Manfred Kets de Vries at KnowledgeINSEAD:
Consider your life today and answer the following questions:
- Do you feel that your life is out of control and that you have too many things on your plate?
- Do you often feel confused, anxious, irritable, fatigued or physically debilitated?
- Are you having increased interpersonal conflicts (e.g. with your spouse, children, other family members, friends or colleagues)?
- Do you feel that negative thoughts and feelings are affecting how you function at home or at work?
- Is your work or home life no longer giving you any pleasure?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by the demands of emails, messaging tools and social media?
- Do you feel that your life has become a never-ending treadmill?
- Are you prone to serious pangs of guilt every time you try to relax?
- Have you recently experienced a life-altering event such as a change of marital status, new work responsibilities, job loss, retirement, financial difficulties, injury, illness or death in the family?
- When you are stressed out, do you feel that you have nobody to talk to?
If you have answered “yes” to most of these questions, stress might have started to build up. If you feel close to your breaking point, it’s high time to take action.
In conversations with managers, I often hear people say something like “Well, I can’t help myself, that’s who I am, I’m” an engineer / a finance person / a lawyer, etc.
I share Stephen Fry’s consideration in The Guardian:
“We are not nouns, we are verbs.
I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next.
I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.”
John Berryman’s advice to writers:
I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self-pity, and both are bad for writers.
Vanity and self-pity are bad for any professional.
h/t to Maria Popova
You probably do not understand yourself as well as you think you do.
- Your perspective on yourself is distorted,
- Your motives are often a complete mystery to you,
- Outward appearances tell people a lot about you,
- Gaining some distance can help you know yourself better,
- We too often think we are better at something than we are,
- People who tear themselves down experience setbacks more frequently,
- You deceive yourself without realizing it,
- The “true self” is good for you,
- Insecure people tend to behave more morally,
- If you think of yourself as flexible, you will do much better.