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#25 Stress and Intuition

The natural environment is the perfect birthplace of good sound intuitions

Intuition cannot function under stress. This is very important. Therefore, a stressed decision, a stressed choice, something done under stressful pressure, is at best, a guess. So, dealing with stress is foundational in life.

Stress is a biologically primitive response to a trigger in which, at some primal level, we activate chemicals in our body to fight or run from a threat. Once, this threat was real, a danger, but now, said threat can be a latte that's too hot or a late delivery of an online shopping order. It can, this threat, be quite small.

Examining the nature and origin of such a threat, one can understand the need for an entirely activated response.But work, driving, flying, sitting, watching TV, a speaking engagement? These threats are to the ego, to our identity and comfort, they have risen to take the place, in most cases, of real threats.

As our comfort levels have expanded, our need for stress has reduced. This has created a sort of void in our lives, a sort of mundaneness, a flat earth, boring, disengaged and removed. We crave feeling, adventure, excitement, anything to break the monotony of repeated threat free everyday life. So, we play sport, we activate the chase of relationship and engage in money making. We crave excitement and the risks associated with it. And so, enters stress.


Stress is, for the most part, an unnecessary addict to living. Sometimes it's essential, especially when we are faced with threat. But, this is infrequent. Even driving on Sydney's crazy roads, most stress is time related and facing delays. All of which are, at best, not of much consequence and at worst, preventable.


Stress kills. 90% of doctors visits are the result of stress. Immune system breakdown, mental illness, many so called accidents and more are, in their simplest cause, stress related.


Risk is another form of primal stress enjoyment. The riskier something is, the more we will stress over it. But little needs to be risked. It's a very, very poor management style. Nothing ventured, nothing gained is a common idea but nothing risked, nothing lost, is a far wiser investment strategy.


Taking stress out of life for some people means taking the excitement out of it. If, as a coach, I help an individual remove stress it's quite amazing to see how quickly they will find something completely unrelated to stress about. The problem is not the cause, but rather the addiction to the chemicals of stress.


Removing Stress at the Cause


I have a book, "yoga, and how to overcome stress." Written by someone who would get stressed if the farted with a lump in it. Yoga, and how to overcome stress, has all sorts of breathing practices and yoga poses in it. Totally fucking useless. Why? Because it's dealing with minimising the effect of stress, not the cause.


The cause of stress is ignorance. When we are stressed it's because we are stupid. Go on, admit it. Incompetence at work is the cause of work stress. Incompetence in relationship is the cause of relationship stress. Yup, ignorance is very common. And truly, doing yoga to relieve the symptoms of ignorance that caused the stress is sort of like putting up an umbrella after the rain has stopped.


The simplest description of stress you'll ever hear follows: Stress is a Lopsided Thought


Workload stress


You have 1,000 things to do. Only a day to do them in. This is stressful. And while the list is long, it gets added to daily. Adding to the stress. But is the stress helpful?


In the workload stress I create a four column worksheet.

Given that I have only one brain, and yet, 1,000 avenues for support, my delegate column will fill fast. My dump it column means "till tomorrow or later" and my do it list is NOW.


I cut the stress to zero.

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