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Fuel Your Mind Friday

Practicing Equanimity & Getting Off the Roller Coaster

Published 5 months ago • 1 min read

Week 367 (brendan@brendanbarca.com)

Here's your weekly dose of Fuel Your Mind Friday where I share business building ideas, lifestyle design hacks, and inspirational content to help you thrive in your work and find purpose in your life.

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PSA: My wife, Pema Sherpa, and I have another blog called The Mindful Minute! Check it out here.

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PRACTICING EQUANIMITY & GETTING OFF THE ROLLER COASTER

In 9th century China there lived a Zen master. Whenever someone visited him and asked how he was, he would always answer, "I'm OK."

After several months of witnessing this, one of his students asked, "Master, how can you always be OK? Don't you ever have a bad day?"

The Zen master thought for a minute and then answered. "Sure I do. On bad days, I'm OK. And on good days, I'm also OK."

The story of the Chinese Zen master is a perfect example of equanimity, or what we can think of as a mental calmness and evenness of mind in all situations.

Now let's take a moment to compare the master's mentality on both good and bad days to that of our own mentality. On good days, do your spirits shoot up into a state of euphoria? On bad days, do you sink into sadness and wallow in your bad fortune?

Unlike the Zen master, who enjoys a smooth, steady ride through life, our emotions shoot up and down each day as if we're on a never ending (and sometimes sickening) roller coaster ride.

I used to ride this roller coaster all the time, thinking that the goal was to have as many good days as possible — to be happy all the time. But, as you'd imagine, I quickly found this to be impossible. Inevitably, "bad days" would come without warning, despite my best efforts to avoid them. And since those days were at such a stark contrast to my "good days," I would sink lower and stay there longer.

What I've tried to do lately, is find a mental state that's more in the middle. Rather than chase the unsustainable euphoria of those good days and wallow in self pity on the bad days, I use each day to try to practice equanimity.

Although I fail at this practice a lot, I feel that I am slowly getting better. And while it's a less exciting life to practice equanimity (you don't get those big sugar-high swings of emotion), I've found it to be a more sustainable one.

If you want to get off the emotional roller coaster of life, it's the Zen master's level of equanimity that you must strive for. Get off the roller coaster and come join me on the merry-go-round.

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Until next week,

- Brendan

Let's connect on LinkedIn!

brendanbarca.com

Don't miss our newest creation, The Mindful Minute -> Check it out here!

Fuel Your Mind Friday

Brendan Barca - Entrepreneur | Speaker | Blogger

Helping busy professionals create space through mindfulness, level-up their mindset & design a life with purpose.

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