This was a memo I had to send to my professor about how I stay “in the zone”, as he put it. I liked the exercise. It was quite useful to think about the things in my life that keep me balanced. So…here’s what I wrote.
Throughout my life, I have been in several situations where keeping my cool was necessary. As a director at a salon, I was often dealing with upset clients and personnel problems. It was during this time that I really learned how to keep my cool under pressure.
The most important thing I have learned when it comes to staying in the zone is planning and prevention. The best way to not be stressed out about a problem is to plan for it and prevent it, or at least alleviate anything that might make the problem more probable. This applies in my personal life, as well as my professional life. For instance, if my goal is to get up in the morning to go to the gym, I think of all possible problems that might keep me from that goal, i.e. going to bed too late, snoozing my alarm, etc. Then I find solutions before the problems occur. I go to bed early enough and I put my alarm across the room so I have to get up to turn it off.
The next step to staying in the zone is to keep my life balanced so that no aspect completely takes over. I have my life separated into four categories: spiritual, emotional, physical, financial. There are times when one of these requires more time and attention than the others, but if I can keep things as balanced as possible, I find that I am a much more calm and collected person. I don’t get easily upset, I don’t lose my patience and I don’t worry. For this semester, what that means is getting my school work done, making sure that things at work are running as smoothly as possible, reading my scriptures, praying, attending church and the temple and going to the gym daily.
The last thing I do is to try and keep things in perspective. I like to look at things using a formula of 10/10/10. How important is this 10 minutes from now? 10 months from now? 10 years from now? And then I make decisions or deal with problems accordingly.
What I’ve noticed is that, as I have gotten older and had a little more life experience, I just don’t get worked up about things. I am direct and I definitely mess up, but when things are balanced and I can keep things in perspective, I just seem to be able to stay “cool”.
We’ll see how this works in a boardroom, as I have yet to have that experience. But I think that this philosophy should serve me well.