Mental Calm: Owning Your Life, Your Mind and Your Reality
I was lecturing in San Diego recently and on the flight home I got stuck in Chicago for 5 hours as multiple planes had mechanical failures. Boarding and then “deplaning” (as they call it) can test anyone’s patience and resolve. Interesting to watch the reaction of different people. Some visibly upset. Some appear to be in a coma, moving along like sheep. And others who seemed to just take it all in stride still jovial and smiling. It’s a choice really. The exact same circumstance was being applied to a broad audience and while some seemed to marinate in misery others played with their kids or chatted with their loved ones. I wanted to check the blood pressure of everyone there and predict who was causing themselves to be ill by virtue of their belief system.
Such is life, full of unpredictable twists and turns. Every event open to interpretation. How “good” or how “bad” any event is lies in the mind of the beholder. We can cultivate a sense of peace if we choose to. I don’t mean passive doormat. I mean a sense of calm that we can tap into whenever we need it. We are not victims of our circumstance, we are the architects of it. We build and own our circumstances and when we take control of the fact we own our emotions then little else in this world can impose itself on us.
Victor Frankl was a prisoner of war under the Nazi regime. In the midst of the worst circumstances ever imposed on mankind he chose to pity his captors. He saw them as victims of a machine that had stolen their free will. Victor still owned his mind and his convictions and decided to live with a mindset that set him free. He lived to tell his story in the book, “Man’s Search For Meaning”. Highly recommended.
I too survived my airport captivity with the help of Victor’s advice. In the worst of times as daily pressures mount, never forget that each day is precious and if we look, truly expecting to find good, then we will see it and feel it. If we choose to acknowledge misery, then it was simply our choice.
Have a calm, peaceful, delightfully happy day.
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