3 key lessons to learn from the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial

Keeping calm is definitely a superpower

Amber Heard, left, and Johnny Depp arrive at the premiere of Depp's film 'Black Mass,' at the London film festival 2014
Amber Heard, left, and Johnny Depp arrive at the premiere of Depp's film "Black Mass," at the London film festival 2014

By Delna Mistry Anand

Published: Thu 5 May 2022, 7:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 5 May 2022, 7:47 PM

I’ve spent the last few nights engrossed in watching live telecast of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation case. While I refrain from passing any opinions, one thing that I’d like to talk about is Johnny Depp! I mean, how is he so calm, composed and even humorous in the face of such intense stress? He’s lost “nothing less than everything” due to the alleged accusations; in fact, that’s why he agreed to go live to millions around the world. Some shocking and embarrassing audio clips, photos and testimonies have been presented, and despite the fact that he has already lost millions of dollars, film opportunities and mainly his reputation, Depp is seen highly composed — even making the courtroom spectators chuckle at times.

We have known people like these, and we also know people who lose their cool when criticised, or when decisions don’t go their way. Especially since we’re in the age of hyper-competitiveness, it all comes down to how best you can control your emotions. It’s true — under stress, we regress. You may be a great boss to your team, but if you tend to crack down one too many times, people won’t feel good about your leadership.

The ability to manage your emotions under pressure has a direct link to your performance. When you no longer have the power to control your thoughts, emotions and behaviour, it is not going to be easy to have power over anything else.

So how can we have grace under fire?

1. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business

Remember this famous quote: do not take things personally. It may not be about you at all. Respond with careful thought, instead of a knee-jerk reaction.

2. Know thyself

Take care of thyself too. The first step towards stress management is looking after your body and mind. Spend time exercising or stretching, eating clean food, not rushing through meals, reading, breathing. In fact, box breathing is a great way to combat stress (breathe in 4 counts, hold 4 counts, exhale 4 counts and hold there 4 counts; repeat as many times).

3. Reframe, with a growth mindset

Not everything in the world is within our control. Sometimes flights get delayed or we aren’t able to make that sale. Instead of taking the easy way out and playing victim saying ‘why is this happening to me’, ask ‘why is this happening for me’. What could you learn from this? What could be the next actionable step? Could there be a hidden blessing? Take the high road and chances are you will find a new perspective, your a-ha moment and jump back with power. Successful people train their minds to be strong, to seek solutions instead of swirling in the spiral of problems. They also have a sense of humour — such an underrated characteristic.

We all care about success, our children’s academic achievements, our health, finances, future and so many things. But we have one body and mind; by looking after our lifestyle and health, by resisting the urge to play victim, by reframing what happens to us, we can start to manage with the many curve balls life throws to us. We can thrive.


Connect with Delna Mistry Anand across social media @DelnaAnand

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