Sunday, February 28, 2010

Self Esteem - Change the way you see yourself

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second- rate version of somebody else." Judy Garland

Self esteem is one of the most essential components of a human being's personality. It is basically the image you have of yourself in your own opinion. You have a good opinion of yourself, you have high self- esteem, you have a bad opinion of yourself, you have a low self- esteem. It is the foundation of our life and something that helps us immensely in living a life that is worthwhile. Until and unless you believe in yourself and your abilities it is almost impossible to achieve success in any walk of life. In other words, we simply need to value ourselves for what we are and what we are capable of rather than wanting to be what we are not.

Low self esteem will affect all areas of life including our career, work, family, relationships, social life, health and what not. It creates an overall unfulfilling feeling whereas on the contrary high self esteem gives us immense confidence and belief that I am sure has the potential to take us a long way in life.

Since we know that this is an extremely important issue and that thousands and thousands of people suffer from low self esteem throughout the world regardless of their health, wealth and knowledge, we need to figure out some important and easy ways of increasing our self esteem. Some of the most effective ways I believe are as follows:

1. Keep a Victory Log

This one is one of my favorite ways of keeping my self-esteem high. Maintain a log book where you jot down all your accomplishments throughout life. It does not matter how big or small your accomplishments may be, you just need to remember what you have accomplished. It maybe the extraordinary skills you possess or the beautiful possessions you have. It might be good grades that you had received or a trophy that you had won. It might be a financial reward that you might have been given or a promotion that you received. It might even have been an approving glance from a person of the opposite sex or the day you scored a hat trick in the school game. It could just be any positive accomplishment that you have made in life.

Just make sure that you have all written in your log book starting today. We all have high and low times and what we need in low times is some spirit lifting. Go through your log book every time you are feeling low or are having any negative thoughts and you will see how this log will give you the great moods once you start thinking of all the good things that have happened to you in life. It simply serves as a reminder of the fact that you have done it before and there is no reason that you will not be able to do it in the present and in the future.

2. Honor Your Abilities

Sit in a quiet place and think of the great abilities and skills that nature has gifted you with. Stop blaming yourself for all the wrong things or even the right things for that matter. Just do not blame yourself. Simply look at the good things and the positive things in your personality and in your life. Be grateful to God for all the great things that you have in yourself and honor it. Remember, if you want the world to honor and love you, you need to honor and love yourself first.

3. Do the right things

Always try to do the right things in life. We all are grown up people and have the conscience to differentiate between the wrong and the right. Make sure that you do your best to do the right things. Believe me you are going to feel a whole lot better when you know that you are doing the things worth doing and the things that are good for your character, health and well being.

To give an example, I personally feel great when I wake up early morning, pray, have a good breakfast, exercise, read the newspaper, work hard, do my daily chores and set my priorities right. I feel that I am doing all the important things that I need to do in order to keep myself energized and to keep my self- esteem at a higher level.

4. Mingle with Positive peopleAlways mix, meet and mingle with people who are positive and energetic, people who have a positive image about themselves, have confidence in themselves and a positive outlook on life. We need to build our network of friends where we are surrounded by good, enthusiastic, determined and positive people.

5. Be KindIt is really not possible to feel good about ourselves if we are inconsiderate, mean and selfish. It is essential to treat others with respect and with love. The more respect and love you give, the more you get it back. Everyone has a special quality and a special resource through which one can contribute to life. Be kind, be humble, help the poor, help the under-privileged and be a part of a noble cause whenever and wherever possible in order to be of help and support to the world and at the same time be worthy of respect and value in your very own eyes. This will pick you up and place you on top of the world.

6. Be Honest, hardworking and productive

Another important factor that helps in raising self esteem is to be honest, hardworking and productive. Again it seems quite contrary to have high self esteem when a person is dishonest and unproductive. When one is honest, there is a satisfaction that is felt within him resulting in a great self image. At the same time, it is important to be a hardworking, sincere person that results in high productivity and again leading to high self- esteem.

The above are some of the major ways that you can use to raise yourself image and self-esteem. Always keep in mind that self- esteem is not what others think of you but what you truly believe about yourself. It has to be genuine respect for oneself. In other words it is self respect.

