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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Learn to Relax (Even Under Pressure)

It's fairly easy to be happy when everything's good. The real pro is the one who can feel that way under pressure.

Once (ages ago) I was driving a friend to his classes. His car was in the shop--and mine should have been. As luck would have it, we broke down on the freeway when we were still miles from his school. We called the Auto Club, and waited. And waited. And...

Now here's a guy, a conscientious student, a real go-getter, and because of me, he's missing an important class.

So what did he do while we waited? Fret? pace? Glare at me?


Off the side of the freeway, at the base of the ramp, was a huge pond of water. My friend took a chunk of wood that was lying nearby, and heaved it into the pond. Then he picked up two rocks, handed one to me, and said, "See who can hit the wood first."

Can you believe that? He should have been stressed, and he wanted to play a game.

Now, I know there are two ways to look at this. Maybe he wanted to play because he was fine. Or maybe he wanted to play because it would make him fine.

But either way, he was relaxed under pressure. And because of that, he was happier.

How about you? When life hits the fan, do you have strategies to stay calm? If not, learn to relax under pressure.

You'll be happier.

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