The corporate world is being haunted by a specter called “stress”. No matter if we’re working 9am to 5pm in an apparently laid-back job or in a 24/7 sleeping under the desk start-up environment. Stress seems to be an ubiquitous yet highly subjective phenomenon. Hence, let’s take a closer look in an ExperienceZone manner.

When lives turn into rocket chairs

Many of us spin our wheels but never go anywhere. I witness this when I step into the social network trap. Trying to stay in touch with everyone usually results in loosing connection with myself. Superficiality is the price for the desire to not miss out on anything. Modern technology seduces us to do it all at the same time. Multitasking leads to inefficiencies, stress and eventually dissatisfaction. If we take a shot-gun rather than sniper-rifle approach to our lives, we experience a lot. But: If we lack focus on the things that really matter, life leads us astray into distraction and ultimately depression.

What does really matter?

Those activities, which make you happy and you invest most time in. Assuming you’re neither an aristocratic heir nor a downshifter, society requires you to work at least eight hours of your day. Imagine you spend a third of your day and half of your wake time in your job. This very fact justifies to think twice about your profession. For many decades the social axiom was “Get good grades, study something meaningful and you’ll be just fine being employed to take care of your family”. Those days are over. Asia, automation and abundance made job security a myth as Daniel Pink states in “A whole new mind – why right brainers will rule the future”.

So, what’s the bottom-line?

Let me come full circle here: I argue that people are stressed since they avoid discomfort by working in a job, which doesn’t build up on their passions and thus strengths but gives them the illusion of job security. They think they can take the way of least resistance. Yet, if you neither define your raison d’etre nor think and act big, you’ll never get a healthy stretch and experience the feeling of remarkable accomplishments. Instead, you’ll feel severely underutilized, bored and thus stressed. Reason being, you don’t find meaning or purpose in getting up in the morning.

What is your game plan?

  1. Stay in bed: I’m not kidding! Keep on lying in bed if you feel that your job doesn’t provide any meaning to your life or the ones of others. This is the best use of your time. Call sick or request a PTO. Go on a trip or at least a day hike. Fresh aur and physical exercise will get your mind in motion.
  2. Define your mission: Either in bed, on a walk or at your desk: Contemplate why you’re here and what you really want to do with your life. You’re only a few decades on this planet and it’s your damn duty to bring the best of you to the world. If you don’t, you’ll waste your life by finding creative excuses why you shouldn’t make a move (e.g. your financial obligations, the job security myth, you name it).
  3. Follow through: Once you know what you want to do, you’ve got to do it. This might sound like stating the obvious. Yet, many never bridge the knowing-doing-gap. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. At most, they put the best foot forward and then drag the other one behind. Bear in mind: The safest way to success  and contentment is to play on your passions and thus strengths.