For as many years as I can remember, being calm was challenging for me. What occurs when you can’t find peace is irritability, anxiety, health issues, and the list.
In my research, the critical ingredient is learning to be calm to find peace in my own life. Calm under fire!
When you learn to master the skillful art of remaining calm under fire, you can overcome anything that life throws at you.
How, might you say?
First, you need to learn how to breathe and focus on breathing in stressful situations.
Breathe in, counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Then, try to avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds.
Slowly exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds.
Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you feel re-centered.
In through the nose and out through the mouth. Nice easy breaths.
Keeping your fingertips together while breathing has also been helpful for me. As stress elevates, I rub my fingertips together slowly. It’s calming.
Breathing will help relieve the stress that can cause pain in the neck and back.
Why all this is so important, you may ask.
Our mind functions way faster and more alert when our head is not spinning. Have you ever noticed that in a quiet space, for example, your head won’t shut up? We all have. I wrote an article called When Silence Screams.
Getting to a relaxed place will have incredible value for you. Your decision-making will be more spot-on when your head is quiet. Stress will be minimized in all aspects of your life. There is a difference between healthy and unhealthy habits.
Imagine being able to summon calm—stress response vs. calm response. Think about your dad. Would he respond more favorably to a stressed-out crazy response or a clear, favorable, collected response?
Like anything new, this will take time to learn. At first, you will undoubtedly suck at being calm in the face of adversity. Then, however, you will gain confidence as you apply to breathe into your life.
As you learn new life skills, you must be easy on yourself. Set reminders that say “breathe.” Doing so will help shorten your learning curve. Make this part of your everyday!
Breathing will help you change your outlook from doom to I got this! Everyone you meet will be amazed that you don’t rattle. You learn to improvise, adapt and overcome any situation with a sharp mind.
Take time daily to meditate when you can to calm yourself. Meditation will help clear the stress and open your mind to receive intelligent thoughts. Not a mish-mosh of “Oh God, the world is over.” Vs. Clear, sharp, and concise.
Meditation should also become part of your everyday life. So, give yourself the gift of forty-five minutes of calm.
Now that you have read this short article. It’s time to get going. Set a reminder right now to breathe. Just doing breathing exercises throughout your day will begin to have positive progress.
My life has changed immeasurably by doing what I just wrote for you. Friends say my face does not look stressed; people near me say I am not as snappy as I might have been carrying stress.
Do not think you cannot do anything with your life for another minute. Listening to folks say all kinds of stuff you are so self-defeating it’s unfortunate.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”–Thomas Edison
How many people in this world have come for nothing to be somebody? Millions have worldwide. Society has most people believing you need all this fancy education, the right circle of friends, the proper economic status, or the big one nobody will give me a shot.
From childhood, we are conditioned to choose the least path of resistance to play it safe. I have heard young people say the parties for people coming home from Prison are more significant than those for High School Graduation.
This is such garbage. This article will give you an idea that you can accomplish what you want in this life. But, first, you must learn to believe that.
Well-intentioned but misguided friends and family will tell you, “Come on, what have you been smoking? You go no shot.” Naysayers will come out of the woodwork only to squash your dreams.
You may have to take this journey alone. Or with extraordinarily little support. When people ask to say you’re doing some junk, be ambiguous. “At first, they will ask you why you are doing it; then they will ask you how you did it.” Focus on yourself!
Outlining resources you can use now, today:
Public Library is free and has thousands of books and periodicals to help you learn anything.
No money for school, teach yourself. Self-taught is not a terrible thing.
Attend any seminar you can afford or that you find free.
Define what you want to do. If you could do anything you wanted, money, time, the school was NOT the problem. What would you do?
Self-education is most certainly not a bad thing. Books are available in abundance. No excuse. What is lacking is your willingness to learn. Sorry, it might sting a bit; I was the same way!
Knowledge is power beyond anything you could imagine. Getting off your butt and learning will change everything.
“They always say time changes things, but you have to change them yourself.” –Andy Warhol
Before you begin this book, I am going to ask you to do one thing. Do this; it will be liberating!
