. Of course we must not be fool hardy and enter races where we are physically, mentally and psychologically not competent for the race. Our life is not a competitive race with one another, just a qualitative race between our own today and tomorrow. Making our life more meaningful today, more pleasurable for everyone around and pushing our own boundaries of excellence is what makes life beautiful.

No one has succeeded without tasting failure; the bitter tastes of failure is like a bitter medicine that only serves to make you healthier in spirit, mightier in thought and more determined in action.

Action Points
  • List out your goals and your fears that have stopped you from attempting those goals.
  • List out your failures and the possible reasons for those failures.
  • Outline those goals you realized despite initial setbacks and failures and ask yourself how or why you succeeded in achieving those goals.

                     Power Act - from is focused on -
                               Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


For starters, I PUSHed myself into a corner when I got stuck in the rut called 'Writers Block'. Actually it was tardiness masquerading as Writers Block. You must be wondering what all this is about.
PUSH is Pray Until Something Happens. You would notice that there is a considerable time lag since my previous post and this post and when I grew desperate, I used the PUSH formula. It worked miraculously when a small voice at the back of my head kept telling me louder and louder, Stop Praying and start TYPING!
The secret of PUSH is in your BELIEF – Belief in GOD and Belief in YOUSELF. The miracles in your life happen because you prepare for them. Prayer is the ignition key to your LIFE, but your are the vehicle that needs to go somewhere; so keep yourself mentally, physically and spiritually ready. As the saying goes ‘ Chance favours the prepared wo/man’

PUSH works! It will give you Inspiration but YOU have to get up and do the Perspiration if the PUSH has to take you anywhere.

Action Points
  • Ask youself the following questions and pen down your answers in detail
  • Am I clear in my mind what I want ?
  • Am I prepared to sacrifice something inorder to attain my goals?
  • Do I have confidence in myself to achieve what I set out to do?
  • How will I best use the PUSH formula?

          Power Act - from is focused on -

                   Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Monday, December 14, 2009

12- Interesting ACRONYMS - MY interpretations.

The next set of blogs will focus on Interesting ACRONYMS* that have intrigued me ! Many of them are inspirational and thought provoking, but often we read and appreciate the expansions but have difficulty in embracing it and using it to recharge our batteries. MY interpretations of these acronyms is an attempt to share with you my views on each and I hope it will give you added impetus to adopt, adapt and be motivated by it.
                    *acronyms - a word formed from the initial letters of other words eg U.N. (United Nations)

The focus is on acronyms, that have motivational / inspirational / positive expansions.One of the most common ones is Together Everyone Achieves More. However there are others like PUSH and FAITH which have very thought provoking expansions and the next few blogs will focus on many such ACRONYMS.

You are welcome to forward me, Acronyms that you have come across, which you find thought provoking or stimulating or those acronyms about which, you would like my views on. You can either post it as a comment on this blog or email me at I would also value your feedback and comments on this blog and your are encouraged to write in your comments. 
                    Power Act - from is focused on -
                                  Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Friday, December 11, 2009

11 - Do your BEST

We now come to the concluding stanza of Longfellow's wonderful poem the Psalm of Life and it reads as follows :

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

In the concluding stanza, Longfellow urges us to go about our Life, nonchalantly; focusing on our work and to leave the rest to destiny. We must understand this last stanza in the overall context of the poem and the preceeding stanzas, where Longfellow has drawn our attention to the subtle manner in which Life ebbs for each one of us.
Through each of the stanza's, he urges to the Awake, Alive, Ahead, Bold and Purposeful, giving of our Best Everyday, leaving our stamp behind and having Hope as our guiding star. If this be so, he points out that Life is very simple just go about your job without expectations. However in the last but one verse, he makes an emphatic statement that we must do work to achieve something and we must pursue our goals and then in the last verse, he tells us that patience is the most important virtue that one can have !!

Life is to be Lived with passion and enthusiasm;  The joy of work must be in doing it - not only in the rewards of it; Make everyday count. Then you will never have any regrets that yesterday was just a dream and tomorrow an elusive illusion!

