Navigating difficult times with the right perspective helps us be our best selves

A clear mind is required for living a life at peace. Our personal Noise clutters our mind, distracts us from this moment, demands that we know and control what cannot be known and controlled, and asks that we be something we are not. There is no peace here. 

Better choices. Better results. A Better life. All are ours for the taking IF we Stop the Noise so that we can Be Our Best. 

In times of stress, our need to know and control what will happen amps up. This is a direct result of distrust and fear. Distrust in ourselves and in life. Fear that we will fail, be embarrassed, disappoint, be seen as a loser or not be able to overcome the negative result.  This distrust, this fear is misplaced and simply Noise. Worry, anxiety, fear, distrust are self-created obstacles to success, to being all that we are and at our best. We tend to overthink and over-analyze in our effort to know and control what cannot be known and controlled. This makes the situation worse. 

Putting the crisis before us in perspective, stepping back and reminding ourselves that no matter the result of this circumstance, everything that happens makes us better IF we are open to learning and growing from it. Thinking back on all that we have overcome despite the distrust, the fear, the worry, the anxiety, the lack of confidence we felt at the time helps us become better at dealing with the crisis before us. 

Expect life’s natural rhythm of ebbs and flows to happen. There will be times of amazing good fortune. There will be times when we seem to be taking bullet after bullet. There will be times that fall in between. Better choices today, those made with a clear mind, with perspective, mean a better life today and tomorrow. A clear mind, that maintains perspective, helps us better understand life’s natural rhythm for what it is, an opportunity to grow and improve. Life’s rhythms exist for a reason. We are designed and built to make the most of each. It is up to us to do so. 

Maintaining perspective during times of stress helps remind us of what really matters. While the present situation may pull us into its orbit, we cannot let it snatch us from who we really are. This is the constant, the one thing in our lives that matters most. No matter the circumstance. This is how we Be Our Best. 

As leaders we are charged with the responsibility to maintain perspective. Team members look to the leader for guidance, for direction as to how to respond to a difficult situation. The leader who knows when to get into the weeds and when to take a 30,000-foot view is the leader that is most likely to lead the team to a win. For not only will the leader’s mind be clear, but the minds of those around the table will also be clearer than they would otherwise be. This makes for not only a better result, but also a more pleasant journey. 

Everyone and every team must navigate difficult times. Maintaining perspective positions us for making decisions that are better than they would otherwise be. A clear mind performs better than one bathed in chaos and Noise. This is a win for all involved now and later.  Better choices today give us a head start on tomorrow’s. Nice.

When our personal Noise gets in the way of our ability to think clearly, it’s best to take a step back. Take a few deep breaths, pay attention to what is happening around us in this moment, put the situation in perspective, even think about someone you love or recall a favorite place, and then jump back into today’s reality with a clearer mind and a more focused vision of what we are really facing. 

Maintaining perspective with a clear mind yields more victories and the most important win of all: Being Our Best by being all that we are, and so living a life at peace

More to come.

Eric Easter is chief executive officer of Indianapolis, Indiana-based Kittle’s Furniture.

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