The ability to stay calm and focused despite any ups and downs is what sets a really mentally strong person apart. If you want to achieve phenomenal results and inspire others to follow you, equanimity is one of the main qualities you want to develop. It will serve as your ‘lifebuoy’ in any dangerous situations, when your success, your career or even your life is at stake.
When do you think you are at your most effective and being perceived by others as a strong and confident leader figure – when you are calm, present and composed, or when you are being swayed by emotions and ruled by fancies in your everyday life?
Strong emotions such as stress cloud your judgement and thus lead to less effective decisions, or decisions taken too late. When you are responsible for running a business, or for a group of people working with you, keeping your mind in the top-notch condition is a must.
A mind master is someone who can always find a perfect balance and keep his head above the water is the sea of life.
Below are 5 tips you need to know to harness the power of equanimity.
- Beware of automatic labelling. Emotions come from judgement. When you label something as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you are subconsciously comparing that object or situation to some ideal image you hold in your mind. Remember that this image is neither universal nor constant (for example, the room interior that you loved when you were 5 years old will rarely still appeal to you when you are 30), and it also tends to be short-sighted and/or unrealistic. Think of situations when something that you thought was good or bad at the time turned into its complete opposite soon afterwards. Don’t let you mind automatically label situations you encounter. Simply accept what comes for what it is and see what is the best way to deal with it with the resources you have.
- Embrace change. At any moment, be aware that life is not a static picture, but a process where things are constantly changing and evolving. There is always a possibility that something will go not as planned. If you are mentally ready to deal with changes, when something unexpected happens, it will never catch you off guard. You will remain present, calm and in control, which will help other people to cool down and perform better as well.
- Make time your friend. Most of us are in a constant rush. We are conditioned to work, travel and deliver results as quickly as possible. We get angry when we get stuck in traffic, when our train gets delayed or when a project takes longer to complete. When a situation is outside our control, there is no point is getting stressed or frustrated about it. Accept that a) unexpected happens and b) certain things simply take time. Think what would be the most productive way you can spend your time while waiting, maybe you can do some additional planning, double-checking any details or reading (for the sake of an example – I always carry a book with me.)
- Pause and plan. It is a part of human nature that when something happens we tend to respond to it immediately. Surely, in a situation of physical danger the fight or flight response comes in useful, but in everyday life giving yourself little or no time to think before taking action is rarely beneficial. Shake off the illusion that reacting instantly to what someone said or did gives you an upper hand. Take a deep breath and give yourself some time to analyse the pros and cons of your actions, before deciding on which course to take. This will also save you from mistakes that are the usual companions of hasty decisions.
- Exercise your mind. You are most likely aware that exercising your body and keeping it fit and strong is good for you, but what about your mind? Do you make efforts to develop your mind’s strength? Harvard neuroscientists discovered that regular meditation practise reduces stress, increases concentration and promotes cognition, excellent memory and longevity. The more you practise, the more you benefit.
Incorporating these 5 tips into your everyday routine will help become a master of situations. You not only noticeably increase your performance and effectiveness, but also become a leading light for others.