I have come to learn that any given situation in itself is different from my response or reaction to it. I no longer need the challenge or difficulty to control me. I’ve discovered that when we pause, accept each moment and take charge for how we choose to respond, the pressure of a difficult moment gets diffused. We control our actions and, therefore, we control the outcomes.

The mind game consists of the tricks your mind sometimes plays on you, making you see reality based on old fears, prejudices and early conditioning. Instead of focusing on your old habits, you can become the agents of change. In fact, awareness is the change!

Imagine two people who arrive at the airport to discover that their flight has been cancelled. One accepts the news with a sigh, goes to the bookstore and gets immersed in a fascinating book. The other grumbles, yells at a ticketing agent and sits in the chair seething with anger. The same event doesn’t produce the same reflection. This is important to realise because without being able to instantly produce a jet to take you where you want to go, you can create a positive moment simply through the power of awareness.

Any trick of the mind can be defeated by simply being aware of the trick. What you are aware of, you can change. Return now to the airport and the cancelled flight. At any one moment the angry passenger could have said to himself, “This is me, choosing to get angry about a situation that I can’t change. The choice is mine.” When you face a crisis, challenge or setback tell yourself the same thing – this is me reacting – the situation is a blank canvas – it has no meaning until I choose to personalise it.

Let’s say you’re assigned an uninteresting work task. Instead of tagging it as ‘uninteresting’ just say, “This is where I find myself right now.” That’s all it is. When you accept where you are without judgment, you start to relax and gain an open perspective. This is how we win the mind game and become centered, engaged and receptive.

You are in the present – nothing more, nothing less. From here, you are free to create any response you desire, and from there, any outer reflection is possible.