Turning Stress in to Success – A practical Illustration
I had the fortune of helping out a person to overcome a highly stressful situation. Lets call him Frank.
He was quite a successful businessman and his success was partly due to a business partnership he forged with another individual who was more senior, who had more experience and who was more successful. Lets call him Robert. After awhile Robert had lost control of his lifestyle and had started to face some financial challenges too. Robert kept assuring Frank that it was a temporary cash flow issue that most companies go through.
After awhile Robert requested Frank for financial help and due to the gratitude he had for Robert, he responded. Frank was promised an early return of the loan. The loan amount was so big, it virtually wiped out all his savings; a part of it was reserved for his daughters’ higher education.
The promised day passed and Robert was not in a position to pay back. Many meetings with Robert and constant follow up did not help. Robert needed more financial help and mentioned that a new loan will help him seal a deal and get out of the financial mess, enabling him to pay back Frank. Frank gave the last bit of saving he had trusting his business partner who helped him to be successful.
This gesture also did not result in any success and his loan remained unpaid. Frank was getting highly stressed. He was having fights with his wife for simple things. He started consuming alcohol as a way of release. His business was also starting to get neglected. At this juncture a friend of mine asked me if I could help.
After listening to Franks story I suggested a very powerful stress management tool I use at my ‘Mastery of Self’ training. This technique titled ‘choice’ requires the stressed person to ask him/her self two powerful questions;
- How do I take good care of myself right now?
- Can I change the situation, if not can I change my attitude?
After asking himself the first question he gave himself the following answers;
- I need to calm down
- I need to preserve my positive energy so that I can find a solution to this situation
- I need to care for my family and create a positive environment so that we can use the positive energy to overcome this challenge.
Then he aske himself the first part of the second question, can I change the situation;
- Yes I can partially help change the situation by helping my business partner to get out of the financial mess, not by giving more money but by trying to find some solutions to the business issue he is facing.
- I can change the situation by making my business more successful.
Then he asked himself the second part of the second question as he could only partially change the situation; If not can I change my attitude? This answer starts with an ‘attitude of gratitude’. What can I be grateful for right now?
- I am grateful that my business is still profitable and is not affected by this situation
- I am grateful that I have a wife and a daughter who cares for me and is working hard to help me out of this situation
- I am grateful that I have customers who appreciate my services and are continually giving me business and bringing new business.
With the attitude of gratitude he started feeling good and the stress started receding. He accepted my suggestion that he was not stressed, but he was actually ‘blessed with responsibility.
Then he stayed in the second question and asked, what attitude change will help me in this situation?
- I need to be relatively unconcerned about what I can’t control and focus on what I can control. Therefore I need to focus on my business and build it up and not be too concerned about the loan I had given.
- I need to earn the minimums I need to complete my daughter’s education.
- Instead of hating my business partner, I need to try and understand what his challenge is and try and help him over come it.
- I need to keep a steady mind and healthy body by getting back to my practice of meditation, yoga and exercises.
With the attitude change he started focusing on his mind and body, he started focusing on his family and he started focusing on his business. His state of mind, his health, the harmony in the family and his business stated improving.
He also had a meeting with his business partner to understand the challenge he was facing and brainstormed solutions. His business partner started implementing those solutions and he continued to help him. A few months later they agreed on a payback plan for the loan. After a few hiccups at the beginning the payments started to come in.
He was in touch with me constantly and I guided him in the process. As I write this, its been a little over an year after he came to me and he has got 50% of his loan paid back, his business is thriving and his family is happy.
There is no guarantee that this method will help get the loan paid back but it will help make good the losses in an indirect way. Not doing this reduces the chance of the loan getting paid back and causes other issues.
Stress is a choice. Stress is the negative interpretation of pressure. Those who take the pressure positively and the challenge that caused the pressure as a blessing, uses it to grow emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. Their attitude towards life helps them not only find practical solutions but it also helps them get the support of the higher powers or the universal energy system to solve their challenges as they decide to say ‘no’ to the negative forces and they chose to stay on the positive.
This story is based on real life experiences of the author; the details have been adjusted significantly to preserve confidentiality but yet provide a practical solution to those facing similar situations.