Action Points :
  • Check if you get irritated easily - by people, situations, work
  • List out your irritants; then outline your plan to overcome them
  • Ask yourself if the rewards of work are the ONLY motivators that drive you?
  • Re -read the The Psalm Of Life and see if each stanza has a meaning in your Life!

     Power Act - from is focused on -
                          Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 - Seek and you shall find HOPE

 The next verse has a rare tranquility about it and Longfellow holds out hope to those who feel hapless and lost.
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again. 

We are blessed to have the benefit of the example of sublime lives of the great men in history, who have battled odds, accepted challenges and often furrowed a lonely path. They offer inspiration and like a lighthouse, guide us through the choppy waters of life. Longfellow uses the right analogy of a shipwrecked brother,  for often we are thrown into the deep waters of everyday living, finding our spirits sinking and sorely tempted to give up.Fortunately for  us, we can draw courage from examples set by men of character, the people who shaped history and those who proactively changed the course of their own destiny.

The short but impactful message of this eight verse is; HOPE exists, it is real and we have examples to believe in it. Seek and you shall find HOPE.

Action Points :
  • Are we setting a good example for others to follow?
  • Do we have the right idols and role models in our life?
  • What are those new things I will attempt to become more proactive and involved in?
  • Do I have negative, hostile, defeatist feelings in me? How can I overcome these ?  
         Power Act - from is focused on -                                         Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 - Let your Life be your Signature

One of the most quoted verses of Longfellow, the seventh verse packs a punch that is hard to beat. It is simultaneously awe inspiring in its articulation, the depth of its philosophy and the breadth of its impact.  

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;

Longfellow weaves a strong common thread across continents, the centuries, the human race since eternity and the present moment, by comparing the lives of the great men who have shaped it and insightfully professes them all to be SUBLIME. The coup de grace of that verse is a masterpiece - when he points out that the passing away of all great men are actually milestones that provide us the beacon for generations to come.
The poetic beauty of the last line of the verse is the clarity with which he paints a picture of the sands of time and the endless footprints on it. Time is so abstract a concept to visualize but with the quaint usage of Footprints, Longfellow suddenly provides us a near three dimensional view of it.

It is for us to draw inspiration from those many Great Lives- our heroes, our idols and our Gods. We need to mould ourselves on similar lines but using our own self as the mould and then let our own LIFE be as unique as our Signature !

Action Points :
  • Work on your personal vision and mission statement.
  • Appreciate your own uniqueness- see yourself in the mirror, check out your picture in group photographs, look at your handwriting and don't forget to check out the uniqueness of your signature.
  • If you have the daring - write your own epitaph !
          Power Act - from is focused on -
                     Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Monday, December 7, 2009

8 - Only Today is Ours - use it NOW

In four short simple lines quoted below Longfellow encompasses an undeniable reality that - Only Today is OURS
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act -- act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Neither day dreams or reminisces of the past will help us realize our goals and harness our potential. It is ACTION alone that will result in tangible outcomes. Often we find ourselves, lapsing into the Good Ol' days mood, particularly when we are faced with obstacles and irritants that slow us down in the humdrum of life. Other times when we are more upbeat and excited we tend to visualize the future and paint in the most vibrant colors and almost tasting that illusionary success. The harsh reality however lies in between, TODAY.
While the past and the future have an important role in shaping our today through the hindsight of experience and the numerous possibilities of our imagination, it is work done Today that charts our course and helps us mark the milestones covered. When we are insecure and need guidance to ACT...Longfellow reminds us we must have a Strong Heart (self belief) and Immense Trust (in God) and take the plunge.

ACT- act, is an emphasis that it is both a continuing and an ongoing activity which we need to do every moment of our life! Only the present moment is ours, we need to use it Now and use it Well.

