I don’t know about you but in the last few months I have felt like the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

“North Korea tests nuclear missiles.”

“Russia has infiltrated our government.”

“Neo-nazi movement on the rise in the US.”

“Worst weather on record — climate change upon us.”

Towards the end of summer, I started to feel really down about everything that was happening in the world. I also found myself addicted to checking the news, Facebook and Twitter. As if, I had some control over what happened.

“If I stay informed and check Twitter every 15 minutes, I will then feel more in control of what is happening.”, my ego told me.

“See, I’m not crazy, there are people who think the same way I do.”, I’d tell myself as I retweeted or liked a post from someone I respect.

On and on I’d go like a dutiful robot programmed by the brilliant engineers who built these social media programs and the skillful journalists who put out the news.

Until one day, I realized, enough was enough. All of the retweeting, all of the articles I had read and all of the CNN analysis I had listened to, none of it had resulted in the news changing.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Unknown

So I decided to take back my time and my emotional well being. I deleted the news app, I deleted the Twitter app and I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone.

In addition, I decided to commit to meditating every day for at least 3 minutes a day (I believe in setting the bar low when creating new habits). I use my favorite meditation app, Insight Timer, to stay on track.

Today I am 15 days in and I feel a huge difference in my emotional well being.

What I’ve learned is the lesson we all learn over and over again in our lives — we cannot control the world around us but we can control how we react to it.

Maybe you’ve had the same reaction to the news that I have. Or maybe you work in a toxic work environment. Or maybe in your community there is drama.

How do you stay calm amidst chaos?

“Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” — Nelson Mandela

You do what you need to do to stay calm. You cut out the noise. You create the boundaries you need. You build in habits of self care — sleep, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, quiet reflection, time in nature, laughter and whatever else it is that fills you up.

And from THAT place, you are able to create positive change in the world. You get re-inspired and your creative juices start flowing. New ideas have the space to emerge in your life without all of the noise and stress.

Join me in being a calm but powerful force for good in the world.

*Curious how your organization and leaders can operate in this mode? Send me a note to talk about the off-sites I lead for other companies like yours.

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