I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Yesterday I found out the convenient bus route I take from my internship every day had changed. Instead of walking two feet to catch the bus, I’d have to walk a little less than half a mile. I was already having a ho-hum day, so I rolled my eyes as I searched for a new way to get home. Why did they have to change the route this summer? I wondered. It was a small inconvenience, yes, but an inconvenience nonetheless.
Then I remembered 30 Days of Personal Growth. I remembered that I had just written a post about maturity, about dealing with unexpected setbacks like an adult. And in that moment, I formulated a new mantra: I can deal with unfavorable circumstances. I still wasn’t happy with the bus route change, but I accepted the fact that I had no control over it. My mantra reminded me that I could handle that situation and any like it.
You don’t have to practice any particular religion to speak a word or phrase that transforms your mind. I used to picture a Buddhist monk sitting cross-legged in temple repeating “Om” when I heard the word “mantra,” but all you need are a few phrases that are positive, short, and personal, phrases that you can repeat to yourself as much as you need to, anywhere you need to. For example, when I hear that someone dislikes me, I remind myself that I can live with anyone’s opinion of me or I can’t control what others think of me. When I’m tempted to do something I know I don’t need to, I say, Every time I refrain I grow stronger or I can do what’s best for me in the long run, even if it hurts right now. I keep a list of phrases in my phone that I can easily refer to in a pinch, and repeating them works for me.
I encourage you to read more about mantra meditation and write a few mantras of your own. A good one will help you stay positive, relaxed, and focused in any situation.