One Sorcerers musings about the Stress Boogeyman
Toooodaaaay I wanna yammer on about a ghoulish boogeyman that afflicts every single one of us.
To some it’s debilitating, and to some it’s easily brushed aside.
But that don’t change the truth of the matter…
And the truth is that STRESS is a monstrous boogeyman which wriggles it’s way into all of our lives, and strives to destroy our bodies, our relationships, our mental health, and our capacity to create.
To kick this off, lemme tell you a story…
Once upon a time (in September 2016) the magnificent Mark Manson released his best-selling (and life-changing) book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck. One of the pre-sale bonuses he offered was that if you bought five copies he’d write you a personalized haiku.
Being a complete and total shameless sucker for one-of-a-kind things, I immediately ordered five copies.
A few weeks later I checked my email to find the following haiku waiting for me:
Something the best thing
You can do for yourself
Is create useful stress.
Since that day in late September, this haiku has occupied the home screen of my phone, and I’ve had it turned into a print which hangs next to my desk.
You see, there’s a distinct difference between useful and deleterious stress.
Which I shall explain for you with some examples:
In my sorcerous eyes, deleterious stress stems from giving energy to things outside of your control (complaining about the weather, waiting to hear back from a potential client, or bitching about piece of news meant to fuel the outrage machine).
The above examples are all deletrious (read: harmful) because there’s sweet fuck all you can do about any of them.
You have no control.
None I say!
When you feed your energy to things you don’t have control over, you stress the fuck out. And because you can’t actually change anything about the thing, you let the stress seep into your thoughts, actions, and decisions.
Which in turn will inevitably impact your business, your creative output, your relationships, and will colour your overall outlook with thick black clouds of doom and gloom.
Not fun. Not productive. Not healthy in the slightest.
Contrast that with useful stress, which is productive, motivating, and can serve as a powerful kick in the ass to keep moving forward.
Stealing a few examples from times I’ve intentionally created useful stress for myself:
— Giving up my apartment to travel perpetually (fun as travel is, it IS a stress, especially if your means to survive comes off the back of your own efforts…meaning I HAD to make sure I stayed on top of work, lest I find myself living on the streets of Athens, Greece or Phuket, Thailand)
— Leaving Starbucks with 1K in the bank and enough guaranteed income to cover my expenses for two months (if I didn’t do the things I had to do, I’d be clean outta cash, shit outta luck, and straight back to slinging lattes)
— Setting strict deadlines for releasing my own offers (IE. Email Imagery, The Sorcerers Guild) to “force” myself to ensure all the moving parts were ready to go come launch week.
In short, useful stress is something you have to create for yourself, and where you don’t control the outcome…but you DO have complete control over your thoughts, actions, and decisions.
Ideally you’ll act in accordance and generate the outcome you want.
Alright, here’s the Too Stressed; Didn’t Read:
1. Everyone deals with stress in their life, whether it’s emotional, physical, environmental, self-inflicted, or external…everybody’s got some degree of stress going on. Some are just better at handling it than others. As with most things, you CAN improve your ability to handle stress.
2. Deletrious stress is harmful, counter-productive, and will eat your relationships, your mind, and your missions from the inside out if left to run rampant. Accept that you cannot control many aspects of your life. Paradoxically, those who exercise the MOST control over their life do so by recognizing that the most control is had by letting go.
3. Useful stress is a powerful fuel for productivity, creativity, and accountability. Find ways to create useful stress in your life, and all shall be well (fair warning: it’s inevitable that the useful stress you create will seem like “too much” at times—it comes with the territory). Sometimes there’s little to be done aside from weathering the storm.
If you find yourself overrun with deleterious stress, eating you from the inside out like termites do to logs, the best advice I can give is to practice accepting that which you cannot control, and making a concentrated mental effort to NOT feed those thoughts another drop of your energy.
Don’t get the what hell I’m on about?
Fire me a note, I’d love to discuss the stress boogeyman with you.