“If then it’s not that the things you pursue or avoid are coming at you, bur rather that you in a sense are seeking them out, at least try to keep your judgement of them steady, and they too will remain calm and you won’t be seen chasing after or fleeing from them.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.


“It is what it is,” said Lewis Hamilton after his disappointment at the Austrian F1 Grand Prix a few years ago. Being able to manage emotional situations is important for remaining calm and keeping a clear focus on the here-and-now. Seeking out pleasure or pain weights the situation in one way or another. A self-fulfilling prophecy might ensue (e.g. telling yourself that you’re scared, lack confidence and will fail might result in a faltering attempt at something, leading to failure). Explaining your lapses of resolve (pursuing pleasure or avoiding discomfort) by using ‘reason’ that supports your ego is called a ‘self-serving bias’.


Either way, you’re off balance. Lurching to one side or the other to compensate might well throw you off the wire entirely. Take a step back (metaphorically, if you do happen to be on a real tightrope!), recognise what you like and what you don’t, and then plot your course between the two.