Recently, I met up with some friends who told me about how much stress they were going through because of the financial crisis, their businesses and family issues.
Out of curiosity, I checked Google to find out the definition of stress and it said that stress is “the consequence of the failure to adapt to change”. I don’t know about you but I think that is true to a certain extent!
I also learnt that stress is a result of non-acceptable and inflexibility. It is caused mostly by strong attachment and expectations. For example, if we expect to earn more money by a certain time frame, we will, at the same time, fear that this expectation will not come true. And when we fail to achieve the goals we set out to achieve, stress arises.
This reminds me of a friend of mine who, despite being very successful in his business, is always looking stressed and worried! Even though his business has made a lot of money in the past few years, he is now living under tremendous stress because he has to work even harder now to keep that wealth.
Like many business people, he started off earnestly by setting a target to achieve. When he has reached this target, he found himself vulnerable to a higher level of stress by setting a higher target.
This same is true in a relationship. An old friend of mine told me that her prayers were answered when she married “the man of her dreams”, one who had money, status and confidence. But today, they are thinking of separating because they can’t stand each other because of differences in their personalities.
So here’s the thing: Everyone expects to achieve more money, a loving relationship and a successful business as a solution to obtaining happiness.
The reality is that if you are not grounded spiritually, you will always keep looking towards material things (money, fame, power) for a solution and you will never be out of stress. But if you believe in a faith and are grounded spiritually, you would understand the importance of living in the present moment and this will help you to reduce the amount of stress in your life right now.
Another way that can help you to reduce stress is to always be mindful of your emotions and actions. As the CEO of the largest seminar organizer in Asia, I am always experiencing stress everyday. The other day, I was thinking of ways to fill the venue for our next seminar in Singapore. I was constantly thinking, worrying and pushing my team to hit the sales targets. I did absolutely nothing the entire day, just thinking, worrying, and feeling stressed out. At the end of the day, I looked back at what had I done the entire day and I did absolutely nothing productive at all.
The moral of the lesson is this: Being stressed is a waste of time. Instead of wasting time being stressed, learn to look at things positively.
If you have a positive attitude, you will not be discouraged even if your business or relationships fail. Instead, you will be more encouraged and more confident to pick yourself up again because the resources for being happy come from within you and not from external circumstances.
So to recap, it is very important that you apply the 3 things I just mentioned:
1. Practise a faith and ground yourself spiritually
2. Be mindful of your emotions and actions
3. Learn to adopt a positive attitude.
Without these 3 things, I can almost guarantee that you will definitely be overwhelmed by stress the next time you encounter a difficult challenge!