Last week two celebrities suddenly took their own lives. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain influenced millions the world over with regard to fashion and food. Yet, out of the blue, within a few days of one another, they took their own lives. It’s a stark reminder that depression can affect anyone.
The root cause of depression is unknown, but according to the Mayo Clinic “chronic stressful life situations can increase the risk of developing depression if you aren’t coping with the stress well.” Stress is a debilitating disease and it eats at you from the inside.
I’m no expert when it comes to stress, but I can say I have had my fair share. I remember learning that I had just lost $250,000, stress. I remember coming within an inch of my life, stress. I remember teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, twice, stress.
I’ve also seen what stress can do to people. It put my multi-millionaire friend in the hospital for three months which inspired me to create the One-Bite Time Management System. In today’s world the sheer amount of information available and pressure to achieve is so high more people are suffering from overwhelm than ever before.
My experience as a high performance coach, where I focus on time management and productivity, has shown me that stress is often the number one roadblock for clients to achieve their goals. Something or someone is holding them back. Finding, and then removing that roadblock, for many people, will allow them to take things to the next level.
FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE
I remember reading the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goldman. In it he explains that a negative comment is 24 times more powerful than a positive one. That’s intense. That means for one mean comment or insult, 24 positive ones are needed to counteract their effect.
We must fight negativity at all costs. Negativity drains us.
Think back to the last time you were really angry; it takes a whole lot of energy out of you. Now think about the last time you laughed so hard you cried. It also takes a lot out of you, but afterwards you feel energized. That’s the difference between negativity and positivity. One saps your energy, the other boosts it.
Being surrounded by negativity will beat down your defenses over time. That’s why I believe in fighting fire with fire, or in this case, laughter. To combat the power of negativity, here are a few of my favorite skits on YouTube that had me in stitches.
CREATE FORCE FIELDS
I recently read somewhere, that in any group, trouble can often be traced to a single individual. Remove that person and most of your trouble will disappear. I’ve found that to be true.
As harsh as it may seem, there are those people in our lives we may need to rethink our relationship with. Darren Hardy in his book The Compound Effect paints a vivid picture of just how small things can have big effects over the long term.
In my first book, iSucceed: Secrets for the Average Joe and Jane, I talk about the importance of surrounding ourselves with people that share the same values. That also means we must learn to limit our time with the Debbie-downers out there. The power of influence is both subtle and powerful. People in your life are either pushing you towards or away from your goals. We owe it to ourselves to surround ourselves with people who will aid us on our journey. They will act as a sort of force field. It’s also important that we limit the impact people I refer to as “anchors” have on us.
The great American business philosopher Jim Rohn put it this way, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Something to think about.