Stress is…

In a 2020 researcher paper titled Stress, Mindsets, and Success in Navy SEALS Special Warfare Training, authors Eric Smith, Dr. Michael Young, and Dr. Alia Crum write, “Following 174 Navy SEALs candidates, we find that, even in this extreme setting, stress-is-enhancing mindsets predict greater persistence through training, faster obstacle course times, and fewer negative evaluations from peers and instructors.”

The stress-is-enhancing mindset, according to the authors, is characterized by the belief that stress “enhances health, performance, and wellbeing.”

The opposite mindset — aptly named stress-is-debilitating — is characterized by the belief that stress is generally bad for you.

The findings of this study and many studies like it give whole new meaning to the famous quote from Charles Swindoll, “life is 10% what happens 90% how you react to it.”

You can’t always control what challenges you are faced with, but you can choose how you interpret and respond to the challenge.

If being able to alter your mindset which in turn alters your performance isn’t some kind of insanely awesome superpower, I don’t know what is.

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William Liao

William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)