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Make Calm Your Default Setting

Default Setting (computer science): A particular setting or value for a variable that is assigned automatically by an operating system and remains in effect unless canceled or overridden by the operator: (Example: Susan changed the default for the font in the word processing program.)

Note from Bob: No, I wouldn't have known that myself. Had to look it up on

Your "default setting" is your natural response to a certain stimulus.

When a pressure situation occurs, what is your default setting? Do you get uptight? Panic? Do you get Angry? Nervous? Hyper? Do you yell? Act forceful? Do you act on unconsciously? Or, do you remain calm? Are you in personal control? Do you rationally assess the situation? Do you slow down in order to make sure you're taking everything into consideration?

Your default setting to pressure situations is directly proportional to your ability to problem-solve, to live in the solution, and to lead (whether a team, a business, a charity, a family, etc.).

Good news: As operator of your own system, you can override your natural default setting. And, you can help others do the same.

For example, my friend, Lisa Wilber, a top Avon Consultant (# 4 money-earner in the country. and owner of ) recently received a panicky call from one of her consultants who had a "catastrophic problem." Of course, as is obvious by the quotation marks, the problem wasn't catastrophic at all. It was inconvenient; *not* catastrophic. The consultant's default setting was on panic so when she called in she was panicky, upset, agitated.

Fortunately. Lisa's default setting is on calmness and serenity so she simply walked her through the situation, together they came up with a solution and that was that.

Is it always easy to handle what life throws at us? Of course not. Life isn't always easy. However, generally speaking, any potential problems and challenges - whether with other people or with situations themselves - will be easier to deal with, figure out and move past successfully when approached calmly.

The question is, "How does one change their default setting from anxious, uptight and panicky to calm and serene?" Follow these six steps:

#1 Decide you want to change and that from now on your "default setting" is on calm.

#2 Vividly imagine that the next time a potentially upsetting situation occurs, you go into "calm."

#3 Actually default to calm when the next such situation arises.

#4 Forgive yourself if you slip up (we all do!).

#5 When you do default to calm and serene, take great pleasure in the fact that you did.

#6 Know that, since you did it once, you have the ability to do it every time.

In his recently-released book, "Building Your Self-Image and the Self-Image of Others ( ), Rabbi Zelig Pliskin provides wonderful advice for a person staying in "calm default" when under pressure from an intimating person. He writes:

"I asked a person I once met how he became so skilled at staying calm under pressure. He said, 'I pretend that everything that happens is on a large video screen. Every person I interact with is part of the scenery. I'm the only person that is alive and real; everyone and everything else is just what I see on the screen of my mind.

'My choices of thoughts, words, and actions are like a game I am playing on the screen. I always maintain self-respect and respect for others, but nothing anyone says or does will intimidate me. If someone raises his voice and yells at me, I imagine the clown on the screen acting like he has lost his temper. I don't have to worry as long as I'm not in physical danger.

'I keep asking myself, "What would be the wisest thing for me to think, say, and do now?" Because I keep calm, I am able to think more objectively.'"

Great advice. Sometimes, we need to play "mind games" until we overcome a particular negative trait and turn it into something positive. Changing your default setting from panicky to calm will do wonders for you in both your business and personal lives.

James Allen, author of the Classic, "As A Man Thinketh" wrote: "The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater his success, his influence, and his power for good. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm."

And, we can all be more like the person Mr. Allen is describing. We just need to change our default setting.

Bob Burg ( ) is author of "Endless Referrals" (McGraw-Hill) and "Winning Without Intimidation: How to Master the Art of Positive Persuasion in Today's Real World" (Samark Publishing).

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