Soar and Succeed
Life is full of surprises! Hopefully you agree with me and not just for negative ones but mostly for the good surprises. Some doors close and others open, each time of the year brings its natural disasters and reliefs, each member of the family grows and makes new experiences…
Over the last three years of being a freelance consultant, I have noticed that my focus on finding the best out of every opportunity has been challenged by the fact that, while running my own business, the pressure is always on to find the next customer and source of revenue. However, during my last few months, I have noticed that there is a smarter way to look at things, especially in the professional world.
Stress is known for its “destructive” abilities on your mental and physical health. But eustress is a powerful innuendo that is able to motivate, energise and support your body for the good. So the main question really comes to be: how to turn stress (the bad one) into eustress (the good one).
Eustress is triggered by excitement and challenge (in a good way), it is what motivates and makes you go further with positive adrenaline and fine tuned mental dispositions. It is activated by positive news and mental being that turns your brain into the effective lean, fighting machine that you always wanted to have.
For people that have a positive attitude, it is their default state of mind and eustress is most likely to be part of their life. For all the rest of the population (me included), a favourable environment at work and at home will help positive thinking which in turn will help fight stress (the bad one) and promote eustress (which we usually really don’t call stress at all).
Don’t always focus on the future
For many, like me, it is a constant question about what will happen? How can I make the future better? Will my bus be on time? Will the world exist tomorrow?
As my freelance job assignment changed in the last few months, I find myself riding the bus and the commuter train, taking longer walks between the train station and home (or the office), I have noticed that my mind is (always) focused on what is next rather than feeling the cold air around me and taking the time to observe my surroundings. However, lately, I have taken the approach of walking slower, standing taller and taking the time to look around me. Using the moment and look for the positive stuff. It usually takes me about 5-10 minutes to move from office “stress” to walk “eustress” and, by the time the minutes have passed, I am more energised, I feel satisfied and my stress level (the bad one) drops quickly.
Use public transport
For this matter, I am a believer that taking public transport rather than driving a car is quite helpful in reducing stress as I do not have to “think” or be disturbed by traffic; I can let the time pass by while getting to my destination. In addition of feeling good from the stand point of helping the environment, it also allows my mind to disconnect from being in control and have constructive thoughts rather than reactive ones due to being focused on driving. I would agree that public transport is not always practical or comfortable but it helps keeping fitter (more walking and less sitting) and it allows to read or listen to music, podcasts or audio books (if you enjoy those).
Take the time to read and learn
How many of you think that typing emails, being into meetings or conference calls is the productive work your employer is looking for you to do? Regardless if you say yes or no, many of us are just stuck into the routine of thinking that our best contribution to our profession is not about what we learn and apply but rather where we are and communicate (say hi to Powerpoint and email). Sorry to burst your bubble: Think again!!
Make time to be aware of the news related to your work discipline, new techniques about what you do or improvement in processes you are using is far more useful to you and your employer than a bunch of emails. Maybe this feels a little disturbing but it is just the truth for many of us.
Read a magazine, professional article, take an online class or test a theory! This will not only increase your knowledge but will also provide you with a positive feeling of achievement and being able to create something new. That’s where eustress develops and strives to keep you motivated, engaged and energised.
Rise rather than fight
Many would call this: reaching out for their inner strengths, or, choosing the battles one can win. In the world of connectivity and “collaboration”, texting, email and fire drills might be like the battle of the day.
My recommendation is to step back, take an upward trip above the forest and look around. See where you are coming from and set the path about where you want to go. One day a week of getting above the clouds, taking time to meditate, jog down ideas, brainstorm about your destination or what you are in charge of, are important steps of leadership.
Soar and succeed
It is the moment to make a difference about how we all can drive our world towards a better place. Not just for good resolutions but to focus on the good stress, positive thinking and creating a favorable environment:
- Block time for enjoying the moment (where you are and coming from)
- Find satisfaction in informing yourself, focus on continuous learning
- Dedicate one day to rise above, meditate and set your forward path
Time is your asset and, like all of us, we get the same daily allocation of it. It is not about how much you have, it is about how you use it.
About the writer: Flavio Stiffan is a business development and marketing strategy freelance consultant with focus on creating market expansion game plans supported by academia programs and creation of ecosystems. He has implemented and managed alliance networks and is at the core of academia relationship management with a network of over 130 universities and 300 technology companies and distributors. For more articles, visit www.stiffan.eu or check out his profile on LinkedIn.
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