Equanimity

defining who we are

 
equanimity.jpg
 

Please visualize the following scenarios. First, you are confronting an adversary regarding a volatile situation and are feeling a fiery anger. Second, as you and your team are closing a deal, it goes south. As a result, you are experiencing deep anxiety and fear. Third, after reading your quarterly interim financials reflecting numbers well below target and hearing the CNN Business News report project another downturn in the economy, you head into a staff meeting with your top, key people. You are feeling negative and are overwhelmed with self-doubt.

Equanimity is inner balance, the skill of creating stability and calm in the face of trouble–even chaos. It is a space where you are able to consciously still your mind and develop an ease that comes with seeing the bigger picture. You are in the flow; you are present and able to identify any anger, anxiety, fear, negativity and self-doubt of that moment and let it all go. Moreover, you are able to see the possible solutions, necessary actions and positive outcomes that others do not or cannot see.

There is an additional aspect of equanimity that is equally valuable. The inner strength you have established, gives you an outer presence of balance, stability, courage and grace. You don’t show the adversary your anger, you maintain your composure. As the deal is going south, you choose to remain calm. Your team sees this and as a result, they are calm. As you communicate with your staff, you are positive and confident. You have broken the negative flow of energy and are now focusing on the next right action.

With both internal balance and external calmness, you are the captain of the ship - with compass in hand, eyes glancing at the mast, directing your crew through rough and dangerous waters. By being “in the now”, your instincts, knowledge, confidence, vitality and courage keep the boat afloat, balanced and on course. In response, the crew has faith and believes in you. They are ready and prepared to take on the next challenge that arises.


Reflection

“I am a pretty chill dude. I tend not to snap at people, it’s difficult to rile me up; if you met me you would say I’m levelheaded. But equanimity goes so much deeper.

Equanimity can be difficult to put your finger on because it’s not something you can do, it’s more of a point of view. We measure things like patience, generosity, and grace (all undoubtedly good tracking points around equanimity) on a scale. We say things like, “You were very patient with your little sister, thank you.”, but that implies an act of patience. The goal instead should be to be a beacon of patience, where there is nothing but patience, where one is imbued with patience.

When patience, generosity, grace, etc. cease to be measured on a scale, when we realize they are infinite, they become equanimity. Then equanimity can be found and drawn upon within our flow, not as an addendum to it.”

A. K. Technology Entrepreneur

You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.
— Rwandan Proverb

 

Questions for Self-Exploration

The content, structure and flow of this exercise are designed to guide you in:

  • being the watcher of your actions and reactions

  • examining your interactions with others

  • recognizing what you may be communicating to others

  • applying your increased awareness to build positive and productive connections with others