The mythical aura surrounding Samurai warriors is legendary. This beyond exceptionally trained, stoic, brave, humble and personally loyal warrior fleet dominated real and imagined person to person warfare from the 12th Century forward. What is it about the Samurai that render them so powerful, so successful for all these hundreds of years?
The Samurai secret? Being calm. In the classic The Book of Five Rings written by Miyamito Musashi, the samurai considered to be the greatest of all time wrote, “…both in fighting and in everyday life, you should be determined through calm. Meet the situation without tenseness, without recklessness, you spirit settled yet unbiased.”
The benefits of being calm are pretty obvious. We tend to think more clearly when we’re calm. We tend to make measured, not rash, decisions when we’re calm. And we tend to be more confident, not scared or frightened, when we’re calm. But being calm is different than becoming calm. We can’t just simply snap our fingers or exhale to become calm. We, just as the Samurai, have to work to become and then earn the state of being calm.
Research shows that training and preparation (the Samurai trained and prepared relentlessly) are key elements of becoming calm. Training and preparation, over and over and over again, create both the mental and physical circuitry to do the job. Gary Klein, a Navy Seal who obtained a grant from the US Army to study decision making, says that years of repeated training and experience enable us to become calm because that training and preparation enable us to feel in control of a situation.
Andy Morgan, a clinical psychiatrist at Yale agrees. “…Being in control…creates a sense of fearlessness. The person who feels in control says to themselves, ‘I’ve got this covered. I’ve done this before. I’m in control here’…In fact, the heart rate (of the person who feels in control because she has trained and prepared to deal with the situation successfully) experience a drop in their heart rate. They assume a state of calm, meditative focus as well as a state of core self-belief.”
Obviously, none of us here is a Samurai warrior but as Musashi and other Samurai make clear in their writings, our most important battles to becoming and being calm are about overcoming ourselves, not some opponent out there. Anything (more market information, more practice, more role playing and objection handling skills, whatever it is) that gives you a feeling of control over your day to day real estate workings is the thing that will help you become as cool as a calm Samurai.