"In this world nothing can be said to
be certain, except death and taxes."
I don't wish to disagree with or disrespect Mr. Franklin, but I think he missed one critical element: STRESS!
Stress serves a very real purpose in not only humans, but other creatures as well. I think that without the ability to feel stress, creatures would not have a flight or fight instinct. Many of us wouldn't live long if we didn't understand the stress of impending danger!
Stress offers its own value to our lives in many ways. It is often the instigating factor that pushes us (sometimes forces us) to make certain choices or changes in our lives. Once we learn how to harness the power of our stressful feelings, we are challenged to reach our fullest potential.
Ignoring stress can lead to a myriad of physical and mental health issues. Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and weight gain are just a few results of ignoring stress.
I can often be heard saying, "I work best under pressure." I'm not sure if this is true. I work hard under pressure to get things done that are critical and necessary at the moment. The pressure (stress) may not help me to work at my greatest capacity, so much as offer a reason why I have to get something done.
For me, harnessing the power of stress means many things. I believe it means that we should take time to look at the big picture in any situation and choose a path that will get the desired results with a minimum of fuss. I think it means that we focus on what is good, right and/or positive so that we can better face any tricky or negative side effects. Facing problems head-on so that you don't have them weighing on your shoulders every day is another great solution.
One of my favourite anecdotes to refer to in class is the idea of how and when to eat a frog. This is a classic business story that refers to the idea that if the worst thing on your plate every day is a frog and you eat that frog right away, without putting it off until later, then nothing else that day can really be so bad.
In relation to stress, I take this anecdote to mean that if we just eat the frog and get it over with, then we won't have to worry all day about eating the frog and we will be more productive and positive about other issues we face.
In other words, if you have an essay to write, a speech to make, or a troublesome assignment, just do it. Get it over with so that you can refocus your energy on bigger and better things.
Hall, Kathleen. (n.d.). How can I use stress in a positive way? Retrieved from http://www.sharecare.com/health/stress-reduction/how-use-stress-positive-way.
Franklin, Benjamin. (n.d.) Death and Taxes Quotes. Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/death_and_taxes.html.
Little, Nan. (n.d.) The Negative Effects of Stress. Retrieved from http://www.anxiety-and-depression-solutions.com/wellness_concerns/stress/effects_of_stress.php.
TSH. (2009, January 14). Start Your Day By Eating a Frog. Retrieved from http://theartofsimple.net/worst-thing-first-eat-that-frog/.