Work/ Life Balance: Does your Stress Level equal your success level?


While waiting for take-off on a recent flight from Los Angeles to Nashville, I flipped through the Spirit Magazine in my seat back pocket. Hoping that the ice would thaw from the wings for an on-time departure, I was skimming the words and images and mindlessly flipping through the pages. One of the features I always read in Spirit is a one pager that is usually written by a prominent celebrity, businessman, or sports star giving a quick quote that tends to lend towards an advice column. Here was that month’s quote:

Early in my career I believed that the stress I was feeling- and the worrying and the insomnia- was part of being successful. Yet, the minute i started making a conscious effort to let go of those things, I became more productive. Relieving the anxiety in your life is esstential to being a good businessperson. If that’s gone, the mind is calm and from a calm mind comes creativity. Every morning when I wake up and every evening before I go to bed, I sit still for 20 minutes and let my thoughts settle. Those moments of stillness are where my greatest ideas come from- every creative thought, every innovative business plan. If you can eliminate the outside noise, you’ll find that the answers are inside you.”- Russell Simmons, author, founder of Def Jam Recordings

Raise of hands, how many people have believed that stress equaled success at one time or another? (or still do?)

I know I have.

IMG_6497Maybe it’s not even the stress level factor as much as feeling that if you have a lot of things on your plate that means more people want your services and you’re that much more valuable.

Something about that quote stuck with me and I couldn’t shake it after a few weeks and a few more flights on the same airline with the same in-flight magazine.

I think a lot of this goes back to the Work/life balance that I talked about last week and many seemed to echo in their comments. As we become more successful, we take on more and more projects potentially or inevitability increasing our stress levels.

But what if we did what Mr. Simmons decided to do? What if we made an effort to organize our work and life in a way that made everything better. If that organization brought out more creativity, more great ideas, and more positive energy towards life, wouldn’t that be a great thing?

*you guys, this is starting to sound like self help- for myself! 🙂

I’ve started taking those small steps I talked about in the first post and adding them slowing into my work flow and calendar. While I can’t start working out just yet (the ole knee still isn’t 100%), I am trying to stop my days and get off the computer. I still check emails and such on my phone occasionally, but I’m trying to not be behind the computer so I can add more real life experiences to my day (read= time with husband, happy hours with friends and enjoying new restaurants in LA). I’ve also looked into booking a real vacation (Woohoo!). After several TravelZoo emails landed in my inbox that were just too good to pass up, I bought two! Mexico (for a long weekend away at an all inclusive!) and one on a lake in California only 2 hours from our house for a quicker escape this summer.

So, now I turn it over to you: What do you think about stress levels and success? How do you keep the stress away?