The Power of Stress

For some reason, I make everything 10x more stressful than it needs to be. I’m not exactly sure why, but for some reason even when something should be relaxing, I find a way to make it stressful. When things get comfortable in my life, I get nothing done.

It’s not that I dislike routine; I actually need a routine, but personally I enjoy creating a new routine more than I like following it. Normally, you’re forced into a new routine when your life gets thrown upside down. It could be a new job, the ending of a relationship or moving to a new city.

It’s the stress from these situations that I try to use as the fuel to challenge myself to try new things. Every time I become comfortable, I know it’s time to throw things upside down. You need to move outside your comfort zone if you want to keep growing and achieving new things.

This is the reason I love stress. I associate stress with realizing new levels of success. Steve Jobs once said in his commencement speech at Stanford:

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

His quote resonated with me and now, every day I go through the exact same routine. Building on Jobs, though, I follow it up with another question:

“How comfortable do you feel today?”

If I don’t feel panic in my gut about what I have to do in the day ahead, I know that something isn’t right. Comfort lead to complacency whereas stress leads to growth. If you’re not afraid of what you are about to do then you should probably go out and do something else.

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