Distress versus Eustress

Focus on your strengths instead of improving your weaknesses – Quite often people are told to ‘do something about their weaknesses’ in order to ‘get on’. Actually this seemingly logical advise is very illogical and is counter intuitive.

Everyone is good at a maybe five to six things and they are average at a lot more. It is easier and smarter to leverage your strengths than increase your weaknesses slowly. This is known as ‘multiplication’ over ‘incremental’ changes. It’s what is meant when a business focuses on its core business to strengthen their position.

Too much of a good thing becomes the opposite – This may seem odd however its often the case if someone spends too much time on what they perceive as a good thing they become the opposite. In the case of wanting more time the idea of having lazy days seems ideal. However the end result we are aiming for is freeing up time to do something we really want to do instead of days of doing nothing.

Extra money is very rarely the real solution to your problems – Financial independence is the aim of lifestyle of improvement. Simply piling up more money rarely leads to people being happier. If this were the case then all lottery winners would be happy. The actual fact is that 95% of lottery winners are back their pre-lottery win levels.

Absolute and relative income – The normal way to measure income is to say person A makes for example $100,000 per year sounds great. The way the new rich measure income is money and time usually by the ‘hour’.

Person A as we said earns $100,000 per year for this she works 80 hours a week for 50 weeks of the year. So she makes $25 per hour. Person B earns $50,000 per year however works 10 hours per week. So he makes $100 per hour. In other words he is four times as rich as Person A. Your relative income has to be at the minimum level you need. The anything above that you should view as relative income and work to maximize your income per hour as opposed to the hours you work.

Distress versus Eustress – Distress is something we should avoid and is based on destructive criticism. Eustress is a new concept I came across reading ‘The 4-Hour Working Week’ by Timothy Ferriss.

Eustress is stress based on constructive feedback and is aimed at improving our performance. It’s the type of feedback you get from a coach to improve say your ‘golf swing’. In this case many people pay a Professional to criticize their performance and then they act on that criticism. The stress created here is eustress as it is for your good. It’s based in the Greek ‘Eu’ the word for ‘happy’.