Every so often, I hear a word that sounds kind of familiar to my ears, but that also gives me a bit of an uncomfortable feeling.
Usually, the feeling is one of guilt, because that newish, cool word sounds like something that I really should understand, but I’m not 100% sure that I do.
Alas, we cannot know all of the words, and even if we learned one new word every day as some might suggest we do, I’m not sure you could ever learn them all.
Audible Strikes Again
Over the past few months, I made a few trips to our cottage to work on my next book, and I’ve been taking advantage of my subscription to Audible, the audiobook division of Amazon.
When I listen to music while driving, it sometimes puts me to sleep, so audiobooks have been a godsend.
I recently listened to a couple of books about meditation and mindfulness, and it was in one of those that the latest “special” word struck me: Equanimity.
It sounded majestic and important. But I didn’t feel like I knew enough about it, even though I was falling in love with the word.
Let’s Google It
As recently as a few years ago, I would have gone to the bookshelf with the dictionaries and thesaurus and looked it up, but like many people I just Google everything now.
Lo and behold, thanks to some dumb luck with timing, there was a news story out about the world’s most expensive yacht that also happened to have a cool name: Equanimity.
Like a little kid seeing a shiny object, of course, I had to read about this huge yacht that the Malaysian government had just seized that was said to be worth $250 Million.
I’d worry about the definition later.
I even watched a Youtube video of the scandalous Asian billionaire owner getting his first tour of the vessel a few years earlier.
Definitions and Meanings
But let’s get down to business here. From Google, here are some definitions and meanings I liked:
mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper,
especially in a difficult situation.
Equanimity is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience
of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other
phenomena that may cause others to lose
the balance of their mind.
Stable and Composed
Most people probably like to think of themselves as stable and composed, and I guess that most of the time they are correct.
The problem isn’t what happens “most of the time” though, the trouble is what happens “in a difficulty situation” or when “emotions and pain” are part of the equation.
And when you happen to work with other family members, you know that emotions and difficult situations come up all the time.
Be the Bigger Person
I always say that the only person you can control is yourself, and so the onus is on each and every one of us to strive for our own equanimity, and try to be the most stable and composed person that we can be, in every situation.
Can meditation help you become better at this? I think it can and there is more and more research all the time that supports this view too.
But before we can get too far, we really have to make a personal decision that this is something that we really want to do, and that we are ready to make the efforts that will be required.
Finding Inner Peace
In July 2018, in Rest in Peace, While You’re Still Alive, I wrote about this as finding peace,
But whether we call it peace, calm, composure, or equanimity, it really doesn’t matter, because we all have different versions of it that resonate with us better.
The important thing is to work on getting better at self-awareness and self-control.
Good for Each Generation
Whether we’re talking about the “now generation” who are currently running the family business, or the “next gens” who are rising to eventually replace them, this is equally important.
It even helps if you have advisors or coaches who exhibit equanimity to help you along the way.
I’ve been in meetings with families where everyone was even tempered, and I’ve been in others with other families where tempers really flared.
Even a little bit of equanimity goes a long way.