Hal Urban says `Self Esteem is how we genuinely feel about ourselves, regardless of what others say. And how we feel about ourselves is closely related to how our character develops. Ultimately the development of personal character is both a choice and responsibility." Before we conclude, here is a littlereminder:

"To establish true self-esteem we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives." Denis Waitley

Excessive Usage of Internet is a Waste

In recent times, I have been thinking quite a lot about the negative affects the internet has had on our day to day lives in general not to mention the wonderful advantages and positives that we have out of the same. Of course everything has its pros and cons and there are good things and bad things about each and everything that exists in the world. However, it is of paramount importance that things are dealt with in a balanced manner. Wherever the balance is lost in a situation, it always ends up being more harmful then beneficial. Similar is the case of the internet.

The internet helps us in our daily lives. It more importantly plays a major role and hugely facilitates in our educational and informational endeavors, so much so that we almost cannot think of existing without it. However, with all the great positives associated with this form of advanced technology, there are certain negatives associated that have disastrous consequences on one's personal life.

The question is..Don't we all know this? Is it something new and something that we have not heard or read about? The biggest setback is that this is no more a teen related problem. It has now penetrated the lives of people of all ages. Would you believe that even people with grand kids are addicted to the virtual world? Don't they care about their precious time? Should they not be indulging in things that matter and actually make a difference to their families and the next step after that to be making a difference to the world they live in? Should they not be fighting for a cause that would count towards their good deeds that would save them and all of us from hell? Unfortunately, this is not happening.

In order to refresh our minds remind ourselves of the consequences of the excessive use of the internet; let us go through some major points that we should keep in mind.


One of the most common negatives of excessive internet use is the fact that we become lazy and totally non-social. Everyone is just stuck and glued to their chairs, comfortable sofas and cozy beds playing absolutely nonsense games for hours and hours' not knowing what is going on around them to an extent where they are totally cut off from their surroundings and the environment they are living in. They become lazy, sometimes so much that they even struggle to even leave and attend to the call of nature. Such is the effect of the misuse of this so called luxury. Please keep in mind that I am only blaming the excessive usage of internet and not that it should be totally avoided. Everything should be done in moderation.

NEGLECT OF THE ESSENTIALS OF LIFE AND WHAT IS IMPORTANTPeople start neglecting their families, their jobs, their responsibilities, their friends and most importantly themselves and their health. Their families are upset as they almost do not see their beloved family member the whole day just for the fact that they are busy playing some dumb useless game. They spend hours and hours in front of the screen scoring points and winning awards that have nothing to do with real life. They are sitting there all day long watching filthy movies and video clips piling up their sins to an extent that there is no going back. Addiction to the internet and to the virtual world significantly affects your near and dear ones, causing total disbelief and confusion.

No one is stopping you from playing games or watching videos, even I do the same. Just do not overdo it. Think with your mind and see to it that there is a limit to everything.


Sometimes, there is no time left to even give thought to your deteriorating health. One is so negligent and so immersed that they have no idea what they are doing to their precious health. They are sitting all day long with absolutely no exercise. They are putting constant strain on their eyes and teenagers are wearing eye glasses with ridiculously weak eyes and most importantly it is affecting their brains in an extremely negative way.

Reuter reports, "A South Korean man who played computer games for 50 hours almost non-stop died of heart failure minutes after finishing his mammoth session in an Internet café." Here is a real example of how people can totally forget everything as this person didn't care what was happening to him in real life because he was immersed with the online game he was playing.


The addiction to the internet, virtual games and social networking websites day and night is a form of escapism from the realities of life. They are weak people who cannot face the difficulties in life and try to run away from their problems and find ways of abandoning their lives. They should rather leave these pathetic time wasters and stand up and see life eye to eye and defeat the obstacles.


If all of the above is not enough for you to start acting, think about it in religious terms. No religion in the world allows or promotes behavior that has no constructive or productive aspect about it. Yes, it is fine to be not so constructive sometimes and just to take a break from the hectic and busy life that we all live.The only issue here is of being addicted and such an addiction becomes a useless activity after a short while. A useless activity is one which has no benefit for you in any regard. Neither does it help you in your life here nor does it help you in the life hereafter. Overdoing things always takes you away from all the good and takes you towards more of the negative.

There are certain ways that we can rid ourselves of any sort of addiction and similarly excessive usage of the internet. One can help him/herself and get out of this addictive trap by doing the following:- Instead of going about an activity blindly, one can set a time period to enjoy and do certain tasks so that it is done in moderation.- Try to do something constructive that has benefit to you and the surrounding world.- Make sure that you have physical activities scheduled and you spend a significant time period outdoors so that you also take care of your health.- Make sure that you do not neglect your family and responsibilities and you are fulfilling all important criteria of your lives.- Keep some time separate to take care of your health and mental well being.

