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What Should You Do?

Your Three Choices

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When you believe that changing what you do will remove the cause of your stress, is there any other than these three basic choices? What else can you do but:

  1. Work harder

  2. Do it differently, or

  3. Do something else
Many people have tried working harder and yes, it does bring some relief. But I've also found that it hasn't done much to reduce my stress in the long term. You may also know this.

Have you explored doing things differently? Again it often improves the external results. But if you've tried this extensively, you've probably also found it doesn't do much to reduce your internal stress.

So is doing something else the real key to reducing stress? While you may not have reduced your stress much by doing something else, this doesn't mean it doesn't worked for someone else.

Yet almost everybody is NOT doing the same as you, which means in some way nearly everyone is doing something else! But since only a few have little stress while most people continue to stress, then doing something else can NOT be the real key. Otherwise they'd virtually all have reduced their stress!

The key to reducing stress, therefore, cannot lie in changing what you do!

Are there any other choices? Yet unless you change something, nothing changes, and then your stress continues unchanged. The French have a exquisite yet provocative proverb that aptly describes this dilemma:

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!
The more things change, the more they stay the same!

The paradox is delicious! Any option you can imagine that involves changing what you do fits into at least one of these three categories.

Over the years, not a single client has been able to think of any that don't fit. We haven't yet found anyone who can think of changing what they do in some way which does not fit here somewhere.

But you need to be totally clear that these are the only choices. Do you get the apparent dilemma?

Stop and reflect!

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So do yourself a favour, invest the necessary time and effort to become totally clear here. Only continue past this point once you totally agree that changing what you do has only these three alternatives.

Stop and reflect before going any further, casual understanding is not enough. An answer of just "okay - I'll go along with you for now" does not serve you - that's just self-sabotage. You need to be absolutely sure - total clarity - before proceeding.

The fact that you continue to stress suggests you believe these are your only three options. And your misunderstanding is the reason you continue to stress. You'll be glad to see that here you are discovering the cause instead.

Yet perhaps you still believe you have thought of something else to do which doesn't fit into any of these three categories. If so, we're very eager to see it, so would you please contact us explaining why it does not fit into each of the three in turn...

In writing down your reasoning for us, the chances are you'll realize that your proposed change in what you do does indeed fit into one of these three...

But since the solution to reduce your stress needs you to fully appreciate this important paradox, please do not continue any further until you know you have really got this.

Food for Thought

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Doing what doesn't work never brings success!

(unidentified author)


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