Tag: Being calm

Core life skills

Core life skills

In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, the challenges of coping with the changes and the evolving dynamics, are both stressful and laced with apprehension. Yet what does not change and what helps one remain balanced during testing times, are the core beliefs that we should embrace with faith. It is not just the technology that challenges us but more worrisome is the human dynamics that have been cast asunder; the traditional family values, societal norms and the fragility of the bonds between cultures, regions, religions, beliefs and values.  Yet to retain our sanity and remain equanimous  in the face of changes that tend to overwhelm us, all we need to do is focus and implement the core life skills which are:

Calm, but alert – If you see a duck paddling in the water, you would never notice how frantically it is paddling below the water because above the water it looks exceedingly calm and serene. Similarly, in the wild, observe the docile creatures like deer’s and gazelle’s. They remain calm but constantly look around to be alert to any danger lurking in the thickets. They do not visualize trouble in their mind and get anxious but they do anticipate trouble, as they are aware of predators around. We humans tend to absorb negativity and project it in our outlook instead of taking calculated risks with an inbuilt trigger to help us remain safe.

Relaxed, but ready – Observe the great athletes of the world. They know that they are competing against the best and that the results are quite open ended giving everyone a fair chance to win. Yet when they warm up before the event, they are fairly relaxed, prepped up but calm, anxious perhaps but equally excited because they know that it is crunch time. Their training and self belief have got them thus far, it is just their performance that matters. Winning and losing are par for the course and that is why they prepare well and compete hard. They are always ready for the competition. No tensions, no anxieties, no worries.

Smooth, but sharp –A pin, a needle, a nail have a sharp point but the rest of it is sleek and smooth. A football or basketball too is smooth but only when it has the air that sharpens its contours. A cricket and golf ball gets its sharpness when the exterior is hard but it is the smoothness that allows it to roll well. In life you can be smooth by being empathetic, polite, respectful, committed, loyal and honest. At the same time you need to be sharp by being assertive, determined, confident, courageous and focused.

Humble, but confident– Success must breed humility not arrogance. Failure must be seen as a stepping stone to success. When you get success, there is no virtue more important that being humble to keep your grounded. When failure unexpectedly makes its rounds in your life, believe that they temporary hiccups and be confident that you are well prepared to overcome the setbacks. As they say, a Lion never roars after a kill; it never has to announce his accomplishments. At the same time be aware that a Lion is successful only 17-20% of the time it attempts a kill. Yet it is supremely confident that it can succeed the next time around. Your humility must never be seen as your weakness nor must your confidence morph into arrogance.

Try these:           

  • What are your three favorite quotes / proverbs / inspirational sayings / poem’s? Do they reflect any of the above core principles of life?
  • Which of the above 4 principles best represent your nature? Which principle do you think you will find most difficult to implement and why?
  • Can you identify one teacher, one friend, one colleague and one relative who best display most of the above principles in their life?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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When patience pays.

Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.

Ask yourself if there are habits, mannerisms, techniques or behavioral traits that you are keen on changing for the better but cannot overcome yet. Perhaps you have attempted to change but gave it up or you have not even started the process of change because you imagine it being a tough task. The fact is that unlearning is as tough as learning a new task and picking up something new is also a challenge for we have to first go about it slowly, steadily and steadfastly. Bad habits are a prime example of how difficult it is to get over it, be it biting nails, being disorganized, not being punctual etc. Similarly acquiring a new skill be it driving, swimming or playing a new sport is challenging and often exasperating for our initial attempts are woefully inadequate and embarrassing to say the least. Yet, with a firm resolve and adequate motivation and loads of patience we can look back and admire the way we have conquered many a challenge.

A bigger challenge is putting up with situations and/ or people that you are not comfortable with. We may unwittingly find ourselves in situations not of our own making but something that we desperately wished we could ignore/ avoid or get over with. Since we cannot wish the reality away, the one virtue that we can fall back on to face the reality with calmness and hope is patience. The never ending wait at checkout counters or at the doctors clinic, the unavoidable visit to the dentist, the dreaded feedback from teachers, the annual appraisal exercise etc are but shades of the varied situations where patience is the only virtue that will help us face it square on. On the other end of the spectrum are people who really test our patience. Diffident children, nagging spouse, tyrannical bosses, irresponsible subordinates, irritating colleagues are just a few of those people who end up testing our patience.

