Stress and "Positions of Power"

In today's world, when we have so many time-saving devices, why are we under more time pressure and stress than ever before?  It's because people are overcommitted. You may have too many strong forces competing for your attention: your job and your family and your church and the PTA and your kids' school and your in-laws and your friends. In each of those systems, the strongest people pull for your time and energy. And you can often face a lot of pressure from certain people. Sometimes' you just can't adequately defend yourself, and so your needs get sacrificed.  The first thing that gets sacrificed is often your own personal goals, because no one is out there defending your goals except you. 

How exactly do people wind up overcommitted and sacrificing the things they want to do for themselves? This happens because they are unable to tolerate "negative esteem cues" from the more powerful people in their environment. When powerful people send us signals that they are irritated with us because we aren't doing enough for their particular projects, we feel pressured and are tempted to sacrifice our own priorities.

To master this situation, we need to learn how to get to a "position of power." We can do this when we focus on what really matters most to us. Often the solution isn't always to work harder -- it's to get in touch with what's more important, and to take care of those things first.



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