It has come to my attention that my life is just spinning out of control. Yet I have never felt happier with where I have been at. This life is never meant to go as planned. We may make tons of different plans to accomplish many different kinds of things, but at the end of the day, the majority of dreams and goals are averted by simple mistakes and plenty of obstacles that come out of nowhere. Life Happens.
I like to think of myself as a fast adjuster, going from thing to thing being able to adjust quickly. I served an LDS mission starting in the Fall of 2014 in Ecuador. Many missionaries in the LDS culture suffer from a bit of culture shock and it takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to fully adjust to the lifestyle of a missionary and living conditions in a different country. It took me just a couple of hours to adjust to the smell and that was the only thing that actually bothered me while I was away.
While I like to think I’m good at adjusting to situations like this as well as other types of “high pressure” situations it is still something that I am working on. I do notice though because of my ability to feel happy and satisfied in high-pressure situations is in direct proportion to my ability to adjust to situations.
Happiness in this life is perhaps the largest thing that everybody wants to achieve in this life even if it isn’t something that they consciously make decisions towards it. Happiness is something we all are at least unconsciously trying to accomplish. It has many different aspects to it but one of the largest ways is to always stay calm during stressful situations.
This does require a lot of practice. It requires a lot of situations in which you are “in the fire”. Whenever someone suggests the life is like a furnace to mold and shape a sword, that is exactly how a personality is shaped. It will take a person many times in specific situations and actively choosing to keep a calm appearance in those situations before you can learn to start to feel calm in those situations.
So the steps to learning are these:
- Keep a calm complexion
- Learn to calm your thoughts
- Learn to calm your feelings
The first, as mentioned before, is to keep a calm complexion. Don’t appear to others as anxious or angry, even if you are anxious or angry about whatever situation is at hand. Learn to control that outward appearance and you will find it easier to diffuse a situation, especially if it involves dealing with another person. The calm that you show, even if you aren’t calm on the inside will ensure that others aren’t overly inquisitive of your situation. While in many cases it is good to get advice and help, it can often make a situation worse the more and more people try and sympathize or help out.
The Second is to learn how to calm your thoughts. Your thoughts will often lead to action and that action is what changes your situation. In order to overcome a situation or challenge that you are facing it is seldom handled efficiently when one doesn’t have calm and collected thoughts. The way that you can calm your thoughts after you have calmed your complexion is by thinking about something you are grateful for, or perhaps even the large impact of your life. For example, if you are faced with disciplinary action at work and you are getting anxious about the experience, think about what might happen if the worst did happen. If for some reason you did get fired for that mistake what is the life implication of that? Now, this can be a dangerous road to go down but think about it this way.
If you lost your job and you have bills to pay and mouths to feed. You can look for a job. There are tons of jobs out there, even if it is something as small as working for a fast food chain. Think about the basics. Even if you have a college degree and think you are above a sales job at a car dealership, that ego will destroy your options. You need to get a hold of a job, now if you have bills to pay that are for some reason now not being met, now think about 30 day late payments on some things, while it may look bad on your credit for the long term, at least you’ll be able to get by for another month. Do keep in mind that that debt will still need to be handled, but think about how you may be able to strategically handle your accounting in order so that you can still put food on the table. Once you have taken the time to strategically analyze where you are at money wise, you can then start looking at those other job opportunities that there may be out there especially in places like indeed.com and other job-related sites. You can even go out to different friends and family and see if they would be willing to hire you or know of someone who is hiring. A lot of times this life is about who you know and not what you know.
Thinking about that type of impact, though it will require a good amount of work on your part to do and some amount of critical thinking it will allow you to put food on the table and survive. At the end of the day that is exactly what you want to do is survive. You are still alive, you are still breathing and more than anything you still have the ability to grow. This is why things are only over if you give up. If you give up, that is when there are no options open up to you.
The biggest way by far that I have found to keep your feelings of fear and anxiety in check is to always realize the amount of blessing you have and develop a sincere attitude of gratitude. This isn’t developed overnight, but gratitude is something that when you develop it allows you to accept a drop of status or material possession. When you start to realize that the $3 coffee that you drank this morning gave you some amount of energy, but wasn’t necessarily needed to get you through the day, it makes you think if you needed it. If you didn’t need that particular item then it was just an added bonus to your life. Think about your car, is it fancy, does it have a backup camera, does it have Bluetooth. All these features, while nice and may contribute to a safer lifestyle aren’t a necessity on the functionality of that car. You do not need many things to be successful in life and perhaps giving up some of the “luxuries” in your life will put you in a better position now and set yourself up for more success in the future. So if you forgo buying the $35000 car and instead by a $5000 car, you can put that $30k to a different part of your life.
It really just comes down to you realizing that it is not material items that give happiness. It is one’s own personal ability to be self-aware and the connections that they make in this life. Happiness comes from people and not things, and sometimes happiness will come from cutting certain people from your life and filling it with people who help inspire you to do better. The first, though is something that few people realize that makes people happy, self-awareness. Self-awareness and knowing yourself is always going to be the first step to discovering how to be happy.
There are so many different things that I could say when it comes down to being able to adjust from situation to situation but I can narrow it down generally to those three things. Make sure your complexion is calm, so that you don’t startle others and nonverbally convince them to ask more questions. Ensure that your thought process is calm, don’t think about just the bad outcomes, but think about how the different outcomes compare in your life as a whole. There are many different ways on how you can put food on the table to survive another day. Finally, there is your ability to ensure that your emotions are calm as well. This will be built by a daily attitude of gratitude, that will help you take each intense moment of your life and put it into the perspective of your life as a whole.
If you learn these things you will be able to adjust to your circumstances easier and be able to move step by step regardless of the pace of the progress and achieve success and happiness in your life. I wish you all the best, but acknowledge that there are none of you that have the “perfect” situation. There will always be challenges and struggles, but as we overcome them and keep ourselves calm and collected during them, our efficiency and ability to overcome those problems is increased.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, feel free to email me or to message me on any of the social media platforms like facebook, instagram or even leave a comment below! I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts.