Tag Archives: stress

Criteria for Success

I recognize myself to be an intensely naive person. Most novelists are, despite frequent pretensions to deep socio-political insight. – Zadie Smith

I wanted to improve on my writings. I’ve blogged a lot. There is a lot of word counts there, and yet, my skills are nowhere sufficient.

What is needed for success?

Jeff Goins once said, to improve on your writing, you need to focus on the frequency, not on quantity. It is better to write consistently and to binge-writing.

Think about it. It does make sense, isn’t it?

It is easier for us to accept new habit, if we make it ridiculously easy. It is easier to say, I’ll write ten minutes a day,  daily, instead of one hour a day, once a week.

Also, our mind thrives with manageable stress, and not in overwhelming stress. Binge-writing, for example 8 hours straight, cause strain on your brain. You will lose focus, feel derailed,  lose interest, lose determination. Stress is a main killer for creativity, a key component for writing.

Focus on frequency, not in quantity.

The more you write, the more frequent you write, the better you become.

This applies to every skills that you want to master.



How to avoid overwhelm

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. – Aristotle Onassis

Do you feel overwhelmed?

There is so much for you to learn. You have a diverse range of interest.

For me, I want to write, draw, play the piano, learn to play guitar, play badminton, learn wushu, weight-lifting. running, learn programming, learn Photoshop, learn video editing, public speaking, reading, singing.

Well, you get the picture.

There is so much to do, and yet so little time available.

You feel overwhelmed. You feel stressed. And you end up doing nothing.

Or doing everything without the feeling of fulfillment.

Does this happen to you?

The key is to understand this, We can do anything, but not everything at the same time!

Once we know this simple, key concept, life will be easier.

The key to success lies not in the things you do, but in the things that you do not do.

Decide what is it that you want to focus on doing.

What are the things that you must do now?
What are the things that are essential for your long-term goals?
What are the things that are essential and not good-to-have?

Focus on the essentials and remove all the fluff.

You still can pursue other interests, but not in the same intensity, focus, attention, time, and effort poured into it.

For me, essential things to do are writing and running. Public speaking is a good to have skill. But it is not critical for me to learn now. Playing badminton is relaxing, but I have an upcoming marathon to participate.

Prioritize well and you will live a life without unnecessary stress.




The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.  – William James


I’m stressed up!!

The pressure at work is mounting. Too much to do, too short a deadline, too much at stake.

Ever experienced stress at work? Silly question, isn’t it? Of course you did. And perhaps you do.

Stress is a given fact at work. How do you, then, relieve yourself from stress?

First, knowing that stress is future-looking. It is imagining all the bad thing that could possibly happen. Of how all the things could go wrong. Thus, live in the moment. Stop thinking all the stressors. Meditate.

Imagine you are your best self. And your best friend is currently facing this same problem. What kind of advice would you give him or her? List them all down, the more specific the better. After all is said and written, just do it. In your mind, you have all the answers. You were just reluctant to do it. for whatever the reason you may have.

What would be the worst outcome? Fired from work? Laughed by others for being unemployed? Queueing to get state’s benefits? Often time, we over estimated the grim outcome.  Often time, the bleak outcome is not grounded. Often time, the sad outcome is just in your mind. Knowing what would be the worst outcome and then have the courage and be prepared to accept it, you will find renewed strength to carry on.

Stress will always be there. What you could do is to decide, how would you manage it? Would you be a master over your stress? Or would you be a slave under it?


The Art of Positive Problem-Solving [INFOGRAPHIC]

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. – Thomas Jefferson

This is an infographic from GoodNet.

The Art of Positive Problem-Solving THE FACTS: 

Brits spend nearly 13 hours a week worrying.

42% of Americans say they could be doing more to manage their stress.

Emotional support is important. 
People with emotional support rank their stress levels at 4.8 out of 10 compared to those without support (6.2).

34% of Brits share their concerns with others.

Stress levels in the U.S. have been dropping. In 2015, adults average stress level was at 4.9 compared to 6.2 in 2007. 

