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If You Can Stay Calm Even in Hard Times, You Will Be Successful

If You Can Stay Calm Even in Hard Times, You Will Be Successful

Breathe in for a count of 5… breathe out for a count of 5… and breathe in… breathe out… Feeling calmer? You probably do feel calmer. Now tell me. Why don’t you do this when things are tough? Do you forget to do this when you feel the world is falling apart?

What is it that you need to do to take back control?

“When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.” – LL Cool J.

I believe we all have the strength to overcome any situation we find ourselves in. Research tells us there is a strong relationship between a calm mind and being successful. The result of what we do in that difficult moment makes the difference between success and no success. Below you will learn exactly what to do to stay calm. Some strategies will sound strange, others make obvious sense and just need to be implemented.

1. Stop Whining, Move Forward!

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” –
Barack Obama

An excellent way to stay calm and to get back control over the situation is to simply stop whining. Sound a little harsh? I’m sorry. But in your heart you know this works. When you continue to whine, you will not look at what happens. You will only be busy with the way you feel. This is not helping you move forward!

2. Stop Talking To Others

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde

The moment you face hard times, you will probably receive a million thoughts, ideas and solutions from other people. They share them because you ask for them, or simply because they want to help you. But stop and have a really honest look inside. You know exactly why you are in this situation. Do what you feel it is you need to do next. It is probably the best advice you will use.

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3. Stop Thinking About What Happens And What Else Will Go Wrong

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” – Zig Ziglar

This doom-filled thinking is not really helpful. Better to know what happened and understand your current situation. Then, start plotting your way towards your solution. As Will Smith said: “There’s no reason to have a plan B because it distracts from plan A.” Use all your energy to move away from the problem using one strategy at a time.

4. Stop Eating, Start Drinking

“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.” – Kevin R. Stone

Yes, you read this correctly. No need to eat a little more (you don’t need comfort, you need to think straight). You need water, and lots of it! No coffee and no beer or any other alcohol. You need to flush your system. Drink slowly. Drink warm water… Slowly… Feel how the warm water goes into your system. Then start working again.

Continue to keep your brain and body hydrated. Doing that helps you think better. Aren’t we made of 60% water? Refresh!

5. Stop Doing What You Do

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

If you continue to go on the path you chose, you will only make things worse. The moment you find yourself in a difficult situation, you need to STOP and identify what is happening. The moment you do that, you can plot better actions. This will improve your situation. Always be aware of this. You need to be conscious of the things you do and what their results are.

6. Stop And Listen To Chuck Norris

“A lot of times people look at the negative side of what they feel they can’t do. I always look on the positive side of what I can do.” – Chuck Norris

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I told you that you should not listen to anyone and follow your own path, right? Perhaps this is the only exception to that rule. Chuck Norris is not just a really cool person. He also has many ideas about solving problems.

7. Stop Thinking, Start Feeling

“The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.” – Oprah Winfrey

I know that the moment you face problems, your emotions are running wild, right? What to do, what happens next, will I survive… Many thoughts and ideas are running through your mind.

What if you stop feeling stressed or scared? What if you start feeling blessed for this learning opportunity? What if you feel strong and inventive? What if you felt you have all the answers to resolve this? Would that change things?

Start feeling with ALL your emotions!

8. Stop Moving Forward

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Huh… didn’t you just read that you have to move forward? You most certainly did! How does this tip help you then? Well… you have to stop identifying forward with the direction you were heading. Start thinking about forward as a way to move in the direction of a solution. Perhaps forward is sideways, or even backwards! Change your perspective and start moving again.

9. Stop Learning, Start Doing

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

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Some people want to know exactly what to do to get out of their difficult situation. They want A to Z, all the steps. Knowing what to do from the beginning till the end. Mastering those steps is great. But it won’t bring you in the place you want to be. You need to take ACTION! Do something. Do ONE thing. Think first, than act. Most people remain in a state of pain and thinking. They are afraid to take action. You know this now, so act on it!

10. STOP

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” – Orson Welles

Stop doing anything and everything. Remember the breathing from the beginning? Do that. Learn to breath slowly, consciously. Stop doing what you do. Stop doing anything but breathing. After you did that for 10, 20, 30 seconds… you start doing something. Getting to a calm state of mind is not something you do by running around and by having negative feelings. Calm = Stop. Stop is the beginning of your new start. Calm can only starts when you are in control of your state. It is exactly that calm start of mind that will transform your difficult situation in a success.

11. START

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi

Practice being calm. Start your days with it. Remind yourself to remain calm during the day. Calm is a great place to start moving forward, left, right or even back. Start is however the thing you have to do to move from difficult to calm to progress.

There you go. 11 practical ideas to create calmness in your life. Some are really focused on becoming calm again. Others can be used to move away from the difficult situation at hand and focus your mind.

A calm mind is a mind which is in control.  A stressed mind takes control over you. A calm mind is there to serve you.

ACTION POINTS:

Now for the most important part. How can you use this today to improve your calmness no matter what the circumstances.

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Learn to stay conscious of what you think, do and feel. This is hard in the beginning. Still, you have to remind yourself about this. The easiest way is to add little reminders around you in your environment. Sticky notes on your computer, reminders on your phone. Looking at your children or your co-workers. Associating items in the office to look at how you feel. When you do that, you will become more aware of what you do and how you feel.

Then the main point. You will run into situations where calmness might not feel like your first priority. Needless to say, and you obviously know this already… these are exactly the situations where you need to stay calm. How you act that moment has a huge impact on whether or not you will be or feel successful.

Pick one idea, or perhaps two ideas from the list above. Use them as your backup strategy to create calmness in your life again.

And if nothing else works…

Breathe in… breathe out… breathe in… breathe out…

Featured photo credit: http://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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