I've always loved the Yin and Yang philosophy in Kung-Fu. It is all about understanding the mix of hard and soft energy, and being able to adapt to changing circumstances.
In many ways, it is because of the Yin and Yang philosophy that has led me onto the path of expanding my studies to include Jiu Jitsu. After constantly seeing how effective of a self defense system it is, and how easily it can be learned, I decided to open my mind to it.
One of the key philosophies of Jiu Jitsu that hits a strong chord with me is that to stay calm in worst case scenarios.
This is a mindset. It is a specific way of viewing the world. It is indeed a specific mental strategy.
It is also extremely pragmatic.
So, how does one stay calm during worst case scenarios? Well first, we have to explore the physical realm. The way we do that is we are exposed to a common problematic situation. We then learn the technique to deal with that situation. Then we practice that until we become proficient with dealing with that common problematic situation.
We do this with many, many different situations, so we are learning a lot of different techniques and principles to overcome those common problematic situations. After some time, you develop great proficiency in dealing with those common problematic situations.
You then find more problems and more solutions. You do this so much, your confidence in your ability to deal with these problematic situations becomes very high!
So there is a lot of discipline involved - you have to be in a regular practice of the techniques, of these problematic situations. This regular practice creates the mindset. I'll say that again: This regular practice creates the mindset.
And now, you're ready to extrapolate to every day life, with this developed mindset...
Keeping a cool head is the first step of solving a problem. Don't panic. That is the real trick: DO NOT PANIC.
You have to believe there is a solution. You have to believe that, "Somehow, I'm going to figure out how to solve this." You have to have faith and not lose hope.
You then get to a point where you say, "I know it's going to happen. I might not know how, but it will. Thus, don't panic, and stay relaxed."
You eventually get to a point where you become accustomed to trust that things will work right, that something good is going to happen.
What you don't do is worry. You find that worrying about things makes no difference, and does not help. Often times, it makes things worse.
Life will always be testing us. It doesn't matter how much you have, or how much you don't have. Life will present a lot of problems, and the difference in the outcome has everything to do with your mindset.
The Yin and Yang philosophy of adaptation in my Kung-Fu training led me to keep an open mind to Jiu Jitsu, which led to me to the philosophy of staying calm in worst case scenarios and always believing that there will be a solution.
It's all in the mind! =)