Strategies Preserve Your Tranquility:
Part Two

PURSUIT OF CALM #42

Compose Yourself In Advance

 

In a previous post “Reflect On Your Day” I recommended a daily strategy to spend a little reflection time each evening to ‘grade the performance of your day’ to identify & record where improvements can be made, with the view to make yourself more accountable for your actions.
Similarly, this ‘compose-yourself’ strategy is best executed if we spend a few quiet minutes each morning to pre-prepare ourselves for the day ahead. To, in effect, compose our thoughts and take a mental-inventory of our intentions (actions) that we want to resort to and practice throughout the course of the day. By doing this we also provide ourselves with something tangible to reflect upon at the end of your day.We can actually quantify how effective or ineffective we were with our intentions.
The success of seeing our intentions realised will be largely determined by how well we respond to the obstacles, hurdles and annoying people that will upset our tranquility and flow. ‘Some’ of the these obstacles are out of our control, whilst ‘some’ are most definitely ‘in our control’. And it’s during this morning-time-of-reflection where we can pre-prepare ourselves for both the unknown and known, yet inevitable, obstacles that will plop in our lap and (potentially) mess with our tranquility.

Now unless you possess an enlightened state of mind such as Buddha or Gandhi it’s probably best to acknowledge & accept first and foremost that, and like all humans, you are very susceptible to behave irrationally, and on occasions, but often more than we’d like, become easily & quickly irked (triggered). This very human trait is something we can tend to forget, understandably so when an annoying person is in our face. As it’s far easier to over-indulge ourselves in our own sense of self-importance and react in an overly-critical & reactive way in a clumsy attempt to prove we’re right.
So in an attempt to maintain your ‘tranquility’ it’s important to remind yourself daily, and ideally before we start your day, that you are very susceptible to your fallibilities, and at various times during the day your foibles will be exposed and tested.
If we can recognise, accept, embrace and remind ourselves everyday that we’re all foible-ridden humans, and that it’s inevitable that someone or something is going to challenge our tranquility, aka “give you the shits”, then we might, just might, have an opportunity to steal a little moment when we are challenged to catch our breath & restore our composure so we’re better abled to respond to the situation in front of us, or ideally, not respond at all.

 

Reality: This is Where We Train.
At the start of your day, and before you walk out the door, spend a few minutes to cultivate a mindset that accepts and welcomes the challenging events outside your control. You are in effect pre-preparing for the inevitable reality that it’s going to happen. So when it does happen you’re in a better position to recognise it. And if you do recognise it, it’s not so much of surprise…and, if it’s not so much of a surprise, then you will have a better opportunity to respond – or not respond at all.
I think it’s also important to note here that we can’t be selective to who we respond. As mentioned above, there will always be the random, incidental & annoying-people interactions that we have no control over. Just as there will be times throughout our day that we have no choice whatsoever but to associate with annoying, misguided, malicious or immature people in order to ‘work for the common good’.
And this is the good part…it’s the very people that we know best that are often the most annoying & frustrating. It’s the people we love, and the people we spend copious amounts of our time with – family members, lovers, bosses, work colleagues, neighbours or ‘that’ friend. And because we have to spend so much of our time in these ‘taxing’ environments – it’s crucial for our own mental health & vitality – that we don’t allow, as much as we can, our environment to determine and bankrupt our State of Mind (SoM).

If we’re continuously triggered by the environment in which we have to work and live in (our reality), then we shouldn’t be surprised if we find ourselves continuously seeking our habits of escape in an attempt to placate our triggered SoM.

 

Why Does This Matter?

Our health & vitality is largely, if not solely, reliant on the health of our psychology. If we’re a constant slave to our emotions, we will be a suppliant slave to our destructive habitual behaviours.

Two principle sources of human unhappiness stem from our insatiability and our tendency to worry and react to events and stimulus beyond our control.

So it’s important that we develop techniques to reduce and remove these sources of unhappiness from our life.

Practicing strategies to that procure calm and tranquility is one such technique. And if we can learn these strategies and practice them in the real world – in our work life and home life – then not only will we be the recipients of a calmer more tranquil outlook, but so will our love ones, work colleagues and friends.

“The way out is in”
-Thich Nhat Hahn

 

Next: When Dealing With Annoying People Part 3

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