“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”
― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson
Stress and anxiety cloud the mind and make it hard to solve problems. The key to success is remaining calm and having peace of mind. This applies to all situations. It does not matter if you are overwhelmed at work, have to deal with family problems or are defending yourself on the street, having peace of mind and remaining calm makes one better able to success.
Anxiety and panic make it hard to solve problems. This can be especially dangerous if you are confronted on the street. To be prepared to handle a crisis one needs to cultivate peace of mind.
One cultivates peace of mind using the same process as cultivating your martial arts skills. It takes practice and just like the martial arts, there are many styles and techniques to gain peace of mind. There are breathing techniques, meditation and prayer that people can use to bring calm and peace of mind. Peace of mind is a choice. Most of us are overwhelmed with life. There are too many things happening at once, we are distracted and there never seems to be an end.
It is easy to get carried away by a wave of anxiety. Like being stuck in a rip current, stress can pull us out of control. Being able to remain calm, analyze the issues and solve problems allows us to navigate the rough waters.
Start by using your calming exercises of choice when dealing with a small issue. Then increase your use of calming through the rest of your life experiences. The more you use it, the more you will be able to accomplish. You will also be more prepared to handle the unexpected. We talked about surprise last week. Being able to handle surprise and thrive can make the difference in surviving an altercation or being successful in a venture.
The techniques we learn in martial arts can save us in defense situations but can also give us the skills and discipline needed to succeed in our other ventures. Martial arts is a lifestyle. That does not mean we spend our entire days kicking and punching. It means that we use our persistence, discipline and peace of mind to succeed in life. It can be easier to deal with a heated discussion in the board room when you had a rough sparring session the night before. If you can remain calm when someone is trying to kick you in the face, you can remain calm when your boss challenges you on a decision you made.
Strive for peace of mind. The calm that it brings will improve your training, will make you more prepared to defend yourself, and will make you better able to succeed in life, generally.