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From Complexity to Serenity

Take time to pray, meditate, reflect, and/or simply relax

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Each of us were born into an era in which complexity has become the hallmark of our daily existence. As such, fragmentation of the mind is all but inevitable unless we take action.

Never before has there been a generation in human history besieged by more items competing for its time and attention than the generation in which you find yourself. Think of it – in his entire life, George Washington never spent a second watching a news update.

Complexity as a Benchmark

With each passing year, indeed each hour, greater amounts of information are generated at an accelerating rate. Increasing numbers of technological breakthroughs are continually being achieved without any pauses between such advances, for people to adjust to new situations.

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Professor Lowell Catlett, an expert on the topics of technology and change, observed that, from a capability standpoint, all the high-tech products on your desk and in your home will be antiques (not high-priced antiques!) in a few years from now.

Moreover, technology manufacturers themselves are intentionally putting their own products to bed in shorter and shorter cycles.

New, but Markedly Improved?

Sony’s shelf-life (market life span) for high-tech products, for example, is less than 90 days. When Sony ships a product to an office superstore, Sony itself is near ready with an updated product that exceeds the capability or design functions of the previous shipment.

Sony contends that their estimated shelf-life will continue to diminish. Their mission is to make their own products obsolete with vastly superior products.

Why would they do this? Is it a company full of masochists or something? Suppose they actually achieve breakthroughs every few weeks. Doesn’t it wreak havoc on their employees, their distribution systems, and you as a consumer? The answer is a big fat yes.

At the same time, if Sony doesn’t constantly improve what they’re offering, then their competition will crush them. Every major manufacturer feels the same pinch. Consumers – you and I – generally have no idea what is hitting us.

Reality; Not Your Imagination

We’ve reached the point where the regulations, laws, news, information, and technologies that we’re ‘expected’ to know are leaving us overwhelmed, confused, and exhausted.

The infrastructure that holds society in place – the computer systems, the highways, and the energy that runs them all – is based on increasingly sophisticated systems and technologies.

If you notice that the world is getting more complex each day, and if you feel as if your own life is already overly complex, relax. You’re probably quite rational. These day, even when you’re simply minding your own business, life is becoming more complex.

The complexity is not a function of aging, or of having more responsibility, a bigger mortgage or higher rent, more children, or more of anything in your life.

Pioneers

Each of us are now pioneers in this brave new world. Mercifully, most of us are still able to ably proceed. Take time to pray, meditate, reflect, and/or simply relax.

For some people, peace of mind means reduced levels of stress. For others, it’s having more leisure time or fewer bills to pay.

Peace of mind might represent having control over one’s space – living in less clutter or having less to clean and maintain. For many people, having greater peace of mind is linked with spirituality or reverence to God.

Your quest for peace of mind could encompass one or more of the notions above, maybe even all of them.

 

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Faith

Seek Out the Good in Others

If you try, you can find at least one thing admirable in everyone you meet.

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Will Rogers, a political satirist, entertainer, and beloved figure in the first half of the twentieth century allegedly said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Many people have interpreted Will Rogers to have meant that he could find something admirable in everyone he met. So, too, can we all.

Something Admirable

Is there a co-worker with whom you have had a nasty relationship? Is there something good about this co-worker that you can draw upon, so that you can actually say something nice to him/her at your next encounter?

Is there a neighbor with whom you have had a continuing squabble? What would it do to your relationship if you sent your neighbor a card or a brief note that said something along the lines of, “I noticed how lovely your garden was the other day and wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’ve done in maintaining it.” Too syrupy, or, pardon the expression, too flowery?  Guess again.

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You’re on this planet for finite amount of time. Do you want to go through your life trading hostilities with people, never having the where-with-all to restore some semblance of civility to the relationship?

Finding the Good

Try thinking of and listing five people who you may not have a good relationship with but can acknowledge. Next to each person’s name, write what is good about them. Do they maintain a nice garden? Here are some ideas for you in case you’re drawing a blank. This person…

* Is kind to the receptionist at work.
* Turns assignments in on time, and hence, supports the team.
* Walks softly past your office, so as not to disturb you.
* Greets you in the morning when you arrive.
* Maintains his or her office well.