Accept your life as it is now. No matter your lot in life, where you are, or your social situation. Simply accept your life. Let go of everything and accept. Let go of mental things, let go of emotional pain, everything, let go of it.
Do this only for yourself. Don’t worry about others; this is you—absolute acceptance of your entire being. You do not have to prove a damn thing to anyone; be within yourself.
By doing this, you can start from a clean slate. Your life is a do-over. Accept who you are, where you are. Now everything can be fresh. Begin here. Acceptance!
“I accept who I am. Today is day one of my NEW life.”
Let’s talk about the next step from Acceptance.
Do you desire to change?
How bad do you want to change?
Enough to follow through, or will this go silently adrift into the abyss? (Being honest with yourself)
You, however, must desire and want change. People say all the time, “yes, I want that.” But, unfortunately, very few see change through to fruition.
You must be willing to change your environment, habits, and outlook to achieve lasting change.
Be sick and tired of being sick and tired!
Learn to set yourself up for success—activity vs. Productivity.
“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” –Edmund Burke
Never think a small step or time is an issue. Forward momentum!
If you understand how something will impact your life in a meaningful way, you will change. Unfortunately, it is NOT motivation; you lack its knowledge.
Learn WHY and the rest will fall in place! When you learn enough to understand the outcome of what you are trying to change. It is fun at that point. You feel sucked in by the force of knowing something unique is about to happen.
It’s not possible to remain the same person every day until you die. Otherwise, you would still need diapers. We grow; we learn. It is the way of things.
Remember, the world may be in turmoil; you do not have to be. Life can control you, or you can manage your own life. Things will happen out of our control; however, if it is not in your lane, stay in your lane! Keep the faith that change is occurring and forthcoming.
Be open to change no matter how impossible your perception of life is right now. What happens to you is what you allow mentally (of course not physically). You have more strength than you know.
Beat down emotionally? The only way from here is up. Never fall into the mindset that life is over, no hope. Nothing is over until it’s over. Want to be done with all the bullshit? You can and will find a way. I did!
With the change, you may find that friends may fall out. If people in your life fade away, let them go. Sometimes change occurs. Destinies change. Be open.
Somedays, you will feel alone. Somedays, you will say F’ it, I am not strong enough. I, too, had those days, dark days to the point of resigning myself to ending my life. At that moment, shit just was not worth it anymore.
I am aimlessly walking through life with nothing to hope for, nothing to live for, and broken. I have shared this story a few times in my podcast and blog.
Four years or so ago. A failed marriage, a divorce that at the time I did not want. At the time, I loved my wife very much. To add insult to injury, I paid for a divorce that I did not wish to occur.
More to the point, once the pain subsided, I realized our lives had different destinations. Hurt, but it made sense.
With not much left in my life, I moved to West Texas at the request of my family. So off to West Texas Glitzy, my dog and I go.
Fast forward a bit. I began to go to Church in Odessa, Texas. Two amazing things happened to me.
First, I was searching for anything that would bring me peace.
While sitting in church one Sunday morning, the pastor was doing an alter call. Where folks in the congregation give themselves to Jesus Christ or reaffirm their decision, keep in mind for the next part that I, other than being polite and saying good morning, not a soul in the church, knew who I was.
On this Sunday, I raised my hand. After the prayer and everyone sat down. The pastor was walking across the stage and stopped. Turning back towards the crowd, he began to say, “Sir, sir” finally realizing he was calling out to me, I was surprised. The pastor said to me, “God had put in his heart that whatever creative things I was working on don’t stop.”
Not knowing me from Adam, the fact that I had been writing a great deal, my goal for that year was to publish my first book. How could he ever know that? Ponder that.
That year not only did I publish my first book, but I also actually published seven.
Second, a miracle that happened for me follows:
I have attended the church for several months now. But, honestly, at this moment, I will freely admit not much was changing, and I had fallen back into a deep depression.
