Calmness means letting go of minor disturbances


Calmness is a quality we envy in other people. We watch them go about their tasks with ease and deliberation. We wish we could be as relaxed.

But they didn't get that way overnight, and although some people do have more easygoing dispositions than others, I believe we all have the potential to be composed.

Sometimes it takes training. When you watch nurses in action, you realize that if they didn't maintain control, someone could lose their life. Part of that attitude is experience. Much of it, however, relies on the will to methodically keep going, no matter what distractions occur.

Calmness: the power of focus

People in high-pressure jobs learn to focus. They know what the goal is and they don't let anything pull them away from it. Police officers can stay undisturbed because they realize if they get emotional, it will make them less efficient.


Ironically, some people want us to get flustered. They go out of their way to get us to pop off. It's kind of a game with them, but we don't need to play. That's their problem, and we don't have to let it become ours. Efficiency and calmness are the goals. Satisfying their pettiness is not.

To keep your peace, refuse to let anyone steal it. You have to let it go. It sometimes becomes a battle of wills, but you can win if you simply refuse to lose your temper or get nervous.

Observe the masters at this: waitresses, complaint department clerks, busy cashiers. Ask them how they do it. Nothing worthwhile comes overnight, but if you believe you can live a rattled-free life, you're halfway there.

The nuts and bolts of it

    Tips for calmness:

  • Never take your eye off the goal. Understand what the goal is and home in on it. Keep moving toward it no matter what is thrown in your way.
  • Don't let other people's problems become yours. People can be rude, demanding, even abusive. Don't give in and let them control you. Be dispassionate. Let their attitude slide off you like water off a duck's back.
  • Control your emotions instead of letting them control you. This takes practice, sometimes years of practice, but it can be done. We don't have to give in to disruptive feelings.
  • Speak slowly and calmly. Act at ease and you'll feel at ease. Do one thing at a time. If you do need to multi-task, do each job methodically, not haphazardly, and you'll bring a sense of control to your situation.

Food for Thought is a series of short, tightly focused messages to get you thinking about your life. 

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