What is One of Our Biggest Sources of Stress?
Anxiety about, and fear of, LOSS.
If you really think about this, you will recognize the truth of it. Three of the biggest areas that drive this stress as adults are anxiousness about health, relationships, and money (often relative to the income derived from your career, and for business owners the cash flow vs. payroll issue).
As someone who is prone to anxiety (which feels even more intense than stress to me) because of the nature of my natural chemical wiring, those issues are magnified for me, and for many years dominated much of my days. It was horrible.
My personal strategy generally(not the one I’ll share in a minute), has been to use a morning routine that helps center me every day, and to take a consistent daily proactive approach to the 3 Circles Living platform, that includes adhering to principles and values that drive my decisions (keeping emotions from being the driver), and sticking to basic fundamentals and processes in all areas while resisting the pull of quick fixes and instant gratification.
And it has led to a pretty awesome life over time. It has not stopped me from waking up with anxiety more often than not, but it has allowed me to calmly and peacefully recognize that it’s likely not relative to my general life. This further allows me to consider if there is anything going on that’s bothering me…aka a problem to solve…and if there isn’t one of significant consequence, my centering will take care of things. If there is, the purposeful reflection will reveal it, and then I can go to work on it.
This week, while reading excerpts from a Tim Ferris interview with Scott Adams (the creator of the Dilber cartoons, and a best-selling author) in the book Tools of the Titans I learned what he considers the ultimate strategy for stress, so I thought I would share it with you.
Focus on Diversification
When I read this piece about diversification as a stress management tool, I realized that to a large degree I have been doing this as well for many years. Here is a quote from Adams:
“I would consider myself a world champion at avoiding stress at this point in dozens of different ways. A lot of it is just how you look at life, but most of it is a process of diversification.”
He went on to talk about how when investing, you are best served by a diversified portfolio as it spreads and reduces risk by lowering your exposure to the ebbs and flows of any single market category. I think most people already understand that one. It is the other areas of diversification that I believe are the most impactful, as you will see below.
Here are the diversification areas for the 3 Circles that I know are major stress mitigators:
Health: You have to look at all the facets that make a healthy body and mind, because they are connected. Quality food, adequate sleep, consistent exercise, quality nutritional supplements, and proper hydration. This is a diversified approach to health. You can’t just be workout freak and not put the right things in your body or it will still break down, even though you might look good. You can’t just eat well, and not supplement or exercise. You can mix and match however you want and you’ll see you have to be doing all of these things as a general rule. Your mental health requires multiple diversified parts as well….limiting negative input and/or disempowering voices (from any source), developing yourself consistently, gratitude, reflection, spirituality, time doing things you enjoy and other things help you to be strong mentally. There isn’t just one thing.
Relationships: You need to have several active relationships that you pay attention to in the various corners of your life…friends, community, and business. Dependence on a single relationship is a massive stressor as it creates significant fear of loss as there would, in fact, be major consequences from the loss of a relationship you are over-dependent on. Especially in business. When it comes to the people you love and family, the other relationships are vital as well. You need to have some relational balance in your life so you are not constantly looking for validation and fulfillment only from the people you love. This is not fair to them, and it lessens your ability to be a giver in these relationships.
Money: I already mentioned diversification in investment. That’s an easy one. What about diversity in cash flow? To be dependent on only one source of cash flow is a monstrous stressor. What happens when the job is in jeopardy? What happens when there is a downturn in the economy, the market, or there is a major disruption like a pandemic? 34 years ago, I had a banking job (that I did not love) and I started a home business on the side. When that started to grow, I quit the bank job and focused on the home business. To create another source of income, I worked as a bartender in addition. When my home business became massively successful, I no longer needed to tend bar, so eventually I added a training and coaching income to my cash flow. When you have diversity of cash flow, the loss or downturn of one, does not rock your world so much. If you have money stress and have a single source of income, I would encourage you to develop a side project to create another stream of income. This will serve you in two ways: It will increase your cash flow as it begins to grow, and it will lower your tax burden initially because of the tax advantages of having your own business. And this is not complicated or difficult to do. I talk about this in 3 Circles Living as well.
If you are prone to stress and anxiety, that is NOT a life sentence. It is absolutely something you can work on and dramatically reduce and what I just shared is a sure-fire way to do it.
I hope you found this helpful and of value.
Many Blessings, Todd
P.S. I am currently deep into the initial growth stage of “Project Next.” As a result, I am no longer accepting coaching clients, as my coaching time is reserved for my expanding project team. I am still accepting certain training/speaking engagements based on timing and fit. If you are currently dissatisfied with your bigger picture progress in life and would like to learn how the project may help you move forward, send me an email and we can arrange a time to talk.
P.S.S. Want to detox, lower inflammation, rid yourself of extra body fat, and change the entire trajectory of your health in a 21-day window? If that sounds at all appealing, shoot me an email and I’ll share a very unique and effective program that has been massively successful in Europe over the past seven years and is making a significant difference for several of my clients currently. I’ll send you a program guide that will allow you to learn the details, and a link where you can move forward if you choose to. No pitch, I’m not about that. Just information that can help if you need it.