An event at the church had come up a barbeque. As I sat alone at a table during the event, finding myself at the lowest point in my life. Nothing seemed like it would ever work out. At this moment, I made the decision it was simply time to go. End Life and end the pain. The scary part is a false sense of peace came over me.
At this moment, I hear some say, “Bob is that you?” As I turned, I saw Paulette, the Pastors wife standing behind me and calling out to me as I had made this horrible decision.
Paulette asked me what I was doing sitting alone. We exchanged pleasantries, and she invited me to sit at her table and join her friends. I hesitantly accepted.
As the evening progressed, I began to realize people were genuinely friendly. I was enjoying myself entirely for the first time in what seemed to be years.
On my way home, I felt at peace.
My point to these two events is this. No way could Pastor Don have had any idea I was a writer. Likewise, Paulette could not have known that seconds before she said something to me, I had planned that my life was not worth living.
In my mind, God spoke through them to me not one time but two. So my belief tells me that God said that my life did have meaning in my darkest moment.
Whether you believe or have faith, miracles do happen. Change can happen. We don’t always understand why life is what it is, but hope does exist, even when you find yourself ready to give up.
My prayer for you is never to think that life cannot be changed for the better. I am living proof that you can. Even though I did not want a divorce, I am excited about my life and the days ahead.
Writing brings me joy and peace. When writing, I honestly feel that is what I am supposed to be doing.
“Change is hard until it’s not.”—Robert Bruton
First, you must begin right now to be open to change. To say to yourself, “what if this guy is right?” I can change my entire life no matter age, gender, education, or station in life. You can change. Simply put, you must want change.
This statement will sting a little bit because it is brutally honest. Get these two statements out of your head:
“I am old school.” I am not going to change. (Hard truth answer. You’re too lazy to change.) Ouch, but damn, stop saying that.
“I am not a morning person.” (Get your ass out of bed. A life filled with happiness, and you would rather sleep lazy ass.) Ouch again, but NO, you can get up and meet the day with everything that is you; come on now.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” –Muhammad Ali
Limiting beliefs are no longer a part of our mantra. (PSA: sometimes we must swallow the truth that chokes us).
If you are reading this book, let us assume your answer is in the affirmative.
My mother has a great saying to my sister and me. “You did not wreck yourself overnight; you cannot fix yourself overnight.” Patience is the call of the day. As we begin this book, you will be changing many aspects of your psyche and old paradigms to wash away.
In my podcast this morning, I related a story that I would like to tell you now.
When you look at herds of animals, one animal always stands out from the entire herd or pack. In this example, I will use horses because I love horses. As horses move about, they, like all herd animals, have one leader. Imagine yourself in the herd, running across the open plains doing your thing. Today, however, you begin to run faster and stronger than you ever have. You are overtaking the lead horse.
This newfound strength came upon you. Nothing special about you thus far, but today you found a whole new speed in your run. Today you’re leading the herd.
We all have something profound within us that, at any moment, can come out. When you learn to quiet your mind, keep still in the face of adversity. You will find this new speed. Keep reading because this book is filled with more than you can imagine. Life is about to change.
Most of us buy into the “we are where we are” syndrome. You may be today, but you damn sure can be in a new place tomorrow. Get that straight out of your head; you will thank me later.
We all must learn not to listen to society’s norms. Even a well-meaning family can stifle dreams. Only two people know whether you can or cannot do a thing—you and God. Everything else is conversation.
Learning to look at life taking these things out of the equation:
Money is not a problem (how you say? We can all figure out how to start on a shoestring or fund a project. It just takes knowledge).
Knowledge is not a problem (how you say? Gaining knowledge about anything is an online or library search away).
Time is not the problem
(How you say? Learn the difference between Activity vs. Productivity, and you will master your life). My pee tests. “Did you pee today?” Yes, being the most common answer. You told me you did not have time to do anything. Yet you had time to pee. Mull that over a while, it will come to you! (Spoiler alert you have to)
These three items have been staples in how to set goals for years.
ONE BIG THING MISSING
WHAT IF FEAR WAS NO LONGER A PROBLEM?
