Breathe yourself happy

Marco's Insights

July 19, 2022

Here I am sitting in front of my laptop asking myself what my insights could be today, what inspirations could support us in all of these colliding crises, when war is raging, tornados destroying cities in Germany, prices and inflation are rising exponentially, monkeypox is looming around the corner,… The list goes on and on.

To be completely honest sometimes it takes more effort to remain a firm believer in the concepts I talk about, then others. Like some of you, I am too struggling with the sheer amount and magnitude of unforeseeable events happening everyday.

So what can we do to manage our thoughts and emotions in these unpredictable times? As my first commitment is to my own personal leadership, I took a deep look inside myself the last couple of weeks and my search revealed two totally different directions to follow.

First I started to dig deep into ancient Greek philosophy. At the end these guys had to handle similar challenges in their time, powerdrunk despots, breaking up unity between states, self-inflicted climate change through deforestation of the complete Hellenic peninsula and so forth.

I started to compare my two favourite philosophies, Stoicism and Epicureanism. Don’t worry, I will not lecture you on these philosophies, but rather share what inspirations I can find in them.

One aspect of Stoicism is to go through life without being impacted by external circumstances, Epicureanism on the other hand actively pursues happiness as the highest calling. Another aspect is that Stoics should accept all external callings to take actions to better the world, Epicureans are told to virtually hide from the world to avoid any action risking to expose them to non happy outcomes.

Who could we become as leaders if we stoically carry the found happiness in our heart?

I find truth in both teachings and combine their viewpoints to make them my own. What if taking the action to find true happiness is the most impactful action we can ever take?

What if, together, we strive for our true internal happiness and actively change the course of society? Who could we become as leaders if we stoically carry the found happiness in our heart?

We need new kinds of leaders to tackle humanities problems. And these leaders will not be scientists, even though essential, they mostly lack the time and the focus on empathic leadership to take people with them on the voyage.

Humanity needs YOU! Ready to step into your own awareness, ready to stoically change the world with the understanding that only through your own inner epicurean happiness, together we can continue to flourish.

You might say now: Great Marco, and how do I do that? And here comes the other direction, I investigated, in play:

Breath? How the hell can my breathing be the answer to the world’s challenges? You might ask.. And honestly I asked myself the same question.

But when digging deeper into the science of correct breathing, I quickly found out that the virtues of conscious breathing are amongst many more: a lower resting heart rate and blood pressure, focusing of our thoughts, disconnecting the mind from constant ruminating and a more recuperating sleep.

Consciously breathing through our nose instead of our mouth, training ourselves to breathe slowly, lowering our breathing from an average of twenty breaths per minute to fifteen or even ten, has a large impact on how we approach our everyday life and might just be the change we are looking for that can impact our personal leadership and hence improve how we lead the world around us.

There is another learning here: As so often in life when simultaneously taking care of our mind and our body, we access the solutions we are looking for. It is through trusting that something as simple as “how we breathe” has a profound impact on our lives, we can envisage, activate and implement an empowering philosophy for ourselves and the world.

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