Seven steps to achieving tranquility amid turbulence

Written by Prof Ajantha Dharmasiri CMgr FCMI Wednesday 15 September 2021
In a turbulent world, inner calm will keep you performing at your best. The VP of CMI Sri Lanka shares his recipe for success
A small rake being raked through a Japanese zen garden

The global turbulence created by Covid-19 is far from over. And when the outer world is increasingly turbulent, how can we maintain inner tranquility?

Millions of people worldwide, including yourself, may currently be seeking the answer to this question. It involves stillness, an invitation to be calm. Here, I propose seven steps to maintain your inner tranquility and keep you performing at your best:

Relax. When our inner world becomes silent, it is an invitation to relax. It simply allows us to be aware of what’s going on and the importance of living in the present moment. Focus is a force for managers to achieve results.

Reflect. In a mind of stillness, you can recall the past and reflect on positive and pleasant moments and ways of doing things. This is all about challenging assumptions. Make sure to avoid the “quick fix” trap. Conventional thinking will take you only to a certain point. You need to go beyond.

Refresh. In an era where creativity is the cutting-edge factor, we need to refresh our ideas and become more innovative – which becomes easier when your mind is still. Imagine a pond with a quiet surface; when you look down, you can see the bottom clearly. But when you throw a stone and disturb the surface, the bottom disappears. That’s when you see things differently.

Reconnect. Reconnecting with nature is a refreshing departure from the everyday and is important for balancing out work stress and reconnecting with your roots. I find Japanese haiku poetry is a beautiful way to do this.

Recognise. Inner tranquility allows us to better recognise our thoughts and feelings, and is essential to look at things in a focused, unbiased manner. “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters,” said Epictetus, a Greek philosopher.

Revitalise. The refreshing nature of tranquility renews and revitalises you. And, as the iconic American dancer Martha Graham said: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.”

Reinforce. Experiencing a deep inner silence will reinforce and strengthen your values by reinforcing the deeply held convictions that form your character. This is crucial when the trend is to move away from personal values in search of quick financial “value”.

May the world truly experience the tranquility of stillness in this turbulent time – and so create inspired individuals, interactive teams and innovative institutions.

Image: Shutterstock/Tyler Olsen

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Professor Ajantha Dharmasiri CMgr FCMI

Professor Ajantha Dharmasiri CMgr FCMI

The current VP of CMI Sri Lanka, Ajantha is a rare combination of being a Chartered HR professional, Chartered Electrical Engineer, and Chartered Manager. He is director and chairman of the Board of Management of the Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura; adjunct professor at Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma; and editor of the Sri Lankan Journal of Management. Also the independent director of several boards and sitting in several governing councils, he carries three decades of private and public sector experience.

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