Action Points:
  • Begin the practice of making a to-do today list.
  • Start doing the least liked tasks first so that you are not stressed about it the whole day
  • Try and review the day gone by and think of more efficient ways of doing some of the tasks.
     Power Act - from is focused on -           
           Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

7 - March ahead with purpose

Longfellow now moves to a very philosphically plane in the fifth verse when he writes:
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
                  Bivouac - a temorary open encampment without tents
In a most unusual way, the poet draws out attention to the fact that our Life is actually a battle- a battle of choice; for we are given a free will and ample choices. Notice how a rarely used word bivouac is used to convey the fact that we stand exposed to the vagaries of making choices between good and evil, action and inaction, hope and despair, passive existence and active LIVING. He makes us focus our attention on the fact that the truth about life is the same for all human beings and yet it is OUR RESPONSE that would make us different form the next person.
Longfellow then urges us to take up the challenges thrown up by Life. He shames us in a subtle way when he remarks that we must not be like cattle that follow the herd and have to be driven by the cow herd, but we must be more decisive and chart out our own course. There is a reward at the end of it all; when we look into the mirror of our own life we will always see a HERO gazing back.
We need to realize that Life provides us challenges to ensure that we use all our God given abilities to the full and it begins with us having a purpose in life and the zeal and conviction to meet our goals.

 Action Points:
           List out the answers to the following
  •  Do I know what I want from my life?
  •  What stops me from achieving what I want to achieve ?
  • What are the sacrifices that I am willing to make in order to achieve my goals? eg. If I want better grades can I sacrifice my TV viewing? Am I prepared to eat less and exercise more in order to keep fit and feel healthier ?
     Power Act - from is focused on -
            Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

6 - Challenge your fears

In the fourth verse notice Longfellow's keen observation about the human mind when he writes :

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

The word Art has perhaps been used by Longfellow, to convey the multifaceted abilities of the human race. He echoes what goes through our minds every time we hear of death, that we as individuals have so much more to do, to achieve, to attain and we are fearful that if death pays us a visit, our hopes & dreams would remain unfulfilled.
We put on a brave face, sympathize with those who have lost a beloved one, console one another and yet beneath the bravado and dapper appearance,  our hearts beat faster echoing our innermost fears and our mind's turbulence. Sadly during this phase the only song that springs to mind are the mournful tunes and words of the funeral marches (songs sung at funerals) highlighting our obsession with our Existence.
On a more subtle note, Longfellow is perhaps urging us  not to be so obsessed with Life per se but is hinting that we need to utilize our life in pursuit of our passions, our dreams and our aspirations and to get over our morbid fears. 

Action Points:
  • List out your dreams / passions.
  • Outline how you propose to work on it / pursue it with greater interest.
  • Do something that you dislike / fear /dread eg. if you have a fear of heights at least try to visit the top floor of a high rise building or you could make an effort to read for an hour every day for 2 weeks (lack of time or a dislike for reading being assumed here)
      Power Act - from is focused on -
            Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Friday, December 4, 2009

5 - Move Forward - move Ahead

Continuing our analysis of Longfellow's poem the Psalm of Life we move on to the third verse which reads as :

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us further than to-day.

If we look around, we can make a general observation that the rich, live life King size - enjoying the comforts of all that money can buy. The poor on the other hand resign to their fate and meekly accept their lot - to live poor, to be servile to the rich and make peace with their woes. Longfellow very insightfully observes that enjoyment and sorrow are just two extreme ends of a continuum, and all human beings alternate between these tow extremes. However Life, he observes is to be lived on a different continuum which is just unidirectional - progressive.  

His formula of LIFE is simple - focus on moving ahead in your life and believe that each day brings new opportunities to  progress, to improve and to succeed. So go make the best of that opportunity.

Action Points :
  • What new activity can I attempt this week ?
  • How can I improve on my existing activities ?
  • In what ways can I make significant change in myself?

    Power Act - from is focused on - 
          Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

4- Be Alive, Be Real - Embrace LIFE

The second stanza of Longfellow's poem the Psalm of Life which reads as under, is an ode to LIFE :

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.

