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Calm Is Antiviral

https://youtu.be/ldjFp6-p_gw

A steady, strong, stable hand can steer a vessel through even the greatest turmoil. We saw this in Britain during the German Blitzkrieg. Rather than giving into fear, Britons went calmly about their daily business and the country carried on. In Taiwan, where the 2019 pneumoniavirus stays under the best containment in the world, people carry on and keep calm as they do.

It's hard to read clearly while holding a book with shaky hands. Your best bet is to notice fear on the rise. Sense it, smell it in yourself. When you feel the crawl of fear, just ignore it.

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Thrive in the Midst

https://youtu.be/ON0N5ihitds

There's something about life! We call it vibrance. We call it survival instinct. We call it spunk. No living thing is inclined to die quietly, so when life gets violent the living live violently. Whatever the hardship, it's never the end. Even the Alamo was remembered. Life and death have much more work for us to do before they allow the transition.

Imagine yourself a tree so alive you're on living fire, so hot from life that the strongest storm can't get you wet. That's an accurate picture. Storms can't wipe out forests; they only water them and feed them.

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Self Calm-Panic

All our emotions are self-justified. If we're angry, it's someone else's fault. If we worry, well, we should! If we're happy, it's because we deserve it. Emotions are the first stop on the highway to lifelong blame-shifting.

Panic is self-induced—always. Same goes for calm. When the unthinkable happens, which it eventually does, it's all because we weren't thinking of it. By training ourselves to count on the world being as we presume it is—then making our emotional stability dependent on that world rather than personal choice—we set ourselves up. Counting on ourselves for emotions might be better.

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Gambit Your Gambit

Victory requires sacrifice. The same is true for even the most menial results. It takes only a short time to set a better tone, improve your frame of mind, or learn a more efficient way. And, it's worth it.

The trouble is getting the time to make the time. Sometimes we have to carry on with things less than great. We can't always make the small sacrifice to be more efficient. We can't always set a better mood. We might need to wait for the time and resources, making do in the meanwhile. That sacrifice is to not sacrifice, yet.

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Gently Strong

Holding your ground and being gentle aren't opposites. No one wants what you have to offer if what you have to offer spells their own doom. As you enforce the rules you live by, don't require the demise of those who comply, unless you somehow aim to redefine others as rule-breakers—and that's never a good idea. Just ask King John.

Be gentle as you follow your code. Provide a path to redemption to the lost while upholding general principles that prevent people from getting lost in the first place. In keeping the goal of redemption, you'll have no problem.

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Calm Respect

Stay respectful and stay calm—always!

When people are wrong, help them see the most helpful things to help them on their way. Stick to what's useful. When someone says something that isn't useful, saying so isn't useful. Don't fully change the topic, just shift it over a little to some useful idea. Focus on whatever goodness you want more of, not the bad you want to eradicate.

Conflict and disagreement make fragile circumstances. Handle with care. Don't toss eggs on the table. Don't gently roll them away either. Where an egg rolls to it can roll from, then smash.

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Tap Your Energy

It's one's energy source itself that makes the difference in the end. From the environment to relationships, we rely on some form or energy—and all energy needs a source. It could be petroleum to drive an automobile. It could be a battery to drive something faster and simpler, but whether a battery is cleaner than gasoline depends on where the battery gets its energy.

Or, your energy could be your own source of personal power. Do you pollute those around you on account of your social energy? At the end of the day, it goes back to the source.

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Hate an Answer?

Everyone, sooner or later, tries to solve problems with hatred—everyone.

We usually don't think about it when we do. Hatred is a kind of auto-pilot, a pattern we default to when it's too hard to change, like a bad habit we explain away as not being a bad habit. Once we know we are in the act of acting in hatred, it's not hatred anymore. Funny thing, hatred only operates when we don't know it or refuse to admit it.

Hate is no answer though, as much as our habits would have us think. Be rational and don't hate.

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Drop Petty Controls

Don't fall for it! Everyone has moments when we find dirt on someone or we catch an enemy at a weak moment. David could have killed Saul twice, which would have saved the kingdom from a megalomaniac who wanted to kill David. Then again, what then?

If David had killed Saul when chances came, many respected voices in the kingdom would have called it an "assassination", possibly spiraling into civil war.

These small control chances we stumble across are opportunities to demonstrate our maturity; using them to dominate is just weak and petty. Don't, and don't fear those who try.

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Self Sickness

You can't go through life feeling sorry for yourself, then expecting things to turn out well. You can't feel sorry for yourself and expect that you won't get sick or that you won't somehow manage to create your own bad luck.

Self pity is an emotional storm cloud. It brings you down, maybe your immune system with it.

It can be hard—not nursing your wounds because others with greater wounds need greater attention, maybe even your attention. But, when you've put others' needs and troubles before your own, something rises up in you from the inside making you stronger.

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Ignore

Being in the presence of toxic people is intoxicating. They make you crazy! Constant disrespect, verbal vomit, aggravation at every turn—you don't want others to think of those things when they think of you. Make sure you don't slip down that slow slope.

Sometimes we have to put up with others. You could draw a line in the sand, like God did with coastlines, saying, "Here and no farther." But, making lemonade always earns kudos.

Survive toxic people by being in touch with higher power. Think on the God who drew coastlines, then you can ignore the beating waves.

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Cut Anchor and Sail On

When you're stuck in life, you're probably stuck on something. Maybe you're hanging onto it or maybe you're letting it hang onto you. We don't like to let go of the anchors we drag, but we have to if we don't want to drag anchor.

One anchor is "offense"—someone does something no one should be allowed to do! Just remember that you don't need to be offended by an offense for the rest of your life. If you drag someone else's offense with you, you'll sail it to others. Sell anchors in port. Anchor shipping makes an unprofitable business.

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Level Up

When you're down and out, looking up at a mountain in your way, sometimes the only way up is to level up.

Up the ante, raise prices, increase the fees to play in your game, put yourself up on the next level in quality and cost. You've got to be worth it. You can't overcharge for bad apples and not make someone want to upset your apple cart. But, as long as you aren't selling complete junk—and as long as you are indeed in demand—the only way forward might be up.

That's hard to hear if you're broke.

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Questions for What They Are

Some opinions can only be understood in the context of a broader worldview. Maybe the reason someone wants gun restriction laws isn't so much about guns in particular, but because the person thinks like a Democrat in general. Same with someone wanting to restrict abortion thinking like Republican. When that happens, we'll get a lot more done—and keep a lot more friendships alive—by discussing party politics at large and the underlying opinions that persuade people one way or the other.

So, we really need a face-to-face to get much done. Underlying questions can't be discussed through the mail.

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