Taking the above into serious consideration, I believe we should really start taking our lives more seriously and should really start thinking with our brains rather than listen to our impulse and give in to our shallow and destructive desires. I know it is easier said than done but once an honest and serious effort is put in, I am sure we would be able to achieve what we strive to achieve and eventually succeed in our objective and motive.

Patience & Perseverance Keep You on Track

"Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success." Brian Adams

One of the most important virtues in today's world is that of patience, yet it is non-existent. All Homo-sapiens are in a hurry and just want to make things happen in a jiffy. People want to get everything quickly and are not willing to wait for it or to put in the required effort. They fail to realize that nothing is easy in this world and there is some sort of effort and struggle before one achieves his or her desires.

What we should understand is that we do not immediately reap what we have sown and similarly, we do not immediately receive return on our investment. It takes time and we need to give life just that. Our responsibility is to do our part in life and leave the rest to GOD. What is our part? Our part is to make sure that we do our best in achieving our goals. We need to first think and plan, write an action plan, take the necessary steps and then slowly and steadily put in the required effort in order to reap the rewards. But remember that this takes careful planning and requires us to put thought into it and this whole procedure takes time and hence we need to be patient.

What is patience?

Patience does not mean that we just sit around forever and wait for things to happen. Patience does not mean that we do not fight for our rights. Patience means to keep going on no matter what the circumstances are and to keep motivated and to go the extra mile. There are times when we have a certain goal to achieve, we struggle towards it and think that our efforts are going in vain and hence start losing patience when we really have to cling on a little bit longer and keep going with the hope that the goal is close by. More often than not, we tend to let go of our ambitions at the last moments, just before we are there and this situation is tragic. That is why they say not to lose hope and to remain steadfast in the face of adversity.

Patience is hard. First of all it requires long term endurance and secondly, it accompanies many other obstacles and difficulties. There is unfair judgment, mistreatment, people underestimate your abilities or simply just do not give you your due. These are testing times and these are the times you need to be at your toes the most. You have to fight these circumstances, keep doing what you are doing, persevere continuously and remain hopeful of the future.

Following are some ways that will help you to tackle impatience as it comes and develop patience at the same time.

What is there in it for you?

Whenever an unpleasant situation arises which requires you to hold on and be patient, think about what there is in it for you. Why should you really be patient in the face of this adversity? Is it going to be of any benefit to you? If yes, you should and these reasons will be a source of motivation for you to be patient. At the same time, think about the negative outcomes of not being patient. Will it hurt you, your family, your career or your life goals? If yes, you are better off being patient and wait for the right time. Develop realistic expectations.

One of the best ways to tackle impatience is to change your attitude towards life and develop realistic expectations. Be ready for all sorts of situations and circumstances. Strive to achieve things in the time you have given yourself and give it your best shot. But at the same time, keep in mind that things are not always as we want them to be and should always expect the unexpected. When you are ready for both types of outcomes, you are more patient and steadfast and it is much easier to adapt rather than just hoping that things will turn out well and when they don't, you don't know what to do and how to react.

Contingency Plan

Always have a contingency plan ready. When you have an alternative plan ready, you remain at ease do not lose yourself.You either get your way and even if you don't, you do not procrastinate as you know what the other way of getting it is.That is how you will eventually reach your goal and all the way through you would have been patient and would have faced life with strength and compassion.

Setbacks are not permanent

Always keep in mind that setbacks are temporary and not permanent. These are just stepping stones to success. These setbacks will not last long and will be good for you in the long run. Simply work at solving the certain setbacks that have occurred and move on with a positive attitude. Anything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

Keep your health a Priority

We must bear the fact that our health is extremely important. If we take certain temporary setbacks too seriously, they might affect our physical, mental and emotional health. This overall situation will have an ill effect on all aspects of our lives and hence, result in the deterioration of the quality of our lives in the short term as well as in the long term.

Recognize and realize that things are not always in our control Taking the above factor into consideration will itself help in developing patience. There are many a circumstances which are just not in our hand and we really cannot do anything about it.

