“When things are steep, remember to stay level-headed.”
Horace (BC 65-8)
This quote is important for one big reason. And that reason is that Horace knew that “things” that are outside of us can only be dealt with effectively by using our internal skills and thoughts by remaining “level-headed”.
There will always be jerks at your work.
Your boss is always going to ride your back.
Deadline are always going to creep up on you.
The pay check is always going to seem a long way off.
Your mind is the only solution…
Why we need to shift our focus inwards
As you can see there is always going to be external things going on that make us stress out. Money, workmates, deadlines, etc. will always be there and they will always get the best of you if you try to make them go away physically.
Consider another quote:
“Instead of covering the whole world with leather, simply put on some sandals.”
Shantideva, Indian Buddhist Saint.
What Shantideva is saying that we always try to deal with things on the outside. If we have a jerk in the cubicle next to us we try to get transferred. What we don’t realize is that there is only going to be someone else that annoys you at your next desk. So instead of transferring how about shifting your focus inwards and dealing with your own mind.
You are in control of your thoughts
This is a concept that many westerners do not understand. When people get stressed at work they have this false idea that the stress is permanenet and won’t last until the external problem is fixed.
Stress, anger, impatience, anxiety, etc. are not permanenet. And whatsmore, you are in control of these thoughts. They are meerly thoughts that appear in your mind. If you let them, they will take control. If you take control and notice them, however, they will lose their power and you will be back in the drivers seat.
So how do I turn stress into happiness?
The steps are simple and they work. The more you do them the more effective they will become.
The next time you get pissed off at work instead of thinking about how annoying the external factor is (workmate, printer, computer, etc.) try looking at your mind as soon as the feeling arises. Think to yourself:
“Where are these thoughts?”
“Where do they come from?”
“Where do they go?”
“What are they made of?”
When you start to look at your anger like this you will automatically diffuse the energy of the thought and it will subside a lot faster than it would if you thought about the problem over and over and over again.
This is, without a doubt, the best way to turn work stress into happiness.