HEALTHY FEAR YES | DEBILITATING FEAR NO
As we journey through this book, you will learn how to master your fear. Learn to condition yourself to remain calm under extreme pressure when necessary and stay calm through life.
Arguably the most debilitating of all emotions is fear. So stop you in your tracks, and these phrases have that ability for now:
Lose my job. Voluntarily or not.
Ruin my credit.
I have bills.
I have children and a mortgage.
I don’t know-how.
You can damn sure talk yourself out of anything—fear talking. But, in later chapters, we will learn how to overcome fear with knowledge.
Baby steps are okay. Forward momentum is always a good thing, big or small. Just keep the inertia moving forward.
“The person who says it cannot be done. Should stop interrupting the person doing it.”—Chinese Proverb
You are talking yourself out of doing something or allowing someone to talk you out of something you are enthusiastic about stops now. Learn to believe in your ability. Not, others’ interpretation of your abilities. Significant difference.
How many success stories have you heard from early on in a company’s Genesis that major players walked by and said, “oh, that’s not ever going to work.” Microsoft®, Apple®, Compaq®, FedEx®, and others all laughed at early on. Belief, perseverance, and the wisdom to learn from failures and build back stronger. Your life is just like that.
Change may not come at the first door; you may need to open a few before walking through the right one.
When you believe strongly enough (not wishful thinking) that you ache to do something, it calls to you. Then you figure the way. Knowledge is the key. Then, you will achieve your wildest dreams.
Knowledge is one of the key ingredients you will utilize to have people ask you in the beginning, “Why are you doing that?” to then ask you, “How did you do that?” Knowledge to achieve, solve, and overcome. The real question will be, are you willing to learn?
Learning is just like a bicycle. When you begin to learn to ride a bike, you suck. Skinned knees, maybe a broken bone, but you continue to LEARN. As you progress, you take one hill, then the next until you’re a kamikaze finding the steepest hill, the most significant jump, not caring if you bust your ass. Why? You have learned and mastered the bike.
Life is the same way. You have learned and mastered life. You don’t care if you bust your ass. Why because you know HOW to get back up. You learn to love the journey, good and bad, instead of focusing on a small failure only to peter out.
It is liberating!
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Wayne Dyer
What I hear in that statement is change brings about knowledge. The bicycle metaphor, in the beginning, could be construed as menacing because you bust your ass all the time. However, as you gain knowledge to ride the bike proficiently, the bike looks like tremendous fun.
Life can be the same!
When I was a kid, I skied in Ruidoso, New Mexico. First, the ski area was named Sierra Blanca; after the mountain peak, it later changed to Ski Apache.
In my youth, the ski run I most wanted to conquer was a run called Capitan. Very steep with huge moguls. To a young boy, very foreboding. The first attempt going down the hill took what seemed to be hours traversing the mountain from one side to the other.
Capitan became one of my favorite runs to ski, and I eventually skied many races on that run with time. I went from traversing side to side to being able to downhill the slope. No turns straight, tuck, and down we go.
After a time of overcoming fear, I was able to do anything I wanted on the hill. For me, it was one of the biggest thrills of achievement in my life. Many a fun race day I had was spent on that hill.
With time and practice, you too can overcome your fear of skiing your Capitan.
To solve life’s puzzle, you need knowledge and lots of it. Conquering fear is nothing more than the knowledge to decipher what you fear. Humans are not fearful of anything they understand. Guys who handle venomous snakes (I agree crazy as hell) do so because they know how to do so. Therefore, they can take and control dangerous situations. Bomb guys the same way. Ability overcomes difficult fear and lets healthy respect reside.
Become a student of life.
Are you the go-to person in your field for a professional opinion if a national broadcast calls you? No, why?
The most challenging problem in your life, do you curl up in a ball or hit them head-on? If you knew how to solve the problem, would you still curl up in a ball? NO!
Want to change the world? How? Knowledge to solve the problems of the world might be an excellent place to start.
Want a better job? Learn how to do something better, more proficiently, and you will land a better-paying job. Solving someone’s problems and pay is not a problem. Think about that for a minute.
