Sometimes we may feel stressed or even depressed in life. Things can go wrong and not go as expected. While there may be other causes for such situations, I believe one important cause is unrealistic expectations.

Either they come from ourselves or from other people, unrealistic expectations cause us to ride mental roller-coaster. When we succeed, we will feel very happy or even ecstatic. But when we fail, we will feel very disappointed. Our mental condition goes up and down like a roller-coaster.

We need to avoid that, of course. Here are some tips on how to do it so that you can minimize stress and be content with our life:

1. Focus on actions rather than results

Focusing on results is a sure way to experience the ups and downs of emotional roller coaster. Even worse, there is not much you can do about it since you can’t control the results. So you should focus on something you can control instead, and one thing you can certainly control is your actions.

Instead of worrying about results, spend your time thinking about what to do and how to do it. The role of results is to give you feedback to refine your actions, but no more than that. Look at the results, get feedback to refine your actions, and then focus on the actions.

2. Have fun; don’t take things too seriously

We often take things too seriously to the point of being obsessed with them. Don’t do this. Instead, make everything you do fun. Having fun will certainly makes you less stressed while at the same time make the journey much more pleasant. One way to do so is by seeing things as games; something which are fun to do despite some winnings and loses. Another way to do it is by looking for hidden pleasures in whatever you do.

3. Don’t compare yourself with others

A study shows that we care more about how much money we have relative to everyone else than we do about how much money we have. It shows our tendency to compare ourselves with others.

But, similar to #1, you should look at others only to get feedback on how to do things better. Beyond that, comparing yourself with others will only do two things:

  1. Make you down, if you are worse than them.
  2. Boost your ego, if you are better than them. But this will only make the next failure more painful.

So learn something from others, set your goals, and refine your actions. Beyond that, don’t compare yourself with others.

4. Focus on being what you love rather than being loved

One reason why we feel stressed is we are worrying too much about what other people say about us. We are busy trying to meet other people’s expectations that we may end up living someone else’s life. Don’t focus on being loved; life is too short to be spent living someone else’s life. Instead, focus on being what you love. Cultivate your passions and do what really matters to you.

5. Cultivate abundance mentality

Scarcity mentality says that there is only limited amount of resources available so that other people’s gain is your loss. Having this mentality will make you stressed, especially when your peers become more successful than you. So, cultivate abundance mentality instead. Abundance mentality says that there is enough resources for everyone; someone else’s gain is not your loss. There is enough for everyone to prosper.

6. Make failure your friend

Failure is normal part of successful life. In fact, it is a friend of successful people. I love this quote by Thomas J. Watson:

Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.

The more failure you make, the more likely it is that you will be successful. Make failure your friend, and it will be much easier for you to go through each one. Seeing things as games (see #2) is one way to make yourself comfortable with failure.

7. Look back and not just look ahead

Seeing how far we are from our goals may make us stressed, especially if our mind is occupied with it. So you need to also look back and see how far you have walked. What achievements have you got? What are your success stories? Remembering these will make you feel grateful for your current position in life.

8. Cultivate your enthusiasm

Enthusiasm makes you excited about life. It makes you excited about where you are now no matter how difficult the situation might seem. It energizes you to always do your best.

In fact, the ability to maintain enthusiasm despite failures and difficulties is an essential trait of successful people. As Winston Churchill said,

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.


Categories: Attitude, Working

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  • http://www.quhuashuai.com Hugh

    Nice list! I almost agree with all the items you talked about. I think when there is too much things to be done, working is much better rather than thinking. This is same as you referred in #1, we think too much about the result. Just do it!

    Compare with others is also stressful, where jealous rises!

  • http://www.lifeoptimizer.org Donald Latumahina

    Yes, Hugh. We often think about unnecessary things while we should actually do. Of course, making the transition may not be easy, but it’s well worth the effort.

  • http://www.shardsofconsciousness.com Rick Cockrum

    Excellent list, Donald. Even partial success doing any of these goes a long way in improving life.

  • http://hpshapy.blogspot.com HP van Duuren

    Yes, nr. 6 is a good one: ‘Double your rate of failure’ , just as
    Edison discovering a ‘Zillion’ way’s how to NOT make a Lamp :)

    There are only RESULTS, not always exactly what you plan for, nevertheless Results.

    For example a long time ago I ‘bought some traffic’ I had serious doubts about it, and it probably was just a scam I thought, nevertheless it wasn’t expensive and did put it to the test anyway, probably getting traffic from one and the same computer.

    No results, and no apperent human response, no extra sales.

    I did however got spotted by ‘Alexia’ as a site with ‘Activity’ and got rated.

    Now I have a special banner with their rating on my Blog,

    a ‘Result’ afterall ! :)

  • http://www.lifeoptimizer.org Donald Latumahina

    Rick,
    Thanks! Doing these tips is not easy; it may take years to master them. But as you said, it’s well worth the effort.

    HP,
    That’s a nice way to put it: double your rate of failure so that we know more about how NOT to do something. And you’re right that there are always results. If they are not what we hope for, at least we can use them to refine our action.

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  • http://comingsoon Kent

    Thanks alot i agree with your points .
    Alot of publications i have come accross about the subject of stress don’t really address the real solution.

    Most give ways of releasing stress rather than minimizing.
    I believe the key point in managing stress must be success in minimizing stress in our lives.

  • eco

    This 8 thing are very interesting to avoid the stress because today life is very complicated i think for many meny people…and only books can help people and normally to follow these lesions that are share in this web site …thank you can you send me in email every thing for life,because help me for every situations ..
    thank you

    ecarta

  • Jay

    Love this!!! Just took an exam that I studied so much for and didn’t make it the 1st time, it is taken everything from me to get back into studying again.

    I know I’ll pass it the 2nd time around.

  • http://www.lifeoptimizer.org Donald Latumahina

    Jay,
    Keep the enthusiasm up. You can make it!

  • tasha baines

    this is extremely amazing. i must say, this has actually helped, i beieve that words can alter stress in ones life, depending on how they take a situation. i have very much loved tip 8, being entusiastic in life is very motivating to go to the next step. thanks author, these are powerful and inspiring tips.

  • Rajee

    Comparing ourselves with our peers and feeling either great or bad! When you feel great, it lasts just for a moment but when you feels sad, it lasts for a long time.

    Buy a Guitar or Pan Flute, Learn it thru Youtube, this will really help the quality of life rather than spending a lot of money on things that do not matter or just becuse everyone is doing it, like buying expensive watches or cellphones,
    In a month or 2 your peer is going a get a better one and make you Jelous

  • Paraneetharan C

    It is eye opener for me. The most crucial part is that I should stick to these points consistently across the ups and downs, and not fluttered by the external factors. Hopefully, if you had an article for “How to stick to good mentality and habits”, it would be an complement.

  • http://www;lifeoptimizer.org nina

    me too i agreed on all the lists, i wanna get over living on others expectations…..i wanna try doing things for the better……i wanna start now….

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