“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but ultimately it doesn’t get you anywhere.”
Sometime I share with clients an image of being a modern day Calm Warrior.
You have developed the inner skills of calm and conscious thought direction. You are fully present in your day and are like an experienced ninja, ready to make an impact and respond to the moment in front of you as needed.
The opposite of that is the modern day Worrier and they can be identified simply by having a worried mind.
Such a mind projects worst-case scenarios into the future.
Reporter: What’s the central part of your training? Is it running? Is it sparring?
Muhammad Ali: It’s none of those, it’s dodging the nightclubs and the parties and being in bed before 9pm.
The great boxer gave an unusual insight into one aspect of success in any field when he gave this answer. What we don’t do is just as important as what we do do.
In a similar way, getting the best from yourself is more about what you need to STOP doing – than what you need to start.
Starts are important but Stops are often an easy way to make dramatic improvements.
Here are 10 possible STOPs to consider:
“I discovered that people are not really afraid of dying; they’re afraid of not ever having lived, not ever having deeply considered their life’s higher purpose, and not ever having stepped into that purpose and at least tried to make a difference in this world.” – Joseph Jaworski
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop” – Rumi
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies inside us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is one of my favourite quotes.
The message contained within the words resonate at a deep level inside me.
I’m fortunate in that I have a career where I get reminded of the amazing potential inside human beings every single day.
“The smallest change in perspective can transform a life.” – Oprah Winfrey
“To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.” – Lao Tzu.
“It’s just the price you have to pay”.
So said the ‘successful’ business person sitting in front of me.
We were talking about the pervasiveness of busyness in the modern world – or more specifically, the pervasiveness of a busy mind.
I used to believe the same thing.
I don’t any more. I can’t from what I’ve seen with clients and with myself.
The truth is you can be busy in your world BUT have a calm mind. And that makes a world of a difference to everything. Your energy, your clarity, your mood, your communication, your thinking, your creativity and your results.
“I’m not addicted to reading. I can stop as soon as I finish the next chapter.”
I love learning – particularly new and interesting information that expands my horizons.
But for a long time it was in an unhealthy way.
The truth is that for many years I was an information junkie. In a way, it was to be expected because that is the model of the current educational system in the Western World – learning is consuming and retaining information.
And while I made very positive improvements to my life because of new learnings, I knew I wasn’t applying everything I knew – but I didn’t know why.
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible!” – Audrey Hepburn
What do you do when you feel stuck?
What do you do when you lose sight of the mountain you’ve been climbing?
One thing you can do is to make space to dig into interesting questions with an open mind:
“What now is impossible, but if it could happen, it would change everything?”
I got this email from someone over the summer that I hadn’t seen in a while:
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“What’s the best way to start your day?”
I’ve been asked this question many times and my honest answer is:
“Whatever gives YOU the best start to your day”
This is because we’re all different and it’s up to you to figure out what really works for you. But I do know that what won’t give you the best start to your day includes: