Ah, now _here’s_ one that’s near and dear to my heart — the psychology of dealing with conflict, particularly as applied to Halo gameplay. “Wheels”:http://www.bungie.net/Stats/PlayerStats.aspx?player=DTS%20wheels, of the “TTL Gunslingers”:http://www.bungie.net/Fanclub/ttlgunslingers/GroupHome.aspx, discusses the difference between Beta and Theta waves as they relate to conflict and confrontation. Essentially, Beta waves are high-end, actively alert brainwaves, the ones we use throughout the day as we process everything that goes on around us. Theta waves are the ones that we use when we are relaxed and in a state of meditation, that place where mental imagery happens. The Theta zone is also, ironically, that place that allows us to focus and perform better, almost without even thinking about it. Wheels’s advice? Relax when faced with conflict. You’ll handle it a whole lot better.
It makes sense, particularly when I think about all the times when I have been in high-stress situations. The ones that I handled badly were the ones where I was stressed out and working too hard to make sense of everything coming at me. Of course, I missed things and made mistakes and then left the situation feeling bad because I knew I only made a bigger mess out of things. Conversely, the situations where I was on top of my game, fielding problems with ease and just going to town were those where I was relaxed and content, just kind of going with the flow, aware of the situation but not worrying about it. Those were the times when my performance was stellar, where I walked away feeling really good about what happened, and where I felt like everything was handled well and resolved completely.
As Wheels pointed out, though, it is difficult to get to the Theta zone consistently. It takes training and discipline, but often, the more you are forced to handle stressful situations, the more adept you become at handling them. Taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that you need to relax often helps. A step back to clear your head, to collect yourself, is a good start to moving out of Beta and toward Theta. And when you hit the Theta zone, you really are in _The Zone_.
bq. The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool.