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

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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 October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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