“Pressure with Pleasure”- 11 March 2018.

There is no life without pressure. Think about it. Some of our best performances are under pressure and then pleasure follows. We feel happy when a job is well done. We feel even happier when a challenging job is done well. It reinforces the belief in your capacities and competencies and improves your self esteem. A person that pursues excellence is subjecting herself /himself to a lot of pressure that she learns to tolerate and make good use of. A simple task without challenge, that needs to be done day after day allows for boredom to set in and makes the mind dull and sleepy. Everyone looks for that fresh dose of adrenaline that pumps your heart enough to make you feel excited and good. Of courses if it goes over the top and extends into time it becomes a source of severe pressure eventually turning into what we call as ‘stress’. A six letter word that conveys a sort of breakdown of your good defence mechanisms and lowering of your immune systems that destroys your mind and body from within. A silent killer many times if left unidentified and unattended. We know of several cases when a healthy looking and active person suddenly ‘falls dead’ baffling the family and community as ‘nothing seemed to be wrong’. One explanation of such ‘organ failures’ is stress.

The first thing to do is to identify the pressures in your life and grade them. The ones that you love doing without facing pressure is benign. The ones that put your competencies to high test are the ones to take note of. Making a list of the pressures that are taxing and stressful will help define the problems in your life that needs attention. Identifying and being aware of them is no easy task too for many people can live in denial all their lives and cannot accept that they have problems. They pretend to make a good show of themselves by displaying superhuman tendencies and faultless personalities. They project a perfect picture of themselves and live in a bubble. To accept that one has problems and to define them is a major task involving awareness and a balanced and realistic self esteem. Whether the pressures are at work or at home they need to be addressed. Sweeping them under the carpet is no solution. The opposing tendency of complaining, grieving, and grumbling about the pressures also does not offer any solution to the situation. The problems will not vanish by being a great grumbler. The solution lies somewhere in between these two opposing tendencies.

Many clients would come with variety of work pressures which they find difficult to handle and the only way out seems to quit the job. One person could not handle the ‘unethical’ activities of his seniors and in spite of refusing to indulge in them, it haunted him. It clashed with his moral principles and upbringing and could not make him-self accept it neither could he ignore it as it occurred under his nose. Another person felt pressured by the behaviour of his senior who had a bad temper and a tendency to ‘fly off the handle’ for simple reasons. That sparked negative reactions in him all the time and made him apprehensive in the workplace as he would anticipate a reaction from his boss. An interesting person came from a neighbouring state and confessed that he was under tremendous stress as he was the only one good at the computer work while his boss was not proficient and therefore his boss would off-load all his work on him and go home relaxed with the assurance that he would be dutifully completing it even he spent extra hours at work. He was feeling tired and fatigued with the work overload and wanted to quit. We realised that he was a submissive fellow who could not say ‘no’.

The reasons for stress could be many. What matters is our attitude towards it and how we learn to manage it with pleasure. A positive attitude towards life and its problems will go a long way in maintaining a healthy approach to solving the problem. Instead of denying the problems or grumbling about it, an approach to solving it is the healthiest way to adjust to it. The solution many times lies in making adjustments within the self and very rarely with the situation. At most times the situation cannot be changed and it is left to the person to make the changes within. Sometimes the changes needed are to develop your personality in the aspects that are lacking or are inadequate in handling the pressures. As life becomes more competitive and complex, people need more skills to meet the demands and become successful. Skills can be learnt and developed with training which leads to personal growth. Technical skills as well as soft skills can be part of a continuous learning process. Many corporate offices focus on these training programmes for the benefit of their executives and some do not value it. In such cases it is left to the individual to help themselves develop themselves. One great entrepreneur never stopped emphasising the fact that ‘the best investment people can make is in their self’. This means that self development, self growth and evolution of the mind and spirit as well is the most important resource you have in your life. Learning has to be a continuous process for the individual so that stagnation does not set in. Besides this, indulging in physical exercises, yoga, and learning methods of relaxation, meditation will help calming the mind at all times. A mind that does not get ruffled even in rough weather is a great sign of equanimity and mental strength. A tough mind manages with pleasure all the pressures of life.

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