This Fulcrum articulates, in compounded coded language, the exact developmental formulae to contain stress by exercising the human option of self-discovery. It is recommended to read and re-read, as this issue is language-wise engineered to serve as a ‘soaking insight’.
Stress is on the rise. It is now understood that many 21st century maladies and serious illnesses are stress-related. The greatest stress is in being disconnected from oneself and therefore, the flow of high energies that maintain our well-being.
Stress is not being able to use oneself properly
It was an army exercise, the first time I ever drove a 4×4 military Jeep in rough terrain. We were a cluster of Jeeps, hurtling along. At some point we reached a thoroughly soaked up patch. Being untrained, I slowed down to the point of getting stuck in the mud, while my more experienced comrades drove straight through it with ease. Knowing how to use technology at one’s disposal is as important as having it.
Which nicely brings us to the governing core insight of effective stress management: Stress is not knowing how to use oneself properly. This critical insight is the absolute key to stress management in the context of improving personal effectiveness.
Developing personal effectiveness is the only sustainable way to handle the stress-induced wear and tear of modern living
Escaping the ‘one thing’ syndrome
The most effective way to learn to use oneself properly – the shortest short-cut, if you like – is in escaping the ‘one thing’ syndrome by educating oneself to exercise choice in response rather than auto-reacting from one’s habitual fight-flight instincts.
Taking Yoga classes; meditations; regular exercise; a healthy diet; good work-life balance and so on are essential practices. However, the mental practice of learning to use oneself properly lives at the heart of it all – it’s the pivot of personal growth.
The over-exertion upon a small segment of the spectrum of our vast human potential causes the equivalent of metal fatigue – mentally and emotionally so.
Self and situational awareness
To become aware of the ‘one thing’ syndrome in your life, take a side-step to take stock of how you react to stressful situations. To what degree are you able to be what it needs you to be rather than being squeezed, yet again, to produce a habitual reaction?
It’s a beautifully simple practice: In encountering a situation that requires your response, ask yourself: What does the situation need me to be? What quality does it call for? How shall I exercise wisely the human option of choice?
The ability to be the need is one of the most powerful leadership skills, as it enables the practitioner to come out of one’s service assembly rather than the personalised needs of the ego.
Exercising the human option of choice
Does the situation call for impartial overview? Patience? Deeper consideration? Clear-cut decision? The generation of warmth and encouragement? Spontaneity? Resistance? Persistence? Resilience? Courage in the face of adversity? Good humour and wit? Laser-sharp enquiry? Humility? Consideration? Taking the lead? Working out what is happening before responding?
Training oneself to be what the situation calls for – being able to be the ‘screaming need’ – means side-stepping the heavily over-used aspect of self, like insisting on driving that old clunker part of oneself instead of stepping into one’s personal inter-stellar spaceship.
And where the first premise of engaging in any situation is to detect, perceive and comprehend what is happening. This is especially critical for leaders. By-passing or only partially practicing this critical perception inducing stage is the number one causer of misplaced decisions and unintelligent reactions.
Tip: Choose a link word that when you speak it in your mind, it prompts you into taking a side-step process to choose the mental outfit that the situation calls for. Example for a link word: “Sidestep, sidestep”
The power of now
One of the greatest arts in life is to be in the now; to equal in fullness the opportunity present in the now. To become a growing vessel, a maturing agency, for the flow of brilliance that keeps charging the human opportunity.
Taking a side-step, away from the incessant demand to get on with the next task on the to do list; to feel the universe of possibilities that are always near-by, made far by the never-ending rush hour to be a step ahead in something.
The greatest stress is the stress of disconnection from self, from one’s core and natural brilliance
Make it your second nature
Choose your battles carefully. Choose your responses. Be what the situation needs, what it calls for. Rinse and repeat… Practice, practice, practice… Until it becomes second nature. It’s a magnificent journey of self-discovery. Try it and help others do the same.
The less personal we are, the more intelligent our responses. Because by taking that side-step we create space for the moving intelligence of the moment. It’s a magnificent art of self-renewal in the moving on of our lives.
This short writing is a bit of a concentrated pill. It’s the best I can do notwithstanding delivering a live workshop…
With very best wishes,
World Copyright 2015© David Gommé