My friend and personal trainer, Diane Tulkuu, is known for keeping her calm despite “emergency situations” that send most others into an immediate and emotional tailspin.
In a previous post we discussed – what I call – Default Settings, the automatic response/reaction mode people go into based on certain stimuli. Some people panic; some get angry; others simply say “no, it can’t be done” and, then, there are those like Diane who manage to immediately go into solution mode.
I asked her why that is, and here’s what she said:
“When I was ten-years old I was cooking something in the kitchen and a fire erupted. I immediately began to scream in panic. My sister followed suit and did the same. Fortunately, my Father, Walter, was home and came into the kitchen.
“In what appeared strange at first, he didn’t address the fire. He simply said, ‘Girls, calm down. Stop screaming. I’m not as concerned about the fire as I am about how you’re reacting to it. You’re not going to be able to solve the problem if you’re not calm and able to think it through.’
“We immediately calmed down and he quickly showed us how to put out the fire. When it comes right down to it, I think that is the reason why I’ve managed to stay calm and focused on solutions instead of the problems. That’s also probably why I have a hard time relating to those who immediately seem to panic at even the slightest bump in the road.”
That one wise teaching from Father to daughters set the default setting that would serve her and many others from that point on. Which, in a sense, might bring up that age-old question of “nature or nurture?” I suspect it’s both.
What do you say?