Complete Control

This week’s blog is in response to an email I received. “I liked your post, but find it hard to actually follow your advice. People always say to visualize, but I’m just not that good at it. Is there some kind of special training for that?”

My answer is, “Yes, you’ve been training all of your life!”

Imagine this: You’re laying in a dark, quiet room, peacefully enjoying your moment of solitude. You’re completely relaxed and the temperature is perfect.  You take a slow deep breath, just to savor the moment. Then you start thinking about the day that lies ahead.  That game. That match. That presentation. A job interview.  A date with that special someone. Your first live onstage performance.  Just like that, your mind and your heart are racing.  You’re breathing faster and faster. The room is quiet, but your thoughts are loud: Why am I doing this? What was I thinking? I’m gonna get fired. I’m going to lose the gig.  We’re gonna sound terrible. I’m not good enough. I’m unqualified. I’m too inexperienced.  Your body is sitting in the middle of a peaceful quiet place, but you have trained your mind to escape, on cue, to travel to a self-made hell.
Nothing has changed around you, but everything has changed within you.

Now, imagine this.
You’re in the middle of the busiest, most hectic day. Things have been hurried and frantic since you awakened. You overslept, you skipped breakfast, you got stuck in traffic, and you arrived late.  It seems like everything up to this point has gone wrong.  Then you remember that you have the control.  You close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath.  You imagine that your breath is flowing in and out of your heart.
You imagine you’re in a quiet peaceful place. It may be somewhere you often go to get away, or a special place from your childhood.  You linger there for a bit, soaking up all of that positive, peaceful relaxing energy.  You resolve to bring this feeling back into your physical space and into your day.  Your body is sitting in chaos, and your mind is completely still.
Nothing has changed around you, but everything has changed within you.

Once you learn that you have complete control of what’s happening on the inside, you will approach life situations differently. You will become more steady, even. You will approach even challenging situations with more confidence.  Why don’t you practice tomorrow?

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
—Henry Stanley Haskins, Meditations on Wall Street

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