One of the biggest things that often gets misrepresented badly in society is the idea that we have to strive for an easy life where everything is flowery and easy going.
A constant reminder of what we should all look for in our lives as the hallmark to everlasting happiness. But what I often see is the very opposite. Its the hardship of life that fuels people to grow and ultimately become the people that they’ve always wanted to be.
We seem to turn a blind eye towards the value of hard work and suffering and focus more on the glory and ease of life that ironically comes as a result of the hard work that we all seem to want to ignore.
Nobody likes stress or hardship, it’s a survival mechanism in our natural evolution to want to feel protected and secure. Yet it’s a common mistake to want to avoid it.
We all want to stay in our cocoons or comfort bubble where everything is safe and secure. But there is always a price to pay, whichever way you look at it.
Why comfort is a dead end
Comfort usually leads to boredom and depression. Notice rockstars and famous singers turn in on themselves with drugs and alcohol after suddenly achieving everything they’ve always wanted.
Or the broken marriage that was once flowing with excitement and a sense of newness, which most people commonly call ‘The honeymoon phase’.
There’s simply no denying it. It’s not until you reach the extremes of comfort that you suddenly realise how much better you felt when things were difficult.
Stress is great when used positively and forces you to set deadlines and challenge yourself that you otherwise would struggle with in comfort.
It’s also the reason why people who are at rock bottom suddenly develop the energy to turn their life around.
- It’s often very difficult to want more of what you already have.
- It’s often very difficult to grow a business when you have a well paid job that provides you with a good salary.
- It’s often very difficult to want to improve your body when you’re already fit and healthy.
The benefits of stress
Looking back, i’ve often worked my best when under tight deadlines and under stress and has made me perform in ways that I never knew I could.
Because I understand why and how we behave, it’s also helped me understand why we have to be strict with our productivity and why we should even train ourselves to be productive in the first place.
I’ve always had a belief that we shouldn’t have to and that being able to get to work should be something that comes naturally. But I know now how wrong it really is. Because again, our biological default is to stay safe and comfortable.
This is the antithesis of productivity and growth. Work should be tough and challenging and often requires tremendous will and stamina to keep it going.
So what are the top 3 ways to push yourself and to maintain a sense of urgency to perform under stress?
I’ll have to pre-warn you. While the suggestions I’ll be listing might seem obvious. I promise you that chances are, you’re probably not applying them 😉
1) Set strict deadlines.
I would personally recommend keeping your deadlines tight. When you develop a sense of ‘time running out’, your mind literally goes into overdrive and gets to work in the most efficient way possible in order to get the job done.
This concept funnily enough, came from my time at school where I would consistently leave it all until the very last day of submission. I somehow had a better time motivating myself when I knew deadlines loomed as opposed to having all the time in the world.
The longer your deadlines are, the easier it generally is to procrastinate and put off the work, which is counter productive to your overall growth and promotes terrible discipline. 2 habits that you want to be avoiding at all costs.
2) Hold an accountability partner.
Theres nothing more motivating than to have someone by your side who knows what your goals are who also helps you stick to your plan of action. It’s something i’ve often had problems with personally since i’ve always felt that working alone would be the best way.
The truth is, having someone to work with is a great way to get things done faster. Especially if they compliment your skill sets and expertise. Perhaps you have skills that your accountability partner hasn’t and vice versa.
I would encourage finding someone who’s on the same mission as you who also works extremely hard. The harder worker they are the better since they will literally force you to step up and take things to the next level.
People in the self-help circles go on and on about curing procrastination and being self motivated. But if you really want to cut corners and make things easier on yourself. Find someone like you who’s willing to work with you and achieve the same goals together.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being in a room or even just knowing someone who’s working with you to kick ass and make each other’s dreams happen.
There’s no coincidence why some of the most successful entrepreneurs also have business partners. It’s likely because of the things i’ve said above.
If you don’t have one at the moment. I urge you to find one… It will make a huge difference in your productivity.
3) Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing what it is you’re doing.
When alls said and done, there’s simply no denying the fact that stress will get the better of you. It’s simply inevitable as you’re human after all. And it’s often very easy to forget the fundamental reason why you started in the first place.
The more ambitious you are, the harder you’re going to be on yourself when it happens. But I urge you to stop and look at things in perspective when it happens. Because it’s during this phase where you will generally start to question whether you should keep going or quit.
You will face tough times – You will fail lots and it will suck, you will feel like nothings happening and it will question your abilities. Above all, remind yourself why you’re doing it. Why are you working so hard? What is it about you’re doing that the world just has to know. And I mention the world because that’s really what it’s all about at the end of the day.
The key to everlasting passion and happiness is to serve and give value to the world as best you can. With all the noise of the internet, mobile phones and entertainment, further distracting the masses. It’s become even more of a challenge to get yourself in front of their attention.
Use your reason to help force you to take action. Because I guarantee you, if you’re not willing to do that regardless of how stressed you are. Someone else will.