American Executive Coach and Management Consultant, Faculty of Harvard Medical School School of Psychiatry, Psychotherapist, Author
The bonsai grower knows that if she can give life to a product that lives forever and perpetually adds value to the lives of others, she has not only a success but a legacy
Stress does not lurk outside of us, it is not imposed, and it is not uniform in its effects. Actually, psychological stress is an “eye of the beholder” phenomenon. People experience stress only if they view something as posing a threat or harming them in a physical or psychological way. I, for one, experience threat (and stress) at the idea of standing atop an icy mountaintop on two slats of fiberglass and contemplating what I'm going to have to do to get down to the bottom. People who enjoy skiing find this exciting and, in fact, capable of causing what psychologists call “eustress” or the “good stress” derived from confronting and overcoming challenges.
When you make a mistake, assume full responsibility for it. This tactic will feel counter-intuitive, particularly if you read it as suggesting that you “blame yourself” for a faux pas. Being responsible for dropping the ball means promising yourself that you will do all you can to hone the skills related to being a good catcher. Nothing about taking responsibility suggests calling yourself negative names or putting on a hair shirt to do penance. People who use errors to heighten their intelligence respond to a passed ball by telling themselves, “It’s my job to make the catch, irrespective of how it’s thrown and irrespective of weather conditions.” What prevents learning from mistakes is interpreting an error as a sign of core incompetence, as well as the self-evaluative conclusion, “I’m a bad catcher
Executives think in a linear, more-of-the-same mode instead of emotionally. If they would focus on the feeling they want and stick to it, they'll change the tactics they use. This would be a total reorientation for most executives.
If “muffing it” makes you mad, get mad constructively, not self-destructively. Here’s a secret: Success can take the wind out of your sails (i.e. stop you from moving forward) as, if not more thoroughly, than failure. The reason why is because when you reach a goal, you are done; the quest is over. Moreover, people who succeed want to savor success, and by the time doing so gets old the thought of gearing up to get back into the arena seems harder than first expected. On the other hand, if you mess-up and don’t beat yourself down with self-deprecatory thoughts, getting mad at your performance and feeling stimulated to do better, is a likely outcome.
It doesn't pay, but it creates the ultimate gratification in life: self-esteem enhancement in exchange for loss of material gain.
Individuals who suffer success have what I call the four A’s - arrogance, a sense of aloneness, the need to seek adventure, and adultery.