Feeling stressed?

All of us get stressed from time to time. But some of us tend to work in an atmosphere of almost constant stress.

And to retain our sanity, what do we do? We tell ourselves little fibs. Little lies that keep us going through the stress. As with any dysfunctional relationship, we search for excuses. Because clearly, we must be at fault. It’s not you. It’s me.


Wrong. A great deal of the stress–and dysfunction–of the modern workplace is a complete and utter lack of meaning. You get stressed because you don’t understand why you’re being asked to do what you do. You don’t see a great deal of value in what you do. And most importantly, you yourself don’t place a great deal of value in what you’ve been able to accomplish.

Alexander Kjerulf, self-described Chief Happiness Officer, puts it even more succinctly:

Stress has nothing to do with the number of hours you work, and everything to do with how you feel during those hours.

If you work 100 hours a week feeling great, having fun and taking pride in what you do, you won’t be stressed. If you work 30 hours a week feeling inadequate, bullied or unappreciated you will be stressed.

That’s why meaning is so critical. Meaning combats stress.

To take it from a different angle: when was the last time you got stressed doing something you enjoyed? And I mean really enjoyed. Writing in your blog, staring out the window, going for a walk, talking to a close friend, spending time on your hobby. When was the last time those things stressed you out?

I hope the answer is never. Because they shouldn’t. You’re doing those things because you enjoy them.

And work shouldn’t be any different. If it is, you need to keep searching. Don’t settle.

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Myth, Stress. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Feeling stressed?

  1. I am so behind on my reading but oh boy, I totally loved this article. HOW TRUE! Life is indeed too short to settle.

  2. Nick Smith says:

    This is a great post and oh so very true.

    In fact I would probably go even further and see that all our problems can be traced back to a lack of meaning.
    I wrote something in a similar vein on a post called ‘Follow your Bliss’.

    It’s really good to find your site and make contact with you guys.

  3. Rick Turoczy says:

    Sorry for the tardy reply.

    Thank you so so much for stopping by the old blog and taking the time to leave some kind words.

    Deannie: Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on both my blogs. I don’t know that I deserve such attention, but I appreciate it.

    Nick: I’m glad you found us, too. And please don’t be shy about linking. Here is Nick’s “Follow your bliss” post.

  4. Pingback: Work-Life Balance is a myth | More than a living

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