Imagine this: think of yourself as a primitive organism, a tube with a valve at each end. One end is the STRESS IN end, the other is the STRESS OUT end. Stress goes in one end and out the other. We can deal with stress by letting in less of it (perhaps by changing careers) or by opening up the OUT end so the stress that gets in can get out: meditation, aerobic exercise, sex, beach, massage, or whatever works for you. The goal is not to eliminate stress but to manage it: let in less and/or let out more. If it flows through you, all is well. If it builds up, you have a problem. Here are two simple questions:
How can I reduce stress?
How can I let more stress flow through me without it getting bottled up inside?
An aptitude is an innate talent or combination of talents that give you a natural ability to perform a specific function readily, naturally, easily. It is a knack, a gift, not an acquired skill or an achievement. Sometimes it is a single talent such as physical coordination or analytical reasoning. Often it is a combination of talents that, like instruments in a band, play together in harmony. An aptitude for surgery or basketball both involve the complex interplay of several innate abilities which are then brought to fruition through extensive training.
The human brain is a wanting machine. It wants more, bigger, better, richer, higher in the pecking order; and when it isn’t wanting more, it wants less.
It can’t help it. It never stops. Sometimes, when designing your future, asking “what do I want?” isn’t the best question, because this question taps into this automatic machinery. You could ask some other questions such as:
- What do I love? What am I passionate about? What matters to me?
- When am I at my best? What do I do really well and enjoy doing?
- Who do I admire? Whose life would I model mine on if I could?
- What bores me? What burns me out? What would I erase from my life if I could?
- When am I so engaged that I lose track of time? What would combine the words “work” and “fun”?
- Ask good questions and sometimes the answers come easily, falling like rain from the sky.
- Sometimes you will need to turn your questions into inquiries to work on over days, weeks or longer.