Patience is a function of self control, hope, adaptability and tolerance. Unless we can restrain our natural urge to rebel against happenings that we dislike we would never get anywhere close to practicing patience. With self control we allow time to be the catalyst of change that we hope will be more to our level of acceptance and liking. It naturally follows that when we give sufficient time we have a hope that matters will proceed in a manner that we pine for. At times we add up the small changes that we see and make adjustments ourselves and try to adapt to the glimmer of hope that is provided by our self control. Tolerance is the glue that uniformly binds ones self control, hope and adaptability to manifest itself as a virtue we call patience.

Patience nearly always rewards us amply. Nature provides us wonderful examples of it. See the patience with which a spider spins its web and patiently waits for a prey to be snared in it. Look the wild animals in the jungle who stalk they prey patiently. Ever notice the patience of an angler baiting a fish? Has it ever occurred to you that the jugglers who display their skill with such dexterity spend hours patiently practicing their craft till they master it  and even then constantly keep honing their skill with practice? Perhaps you can recollect how you learnt cycling and later perhaps swimming or driving a four wheeler.

Remember: Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.  Saint Francis de Sales

Try this:

  1. Take 3 balls and try to juggle it. If you can master that attempt the same with 4 balls. Alternatively try to master some card tricks that require a sleigh of hand.
  2. On your computer check out the games section and play the card game FREECELL. Technically every game can be solved. Go on test your own patience trying to solve each game.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Adaptability makes the difference

He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper; but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances.  David Hume

Everyone would like things to go the way they want it, visualize it and plan it. When most times things do fall in place as per our desires, we are elated and more often than not swagger around with a triumphant air. Good planning, reasonable expectations and a pragmatic approach invariably ensures that our plans are executed to perfection and definitely one can take pride in the effort. The trouble is when our efforts are not duly rewarded and things unexpectedly go wrong. It is here that the true temperament of a person is revealed, his/ her character tested and the ability to handle pressures and stress displayed. In short the mettle of a person is tried, tested and trusted when he/ she can gracefully tackle the crisis and relieve the pressures that would have built up.

Road rage is a perhaps one of the most explicit examples of people not being able to adjust their temper to suit the circumstances. In daily living there are umpteen numbers of times when we find our temper rising, our blood pressure shooting up and our normal personality acquiring a demonic transfiguration. Most parent’s complaint about their unruly children, complete forgetting that the children have the parents genes and a little probe into history would probably reveal that the parents were much more terrible brats. Most citizens revel in the armchair luxury of criticizing the government in general and the living conditions in particular while spouting umpteen reasons for not exercising their franchise. Our health, the weather, inflation and politics are but a few of the millions of topics on which we fail to reach any positive conclusion and prefer to wallow in the woes both real and imagined.

Reactions of people when circumstances let them down provides a very dramatic study in human psychology. The most commonly seen behavior when stressed is to use expletives to relive themselves of this uncontrollable rage that wells up within us. It might sound strange that people react so dramatically differently to the same situation. Some people go into panic and rage when they are unable to find their valuables, while others would calmly conjure up improbable theories to rationalize the location of the missing valuables.  There are people who sulk, while others would rave and rant. There are still others who would wail and scream hoping to get both attention and sympathy while others would soak it all in and possibly be heart broken in the end. Of course there are some who are so petrified that they simply remain rooted to the spot unable to think, act or react. Sudden death of a loved one often brings forth such a reaction for the pain of loss is searing and benumbing .

Ideally though, the most composed people are those who may panic briefly but quickly regain their bearings and take proactive action. Those who display a sense of equanimity and are able to keep their cool despite suffering extreme pain, anxiety or frustration are the people who can be relied upon when the chips are down. If these people can have a calming influence on others as would be required in case of emergencies or disasters then they would rated as the people who have not just the best leadership qualities but perhaps the most balanced persona too.

Remember: The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.   Kakuzo Okakaura

Try this:

  1. Think of 3 instances when you lost your temper. Do you think that on hindsight you could have controlled your temper and thereby become more effective? Also think of 3 people you know / knew who just cannot /could not take pressure of any kind. Recollect their reactions when stressed. What was your reaction their inability to cope with stress?
  2. Read up on the Suffering and rescue of the Chilean miners who were trapped for over 33 days in a collapsed mine. Here is one link for you. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/world/americas/14chile.html You are encouraged to search for other links including video links to get a better insight into how circumstances did not overwhelm the brave.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com