No Sympathy For Stress

“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty.” 

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile)

I don´t believe in stress and you should not either.

When you have lots of things on your plate, it is always interesting to see what is on the menu. If you have time to worry, you have enough time for your task. If you would be truly busy, you wouldn´t have time to worry about how busy you are. If you need to get something done, give the task to the busiest person on the office.

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
Sydney J. Harris

Some people are always stressed out. I don´t have sympathy for them, because that stress is never reflective to their reality. Those people get stressed out of small and big things. They stress about strategy and the execution. They stress about the past and the future. They also let you know that they are stressed out and try to elevate themselves as martyrs of the workplace. They are also not effective people, because they loiter all their time at work. Truly effective people have life outside their jobs and are doing multiple things. Those people are working but not stressing out.

“My characterization of a loser is someone who, after making a mistake, doesn’t introspect, doesn’t exploit it, feels embarrassed and defensive rather than enriched with a new piece of information, and tries to explain why he made the mistake rather than moving on. These types often consider themselves the “victims” of some large plot, a bad boss, or bad weather.” 

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile)

Stress is a symptom of helplessness. It is giving up to the idea that you are not responsible for your own decisions and your own life. If you have too much work, you should be able to delegate. If you cannot delegate, prioritize. If nothing else helps, resign from your job. Not all the solutions are always easy, but there are always solutions to your life. Stress is about blaming others and utter fear of failure. If you approach things following Murphy´s Law, you will not get stressed out. Because usually things neither go as planned nor they go as bad as they could have gone.

“How do you innovate? First, try to get in trouble. I mean serious, but not terminal, trouble. I hold—it is beyond speculation, rather a conviction—that innovation and sophistication spark from initial situations of necessity, in ways that go far beyond the satisfaction of such necessity (from the unintended side effects of, say, an initial invention or attempt at invention).” 

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile)

One of my friend argued that children should be subjected to stress at young age, so they can cope with the future stress. Not only this stupid argument is not supported by research, but also the whole thinking is wrong. We should raise our children so that they don´t even know the concept of stress. They should embrace the chaos, hustle and bustle of the modern world and take responsibility of their own actions.

So don´t complain about stress, hit it in the face.

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