I love weekends. Why? I can wake up and just spend a few minutes lying awake without the need to do anything. No need to rush to work, or to speak to anyone. Just lying there with eyes wide open and nothing in mind. I realized then that those are some of the calmest moment in my life.
It has always been a personal mission for me to be calm in every thing I do. I believe it will allow us to make better decisions, to be more focused and ultimately to live a stress-free life.
Here’s what I’ve done so far that has actually worked:
1) Forget Things You Can’t Fix Now
I work as an engineer in a mill. And being an old mill, there are a lot of problems need to be solved. Some of them are quite critical and challenging, and I often cannot stop thinking about them even at home. This is not good, as I don’t want to bring work back home. So I established the rule that anything I can’t fix now, I will forget about it until tomorrow.
What’s the point of thinking about a machine that is in the mill when you are at home? My family deserves better attention from me. Some will say that by thinking about the problem at home, I may stumble upon the solution and it will make work tomorrow so much easier. Personally, I think nothing is worth sacrificing your family time. The machine will still be there even after 10 years, but can I say the same about family members. The children will grow up fast before my eyes and there’s nothing I can do to gain back the time I missed.
2) Live In the Now
This is by far one of the most important technique to achieve Zen Master-like calmness. A clear example of how to apply this is just like when I woke up last weekend. I don’t need to think about anything else besides enjoying my lying awake in bed. The same goes for everything else you do.
If you are typing your next blog post, stop Digging / Stumbling interesting articles. You can do this later when you have the time. For some, this may look like a waste of time, since we can do so much with our multitasking-capable minds. I agree, but we have to retrain our mind sometimes to just focus on one thing. Nothing else. Believe me, miraculous things can and will happen when you focus.
Once you started doing this, you will become more focus in everything you do. After a while, you will see that you are no longer worrying about what future will hold for you. As long as you stick to your plan, you will be doing great. You do have a plan, don’t you?
3) Learn To Let Go
Not all problems in your life need to be fixed. Some are meant for someone else, like curing cancer and so on. Others are not meant to be solved at all. An example is the boss who bullies. You do what you can to fix this. You send letters to the top management, even to the Labour Department, but still he doesn’t change. All you can do is to let it go. Either quit your job or just bear it all. Either way he will still be the bully he is.
In the end, you can’t have everything. So let it go, stop trying to fix it. Minimize the damage and go on with your life. A rock falling will hurt you less if you catch it with your hand moving down. It will hurt more if you catch it with your hand moving up.
4) Set A Limit Switch To All The Three Techniques
This is the most important techniques of all three. Take a piece of paper and a pen and write the three techniques down. Then write down, what are the cases when the three techniques are no longer valid.
For example, technique number 1 states that you must forget things you can’t fix now. Set up a few cases that will void this technique. Maybe if the problem may make you lose your job if not handled promptly. Or if it is a family problem. Write them all down for your reference and repeat for all the remaining two techniques.
Being calm is important. But not to the extent of losing your job, or your family. Certain things require urgency and that is why we need these guidelines to refer to.
Being calm doesn’t mean you have to slow down your life. You still can be aggressively active in your life, rush to work, meet tight deadlines, etc. But if you keep all four techniques in mind, you will remain calm even though the whole world is in chaos.
Photo Credit – Jurvetson