Some said stress is man-made- stress exists because of our expectations and assumptions on ourselves and of others. Stress usually comes with higher pay and thus, like a moth drawn to fire, we are not able to resist the lure of luxury.
Let’s say your job is to launch programs that drives in conversion for your company. You worked hard, literally sleeping in the office, become a chain smoker, forgoing sleep, forgoing family time. Then you achieved outstanding results- and your hard work pays off- your boss is very pleased with- praises are sung to you, and the BOD (board of directors) all know you by sight.
Well, you’re a rising star. You feel great, appreciated and the fat bonus you get is so fulfilling. You use that bonus as a downpayment for that dream car and you take your family for rides in the car. Two weeks later, they up your targets- and there begins a cycle where you have to slough your guts out to earn that recognition.
At some point in time, you may falter and not be able to achieve that target. Or your health may suffer and you may require time-off to seek treatment. Then, you’ll find that you are suddenly ‘forgotten’ and you are faced with the reality that indeed you can be easily replaced, after all.
No one may be able to wait around for you to get better- everything must be business as usual. And because of your expectation and the financial commitments that you have gotten yourself into made it impossible to lose the job. So you push yourself really hard- to such an extend that the job becomes more valuable than your own life.
It’s okay if we go for delayed gratification- ie we delayed our happiness in order to achieve a certain goal. If we want success, we need to work hard for it as seldom things would fall on our laps. But we would need to know where to draw the line. If we do not know when to stop, then we are heading for a burnout and in the process, our health goes into the burner as well.
And while we are working towards our goals, don’t neglect our loved ones. And don’t dump the money into acquiring material possessions that indeed is out of our league and would take the entire life of working to pay back loans and mortgages in order to maintain that astronomical.
There’s a lot to be learned from Hollywood stars- you can count with your fingers how many singers from the 80s are still popular now- probably only Madonna and Kylie Minoque. Most shine for a short while and would quickly fade into the background. The fact is, the success does not last for most.
But during the rise to stardom, the money comes by millions (and we are talking bout USD dollars here). Many are so enraptured and dazed by it all- the screaming fans, endorsement deals, money and money, admiration…that they made the mistake of thinking that the success would last, and that they’ll be invincible. Anyone in their shoes are bound to feel that way as it is only human nature. So they buy big mansions, cars, endless parties, wardrobe and an entire island that is beyond the reach of the average person.
In a matter of a few months, their records drop off the chart. And with the next single, it started with a sizzle and fade into nothing. They try and hope again for the next big break- but the record company had identified the ‘next rising star’ and is focusing on her.
The smart ones knew that the fame and recognition would likely not to last. So, they planned well- when they are famous, they use their fame to open doors to ongoing endorsement deals, starting businesses and investing in other businesses. Yes, they also enjoy their life- but they do buy houses that can later be resold at a higher value. Or they start recording companies and involve in developing talents- they continue working behind the scenes. But they would build for themselves, wealth that would last. When the fame is gone, they did not go into depression, drugs, substance abuse or file for bankruptcy- they had better things waiting for them….because they are prepared.
An example of a person is Bob Geldof, who used his fame and started Band Aid to help the poverty stricken Africa and Ethopia. Today, he is still a very rich man.
Applying the same principles in our life
When we are doing well in our career, conserve some of it. Don’t fling money off in the four winds. I’ve seen people, especially those who earn tonnes of passive income living beyond their means. And when the tides have changed, they are not equipped to deal with the situation- the kids are young and they’re laden with debt.
Always plan ahead- and then we can rest and relax. When we earn lots of money, we can still keep that old car and stay in the same house- we need not move into a mansion. Keep the extra money for rainy days. Invest the money off instead of wasting it away.
Then, we would not be stressed, depressed or feel the end of the world had come. You would not be so worried about losing your job and surrendering to ridiculous job tasks that you are willing to trade your health for it.