A mantra can be a great way to underscore your mentality and remind yourself what you want to achieve. It can be used as an action plan whenever coming into contact with an obstacle, a change, or an unexpected event. In these instances, you may feel like you are forced to react quickly; instead, take a moment to pause, breathe, and respond and you will find that your decision-making can dramatically improve.
- Pause. Before you react to any situation, force yourself to pause and consider the best course of action. As the water stops when it reaches the rock, so should you when you encounter change or an obstacle.
- Breathe. While paused, take a moment to focus on your breathing. You can use the ki breathing technique described earlier; a single inhalation and exhalation is enough. As you breathe, picture the water slowly building up in front of the rock.
- Respond. Note the difference between a response and a reaction; a reaction is often involuntary, while a response is carefully considered. After pausing to consider your options, respond in the manner that best suits your needs in the same way the water finds a path around the rock.
This mantra is a great way to ground yourself at times when you know you will regret acting too quickly, eg. shouting at misbehaving children or slamming a door. Say the mantra “pause, breathe, respond” to yourself to remind yourself of your action plan and have it stored to recall when needed.