Who can forget that music at the start of the show? What a great theme. And then there was the visual of someone lighting a fuse. You knew that it was going to be tense and the outcome unsure.
Sometimes my life is like that show. I have been given a task that is outside the bounds of human capability. The fuse has been lit, and I have just so much time until the bomb goes off. Can you relate to this?
It could be in our relationships where things have broken down, or in our finances where the outgo exceeds the income and the well is dry. It could be in our business where the contracts we were expecting to come through have been delayed. The fuse is lit…the clock is ticking…and we know something has to give.
Pressure is a constant companion in life. We can’t escape it. The only thing we can do is manage it and hopefully respond to it in the proper fashion. How do you handle pressure? Do you withdraw from people? Do you turn to alcohol or drugs? Do you give up on your dreams? Do you go into a rage and break the thing or hit the people closest to you?
This is a common problem…and there are a thousand ways to respond, but I suggest that we think carefully about the consequences of our actions. How we handle pressure…how we respond to stressful situations tells not just who we really are, it is an indicator of how long we are going to live. Stress is a killer and it will take us out if not dealt with properly.
People that blow up on others or break things when they are upset are like the bomb that is exploding. You have heard the term, “He has a short fuse?” Well, you don’t want to be around him when he goes off. It is going to have casualties. Sadly, in many occasions, it is his own life that is taken.
The two unhealthy responses to pressure are exploding…or imploding. Neither one is good. If you withdraw from others and turn to something to medicate the pain…that has severe consequences as well. Eventually that will take its toll on you. You probably know of someone that has died from an overdose, or died from alcohol abuse. It happens every day, unfortunately. The fight or flight mentality does not resolve anything. We can’t run from our problems, and if we choose to fight…eventually we are going to lose.
So how should we respond to the everyday pressures that we all must face?
- Take a chill pill. Calm down and don’t make any major decisions when you are upset.
- Put things in perspective. What is the worst thing that could happen in this situation? It there a chance that it would NOT happen? If we expect the worst, we attract the worst. Expect the best outcome.
- Learn the art of listening. Too often when we are under pressure, our hearing seems to be impaired. We are too busy telling ourselves and others about our problems, and have closed off our minds and hearts from receiving any counsel that could help us get back on course.
- Have someone that you can confide in that does not judge you. I am fortunate to have a spouse that is like that. I can tell her anything and she helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I also am fortunate to have several friends like that.
- If you are a fighter and tend to explode on people, find a way to defuse yourself when you are getting ready to explode. You might have to buy a punching bag or just take a long walk to cool off. Better that than to have to pick up body parts that are left from your own explosion.
- If you are one who tends to run from situations, force yourself to stay and face it head on. The problem is not going to just go away on its own. Putting your head in the sand does not help. Turning to drugs or alcohol does not solve anything. You have to come to the realization that you either engage the problem head-on and take corrective action, or you will self-destruct at some point.
My hope is that the next time you face your “Mission Impossible,” you act instead of react. You think before you speak. You put it in perspective. You seek wise counsel from a trusted spouse or friend. And last but not least…you don’t give up hope. Keep the faith, stay the course, and remind yourself that this too shall pass. There is light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to keep moving forward.