Keep Calm & Carry On
This past week my family and I discovered a bat in our house. It’s not the first, but it has been about eight years since the last. You see, we live by a beautiful park and the bats help control our bug population. I’m a big fan – except when they are flying around the family room.
As my son and his friend came screaming my way like a junior high cheerleading team that just stepped on a snake, my wife grabbed my trout net and a piece of cardboard. While I love her confidence in me, I’m not overly comfortable being in a room alone with a bat when the energy all around me is fear.
Luckily, I stayed calm.
There are many times in life where this keeping calm served me well. My first jump at U.S. Army Airborne school – calm, The kick-off of the national playoffs for football in college – calm, my greatest business struggle - calm. Well, to be completely transparent - I’d say "calm’ish".
I realize that when life is bigger than my capacity to cope, I lean into calm to stay strong and centered in my thinking. It has helped me avoid additional mistakes, and respond in a clear and focused manner.
Staying calm helped me to net the bat and release it to the great outdoors. (Goodbye new friend.) It’s also saved me from despair, panic, and complete breakdowns. Here are a few tactics I’ve used over the years to help me tap into my inner calm when life is kicking me in the teeth.
Perceive – I’ve noted that my perception of the situation is critical. When I convince myself of worst-case scenarios it’s impossible for me to remain calm. The word perceive gets its’ meaning from the Latin variant form percipere, which means to ‘seize or understand’. For me, I need to fight for calm, I seize it! Once I seize it, then calm understanding helps me to know and grow through each situation.
Believe - I’m a person of faith and can say without much hesitation until I settled the question of eternity in my heart it was impossible for me to stay calm. It’s my faith that grounds me in the future and aids in my understanding of my current reality. It’s my trust in Christ that allows me to persevere without freaking out.
Achieve - Momentum in anything is the key to success. When troubled and in a panic successful small steps forward helps me to keep functioning. I believe I’m better impacting the world when I’m able to achieve and get things done. Panic causes me to be stuck and stuck keeps me from achieving anything. Momentum carries me forward helping me to press past frozen fear.
Catching the bat this week reminding me that staying calm is a game changer. I have to believe that if staying calm helps me, there is a strong chance it will help you as well. It’s why I’m a fan of Winston Churchill’s leadership in World War II, it was important to remind others during a time when evil was knocking, to Keep Calm & Carry On.