Have you ever wondered how some people are always calm in a storm? I am certain that most of us have at one point in our lives or another. That question came to me years ago when I was in college. I lived at home through college in order to save money and went through college on an otherwise full academic scholarship. I knew it was important that I make good grades; thus, I tried never to skip class and never stay up all night to study and cram for a final exam. My philosophy was to study consistently through the semester and to focus hard during final weeks. That seemed to work.
This brings me to my "experiment." I looked around campus and saw that most people were very stressed and some were acting like maniacs (maybe the result of staying up all night studying for an exam). While I, too, was stressed during finals weeks, I thought there must be a better way. As I was walking across the beautiful campus on one October day (we were on quarters), I wondered what would happen if I would treat those weeks of finals (in my mind) as if they were weeks at the beach. In other words, I would try to be just as calm through the days of focused studying as I would be on a vacation. I realized that it would be a state of mind over which I had some control, so I set out to be just as calm as I could be during those weeks of hard work and focused, disciplined study. The result of this "experiment" was amazing. I was, in fact, able to do just that. Those weeks of final exams became for me a time of joy and peace, and I realized a very important life lesson, which has served me well over the many years since. Our attitudes and our state of mind do not depend on our circumstances. Our attitude about life is one of the very few things over which we exercise control in this thing called life. Give my little "experiment" a try. You may be surprised what you will find in the midst of your own storm.