Studies have shown that 40% of what we worry about never happens and 30% of what we worry about has already happened.


The availability and affordability of healthcare
The economy
Financial worries 
Being late.

When faced with a challenge, ask yourself:

1.   	“What am I worrying about?”
2.   	“What can I do about it?”
3.   	“When am I going to start doing it?


Take things one day at a time. 
Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Interesting things to take note of: only 8% of the things we are worried about actually happen – those valid for our attention.

The others are those that had happened in the past or didn’t happen at all.  We also tend to blow things out of proportion. Making a mountain out of a molehill.

When faced with a problem, any problem, take a step back and ask:
1. What am I worrying about?
2. What can I do about it?
3. When am I going to start doing it?

What are the things you are worried about? How do you implement the three-questions approach in solving it?


Start The Day with the Right Foot

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. – Helen Keller

People say: Start the day right. You know, doing the right things that perk your life, building upon success, motivate yourself into taking the right actions.

What if, you started the day wrong?

It was Saturday, and the very first message I got was an issue at work.

As I rushed to work, I dropped my things on the floor.
It was drizzling as I headed out.
I was late to reach office, on a weekend.
I was stuck, calling other colleagues for help, interrupting their peaceful weekend.
The issues were not solved.
I was almost late for my lunch gathering with my uni friends.
The cafe was jammed packed when we reached there.
It was super hot while we were queuing outside to get our seats.

Just as you thought, one bad thought leads to another. Like misery and bad luck comes piling, one after another.

That’s the importance of starting the day right. One good thing leads to another.

But things do happen. Unexpected turn in life. You can’t always start right. What can you do then?

Be aware. Have awareness of what is happening. Acknowledge it.

Take ownership. Be responsible of your actions. Knowing that you can’t control what has happened, but you can control how you react to it.

Don’t stress out. The more you are stressed, the more negative energy flow. Always be cheerful. Be relaxed. Knowing that things will work out for the better.

Even if things didn’t start out right, we can consciously take action to step in and make things right.

And true enough, as I talked with my friends, and a date afterwards, things were getting better and better. We relived our memory during uni time, our aspirations, and our current lives.

We can’t control our past, but we can take action on our present to affect a better future.

What can you consciously do now for a better tomorrow?



Stay Calm

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. – Hans Selye

Stress releases cortisol, a toxin that clouds your thinking.

Stress shuts down your systems, including your rational thinking.

Which is why, Daniel said you need to have a system in place.

A system that is planned way ahead of time, pre-mortem, as he would call it. A system that says, you would do this if that would happen. It leaves the decision making process out.

Knowing that you are flawed, we are human after all, when things happen. Our rational thinking would be thrown out of the window.

What happens then? What systems do you put in place? To ensure that you making the best decision in that situation?


Write Your Thoughts Down

Don’t fight the problem, decide it. – George C. Marshall


You may be facing a difficult situation now. Maybe it’s about work. Maybe it’s about your school. Maybe it’s on your personal life.

You may be frustrated. You may be overwhelmed. You may feel powerless.

I know that. I understand that. Because that’s how I personally feel right now.

The whole mind is all cluttered. All jumbled up. There is no coherence in the mind. The more you think about it, the more you are stressed.

There’s only one way to move forward. Write it down. Write it all down.

There’s a mysterious power in writing it down. In a moment, everything is clear.

You are able to see how each ideas linked to one another.

If they don’t fit, all you need to do is to re-arrange them. Categorize them in relevant groups.

Rephrase the situations. Re-look at the situation from a new perspective.

They are not just an abstract idea mumbling inside your mind.

You are able to articulate the problem clearly.

It provides you a bird-eye view of how they are all inter-linked. A broad perspective of how things work would usually relieve you from stress.

Now, you have power over it. You’ve taken responsibility to tackle it. First step on regaining your power is to assume responsibility.

What would you do when you are stumped? How would you write it down? How would you articulate?