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Suitable Stress Is a Vitamin for Growth

Normally, modern society asks us to compete to survive. We need to do better and be better than others to get a better job and have better things and attract better people. This constant competition causes us stress that can damage our physical and mental health if we can’t manage it.

Having the economy partially on hold right now though lets many of us realize there’s a different kind of stress. Having nothing to do, nothing to focus on, not knowing how you should spend your time is also incredibly stressful. This floating state may make you feel that your social impact is negligible because you don’t know how you should use the life energy you have. The stress we are under when we believe that our existence has no value darkens our souls.

On the other hand, when our survival or need for safety is threatened and we need to struggle fiercely to survive, we don’t suffer from such emotional and mental malaise. Although this kind of situation is also stressful, it can energize us as well. No one commits suicide when they’re trying to survive, but having a lot of time on your hands with little to do may cause you to think a lot of useless thoughts and suffer from depression.

There’s a related story about mudfishes. After putting put only mudfishes in a pond, a guy found that they were weak and easily caught disease. When he asked someone with a lot of experience raising mudfish, he got a surprising reply: “Put one or two catfishes in there with them.” So, when he put the catfishes in the pond, the mudfishes woke up and paid attention. With the catfishes catching and eating any lazy mudfishes, the little guys really got moving, becoming healthier and not getting sick.

You can create a kind of stress that gives you the urgency of survival without the self-distorting stress of competition. Having a vision for your life that you are passionate about creates a suitable stress that can be a vitamin for growth, imbuing your life with vitality. Stress that you choose, that is active, and that answers the longings of your heart rewards you with inner riches. It is a stress of competition with yourself.

Instead of waiting for the rest of the world to decide what will come to pass, why not choose a vision of the future for yourself. No matter what the circumstances, the future is yours to create. If you master your brain by mastering your energy, you can overcome any challenge.

Heart Vision Meditation

How do you access your inner knowing and unveil a purpose or goal that will give meaning to your life?

Quietly close your eyes and bring your awareness inside, into your chest. Tap your chest with your palms or fingertips and feel the vibrations this makes inside you. Exhale through your mouth to clear your chest of any stuck energy.

Once your chest feels clearer and you feel better able to focus there, rest one hand on your chest. Ask yourself simply, “What do I really want to create?” Speak your answer out loud so that you can hear your own voice. Try to feel how your heart responds. What do you feel in your chest? Do you feel moved by what you said?

Don’t be satisfied with rational, trite answers. Any answer you have to think about is not real and will not motivate you during the inevitable tough times. You’ll get an answer only when you search for it earnestly with your whole heart. If you ask yourself this question again and again, seriously and earnestly, sooner or later you a genuine answer will come to you, breaking through the many walls of fear, worry, and doubt, and of your preconceptions of who you think you should be. You are the only one who can find an answer for yourself.

Once you choose a goal, you can live according to your choices, and your life will start to organize around your goal. If you truly love your goal, though it will take you through times of stress, it will also be a source of infinite growth and fulfillment.

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