Most of us let our minds run wild. We do not use it intentionally and actively.
Our minds are like a switching station of on and off toggles. Which switch do you find yourself using most often? Is it on, where you give it something to do and are in control of its thoughts? Or is it off, with your body and mind moving aimlessly without direction, running on autopilot? What kind of trouble can this get you into?
That’s an easy question. Autopilot leaves you at the mercy of circumstance, the moment, and chance. When this happens, there’s a huge likelihood you will have experiences you do not want instead of ones that you do want. If you go about your day aimlessly, you experience more failures and fewer successes, more frustration and less satisfaction, and feel like a victim rather than a victor.
In his book 33 Strategies of War, Robert Greene writes, “In the heat of battle the mind tends to lose its balance. It is vital to keep your presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers of whatever the circumstances . . . Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.”
Let’s break down this quote to its meaning.
“In the heat of battle the mind tends to lose its balance.”
When you respond with emotion, you lose control of your wits and of your clear thinking. Keep your cool by taking deep breaths. This physical action will help you maintain your balance between thoughts and emotions and to be mindful of the moment and to be more in control of your response.
When moments of impact such as this collide with your everyday life, awareness is compromised and tends to go narrow. It is best to go wide, not narrow, in your awareness. In today’s environment, we are barraged by many things hitting us from all directions at once—unexpected aggression’s from colleagues and subordinates, setbacks, and memos that revenues are down. Throughout these challenges, remain calm, confident, and decisive.
“It is vital to keep your presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers of whatever the circumstances.”
You must resist the emotional pull of the moment and stay alert to the interaction between you and the other person or you and the circumstance you find yourself. Remain calm, and you can be decisive, confident, and empowered no matter what is going on around you. Make your mind tougher by exposing it more often to adversity. Use your mental powers of adaptability and flexibility to changing situations.
“Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.”
That is, disassociate from the situation. See yourself as an observer going through the experience from a disassociated point of view as if you’re watching a movie. Doing so will help you be more emotionally objective; the emotions will be about the experience rather than the emotions of you the participant.
Being associated with an event means being immersed into the experience and feeling all the emotions involved. Maintaining your presence of mind will keep you on course, in both emotional and mental control, and clear of their control over you. Having self-control will keep you in charge of how you respond to the moments of impact, regardless of the situation or circumstance you find yourself.
To Your Success,
© 2014 Mindscape Jennifer Touma