In the last Blog Expert post in this mindset series we discussed change and why embracing change was a positive thing.
In today’s fast-paced world, while so much is going on around us…we need to stay calm.
And in this post we are going to discuss Calmness.
Keep calm and carry on!
Have you seen the recent flood of posters which are hitting the UK high street, which have been reproduced from the Second World War?
These posters, mugs and t-shirts all replicate the slogan which was first commissioned in 1939, stating ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. The slogan was initially commissioned in order to enhance morale as Britain was invaded, but never really took off at the time.
In 2000, the poster was rediscovered and somehow worked its way on to the shelf of every gift shop and department store in the UK, used as a theme for a number of products. Even though there are only two surviving original posters from the first publication, the slogan has captured the imagination of people everywhere, raising smiles and spawning millions of sales.
There’s a reason why the slogan has become so popular, decades after it was first developed.
Although we no longer operate in times of stress which people experienced during war time, modern living, and especially our working lives, are riddled with stress from all sides.
With pressure coming from tight deadlines, the expectation to juggle work and family life with expert accuracy and the need to constantly perform harder, smarter and better than those around us, we’re living in a more stressful time than ever before.
Both men and women are expected to succeed, and the world of online business operation is no different. We are constantly reminded that there is less money available for retirement, told that we have to continue working for longer, and battered from all sides with cautionary tales of people who have failed in business.
Having said all that, it’s still more than possible to live a happy and fruitful life, carving a niche in the world wide web to make a successful living.
The trick here, to achieve a satisfactory balance between work and life, is to keep calm.
And carry on.
Exercising our ability to manage stress and remain level-headed when the proverbial hits the fan can go a long, long way to supporting business success, keeping us at peace in the face of adversity, and achieving our goals.
If you’re currently struggling to apply the adage from WW2 to your own life, try out the following ways of thinking and get back to a calm, stress-free and productive way of being…
- Accept the situation. Whatever happens, you can only do what you can do to change it. After that, if things are beyond your control, accept it and move on
- Get a solution together. In most situations, you can develop an action plan to deal with things and move towards a successful resolution
- Become comfortable with the outcomes of your actions. Once you have made a decision, remember that there was never any other way you could have behaved. Don‘t spend time berating yourself and leveling recriminations
- Say no. This is one of the most powerful words in the world to use, in order to bring calmness back in to your life as a business owner
- Stop. Slow down, and give yourself time to deal with situations as they arise. You can’t do everything all at once, and you’re not expected to. By pausing you will gain perspective and recharge for the next challenge.
This is a great piece of advice…
There’s a great quote to bear in mind, by Natalie Goldberg which states: “Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.”
When you’ve regained your perspective and remembered to draw breath, you will be in an ideal position to…carry on.
That’s the end of this blog expert series. I hope you have enjoyed all the posts and thanks for reading / commenting on them.
Previous posts in this blog expert series, the Six ‘C’s of blogging success :
Great quote by Goldberg Andrew! Since having a baby, the amount of time I have to work has been cut back – a lot! The business side of me got really anxious in the last few months and I became overwhelmed with stress thinking about all the things I wanted to do, but didn’t have time for. I finally calmed down and decided I WILL achieve everything I want to – it’s just going to take more time. I’ve prioritized and I’m sticking to a to-do list. This means some projects are on hold for the time being, but I will get to them eventually. You can’t do everything all at once. Keep calm and carry on – love it!
I am often over optimistic with what I am going to achieve…but when I don’t achieve it all, I no longer beat myself up.
What’s the point? What’s the worst that can happen?
So right, Andrew!
WHen you have a problem you don’t have to start and cry. You need to analyze it, determine how to avoid or fix it in the future then carry on.
No mistake or fail is mended if you lock yourself in your room, hitting your head on the wall. Fails are repaired by taking action and carrying that action onwards.
Stress hinders your work and makes you less productive, thus causing even more trouble.
Don’t cry just carry on!
To do what you say…we have to be good at controlling our inner voice. You know…the one that beats us up…and makes things even more stressful.
Writing down my daily task keeps my calm..if I don’t I will be all over the place and stressing about getting much needed things done.
“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”
I can totally understand that.
I have daily and weekly plans.
Calm is crucial for maximum performance. Pushing the adrenaline button only inhibits thinking and drains energy.
I’ve been thinking lately about what I’m doing with my main freelance business and my online activities, trying to be both dispassionate and aware of what I truly want to do. Your advice here will help me with the process.
