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Soulful Sundays: Equanimity

equanimity: (noun) evenness of mind especially under stress; right disposition; balance

Sun Tzu, perhaps the most studied military strategist in all of history, is famous for his doctrine of preparedness in the face of adversity. His seminal work, The Art of War, "teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable."

According to Sun Tzu, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." Reread that last quote and ask yourself the question, "Which kind am I?" Have you been so focused on the fight that you have neglected the training? Have you forgotten that the only variable in your control is your own preparation--your own equanimity?

"In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity." If we are able to keep our heads level and our vision clear, openings will be easier to see. No matter how dire the circumstances, there is always a way forward. Think of the great men and women who came before us. Those who persevered did so not by panicking and looking for easy ways out. They set their hearts on noble goals and got to work solving them.

Hours become days, days become months, and months become years. The best time to begin preparing is years ago. The second best time is today. There are an infinite number of ways to improve. If you are feeling weak, train your body. If you are feeling lonely, train your generosity. If you are feeling bored, train your imagination. If you at feeling anxious or depressed, train your gratitude.

We have the choice each and every day to adopt one of two attitudes--reactivity or proactivity. The former is a path full of unpleasant surprises, blame, and victimhood. The latter is a toolbox filled with hard work, virtues, and all of our dreams. Choose wisely.

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