About to lose a relationship. Learn what it takes to have a safe, happy, loving, healthy relationship, and you will not. Or better still, if you lose, you won’t close it on yourself the next time that door opens.
Learn to solve problems, get out in front of an issue solve it. Money will not be your problem.
Remember you must start somewhere. Never think, “oh, if I get the job now, I can solve problems later.” No, get the knowledge and work your way towards your result. You cannot skip forward and expect lasting change. Do the work!
Improvise, Adapt, and overcome!
You do not need a formal education to fix your life—knowledge is accessible to all. It would help if you simply found it. Not hard at all.
When you learn that life is not holding you back, you are. It’s not what side of the tracks you were born on, education or no education. So many men and women throughout history have come from horrible situations to achieve beautiful things.
Society would like to have you believe that it’s only a select few who can achieve. Stop buying a pile of horse manure.
When you say, I don’t have the education to do that. Most successful entrepreneurs came from nothing, had nothing, and indeed no formal education.
You can gain knowledge through so many avenues:
Library, read as many books as you can, read daily. One hour per day X 365 days is 365 hours of study!
Online Searches (research) any subject you need help with learning.
Seminars (in person and online)
Training courses (in-person and online)
Find a Mentor
SBA / Score (internet search if you don’t know what this is)
Open yourself to new ideas and new ways of learning!
Srinivasa Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician that had virtually no formal math training. Yet, in his day, he solved math problems that others said were unsolvable. Moreover, his work was so advanced other scholars of the day dismissed his work.
He mainly worked in isolation. But, from this one book, A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics, G. S. Carr’ this young man was able to extrapolate some of the most thought-provoking work in mathematical history. One book changed his life forever!
Sadly, this young man died at age 32.
Think about this for a minute. Your life could change forever reading one book—extraordinary to think.
Considered today, Srinivasa Ramanujan is a legend within the mathematic community and with scholars.
Another person of notable success you will certainly recognize is Demi Moore. “I was born in Roswell, New Mexico and raised by alcoholic parents in a trailer park.” (Roswell is my birthplace)
From that beginning, she did not let her environment, or lack thereof, deter her from becoming an excellent Hollywood star.
Change only occurs when you change! Do you want to change?
A developmental disorder was affecting the ability to socialize and communicate effectively.
Asperger syndrome is a condition on the autism spectrum, with generally higher functioning.
Consider Elon Musk, who suffers from Asperger’s. This amazing man has not let what some would say a disability keep him from reaching his vision. Instead, he does what he loves, someone that pursues space travel; let’s say it is not a regular Joe job.
A disorder that makes social situations awkward, I think we can all agree Elon Musk has articulated his vision in a meaningful way.
Excuses for our lives stop at this moment!
“I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.” –Maya Angelou
You must buckle down and work. Learn how to apply knowledge to a situation and see how quickly your life changes. When you can step in front of a problem with the actual ability to solve it, the world is yours.
You have attained knowledge. Think about something that you might be afraid to try. Dancing, for example. When you begin to learn a dance, you probably look dorky until you master the steps. You don’t simply walk on the dance floor and waltz the first time beautifully. However, with practice, you will look graceful on the floor.
At that point, fear is out the window!
What if I fail? You fail if you don’t try!
What if I look stupid? Who Cares???
Everyone begins at ground zero. We all had to start somewhere with only the knowledge that we possessed at that moment. As time moved, so did the skill level; this, in turn, brings down the level of fear to a manageable level.
From an article I wrote:
What does it take to make lasting and real change?
Simply writing out goals with no concrete plan of action is useless. Lord, I want a million dollars in my bank account, do nothing, and by some miracle, it will happen because you wished it!
Sorry to burst bubble; life change takes real work. Wishing for something to happen is flat going to get you ZERO.
Want to learn the secret sauce?
Organize your life to win. From the time you get up to the time you go to bed, be about good works. Yes, you can have time for messing about. The basic plan daily is getting our job done, then playing—a balance of productivity and activity. Learn to master the difference between the two, and you will achieve your heart’s desire.
