A few tempers have exploded during my treks going home last week, and these tempers from ladies, no less. I suppose we can excuse them; it is the end of the day, we all just want to go home, and why do people keep pushing anyway?
This is why I thought I should come up with a serenity list. Who knows? maybe one of these days I could be the one screaming obscenities while breathing down on somebody's neck for lack of wiggle room (literally and/or figuratively). An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
2. Think before you speak. This prevents you from getting stuck in the "lie trap" in the first place. If what you're about to say is not the truth because the truth sounds too boring/horrible/atrocious, just remember that anything you blurt out without prudence (without thinking of the consequences) comes out much worse in the end. And the lie trap snaps.
3. Understand where others are coming from. Sometimes, it's not all about you. Somebody loses his temper, or blames your for something, or picks a fight. Before you stress over that, just remember that if you've done everything honestly, properly and well, then you shouldn't worry! Just let the hothead cool off; and don't hit back. Your energy is better spent in productive work. Most of all, remember that you're called to love, esp. those who are most difficult to love.
4. Smile. And freshen up that tired face. Wear a nice shirt. While it's true that serenity comes from within, that's no reason to cultivate a chaotic appearance without. When you look good, you feel better, you treat others better, and you make more people serene, too--which is the ultimate effect of serenity.
5. Remember: It's not all up to you. A lot of us lose our cool when we think everything is up to us. What do you expect? We're only human, and huge responsibilities are daunting. But if you keep in mind that nothing is "all up to you" then you can rest better and worry less (besides, what does worry accomplish?). Your energy, your health, your reason, your resources... aren't they all gifts with which we can get up in the morning and achieve our goals? These things would not be ours to use if they weren't given; they're all up to Someone to give us. So take a few moments each day to thank Him for letting you do what you do. That's the surest way of gaining (and fortifying) serenity.