Keep Calm

Keep Calm, Control The Controllables

With our busy lifestyles, increasing pressures from work and social lives, and the complex dependencies attached to seemingly everything that we do; it can be easy to become pretty stressed when things aren’t going to plan. In this post, I am going to discuss the art of controlling the controllables.

During my time on the England Lacrosse Team, control the controllables was usually used by the management staff to calm the 40 man squad down when things happened, such as, dinner didn’t arrive when we had been on the road for 6 hours and were about to play a game, or we had to drink water out of a warm plastic hose.

Whilst in my own mind, I still look back at these such events with a small amount of annoyance, these are exactly the kind of things where the mindset of focusing on things within your circle of influence works perfectly. For instance, we have all have things that happen at work, or even somebody who we constantly disagree with at work, or there always seems to be some form of mini disaster whenever you travel; and it is in these situations where applying this principle can do wonders for not only your own sanity, but also for those around you!

We have all been the calm person in a stressful situation, and have had that experience dampened by the person who is getting annoyed; and we have all been the person looking in, watching the angry person make the entire situation worse for themselves, and everyone else! I can say that I’ve probably been on all sides of that situation on a number of occasions!

Keep Calm

Therefore, in order to try and avoid being that person digging a hole for himself, I now choose to try and ask the following questions when I feel myself becoming angered by what is going on around me:
  • Is there anything that I can do about this situation, here and now?
  • How will any negative actions right now affect those around me?
  • How will any negative actions right now affect me?
  • Can I think about this later?
  • Can I do something about this at a later point?
If I am particularly frustrated, I also do the following:
  • Think very carefully before talking (talking when frustrated and often make things a whole lot worse)
  • Take a few long deep breaths
  • Continue to reiterate to myself that there is nothing that can be done, and that the best outcome to the present situation is to just let it go and move forward in a positive manner

And if all else fails:

  • Attempt to exit the situation temporarily to repeat the above until calm

As with any skill, this is something that requires a little practice and will probably take a few goes to master, but it’s definitely something that I’ve found to be of great benefit to me. Although sometimes, admittedly, it’s quite difficult!

Good luck keeping calm 🙂

Thanks for reading


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