Life cannot be all about you. Make some room for making a difference every day. It can be as simple as sharing a smile, a hearty good morning. Perhaps, you visited a total stranger in the hospital or nursing home to spread good cheer. Just be a blessing to anyone today. First and foremost, to lead a life of abundance.
Everything else will fall in place when you set out to change your life to achieve happiness, peace, and joy in your heart. Having peace in your head will give you access to the far reaches of your brain. Learning to declutter our minds will open creative thoughts.
How do you say do I slow down my brain long enough to have a positive thought?
Learning through prayer and meditation to slow down decompress our brain to begin receiving new thoughts and ideas. Problem solved with a clear head.
(We have a chapter on Mediation)
As I finished this book, I returned to this spot to share a different story that I heard in a video. It struck me as thought-provoking.
I watched a video by a helicopter pilot who flies for a major TV show in Alaska. He shared a story about something he asked a Coast Guard Helicopter rescue pilot. The TV pilot asked: “how do you know when a flight is a no-go or go due to weather conditions?” To which the Coast Guard Pilot replied: “When we get called out on a rescue, the weather is normally torrential due to the nature of the call, may-day distress. The weather is not the factor if we can open the hanger door in the storm we go.” Meaning if they can manage to open the hanger door in a torrential storm, they fly no matter the conditions.
My point to this is you have a decision to make. Your life is a mayday call. Are you going to let a storm stop you? Or will you move the hanger door the hell out of the way so you can do your job? People can find the will to overcome anything. Each of us can fly no matter what the weather.
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” –Earl Nightingale
What the hell are you waiting for?
The decisive question, but if you are waiting for the right time, money, market, whatever other excuse you can think of. You may be here not accomplishing much if you don’t move!
The grandest illusion we face is believing we have time.
Time can be snatched from you in a moment, without notice. Circumstances can change in a nanosecond. Let me give you a secret. There is no good time. You can wait, but that is all you’ve done, wait!
You can launch off anything at what you deem is the right moment, only to fall on your ass. Others began and said, “oh my, this took off like we never dreamt.” Perfect timing, the ability to foretell the future is a rare gift indeed. Seriously, are you that gullible? Of course not.
Ask yourself why you are not:
Telling someone you love them.
Starting to care for your body, work out.
Taking care of your health.
Beginning your new business.
Going back to school.
Taking care of your mental health.
I got bills to pay. Hell, we all have bills that are a life-given next.
I don’t have good credit. Fix it, need help respond at the end of this article. Free info.
I don’t have time to busy. Sorry but you simply don’t know how to manage your time, a considerable difference: Activity vs. Productivity. You can learn how to manage time efficiently.
Fear! We all are afraid. Letting it stifle your growth can be debilitating.
“In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.” –Paul Harvey
Challenges will come when we begin anything new in our lives. Learning to roll with it will advance you forward. Keeping a cool head under fire is the actual test of self. Resolution to issues comes with a cool head. No matter what stress life throws at you, learn to quiet your mind.
Meditation is a great place to begin. Give yourself this gift daily. Want more information on how to start. Respond below.
What are you waiting for?
Begin today, right now. Take a baby step but start. Don’t end your life with regret. Believing you have all the time in the world may very well be accurate. What are you doing with that gift of time? Sitting on your ass overthinking? Get up and MOVE!
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’ –Erma Bombeck
Or you can say, sorry God, I meant to start! It was never the right time.
Nothing is ever the right time. The right time is you beginning where you are NOW. Everything you believe you don’t have can come to you at a later time. Have faith. Faith with work will yield excellent results.
Give yourself time to learn, don’t get frustrated due to lack of knowledge; you can gain time.
Lastly wish I could tell you change comes quickly. It does not. Throwing in the towel too soon is what sets apart successful people from most, is that successful folks won’t throw in the towel just because the terrain gets tough.
Excellent put their life in Four-Wheel drive and plow through!
Time can be your friend or foe. Choose to use your time wisely.