Saturday, October 21, 2017

STRESS (2017 Q3 Report)

In a new running routine, I will issue a quarterly report of my life (four times a year, every three months), summed in a single-word title. First quarter was about FAILURE, second quarter was about PATIENCE.

I was due to give this quarterly report last month. Whoops! Totally slipped my mind. Goes to show how overstretched I am of late.

Things are just moving thick and fast, beyond my control. I'm juggling too many balls at once. I'm struggling to keep up. I'm losing track of stuff. Not good. I need to prioritise and delegate better. Otherwise, I'll drop all the glassy balls, and they'll break into pieces. Can't let that happen, can we?

But stress is good. Stress keeps my mind ticking, and my body moving. Stress keeps me alive.

How I spend my lovely weekends

Why The Stress?

I've been swamped by stuff, that's why.

'Stuff' here refers to 'work', and also all matters incidental to 'work'.

What's with the fuzzy definitions? Well, the stuff I'm doing, it's hard to tell exactly where 'work' starts and ends.

One way of looking at it is that everything I do is considered 'work'. I've barely got time for meetings and discussions, so I've been having a lot of 'working lunches'. My bedtime reading has shifted from catching up with the latest news to perusing work research materials (which arguably isn't a big shift, and says a lot about my lifelessness).

But another way of looking at it - the happier way - is that everything I do isn't considered 'work', but instead in pursuance of my 'passion'. Yes, I do genuinely enjoy the stuff I do, even the research part. How I wish that my stomach can go without eating and my brain go without sleep whole day, so that I have more time to focus on my 'passion' (which, once again, says a lot about my lifelessness).

New Day, New Stress

Each passing day, new tasks and deadlines keep popping up.

Even writing this article is stressful as it is. It's a strict regime I've kept for the last 4 years without break (posting a piece three times every month). It's not easy coming up with new things to say, or interesting ways to say the same thing (I'm not a prophet, I can't be coming up new revelations all the time, eh?).

But the stress of writing is good. Keeps my brain ticking. Keeps my creative juices flowing.

Like most self-proclaimed 'artists', I thrive on inspiration. But you know what's the secret to inspiration? Inspiration flows faster and more frequently when you're constantly pressuring yourself to come up with something - anything - within a set period of time.

Call it last-minute pressure. Call it deliberate practice. Call it whatever you want.

"Shall I compare thee to an Instagram story... hmm, that's not right..."

Deliberate Practice, Forced Inspiration

The point is, good work is forced as much as much as inspired.

Remember the book you promise yourself to write by last year (whoops!) but never completed? Remember the diet regime you spent hours reading about but never quite followed? Remember the new work proposal you bragged about to your bosses that would "fundamentally enhance our vertical and horizontal synergies through collaborative cascading catalysts" (whatever that means) but never quite got pass the first draft?

Making bold commitments is easy, keeping track of them is a different kettle of fish altogether.

How do I keep myself inspired? Through discipline. Through practice. Through stress.

So Much Inspiration, So Little Time

In fact, I have so many bright ideas flowing each day, I don't even have time to experiment all of them as much as I wish to.

There are dozens of story ideas in my head begging to be put into words.

There are dozens of people with high synergistic prospects I've been put off meeting(yeah, it's not enough to have 'chemistry' these days, 'synergy' is the extra catalyst you must spin to catch people's attention, at least in our collaborative world).

There are dozens of projects I can see myself doing with as much as passion as I have for the currents ones I'm committed to right now.

Yes, I really wish I could clone myself, and let them execute the bountiful ideas I have in reserve. But since the technology doesn't exist (or at least, commercially available), I have to settle with sharing them with other people and hope it'll inspire them to take action - not necessarily on my ideas, but also their own ideas that they've been sitting on for ages.

It's really a shame how many goods ideas go to waste simply because of our growling stomachs, Instagram, and seven seasons of 'Games of Thrones' (good thing it's ending soon).

My secret clone army

No Stress, No Passion, No Life

The more stress I have, the more alive I feel.

Is it the best or only way to live our lives?

Maybe not. But life feels more fulfilling and meaningful that way, at least to me and the truly happy people that I know.

Yes, ironically enough, stress does bring about happiness.

For true happiness comes from pursuing our passions. And true passion always comes with stress.

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