In karate there is an image that's used to define the position of perfect readiness: "mind like water." Just like water in a pond, your mind should be at peace most of the time. And it should only react when something is thrown into it. Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? Water reacts exactly in proportion to the object thrown into it - with a big splash for a big rock, or a little ripple for a small pebble. And when the reaction is over, it goes back to a state of peace/calm. It doesn't overreact or underreact. Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does. Responding inappropriately to your e-mail, your staff, your projects, your unread magazines, your thoughts about what you need to do, your children, or your boss will lead to less effective results than you'd like. Most people give either more or less attention to things than they deserve, simply because they don't operate with a "mind like water."