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Staying Calm in Turbulent times

Staying Calm in Turbulent Times

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Remembering words from the three Ps – Poetry, Psychology and Philosophy can help us stay calm and make the best of tough situations during challenging world events and turbulent markets. 

From poetry, we gain inspiration from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If: A Father’s Advice to His Son,” which contains the following lines:

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it” 

Lolly Daskal, President, and CEO of Lead From Within, provides the following practical psychological advice to help manage stress. 

  1. Forego blame. We should not look to blame others. Instead, we need to look within and work on what we can influence.
  2. Put things in perspective. Many things are of greater importance than our private troubles. Alleviating the suffering of others and contemplating the vastness of the universe puts our tiny troubles in perspective.
  3. Stay available and active. Sometimes people tend to hide or go away when trouble arises. Instead of retreating, one should stay engaged.
  4. Take action. We need to keep working despite external events.

Finally, from philosophy, we should remember the Zen saying, “You should meditate 20 minutes a day unless you’re too busy, then you should meditate for an hour.” This can help us focus on the task at hand and enables us to keep working productively and creatively while events we have no control over are all around us.

Marcus Aurelius was one of the greatest of ancient Roman Emperors. He had to face many complex challenges ranging from wars with Partha and the Germanic tribes to issues relating to succession. Through all this turbulence, he navigated calmly. One of his greatest sayings can be of help to us. He said, “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

© Kaikhushru Taraporevala

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