What if life were extremely tough at times and we reacted with worry and stress? And our reaction of continued worry and stress did not help but exacerbated our issues; fear; negative thoughts; and anxiety.
Wait. That is already happening. That is already how you are living out most of your day and reacting to:
- Plunging stock market
- Stinky boss
- Doctor visits
- Not enough sleep
- Relationship issues
- Time management out of control
- Financial strain
Wow, just reading the list creates worry and stress and uncertainty.
What are we to do as leaders and business people to fix and/or correct the situations of the world?
If you have been with me long enough you know the first thing I will suggest is deep breathing. It helps our brain and reactive self understand that we are not needing to run from a starving lion chasing us. We are just being reactive to the reality around us.
And now for a partial, immediate and fully satisfying cure.
Let me set the context first. Albert Einstein, a pretty smart guy, said during and at the end of his impressive career that our imaginations are the most powerful and productive tool we have in our arsenal of thinking and doing.
We can imagine ourselves to success and happiness. We know how to be stressed…do you know how to be happy and successful, with little or no stress?
An example of what I mean: Picture that idiot on the tiny outcropping of the ledge where he/she will plunge hundreds of feet on a zip line or bungee cord. What do you think they are saying to themselves as they breathe in their next actions.
“Ok, stupid, why are you here and doing this”?
“You got this. I am so proud of all your courage. This is going to be the highlight of your life. You spent so much time preparing. You go. You are totally awesome and full of the kind of energy that I admire”…and more.
We all learn in the most stressful chosen moments to help our psyche know we are good and where we want to be.
So it is with the imagination. The politics of our daily lives can turn into the imagined best outcomes if we give ourselves the time and space to imagine.
On a personal note, I’ve been cold here in TN the last couple of months. This winter I’ve wanted a fireplace in my home to hear the crackle of the wood and sitting with my beloved green tea with my feet up just being warm and immersed in the pleasure of the atmosphere of having a fire going. You know, wool socks, favorite pants, favorite turtleneck, my chubby doxie pup on the love seat with me and a fleece blanket on my knees for effect. It is a lovely imagined scenario and it warms me.
Did you get that? My imagining being warm makes me warm.
There are countless stories through history of people reacting to what they think when the situation is really not accurate. Like the person who died in a closed train car because they thought they were in a refrigerated car. It never got below 60 degrees, but they froze to death anyway. Our imaginations are the most powerful part of our minds. Used well, we can also have the power to move from stress and anxiety to success and happiness.
A sidebar on imagination is that when we do use the power of it, we produce that outcome. I am looking for land and since I’ve started my “warm” fireplace imagining, every home that I have looked at in the past 2 months has had a fireplace. Just sayin’.
Try a daily practice – waking up or going to sleep – of imagining what you want can also produce, at the moment, the exact situation or feeling you need. Stress and anxiety don’t have a chance once you start breathing in your imagined moments.
Put your alarm on during the day also for 5 minutes to breath deeply and imagine what it is that is most important to you right now.
Einstein produced a whole world of knowledge that had never been before by imaging.
And I bet my new house will have a fireplace.
To Your Success,
P.S. The leadership, communication and behavioral performance assessments are exactly what all of us need. Email me and do yours with me personally. You are also welcome to the Assessment Center webpage and requesting info there.