"Pressure makes diamonds" - General George S. Patton.
What do you do when you are under pressure?
Do you crack? Do you fold? Do you avoid and hide from the world?
Or do you stand up, get stronger, and push harder to persist?
Pressure makes diamonds... but it can also crush people.
Years ago, when I attended my first Real Estate seminar, the speaker asked "And what about stress...? After you have made your money, do you think the stress goes away?"
Almost every hand in the room went up and the room was silent.
After a long pause, the speaker continued "Stress never goes away, and you must learn to manage it. Just because you have more money, does not mean that your stress levels change."
Throughout my life, I have constantly placed myself in high pressure situations. I played music at a professional level, I was a national leader in direct sales and I'm currently playing the highest risk/reward game in the world: entrepreneurship.
Somehow, I have always been attracted to high pressure situations because I am naturally a competitive person and have always wanted to compete and work with the best.
For me, the pressure has always been necessary for me to push to the next level: pressure makes diamonds.
Of course, being under pressure is extremely uncomfortable and it can take it's toll on your sleep, your comfort and over all quality of life. But looking back on my life so far, the greatest, most exciting, relevant moments have been the ones of greatest pressure and greatest importance.
In contrast, my most unhappy, joyless, depressing moments have been the moments of absolutely no pressure.
We all remember the days of high school where we would have an exam in 3 weeks...
3 weeks would go by and we would neglect to study.
30 hours before exam, we would still neglect studying...
8 hours before the test starts we are up all night trying to learn Calculus while trying not to over dose on caffeine.
Somehow pressure can bring out the best in people.
Pressure brings clarity, decision and action to people who normally have confusion, indecision and passivity.
Pressure shows us who we really are and can bring out the hero OR the wimp inside of us.
Pressure lets us know what we are made of and lets us know how far we can be pushed so that we can see where our limits truly are.
One of my favourite things about pressure is that it brings out our natural instincts.
Instinct is not a common topic of conversation in our modern world because we think of feral cats, wild dogs or rabid beasts as having instincts - not civilized people!
Civilized people do not have instincts...
Or do they?
Kathy Kolbe is a theorist and educator who developed a test called the Kolbe index.
The Kolbe index is a series of short questions that measure your instincts show you what your strengths are when under pressure.
For myself, this information has been unbelievably helpful. It also explains why I am happiest under pressure.
The reason why I am happiest under pressure is because I am forced to become my natural self.
Pressure brings out my natural instincts and allows me to pursue the "best version of myself".
My Kolbe index tells me that under pressure I "improvise". People with instincts similar to mine make great salespeople, public speakers, on camera people, radio hosts, interviewers, storm chasers, video game designers and non-conventional educators.
All of the above "careers" are high pressure, performance based career paths that require little or no formal training to achieve success.
This would explain why I am least happy in low-pressure situations and most happy in high-pressure situations.
Pressure forces me to become who I naturally need to become.
Pressure is what turns coal into diamonds and it also turns a raw undeveloped average person into a refined success.
I would encourage you to take your Kolbe index and find out what your instincts are and find out how you work under pressure.
Find out what your natural skill sets are, where you are happiest and then focus your whole life and business around that skill set.
For myself, I need to "improvise" all day long to feel full-filled and happy. I have re-organized my entire business around myself being able to "improvise" while key team members around me handle all of the other tasks.
By pursuing this strategy, I have seen greater success, experienced more fun, and felt more excitement. All of this can be had from selecting the tasks and roles that excite my instincts.
Please take a moment to invest in yourself, learn about your instincts and harness your talents. You're worth it.
Thanks for reading,
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