Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Passion And Stress

This last week ended a period of 4 weeks at work where I (and a great many other people) have been working 60 + hour weeks to get something done.  We ended up accomplishing the task Friday evening. 

Sadly, there was no sense of achievement or accomplishment.  It was more of a "Well, that is done.  On to the next emergency."  And then this gem showed up on my view in The Book Of Face.

It is a fair point when you think about it, is it not?  We put in the the same amount of work regardless.  It is just what we are working on that changes our perspective.  I have spent, over the years, hours working on Iai, something which has no direct perceivable value in the modern world.  I can assure you that I have never felt stressed by it.  At the same time, I have my most recent month that tells me based on my stress level exactly how I am feeling about what I currently do.

Is it a 100% either/or?  Of course not.  There are always moments where even a passion can create stress (for example, preparing for a demonstration) or where an item of stress can provide a moment of passion (as when something I do impacts someone's life).  But underlying all of this is the reality that, for the most part, it is true.

Think about your words.  How do speak when you are talking about something you do not believe in versus something you believe in? (I read some of your blogs and know what you think....)  It is telling if you think about it, is it not?

I do not have a full answer here (I seldom do, it seems), other than to say I am simply going to start asking the question about stress versus passion.  And see what my words tell me.


  1. I believe that people create most of their own stress. I’ve worked for companies where they’re always going from crisis to fire to emergency and then back to being on fire again. It’s ridiculous, it wastes money, time and people. It’s the result of bad management.

    Others ... there’s never a problem. They anticipate problems and prepare for them. If something really weird comes up they deal with it. At this stage of life I am trying to minimize my stress levels, and my exposure to stressful people. It’s easy and hard to do at the same time...

  2. Glen, your first comment sounds very much like where I work right now. Mostly because we grew too quickly and had a schedule to keep (I say that, I am the management- or at least a part of it). It is the leap from one to the other that is so difficult.

    My stress levels are what is driving me into the position I am right now - simply put, I need less stress, not more. And all I seem to be getting is more.

  3. HAR HAR HAR! I hear ya. "It starts at the top..." takes on a different meaning when you are one of the guys calling the shots, doesn't it? :)

    I didn't mean to imply anything TB, believe me, I have been where you are and all I can say is - it's no fun. I don't know what the answer is. I'd fight like a demon for what I wanted when I was in that position and I usually won. The senior execs would see my side... but I made a lot of enemies in the process. When the executive changed, all my enemies came out of the wood work and did a Julius Ceasar on me, HAR HAR HAR!!! In the process they cut their own throats but that is of no consolation. I have to remind myself it's none of my concern anymore, but I look at their growing misfortunes since I left and all I feel is sadness. They are going to run themselves out of business.

    Depending on circumstances and who you work with, sometimes giving a hoot is the worst thing you can do!

  4. Odd Glen - For years I thought this was what I wanted and now that I have it, I find it is (for the most part) not what I want at all. I am conscious of the fact that in today's business environment, more moving ahead is done by moving people aside than by advancement. I do like to follow companies I have left as well to see where they are and what my advice might have wrought.

    But just as often I do not. The past, in this case, rightly belongs in the past.


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