My family and I had dinner at a local brewery recently. The waiter was a friendly and vibrant young man who left a lasting impression on us.
Amongst his many engaging interactions was one specific phrase that really stuck with us. When we asked him how he was upon initial greeting he responded with:
“Too Blessed to be Stressed.”
BOOM. This was an amazing line! Not only did we laugh at the witty response, but it left us smiling for the rest of the meal. We were anxiously awaiting what he would say next. And he continued to deliver in an authentic and personal way.
So… this got me thinking…
Most of us are indeed too blessed to be stressed. Yet we tend to forget that often. I’m as guilty as anyone in this regard. I spend time under stress weekly, and it’s something I’m trying to pay more attention to. Something I’m trying to be more aware of.
So where does stress come from?
When we operate under stress we are in a state where the demands we’re facing exceed our resources. In other words, we don’t have what it takes to show up and perform. This leads to reactive thoughts and behavior. We become defensive, angry, frustrated and scared.
Think about a time when:
- Your client, boss or co-worker ask you to do something when your workload is completely full.
- Your partner wants to talk at dinner after an exhausting day.
- Your kids want you to run around and play with them right after an intense meeting.
Every been there? I sure have.
These are all scenarios where our resource tank is empty and there’s really nothing left to fuel the demands of others. Sometimes it’s even the demands of ourselves that require attention. Either way, there’s nothing left to give so the result is the stressed version of ourselves that can do more harm than help.
So what’s the solution?
We find ways to protect our resource tank and keep it full. This requires patience to pause, become aware, and intentionally choose our commitments. If we consciously choose which demands to accommodate we will have more power and control over the resources that they consume.
It’s easy to say yes to things but they always have an opportunity cost. That opportunity cost is often our time, energy and focus. When we give this away unconsciously it often leads to depletion of our resources.
Some methods to keep your resource tank full:
- Embrace a Whole body YES when choosing commitments
- Say NO to distractions and things you’re out of alignment with
- Become aware of things that give you energy vs drain your energy
- Invest your time and focus into things that give you energy
- Protect and monitor your schedule
I’ve been practicing some of these methods above in terms of what I say Yes or No to and managing my energy. They’ve been game changing. My commitments are more intentional and my focus is better protected. I’m operating under less stress and living a more peaceful life.
There is also one secret weapon to add to that list of methods:
Practice gratitude regularly
By practicing gratitude we create and receive positive energy. This fills the resource tank and keeps us in a state of abundance. We’re exercising the creative part of our brains, instead of the reactive side when we’re under stress.
I’m publishing this on my 37th birthday and I am indeed too blessed to be stressed. A shortlist of blessings in my life include:
- Great health to be active and alive.
- An amazing wife and life partner who loves and supports me.
- Two beautiful children who bring me joy and teach me things every day.
- A living father and mother who I can still spend quality time with.
- A brother who truly knows me and understands me.
- A generous and caring extended family.
- Life-long friends that I grew up with and can rely on when needed.
- A great business partner and friend that challenges me and supports my entrepreneurial endeavors.
- An amazing Front Row Dads community that inspires and motivates me.
- A healthy business and team that supports my lifestyle design.
- Great clients and customers who appreciate the value we create for them.
- An awesome coach who’s helping me find my true self.
- Access to fresh food and water.
- Access to nature and hiking.
- A warm house to live in.
- I could go all day long… 🙂
As I type this list I feel my resource tank rising. Not only is it full, it’s overflowing! This simple exercise of citing what I’m grateful for can be so powerful. It gives me greater awareness and focus on the blessings in my life.
So, how about you? Are you too blessed to be stressed?
Ali is a father, husband and serial entrepreneur with a deep drive to create. He writes, records, codes and builds things to inspire the artist in all of us.