It’s great to hear the blog post will help.
As business owners we do have to stay calm…we do have to review what wwe are doing.
Dear Andrew –
This is the one that really stopped me in my tracks –
“Become comfortable with the outcomes of your actions. Once you have made a decision, remember that there was never any other way you could have behaved. Don‘t spend time berating yourself and leveling recriminations”
The shouder- coulder syndrome.
What I might have done differently. For a different outcome – better safety – it goes on and on.
This is one of your most memorable posts. Worth pondering several times.
I think it is one I shall re-read myself many times!
Any time you put additional pressure on yourself to perform the end result it almost never good. The more free you can make your mind the better everything else in your life will flow.
Hope all is well.
I totally agree with what you are saying…I just find it hard to do…sometimes!
The Goldberg quote is good money 😉
The calm, confident person rules. Stress causes you to do things you really don’t want to do. As you note the first step is to be accepting of the moment. Proceed from there.
Thanks for sharing with us.
I think stress can take over our lives…if we allow it.
When I was a manager I always tried my best to stay calm when in a crises. If staff saw you were stressed out…they would worry!
I like that slogan from 1939, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. It’s only five words but it says a lot. Staying calm is definitely a great way to accomplish a good balance between work and life. Becoming comfortable with the outcomes of my actions is something I need to work on. Thanks for the great advice, great way to end this blog expert series.
Thanks for the thanks!
It is a great slogan – something to write on a post-it and stick on your PC.
This is such a great paragraph to have for me today. It is important to remember as I build my online presences everyday.
“Both men and women are expected to succeed, and the world of online business operation is no different. We are constantly reminded that there is less money available for retirement, told that we have to continue working for longer, and battered from all sides with cautionary tales of people who have failed in business.
Having said all that, it’s still more than possible to live a happy and fruitful life, carving a niche in the world wide web to make a successful living.”
Thank you so much for reminding me why I get up everyday and do this.
A little reminder every now and then is really helpful.
I love the Goldberg quote. So, true – when I’m calm I’m more efficient and productive and when I’m not, I find myself all over the place 🙁
Thanks for sharing this.
All the best,
You are welcome – I’m glad it helps.
Definitely a reread and a print out. I gotta say though, most certainly not as simple as stated.
Of course not, Dennis. Is anything?
Well yea, if it’s numbered. 😉
Were you watching me in kindergarten or something?
Keep Calm and Carry On’ I like that. Let’s face it stress just isn’t good. Actual I like to keep calm, throw in a little humor and carry on. lol I do have to admit that this wasn’t always true. I use to be one that my house had to be spotless. Now, hey if I put things away as I go and can walk through it without falling over something I am good. Having priorties straight help “Keeping calm and carrying on.
Thanks Andrew for the reminder.
I like having priorities…they help me keep calm as well.
Stressing about any given situation is the worst thing you can do. It provides such negative vibes and prevents you from resolving a problem. Usually you find, once you’ve overcome whatever was causing the stress, that it wasn’t really all that bad and that the only reason it seemed as bad as it did is because your mind made it that way.
If something can be overcome just do the best you can to do that and if it can’t put it behind you, learn from it and move on.
I often find myself in that position:
“once you’ve overcome whatever was causing the stress, that it wasn’t really all that bad”.
And yet we still tend to do it. I think for some of us it’s just built into out psyche.
I find when I share with a couple of my blogging buddies it really helps. Tasks that seem insurmountable that could stress me out are shared and usually a solution is reached. Also very encouraging when sharing, we can all add to the conversation.
Staying calm sure helps; but if things do get stressful having support sure helps. Thanks for the series Andrew. Appreciated.
Patricia Perth Australia
Having a good team around you is one of the best things you can do to minimize the stress.
A realistic post Andrew! For years, being calm has become my intangible shield from unlikely circumstances. However, it’s not an ‘automatic’ reaction for stressful moments and so I have to ‘manually’ dictate that to myself. I could clearly think of what to do whenever I let my mind free from any clutter. You have to be empty to be able to receive information that are essential on your decision making.
I don’t think it is an automatic reation for most of us when under pressure.
We need reminding every now and then.
Being organized hinders me from being stressful at work. Most of the time, clutter can affect your focus and state of mind. I believe that keeping yourself organize means avoiding the negative effects of clutter, and being more efficient with your work.
I agree. For the few minutes it takes to be organized can save hours in the rest of the day.