Good stress, bad stress:
Finding your creative genius somewhere inbetween

By Nicky VanValkenburgh

Have you ever watched a violinist perform?

It’s amazing that such beautiful music comes from this odd-looking instrument. The strings of a violin are stretched from the scroll to the tailpiece, with the bridge holding them up over the body. To make music, the violin strings must be taut. They can’t be too tight, or they’ll snap. If the strings are too loose, they won’t produce sound at all. The right amount of tension lies somewhere in between the two extremes.

Stress is like a violin. We have good stress and bad stress. Like a violin, the right amount of stress is somewhere in between.

Too much stress muddles our thinking. We become forgetful and make mistakes. We feel exhausted and worn out. We don’t have enough energy to get through the day.

Left untreated, too much stress could result in a nervous breakdown, heart attack, stroke, or other health problems.

What about no stress at all? Think about that for a second. At first, it sounds appealing. No pressure. No tension. No worries.

Come to think of it, a lack of stress might be boring. If something isn’t challenging, we quickly lose interest. We are not as alert, focused and productive as we should be.

Without stress, we don’t push ourselves. We don’t strive to improve our skills and abilities. We don’t strive for excellence. We settle for second-best or average.

It’s amazing what happens when we have the right amount of stress. We become innovative. We solve problems. It’s those “crunch times’ that force us to think fast on our feet. We come up with quick fixes and solutions at the spur of the moment. This is stress at it’s best. Good stress gives us the extra adrenaline and energy that we need to succeed.

Somewhere inbetween good stress and bad stress is your creative genius. Like a good friend, you can welcome stress in your life. Use it like a violin to play beautiful music. Use stress to awaken your potential. Use stress to live life to the fullest. Make today your masterpiece. Find a healthy balance between good stress and bad stress. This is the key to survivng and thriving in a fast-paced world.

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