What to do then? Cry? Fret? Feel stressed out? Feel miserable and destroy our lives? The answer is NO! We only need to accept certain facts of life and accept them as they are. This is one of the most important lessons of life. Some things are just not the way we want them to be and nothing can be done about it.

Therefore, we shall just look at the positive side and move on to something else that is even more beneficial and fruitful towards our life goals. Coming to the conclusion, patience is a virtue that should be used towards enhancing our lives and making the best use of it. Impatience like violence is a vice that, if not handled properly will lead to disaster and a miserable life. All we need to do is to practice patience in our daily lives and we shall make our lives worthwhile and the world a better place.

"There are three secrets to managing. The first secret is having patience. The second is being patient. And the third most important secret is patience". Chuck Tanner

You haven't failed until you have stopped trying

"Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." (Barack Obama)

Have you ever felt that you are a failure and that you just can't accomplish a certain task? Do you often try something for a while and when you do not succeed, think that you are a failure and that it is just not your ball game. Do you always have a fear that you might fail and hence, stay away from even trying? I am sure you have and I guess that is pretty normal. Everyone goes through that phase in life where we are not able to accomplish something and it occurs quite frequently in life. At this point, what we need to realize is that this not the end of the world and there are still tons of ways to get where you want to. The mistake we all make here is that we think that we have failed where really the fact of the matter is that you have just not succeeded YET! One only needs to keep trying. If you do not succeed by one way, it doesn't mean that you won't with another.Just keep trying until you succeed. As it has been popularly quoted, "You haven't failed until you have stopped trying."

Let us take a look at some of the greatest examples that we have had in history. To start with, do you know that only 400 cokes were sold the first year; Albert Einstein's Ph.D. dissertation was rejected; Henry Ford had two bankruptcies before his famous success; or Ulysses S. Grant was working as a handyman, written off as a failure, eight years before becoming President of the United States?

Just think what would have happened if the above influential people and real life examples had given up hope and thought that they had failed when they didn't succeed the first time? Would they have accomplished any of what they finally did? Would they be remembered for their achievements? When we see such examples, we learn that nothing is impossible and that it is only a matter of staying in the game and continue putting in the required effort.

In a famous saying, Terry Paulson states, 'Winners lose more than losers. They win and lose more than losers, because they stay in the game. "

It is important that we stick to the task at hand and keep trying until we eventually succeed. This is the difference between successful achievers and over achievers and the ones who do not achieve anything. Do you think the successful people haven't faced failure? Did they get it all in a plate and they just ate it? There is no way that that can happen. Every successful person on earth has been through numerous hardships, been in darkness and faced failure. The only difference is that successful people choose to try again and then again until they succeed. It is their sheer determination and perseverance that takes them till the end and distinguishes them from the rest of the world.

Each and every failure that we go through makes us stronger and ready for a bigger challenge. We have all heard when it is said that "Anything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." So failing does not make us a failure, it teaches us, it gives us the strength to face tougher challenges and prepares us for the tougher parts of life that lie ahead. If we got it all easy and we had a smooth sail through life, we will not succeed even in the easiest of challenges in life because we would have not faced hardships and we would have not become strong enough to face the difficulties and hurdles of life. That is when one would realize how important a role each and every small and big temporary failure plays a part in our lives. These failures are just hitches that give us an opportunity to slow down, think, focus, plan and make sure that we maintain our movement in the right direction.

Looking at the positives of facing failure, I feel failure also acts as a wakeup call. It brings us back to reality when we stop seeing the real world. There are always times when we are doing well, sometimes too well to be true and we think that there is no stopping us and we start to take things for granted. Then suddenly there is this shake up that makes us realize that we are human beings and we are prone to failure and that success is never final. This makes sure that we keep our feet firmly grounded and stay down to earth and humble in our dealings.

Therefore, keeping in mind the above mentioned we should not be afraid to face failure and to fail. Failure is one of the most important ways that can teach us how to face difficulty and help us succeed in each and every walk of life. It should be seen as an opportunity to learn, to improve and to better ourselves. At the same time we should make sure that none of our failures go to waste and that we put the experience gained from it to good use for future circumstances and situations. Failure should always be used as a stepping stone to success.

In the end, all we need to do is to remember that one has not failed until he has stopped trying. We can only say that a person has failed when that person just gives up, says that there is no way that he can accomplish a certain goal and eventually stops trying. This is the only point where we can say that a person has failed. But if the same person keeps on persevering and trying, it can never be said that a person has failed.

