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HOW TO GET RID OF STRESS: ONE STEP AT A TIME.

OFTEN, WE PANIC because we are unsure of the unknown. Here are a few golden truths that have come from voices of experience. From the Book of Life. Think about them. Even wry humour can make one look inward for answers.

When you have your answers, there is no cause for panic or stress. It's a position of power. It is a state of peace.

"The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."

- Lily Tomlin

. Why are you running a race at all? Who are you competing with? What point do you need to prove?

Slow down and go at your pace. You'll get there in good time. And, more importantly, in good shape.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

- Harry S. Truman

We are constantly craving attention and approval. When we are not noticed or acknowledged, we sulk or suffer.

We are stressed if others take credit. We are stressed if we miss an award or recognition. Or a promotion. Happiness lies in accomplishing things. Not in the recognition of it. If the approval comes, it is merely a bonus.

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."

-Henry Ford

When we are sure of what we are doing and where we are going, the journey becomes that much easier and more comfortable. It is when we lose sight of our destination and goals that we wander aimlessly, and encounter hurdles. Keep your end in sight. Find the means to achieve it.

" A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

- Winston Churchill

This is a well-worn story, but timeless in its relevance. Two marketing men went to a tribal area to explore the scope for marketing footwear. Said the first, "This place has no potential. No one wears shoes here."

Said the second, "This place has tremendous potential. No one wears shoes here!"

It is the same half cup. It's either half empty, or half full.

The choice is ours.

Pessimism causes distress ... and despair. Optimism causes eustress ... and excitement.

" We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction."

- General MacArthur

Everything in life is a matter of perception. If old values stress you out, break free and head in a fresh new direction. If a job or career is in the doldrums, maybe it's time to rethink your next move.

It is foolish to fight a futile or lost cause. It is not weak to admit failure and move on in life. Relentless pounding away at a door that won't open is a sure way to break down. No, not the door, your nerves. Know when to give up and when to go on.

"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity."

- Albert Einstein

.     'Seek and ye shall find' applies to most things in life.

We find what we look for. Trials and tribulations. Victories and power. Stress and sorrow. Happiness and peace. Openings and opportunities.

Seek and find what gives you peace and power.

"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."

- Bertrand Russell

.     We often derive a great deal of pleasure in putting ourselves at the helm and playing captain. We get carried away and refuse to let go of the wheel. Swollen in self-importance, we lose sight of our limitations and skill sets and our mental and physical capacities. We believe firmly that we are the proverbial giant, Atlas, propping up the world. Is it any wonder that we break down?

"For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong."

- Henry Louis Mencken

.     Of the many roads that lead to Stressville, the 'easy way out' is often the most used. Lacking the time, energy or will to think things out, we often take the path of least resistance which could lead us into trouble, or nowhere. Neither is a comfortable destination. The journey you enjoyed is soon forgotten in the mess that awaits you. Use your discretion to figure out the best possible solutions. Not just the easiest.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."

- Albert Einstein

. What an admission! Ingenious, don't you agree? Many a race has been lost when the will fails and falters a few feet away from the finish line. What frustration and stress when you discover the trophy that was almost yours was just an arm's length away! Avoid these pitfalls. Stay with the problem just that much longer and experience the sweet taste of success.

"You can either take action or you can hang back and hope for a miracle."

- Peter Drucker

.     If over-action is stressful, inaction is not very different. Waiting around for miracles to happen may seem like a pleasant stay in an ivory tower, but the build up of tension soon becomes palpable. If there is a problem at home or work, what can you do about it? Assess your capacity, involvement and need to sort out things. Do what is best for the moment... for you. '

"Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours."

- Dale Carnegie

.     Boredom, lethargy and ennui are stressful. Shake off the bored feeling. It's all in your mind. Don't waste away. Find something to be passionate about. Get involved and come alive.

"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time."

- Abraham Lincoln

You can even eat an elephant, if you take it one bite at a time said someone, tongue-in-cheek. Every odyssey started with just one step forward. One step at a time is the way to a simple stress-free journey through life. And if you know the words of 'Lead kindly light', so much the better. Take life on, one tiny step at a time. Day by day. Plan by plan. Milestone by milestone...

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