Away from work, here are some ideas for finding the good in others:
* Keeps the street in front of the yard free of debris.
* Is respectful of others’ needs for quiet.
* Dresses well.
* Has well-behaved children.
* Drives safely in the neighborhood.

If you try, you’ll find something good!

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Faith

Reducing Stress Through Prayer, and More

Taking a few minutes out of a hectic day can spell the difference between frenzy and tranquility

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Prayer has been an effective method for soothing the soul since people first believed in God. For some people, the payoff comes with sitting still, and being quiet. Many feel a direct connection with God which, in itself, is calming. Those who attend a place of worship every Sunday find that praying with others is comforting. Reverence to God, fellowship, and familiar chants and hymns can all aid in reducing stress and bringing inner contentment.

If you haven’t prayed in a while, in addition to the religious aspects, the stress reduction can be magnificent. Even if you never attend a formal prayer service, informal prayer, by your bedside, in a comfortable chair, or somewhere in nature can work as well. Some of the most accomplished and admirable people who have ever walked this earth have been deeply religious and have found great comfort in prayer.

Other Options

In our rush-rush society, your ability to take a few minutes out of a hectic day can spell the difference between frenzy and tranquility. The majority of stress we experience is a result of the daily deluge of information and communication we come in contact with on top of the amount of tasks we need to accomplish. If you have been experiencing severe stress, it might mean the difference between a long life and a shortened one.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Tucker: Because of Joe Biden, it’s that simple

People have long used drugs (prescribed and otherwise!) and medications to achieve certain effects. I’m not knocking all of these substances – some of them probably live up to their mystique; however, there is no need to engage in drugs, considering there are so many other ways to effectively reduce stress.

Amidst the flurry of reports from medical researchers, many people also rely on a glass or two of wine each day to relax. If this is your habit, and it works for you, you’re probably on reasonably safe ground. The latest research, however, paints a less rosy picture about wine’s beneficial effects. I’m concerned, as well, about the long-term effects of having two glasses of wine, 365 days a year, for 10 or 20 years.

Change for Real

It often seems like people around you are enamored by some techniques such as meditation or yoga, but in reality, most people who practice these or other techniques do so only a handful of times. Then, they revert back to what they did previously.

The changes that you implement need to come without too much pain, to be subtle, even natural and easy. Otherwise, you probably won’t stick with them. Lasting and effective change can come from small incremental change. So, keep in mind that not every technique will strike your fancy. Enough of them will fit your lifestyle, and will work for you enough of the time for you to stay with them and to ultimately exercise control in ways that you have always wanted.

Talking to Someone

The mere act of talking to someone about issues confronting you can be stress reducing, and certainly more effective than mentally stewing over things alone. In The Psychological Society, author Martin L. Gross concluded that “the modern industry of psychology in America was no more effective in treating patients than witch doctors in Africa were in treating people who came to them.”

The key was whether or not the patient believed that the doctor had healing powers. Hence, if you believe that a witch doctor can help you, then a witch doctor can be as effective as a psychiatrist. A trusted friend or relative, with whom you can discuss your problems, can be equally effective.

The idea of talking to someone about what is stressing you is not so much that you will find a solution then and there, but that the mere physical act of discussing the stressor moves you closer to resolution, perhaps using one of the techniques discussed in this article.

Using Humor

Throughout the ages, humor has also been a primary tool in helping to reduce stress. Don’t discount the power of humor before trying it. If it’s been a while, or forever, since you’ve engaged in humor to reduce stress, you’re in for a treat. I’m not talking about jokes or side-splitting belly laughs, but rather a gleeful, playful acceptance of the inane and absurd situations that you encounter, and as a business owner you have your share of them.

The ability to laugh at yourself or to laugh at your situation might spell the fundamental difference between those who show resilience in the face of hard times, and those who face nervous breakdowns.

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