Freeing Yourself to Perform at Optimal levels of Performance : ZEN Story

“Experience is determined by yourself–not the circumstances of your life. Face your fears and think clearly are  the sources for personal growth”. MWH.

Many of us face anxious moments such as public speaking or making split second decisions with limited information. So what does it take to access our ideal performance state in such difficult situations? Reducing distractions and the inability to perform at high levels of thinking and action is as simple as STOPPING and hitting the pause button. Even though the shift is  simple as remembering that you have a choice where you place your attention. It’s always an option to take a deep breath and look at the trees instead of the worries inside your head.

So what burdens are you are carrying mentally that keep you from being present in the moment to your family, to your friends, to yourself? The shift is as simple as stopping to reflect on your choices and over coming that rush of adrenalin and impulsivity. You have a choice of how to respond to any situation.  It’s always an option to take a deep breath and think about the beautiful white beaches you love to visit. instead of the worries and fears rushing through your brain..

Zen Story and Lesson of Choice  

There’s a well-known Zen story that offers an important insight about how to free our brains and emotions,  from internal habits that drain our ability to respond in appropriate and constructive ways and regain positive energy. Two monks are on a day-long walk to a temple. This is a very strict tradition, and they are not to speak or interact with others, especially women, during this pilgrimage. In the morning, they notice a woman along the side of the road struggling to cross a river. One of the monks goes over, picks her up and carries her across, safely placing her down on the other bank before returning to continue the journey with his colleague. This action is very disturbing to the second monk, who is aware that his colleague just violated the vows of their order. After thinking about this for more than three hours, the second monk could contain himself no longer, and he blurts out, “How could you pick up that woman back there?!” The first monk calmly replies, “I held that woman for five minutes — you’ve been carrying her for three hours!”

Challenge and Action: What boggy men are you carrying around that prevent you from thinking clearly when fears or anxious situations you confront? Do you have ways to self-regulate your barbarian brain and the flight response chemicals.


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