Our work often mirrors the state of our mind.
Sloppy work, carelessness and forgetfulness all arise in a disorganized mind before they happen in real life. Structure, order and brevity are the results of clear thinking.
Our mind often associates a state of tension with any activity we wish to do. We are loose about casual things – about what we say at a dinner conversation with friends. We feel tight and tense about the important – presenting on stage or showing up to an interview on time.
The optimal state, though, is firmness. Our language reflects this too. A loose person is unreliable. Tightness is tension in excess – a result of striving too hard. But firmness comes with positive connotations: having a firm handle on things, making firm commitments and being firm in one’s conviction.
In our fear of appearing loose, we often over-correct and swing over to the sight of tightness – by micromanaging our teams or by sounding too conscious on stage.
What we need instead is a mindset and a posture of firmness – just the right amount of tension.