"If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down." (Mary Pickford)

Motivation: The Burning Desire

"Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire, which transcends everything." -- Napoleon Hill

One of the most important issues of this generation is that of the lack of motivation. Be it in education, career, health, social life, relationships, spiritual development, self improvement or personal development, one of the keys to accomplishing anything in life is having the will and desire to initiate something and more importantly, taking it till the end.

Nowadays, what most commonly happens is that people set out to achieve a particular task, face hardships, find it difficult to manage and before they know it, they have no motivation left to complete the task they had set out for. When they lose the motivation to achieve their desire, they start to have a feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction as they see that they are not going towards what they had hoped of achieving. This happens with almost all of us at some time or the other and those that have both short term as well as long term negative effects.

At this point, the motivation has to be regenerated so that we can bounce back and get back on track. The question is HOW and WHO? Who is responsible for generating this motivation and how is it going to be done? Will your employer generate it for you? Will your trainer or teacher inject in some motivation? Maybe your friends and family or some aliens from the unknown who are going to make you think and realize that something needs to be done and get you up and running? Unfortunately, none of the above can do anything to motivate you.

The fact of the matter is that motivation always comes from within. It is not something that others can instill in you or force you to do. One needs to have a burning desire to do and to achieve a certain goal.

An excellent quote by Chris Widener says:

"The measure of your success usually comes down to who wins the battle that rages between the two of you. The `you' who wants to stop, give up, or take it easy and the `you' who chooses to beat back that which would stand in the way of your success - complacency."Now, the issue is of having that burning desire and finding the `YOU' who chooses to beat back that which would stand in the way of your success.

Remember, motivation is something that needs to be renewed every once in a while. So there are certain actions that we need to take in order to ensure that the motivation is not lost at any point. Even if it is decreased, we can take these steps to get all the motivation we need back. Let us see some ways in how we can do that.

1. A Mission, Vision and a Strategy

Before you start working towards a goal or a purpose, you need to make sure that you have a vision, a mission, a strategy and a clear picture as to what you exactly want to achieve. It is more like a starting a business. When we start out a business we have a vision, the mission and an action plan. We have a written plan and strategy as to what we want to achieve, how we want to achieve it and by what time do we exactly plan to achieve it.

This can be applied to all areas of life. We need to create a picture in our minds of where we want to be. When we see ourselves doing something we want to achieve, it becomes closer to life and easier to accomplish. In other words, you should have a strong focus and a direction. Without a focus and a direction to move in, there is no way that you can be motivated as you will not know what you want to be motivated for.

2. Motive to act

As mentioned earlier, one should have a vision and a strategy but at the same time there should also be a concrete motive and reason for trying to get to that vision through your strategy. Why do you want to achieve what you want? There might be several different types of motives depending on your goals.

Maybe you want to achieve something because it is a dream that you always wanted to accomplish, maybe there are certain benefits associated with the purpose that would help you in life in the long term, maybe it is something that will give you inner peace and satisfaction with life or you might even have a motive of obtaining and accomplishing a particular cause so that you may avoid any unpleasant consequences as a result of that.

3. Take a break

It is important that we take a break every now and then. Going through the same routine over and over again takes out the zing out of the efforts that you are putting in. Take a couple of days off and relax, do something different and get back to it. For example, we want to go to the gym or exercise regularly but after we have been doing it continuously for some time we tend to feel de-motivated and start getting tired of it. At this moment, it is important that we slow down, relax, re-motivate ourselves and start at it again. This way you take a break, we do not completely stop doing it and start refreshed.

4. Get results and Reward yourself

The most effective way of motivating yourself is by getting good results. Once you have put in the required effort, you are bound to get good results. Seeing these results is a great motivation in itself. When you feel the pleasure of achieving something and get a feel of how things would be when you have finally achieved it all, will give you a sudden boost and you will work even harder towards your goals.

As we know that every main goal is composed of numerous small goals. The obtainment of each small goal leads to the achievement of the main goal. Therefore, at this moment another good idea is to reward yourself for each small goal and every success that you have, regardless of how small that success is. Once you start rewarding yourself, the excitement of these small rewards will help in achieving the bigger goal and hence result in increased motivation.

"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try." -- Author Unknown

Thus, we can conclude by saying that all one needs is to know what you want and why you want it. When that is crystal clear, the burning desire to reach the goal will keep you moving forward. You only need to periodically provide wind to the burning desire.