How to Stay Calm

Just to be more realistic, let’s slightly modify the topic to

How to Stay Calm (Most of the Time)

as I don’t think there is anyone in my audience who are on the path to becoming a saint 🙂

Let me set the expectations right too – there is no magic pill or magic formula or magic anything that will help you stay calm forever. There is no need for you to pretend as if you are always calm either. I guess it’s really OK to deviate from your “ideal calmness level” every now and then as long as you know how to get back to THAT stage very quickly.

Having said that, let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

What makes you lose your calmness? It happens in general when
a) You think something will happen but reality is far from it
b) You think the consequence of not meeting your expected outcome is not good for you.

The level of deviation from your ideal calmness therefore will depend on
a) How much is the delta between your expectation and reality
b) How bad you think is the consequence of that deviation

Now, the solution in two steps:

1. Gaining Perspective:

The first step towards a solution is to understand that it is COMMON for reality to have deviations from your expectations – otherwise you won’t be living a life – you will be creating magic. The more you understand it and the more this is embedded in your background thinking, easier it is to enjoy the journey.

Once you have this perspective, it is fun to savor the outcomes without having to constantly compare it with what the expected outcome should be.

I am in no way suggesting that you should not expect an ideal outcome – only drawing your attention to the “ideal” part here. If anything, get obsessed with the input (thinking, effort, mindshare etc.) for a project and the output will take care of itself.

2. Paying the Price for Calmness:

Way before you get to a stage where you can call upon “calmness at will”, you need to pay the price to get there.

And, that price?

Making a LOT of decisions

That might sound simple – but it takes effort to reach a place where you CAN or ALLOWED to make a LOT of decisions.

When you do make a LOT of decisions, a few interesting things will happen:
1. You will get comfortable making decisions – one of the fundamental skills of life
2. You will understand that you will DEFINITELY not get all your decisions right
3. You will learn to handle yourself better when your decisions go wrong
and so on.

With this, you are one step closer to commanding “calmness at will.”

Photo Courtesy: vonCroy on Flickr