How to recognize Zen People


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1.They Don’t Let Themselves Drown in the Details

Zen people have a “bigger picture” way of thinking, which means that they don’t stress over minor, unimportant things that don’t matter in the long-term.

Here are some examples of insignificant, silly things most of us allow to affect us in our daily lives:
Unprecedented expenses
A date went awful
A negative comment a coworker made about us
A mistake we made at work

The thing is, such things are minor “details”, that have little to do with our happiness in the long -term. Most things we call problems right now, won’t matter next year, next month, and probably not even next week.

Zen people realize that and make sure to always look at the bigger picture.

The takeaway for you: Don’t let yourself drown in the unpleasant details of your daily life. Remember they won’t affect your happiness in the long-term; laugh them off and move on.

2. They Search for a Valuable Lesson in Every Difficulty They Encounter

When it comes to facing setbacks and difficulties, zen people have the following motto:

“Why panic instead of learning?”

In other words, in the face of hardship, they keep their cool and always search for any useful lesson they can acquire for every one of the difficulties they encounter.

For example, they might think that:
Having to face the consequences of their breakup will make them stronger.
That job interview that went awful will teach them to be more prepared in the next ones.
Those unprecedented expenses will teach them to manage their personal finances more wisely next time.

At the end of the day, you have to understand that you can’t control or stop bad things from happening to you. What you can do, is choose the way you respond.

You can either go sit in a corner, start crying and let stress and sadness overwhelm you, or you can stay calm, keep going and view every setback as an opportunity to learn something new. Zen people choose the latter.

The takeaway for you: We all struggle with setbacks and hardship throughout our lives — it’s just the way life works. Whenever you find yourself facing difficulty, don’t panic by thinking that life’s unfair and that you won’t be able to get through it, because you will.

Always look at the bright side of things: there’s a valuable lesson to be learned out of every difficult situation.

3. They Strive for Continuous Improvement Instead of Perfection

I always advise people to strive to become the best version of themselves, without, however, falling into the pit of aiming for perfection.

That is a losing battle, as constantly chasing the specter of perfection overwhelms you with stress and anxiety severely harming your mental health in the process. Plus, it also slows any progress you’re trying hard to make.

The most zen people don’t hold excessive standards for themselves, they don’t become obsessed with excellent performance, and they don’t punish themselves for their mistakes.

They accept the fact that no one is perfect and are at peace with that.

The takeaway for you: Don’t fall into the pit of demanding perfection for yourself. Perfection is ugly and bad for your mental health and well-being. You’ll never be perfect (and that’s okay because nobody else will ever be) but you can become the best version of yourself.

4. They Have Learned the Art of Acceptance

I’m gonna go right away and say that there are times when life basically sucks. Big time. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

What I mean by that is that life is unpredictable and can bring you plenty of struggles and difficulties. You have certain goals and plans and an idea of where do you want to go, and then life happens, and everything changes. The most frustrating thing is that there’s no way to stop life from unfolding the way it does.

So, what can you do to remain calm and not lose yourself somewhere along the way?

You can do what zen people do: accept the things you cannot change. Despite what you might think, acceptance isn’t for the weak and doesn’t represent failure. As psychotherapist Nancy Colier explains in her article:

“In our culture, acceptance is for the meek, for losers. It’s what we do when we’ve failed at doing everything else. We see acceptance as a choice-less choice, a disempowering and depressing end to a battle lost. Acceptance is not an act of failure. It can, with the right understanding, be experienced as an act of courage. It is for those who have the strength to face the truth and stop denying it. It can be, in fact, the first step in a process of genuine success and movement.”

Once you learn to accept your reality for what it is, you also learn to work around life and find the right pathways that allow you to lead a calmer, happier life and even thrive.

The takeaway for you: The more you try to change the things you cannot control, or the more you think about how unfair life is to you, the more stress, sadness, and frustration you welcome into your life. Accept the things you cannot change and focus on those you can.

In a world where stress is ever-present, where people become obsessed with success and productivity and complain over every minor inconvenience that gets in their way, the most valuable skill you can acquire is being zen.

That skill, my dear reader, will make you stand out from the crowd.

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