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Exploring Possibilities: Input Management Vs Output Manipulation
Hi Friends, I remember, once a participant asked me, is it possible to have a life without stress? … My answer to him was a big no…Stress is there in our lives in some form or other. Whether it’s the work, home, relations, time, education targets, stress comes to us from almost every sphere of life. If life is there, stress is there.
It's similar to getting into water and getting wet. Getting stressed and getting impacted by stress are two different things. Each one of us has our thresholds of acceptance. Moment the impact of stress crosses that threshold, we start to feel the impact. So we can conclude that if we work on ourselves and increase our thresholds we can inversely decrease the impact of stress on us.
Let’s understand stress with an example.
If I ask an expert driver to drive a car on difficult mountain terrain, he will accept the offer with a smile and will take me for the ride. If I ask the same question to someone who is learning to drive, he will think twice and even if he accepts the offer, one can catch the discomfort from his expressions. So we can construe that capability and stress are inversely proportional. Enhanced competency gives us better control over the situation.
Before 2005 a call from my boss to prepare a ppt presentation used to send shivers in my bones. But now it’s a cakewalk. Now things are in my control.
A simple definition of stress is that it's a mental condition that arises out of the situations and circumstances which are out of our control. Better the control, lesser the stress. Now if we divide a task or a work in two key parameters, one is effort and other is result.
Out of effort and result, we all know that the effort is in our control, but the result is definitely not in our control. Now since most of the time we occupy our minds with the possibility of result, which we all know is out of our control. Going by the very definition of stress, too much worry about the outcome leads our minds to stress. On the contrary, when we focus all our energy and power on efforts we automatically enhance the possibility of great results, and that too without stress.
Now when we talk about efforts, we execute them with two mindsets. One is fear and the other is of faith. Fear of non-acceptance and failure. It creates doubts in our mind. Negative emotions creep into us and our efforts become weak and average. If I ask you to google for a video of a six-month old kid swimming in water, you will be surprised to see the kid floating effortlessly on water. To swim we need constant movement of our limbs(effort).
That’s a natural virtue of a kid. But this effort of the kid is backed up by fearlessness. This mindset is called the faith mindset. Faith gives us confidence. It propels us to do our best and leave the rest to nature. If we do the same effort we might not float, because we know the fear, fear of drowning.
So if you have a problem in life and you can do something about it, why worry, do it. If you have a problem in life and you cannot do anything about it, still why worry. Just improve yourself so that you always have something to do about most problems in life.
Focus on your efforts, focus and manage the inputs better rather than manipulating the outputs, you will certainly explore new possibilities….all the best!
(The author is a Certified Designed Thinking Master practitioner and Clifton Certified Strength Finder Coach, Corporate Trainer and a Leadership coach. He is based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India.)