Stress Syndrome Survival

 | May 19,2010 04:34 pm IST

"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save."

- Will Rogers

You have a dream, which is your raison d etre.

But somehow when you get it, the irony is excruciating. Aptly described by Steven Berglas, a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist as a feeling of "Is there all that is?"


Problem identification is the first step suggested by any cognizant manager. The cause here is a phrase, which seems trite in the management world, 'Early burnout'. How much is this burnout caused by Homo sapiens and how much by the play of the environment and circumstances, is debatable. The life cycle of these burnouts seems to be decreasing geometrically. From mid-career crisis to early-job disillusionments, and now to stress-jerks in B-schools, it seems to be spreading its tentacles everywhere.


Dr. Berglas, author of "Reclaiming the Fire: How Successful People Overcome Burnout" (Random House, 2001), uses the term 'supernova burnout' to describe the career dissatisfaction that afflicts successful professionals and students. Such managers and prospective ones need to make changes but feel trapped by their success. Often, they can't admit to themselves what's happening because they've worked so hard to get where they are and are stunned to find it doesn't bring them happiness.


What are further mentioned are ways of dealing with this monster "Stress, early burn out et al".


Love It

A philosophy patronized by the likes of Bill Gates, Anil Ambani, Shah Rukh Khan... the list is endless.

Sometimes humans deal with situations in one of the most unexpected ways despite the fact that the entire world seems to be in a chase for the mantra of handling stress. This clan surely believes in beating the devil at his own game. They fight stress or rather they seem to enjoy it.


Their Belief

"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star," this ponderous saying finds its inextricable link to the Greek mythology of chaos and creation of the universe. It's according to them an epiphany of creation, a rationale for existence. For these firebrands if every thing that you did as a part of our daily existence was oh! So in coordination and order life would only be a series of mundane rituals. You really don't have to cogitate on metaphysical level, but all that you have to do is to pore over the thought that isn't life beautiful because it's chaotic and we a part of this. These vagaries of life keep their adrenaline pumping.


This paragraph is not really meant to be profound or saintly but all that it does is ask of you to appreciate this dark chaos and wonder what if you weren't a part of it. The crux of the matter is, "My life is a mess and so is the world. And boy, we still rock."


Leave It - So the wise men say

This is the category which forms the majority. When we are taking about average humans, this is how they are supposed to handle stress. Managing stress in the present scenario has become a field of research work. More and more studies are being flooded with even more innovative ways.


Their Belief

The problem is essentially short term and inadvertence may lead to it becoming unmanageable. "If you can't control it. It will control you."


You don't have to change you life just "GET ORGANISED".

Don't Postpone: Procrastination is natural for most of us, but it lets stress build.


Take Stock: When you can feel the stress level heading sky high, stop what you're doing, take four slow, deep breaths, and analyze what's getting to you.


Take Time for Yourself: Each of us needs a little time occasionally for indulgence.


The objective of this article is not to suggest ways and means of handling stress; love it or leave it - the choice is yours. Moreover, the way you deal with this monster is also your prerogative. This choice sometimes also comes at the cost of success. Life on the fast track is not for the faint-hearted. Life as an ensemble seems to be all about maintaining the fine balance. Sometimes a search for an alternate reality creates an illusion in the minds of people. When reality does sink in, it's a little difficult to assimilate. Usually, the stress in B-schools and work place is more about the strident ambitions of people, which results in them living in a mirage, which will dissipate sooner or later.


The self-aggrandisement is best exemplified by Gloria Swanson's character in Sunset Boulevard. Past her prime, in her decrepit state, she proudly states, "I'm still big, it's the movies which got smaller."


Ambitions, dreams, desires, all are important but not when they put you, your verities and realities on the backburner. The normalcy of mind, heart and soul is not a utopia.


The solution lies not with the erudite but with us. Burnout or not, is a matter of choice and not circumstances.


It's a call you make. You decide, "I shall not die today."