Sometimes life requires one to roll up one’s sleeves, grit your teeth and get the job done. The gym is a good place for this for sure. Even on the football field, this has its place for me. But I feel the ability to stay calm amongst the chaos that is life is of higher value and will bear more fruit. There was a calmness to Michael Jordan in the most chaotic moments, like a game-winning shot. Nike saw that in him and, if you watched the movie Air, saw what others missed - a relaxed calmness in a pressure cooker. I know for me even a simple activity like driving in the chaos of Los Angeles rush hour traffic can be pretty hectic and stressful, but when I stay calm, things open up for me. The gaps open up, the lanes open up. Letting people in rather than cutting them off usually feels better, and things go better in my view. I think this is a good lesson in life too. Sure, have a competitive drive to win and be better and strive for more, but doing it with poise and humility and a sense of calmness I think brings about that success. The top players in any sport have time and this somehow innate ability to slow things down. That’s calmness. Calmness can be honed by doing those actions over and over under pressure and developing a sense of self.
Life can throw many things at me sometimes, seemingly from all directions at once. When it rains, it pours. I can choose to either get upset or stay calm and acknowledge the fact, then look for the solution. Sometimes the solution requires me to step away for a minute and gather my thoughts on it. I try not to make decisions in an emotional situation using emotion. So I will go for a drive, take a walk, go for a run, take a bath, grab a bite to eat or a coffee and then I see the solution much clearer. There is always a solution and always something that can be done, and choosing the right path is not always easy. Very often we can tend to choose the wrong path, but we learn from that and steel ourselves for the next obstacle to rear its head. Staying calm in heated situations definitely ain’t easy, but I do notice that when I do, I achieve a better result than when I get riled up in the moment. So stay calm, and rise above the chaos.