I’ve always admired people who keep their cool under pressure. This ability allows for graceful navigation of even the most intense circumstances. I’m sure you’ve also noticed that it also affords those who possess it a little more time to process, decide and act, which, in turn, makes them generally more effective in handling the stresses of daily living.
My admiration of such people has led me to pay more attention to them than to the drama queens who usually attract the most attention when the pressure intensifies. I’ve noticed that those who keep their cool under pressure have four things in common:
1. They take the long view and develop the habit of breaking up large processes and big problems into smaller, manageable steps, so they don’t tend to get overwhelmed when their more myopic and reactionary peers do.
2. They are consistently grateful, so the inevitable disappointments, frustrations and unexpected challenges which come along don’t weigh as heavily on them as they do those who are chronically unappreciative.
3. They generously invest trust in those around them and constantly seek to cultivate an atmosphere of respect and encouragement, so they’re not as much under the necessity of watching their backs when the heat comes on.
4. They eschew complaint and always give solutions to the limitations they observe in themselves, others or the circumstances at hand, so they are never tricked into amplifying the problems.
In any case, your ability to manage pressure is directly related to your effectiveness in living. Get this right and you’ll find that the quality and nature of your circumstances matter less than you previously might have imagined.