Tension or Stress

I have always felt like “Stress” was over-rated; that the negative connotation of whatever stress is, was far exaggerated and perhaps not even true. Stress is a state of mind. Do we all have days in which we can’t accomplish all we would like too? Of course. Does it seem over-whelming sometimes? Yes. But is this a negative thing or really bad for our health? I don’t think so. Read on.

Isn’t it great to be engaged in good causes, even GREAT causes? Isn’t it wonderful when our days are so filled with doing great things that the time flies by, and before we know it we are in our homes after work, trying to accomplish the things of family life and even trying to “catch up” with what we didn’t accomplish during the day? Isn’t it funny how we are always trying to get ahead of the wave, or at least not be rolled by it.

Sometimes, our leaders (and I hope I’m not one of them) have us do mundane and time consuming tasks that don’t make any sense at all; so that meaningless data can be accumulated and consumed, messaged and evaluated—-totally wasting time while GREAT tasks that bring a return on investment (and purpose and fulfillment) go unattended. Leaders need to be careful to LEAD and not to use great talent to appease their own agenda’s. A GREAT leader will know the difference. But I digress……

Most folks know Victor E. Frankle, a trained psychologist and a holocaust survivor of WWII. He created a practice and term known as logotherapy. Rather than putting someone on a couch, and discussing the painful past, he wanted to invite folks to discover a purpose and meaning to life. Hope then replaced despair. In his book “Man’s Search For Meaning”, he discusses mental health being based on a certain degree of “Tension”—-the tension between what one has already achieved and what one still ought to accomplish; or the gap between what one is and what one should become. He said this tension is inherent and indispensable to mental well-being. WOW! He confirmed my long-time belief that when we are anxiously engaged in good causes, even when we feel frazzled for not accomplishing all we should, we are in the best state of mind—because we are BECOMING. The idea of “balance” or a state of “equilibrium” then become antiquated theories, that most psychologists use to parlay their incomes and professions. What one needs, is TENSION, not the discharge of it. What Victor Frankle said we need is “the call of a potential meaning awaiting to be fulfilled….”

So there you have it. Stress is the result of negative energy put to meaningless tasks. Tension is a positive energy which is the result of being anxiously engaged in good, or even GREAT causes. It is the very act of BECOMING.

Here is to more TENSION in our lives.