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Sunday, 9 June 2013

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Make the right choice:

Have control or be controlled

I have been saying repeatedly that the world is becoming a harder place to live. We have no escape and we can only control the way we react to challenges that are beyond control of professionals. We are not insulated from any of the global issues - you are inundated with an unlimited flow of such negative news every day.

From a local perspective, you hear about a string of unexpected economic and non-economic issues. If you are like most other people, you probably spend more time worrying about recent developments having a direct or indirect impact on your life.

You may be worried about the poor consumption in the market and its implications on your business, consequent inflationary issues, job security, escalation of electricity cost, human rights issues, rising taxes, future of your children, even the weather. Some things we can control, others we clearly cannot.

Convert negative thoughts into positive thoughts

One of the things you must practise when managing such uncertainty, ambiguity and anxiety is to understand the issue in its context and decide if you can do something about.

It's inevitable that any issue regardless of whether they are related or otherwise, you tend to worry, that's natural human behaviour. So let it be. But the important factor is that your life has to go on.

You still need to achieve your goals in life - to do this you got to navigate these challenges with a single focus in mind. So how can you do it? Correct understanding of the issue is vital to distinguish between what is impacting you and what is not - and decide what you can control and what you can't.

Ability to turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts is a must to deal with any challenge. I know this idea sounds simple, but practising this technique is hard but when effectively practised, it can alleviate a great deal of unnecessary anxiety and stress.

We have a fair share of our own personal problems and we end up spending a lot of time and energy to resolve them. The worst thing that can happen to us is spending time and energy on issues we cannot control no matter if these issues have an impact on you or not. If you cannot control just be aware and align yourself, that is the most sensible thing to do.

Direct energy towards what you can control

Easy to say, but hard to do. Our passion for our work makes it more difficult to worry selectively. Why? The more passionate you are, the more protective and perfection-driven you become. Any concern becomes exaggerated based on your optimistic vision being obstructed.

Regardless of whether or not you have influence, you will want to tackle every problem as it emerges. This tendency is dangerous. Your energy becomes fractured as you start to obsess over details and situations that are beyond your control. Ultimately, your ideas and plans suffer.

It's said that generally 90 percent of the things people worry about are beyond their control. You can do your own assessment and figure out your own percentage is. You may be surprised with your own realisation. The key to maintaining a positive attitude in life is to know the difference.

How many times have you been stuck in traffic, been in queues at government institutions? You felt angry, stressed and uncomfortably over anxious? Probably more times than you care to think about, but some of these are things you have no control over, so lighten up, take some deep breaths, and tell yourself, "I am in control over my feelings, and I will not let this situation beat me down. I am in charge of how I feel. I am calm and relaxed."

Obviously this will take practice, but once you get used to this, it will make a world of difference. When you think about how much damage these unnecessary stressful situations harm our bodies, raise our blood pressure, increase frown winkles, ruin our day, it is not worth it, and it is a battle you need to take on with positive self-talk. Spend your thoughts on things you can control and think thoughts that bring a smile to your face, rather than an ugly frown.

 

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