The power of serenity

The idea for this post came to me when I was listening to “The Ballad of Serenity”, one of my favorite songs and the intro soundtrack of Firefly, one of my favorite TV-shows. I think that serenity can have a very positive impact on feeling happy and satisfied with one’s own life. It also helps accepting other people, since you will remain calm about their mistakes. Stopping to rage about stupidly acting people can save a lot of energy, which can be used for something else. But of course controlling yourself isn’t as easy as it sounds, although I think it is trainable. I consider myself as a serene person. I don’t get mad very easily (there are some situations though, where I wish that I could just get really angry about something) and I want to share with you some aspects which often help me to keep calm.

First of all, when I feel a tiny bit of rage coming up inside me, I try to take a moment to consciously feel and acknowledging it. This helps me find the source of this feeling. I always want to know why exactly I am getting mad about something. Is someone really pissing me off or am I just very stressed about everything else? Whatever it is, if you know where it comes from, it will help you to let it go quickly as well.

Also I always ask myself what I gain from being mad. By becoming aware of the benefit of being mad (or its unnecessity), it often doesn’t seem worth it and the feeling automatically fades away. We are often just getting stressed by loosing time because other people don’t act as they should, for example in traffic or in the line at the supermarket, when the one in front of you is searching for every cent to pay the exact amount. But just take a breath and quickly guess, how much time you are loosing through that. Did you ever saw someone searching for the right money longer than 30 seconds? How much faster would you be home, if you could drive those 10 km/h faster? If you’re already late, a few seconds more or less won’t matter anyway, so it’s better to arrive relaxed.

For training to relax more in such situations, I found something quite simple in here. When you have time just get into the longest lane in the supermarket. This way you will get used to waiting and handle unexpected delays more serene. Search for ways to slow yourself down when you find the time. You are scrolling through social media? Try to find a spot in your house, where the wifi is weak and continue there, waiting for every picture and video to load for a bit first. For myself I think that this is a really good training for patience, and I want to try it out in the future. The good thing is, that you can slow down almost everything. It’s up to you to find opportunities to steadily train to remain calm when something takes longer than expected.

From James Clear I got another approach on doing so. Although he actually meant it as a training to feel more confident, I think it also works fine to be more calm. He suggests to just take two minutes every day to do nothing, not watching TV, playing with the phone or talking to anybody. I actually already tried this out a long time ago and I found it pretty helpful. Sadly I didn’t manage to stick to it, but I wanna try again. It gave me some time to think about myself and reflect on how I was doing with everything.

So why always stress about every second other people cost you? Take the time to think and to relax, so you can use your powers for something more important and fun.

Happiness and how to achieve it

I just stumbled over a post of James Clear in his blog. The entry deals with a simple rule of happiness in an African tribe. In a race where the first one reaching a box of fruits would take it all, the kids just took each others hand and reached the basket together and enjoying the meal with everyone. The reason for this blew my mind:

“How can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

Thinking about it she’s right. How can you be happy if you have no one to share it with? Like Jim Rohn also said:

“You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”  -Jim Rohn

If the people around you are sad, they will make you sad too. So thinking again about the race, when you win the others will be sad because they lost and have to watch you eating all the fruits by yourself. Watching their sad faces will make you feel sad too – except you’re an evil villain. Now you could just leave them, take your fruits and search for other winners who also have fruits and be happy together with them. But what if you get into the same race with them again? At some point even when you’re always winning, you’re running out of people to surround you with. So why not take a step back and being a winner with everyone else together? Why is in today’s society everything about competition at all? (I guess I will have to make another post for this).

One day I experienced how crazy happiness and sadness can be transferred between people by just their mimic in their faces. I live in one of the rainiest cities of Germany and that day I came back from visiting my family and my train was delayed so my mood was kind of grumpy. But when I stepped outside the train station all the people around me where having a smile on their lips – I guess because it was warm and sunny for a change – it directly caught me as well. That day I realized that being happy is not just about yourself but mostly about the people around you.

Theoretically happiness is so easy to spread that way, make someone happy and you will get happy yourself. Then other people will see that cheerful smile on your face and intuitively mirroring it a little and maybe also your action if you tell them what made you feel good, spreading your happy mood more and more.