Monday Zen: Calm Has Many Forms

A note about Monday Zen: Just like most people love Friday, they hate Monday. Why? In a good life, it’s a day like any other. At the very least, it shouldn’t be worse. That’s what Monday Zen is for: To make sure you start the week with calm, poise, and determination.

Let’s not derail our trains of thought before they leave the station. Let’s enjoy the journey.


shallow focus photograph of fire

“Anger is a hot coal you’re holding, waiting to throw it at someone else.” - Anonymous

Even if you have a good reason, being angry is almost never a good choice. And it is a choice. Emotions are states we can choose. And while the right one always depends on the situation, being calm is one of the most powerful of them all.

If I can find my way back to calm, I can deal with any situation. No matter what goes wrong, whether I lose money, get criticized, feel lonely, or am overwhelmed with work, once I take a deep breath, I can deal with the issue.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the path to calm always leads through a different mental track in my brain.

When I have work problems, I remember that I have money savings and time to address them. When I have relationship problems, I remember that I’m good enough on my own. And so on.

Therefore, there are many different sources of calm, and the more you have, the better:

  1. Compassion. Everyone is just trying their best to live their life. If you can remember this, you’ll have empathy and struggle less with other people doing you wrong.

  2. Self-Love. One of the most productive things you can do in any situation is to forgive yourself for your flaws, mistakes, and regrets. Immediately. Forgiveness is letting go. It eliminates friction. More about this here.

  3. Self-Esteem. Whereas self-love eliminates the negative, self-esteem emphasizes the positive. Take pride in your past accomplishments. How disciplined you’ve been so far. And remember you’re a whole human being. Always.

  4. Money. There’s no getting around the fact that having money is a practical ace up your sleeve. It doesn’t have to be a crazy amount, but enough to give you some time to deal with any potential emergencies. Some specifics here.

  5. Gratitude. Thinking about what you have is a great way to put what you don’t have into perspective. We’re all standing on the shoulders of past generations. Chances are, our lives are a lot easier than theirs.

Cultivating all of these takes time. But, unlike many others, it’s a goal worth pursuing.

Because who wants to spend their life holding hot coals? Especially on Mondays.

-Nik


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