When you have a meeting - that could a work meeting, an interview, a presentation, a school pick-up... whatever - put it in your diary five minutes earlier than the actual start time and use that five minutes to clear and settle your mind, to observe where you are, what you're seeing, how you're feeling and what you hear, smell and taste. Use those precious couple of minutes to re-acquaint yourself with the reality of the here and now and, then, armed with a clear and present mind, you're ready for anything and up for everything.
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I've spoken to four different clients this week each of whom, in their own inimitable way, have informed me that they are having a bad day or week... although their actual language has been just a little more colourful than simply "bad"!!!
Mainly, either people at work or work itself is getting under their ski... or both! As a result, they themselves are operating way below par, feeling tired, less focused than usual, irritable, grumpy, not sleeping well - all the usual symptoms of someone not in complete control of their own state of mind. It happens us all, we're all a work-in-progress!
But, if you're having a bad day, it's not your boss's fault, it has nothing to do with the work, the pressure, the office dramas or even the office bully. It's your fault because you've let your mind drag you into a way of seeing things that distances you from the reality of now, here, in the zone. Years ago, after we moved to France, I spent some time helping some up and coming tennis players with managing their heads. And I always used to tell them that, if you're head is not in the right place, you've no chance of winning a game because the match will always be two against one... the other side of the net you'll find both your oponent and your own toxic mind!
Life can be challenging enough without deliberately difficult for yourself. And the really interesting thing is that, if you do manage your own state of mind, you'll suddenly discover that even the really big challenges are something that are handled with relative ease.
Our neighbourhood is beginning to organize our annual evening of food and drink... second Saturday in September. And most of us get involved in the spadework well in advance - a really nice bunch of people.
However, one of nicest guys around is married to an individual who simply doesn't give people the time of day... don't know what it is or why - she'd walk or drive (at high speed) past you without acknowledging your existence... until this week.
She's got herself a big, brash, shiny new Audi and, lo and behold, she's taken to cruising gently up and down the road, slowing down to wave regally at anyone and everyone...