Stanford University

The Importance of Being Calm

Copyright (c) 2010 Willie Horton

For those of us who live in these times – where economic adversity continues to be the order of the day, where extremism simmers in various quarters from Al-Qaida to Yemen, to Plains, Georgia where an effigy of President Obama was found hanging recently, to the ongoing political upheaval in Iran to the crumbling peace accord in Sudan, to a massive growth in domestic violence, to an upsurge in graphic violence on our television screens to the fact that our young children are watching music videos which would have been banned as pornographic fifteen years ago – there is an extraordinary onus on us to stay, or become, calm.

Only mental calm, which leads to clarity of mind, will move you and I, and as a consequence, everyone towards that even keel where we can all benefit from the abundance that this life offers us. It doesn’t just offer abundance to some of us, we’re all entitled to our share – and the best way to achieve that is through the mental calm that is scientifically proved to engender inner peace and, as a result, success. Calm works wonders. If we stop to reflect, we all know that we are at our best when we are calm – and at our worst when react hot-headedly. We all know that calm leads to greater effectiveness. But let’s consider a potent example of the extent to which calm doesn’t just affect us individually, but can benefit us all. Consider the US Transcendental Meditation experiment in Washington DC in Summer 1993. The TM organization, in conjunction with Stanford University, established an experiment which aimed to prove the ripple effect of calm. The objective was to get four thousand people to meditate in a central Washington DC convention centre over the eight week period of June/July 1994. Quantum mathematicians at Stanford calculated that the ripple effect of four thousand calm minds would be seen in a directly calculable 25% drop in violent crime (defined as homicide, rape and assault). Whilst law enforcement agencies were more than a little sceptical at the outset, over that eight week period, as the numbers meditating rose, the rate of violent crime dropped – creating a graph that looks almost like a perfect “X”. Why not look at the US Federal Government’s Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy – search for “violent crime” and you will find that the results were exactly as predicted.

Each and every time I mention this to my clients for the first time, not one of them has ever heard of the experiment or the startling results. It beggars belief that we all know the latest bit of bad news or celebrity gossip and that none of us has a clue as to what the really important, ground-breaking news might be. If we all understood the importance of calm, this world would change – it’s not some fairytale or wishful thinking. It is proven experimentally and it is proven by cutting edge quantum physics – energy evokes a response from energy – my energy from yours and vice versa.

Unfortunately, however, most of us, so-called normal people, invest their energies in all the wrong places, having their priorities all wrong, constantly striving for what some might call the “American Dream” of achievement and wealth. For some, over the last eighteen months, that dream has become a nightmare as a result of a crisis brought about by the exact opposite of calm minds. Unfortunately, for many scrambling for “success” the words achievement and wealth, go together. But what about the wealth of a calm mind, a soul at peace, happy loving relationships and good health? What about having lots of time to do what really turns you on? What about helping those around you rather than just helping yourself?

The extraordinary thing is that if you invest your energy in these directions, if you cultivate your innate ability to be calm and centred, then that “American Dream” will look after itself. If you put the quality of your life at the top of your list of priorities, everything else falls into place – even the wealth bit – I know it, many of my clients know it, many books provide us with many examples of it and science tells us that we can earn exponential returns on a sensible investment of our energy. In order to but the quality of your life first, you need only have one priority. Your priority for today – and every day – should be to ensure that you’re in a clear and calm state of mind, focused on what you’re supposed to be doing in the here and now, totally immersed in the present moment. Having invested your energy wisely in this fashion, everything else – as the Washington DC experiment proves – will follow, as surely as night follows day.

Follow us