The focus now shifts to Appreciating the LIFE given to us. He urges us to see life as a gift from someone who loves us immensely and therefore the need for us to value it dearly. While death is an inescapable reality, it is LIFE that is God's gift to the HUMAN Race.

Christians believe that man was made from dust and since they bury their dead the third stanza aptly brings out this fact. However in a most dramatic way Longfellow contrasts the irony of LIFE as understood in it's physical form, in the fourth stanza, where he emphasizes that the SOUL is immortal.

We need to ask ourselves the question 'Are we Dead Men/Women walking'? Are we Living Corpses ? or Are we ALIVE, REAL beings valuing the gift of LIFE and Embracing the wonders that LIFE offers us.

Action Points:
  • List out the things /events in your life, for which you are grateful to God.
  • Apart from prayer, how can you express your appreciation of the gift of LIFE to God?
  • In what ways can you contribute to making LIFE wonderful for those less privileged than you?
Power Act - from is focused on -
       Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

3- Be Awake Be Aware

The first verse of The Psalm of Life reads as under:

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
"Life is but an empty dream!"
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Longfellow seems to suggest that the vast majority of people go through life passively, accepting their existence as their fate and feeling lonely and lost. He exhorts his fellow beings to realize the reality that fate is not what is ordained in their lives, but what they make of it, provided he/ she is awake to that reality. Alas, most of us are in blissful ignorance of this fact and as a result we are merely existing not LIVING our lives.

When one realizes his / her folly of passive acceptance a new awareness is created within us and realization dawns that LIFE is WHAT I make of it...and then it occurs to us that the possibilities are immense.

Pause for a moment to think of all the happy events in your life, visualise the wonderful people who have enriched your life, remember the joy you gave to others by sharing a joke, or a word of praise or by giving a gift. You would observe that in almost all cases, you chose a line of action and that is why you enjoyed the rewards of happiness.

Action Steps :
  • Pick up the phone and talk to a friend / ex-colleague / a teacher whom you have liked / call you spouse or children and just say I Love YOU
  • List out the Christmas / New Year gift for your family and close friends.
  • Make a power point presentation to be emailed as your Christmas/ New Year Greetings
  • Plan a surprise party for your family/ friends/ junior colleagues

    Power Act - from is focused on -
           Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2-The Psalm of Life -Commentary

In my previous post I referred to H.W. Longfellow's classic poem The Psalm of Life. In my view it is one of the most comprehensive and thought provoking poems about life. The title of the poem is indicative of the depth and philosophy that spans the narrative of the poem. A psalm - is a sacred song and Longfellow has aptly titled this masterpiece.

The insightful observations of Longfellow and the free flow of the verses are the hallmark of a poetic genius. You can read the poem over and over again and be inspired and humbled by the varied dimensions of life that are painted in the poem. The poem has nine stanza's each of 4 verses and each stanza brings out a complete and stimulating commentary on life.

Here is the poem for your ready reference:

Over the next few posts, I would attempt to share with you the subtle nuances of each verse, the implied message for us and my views on how each verse can elevate us and make our life even more fruitful and exciting.

     Power Act - from is focused on -

            Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.

1- Power Act - Fission of Ideas to Fusion some Action

As the title implies, the focus of this blog is to share a myriad of ideas, thoughts, insights and feelings with the reader, in the hope that it would inspire, motivate, provoke or stimulate thoughts leading to some action. YOU hold the power to ACT and make a difference in your own life as also in the world around you.

It is imperative to point out that what ever your action, it would have some repercussions. Often a positive action leads to positive results, and vice versa but it is not necessarily so. For example telling the truth may lead to punishment or copying in exams could result in good grades. However you can be sure that it is the long term effects of your action that would always be congruent with the type of action you have taken.

Inaction simply leads to stagnation both within your self and in the environment around you.

It is therefore in your interest to act as the poet H.W.Longfellow says in his poem The Psalm of Life -

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act -- act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead! 

     Power Act - from is focused on -

             Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.