If you desire a career doing what you are passionate about, whether it is civil engineering, painting, teaching, writing, running a small business, software programming or neurosurgery, you must log long hours and encounter stress along the way. Even to achieve fun goals like lowering your golf handicap, completing a triathlon or climbing Mount Everest, you must first put your body through physically agonizing routines. So stress is not a disability. Stress is byproduct of living.
Dr. Lynne Tan of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City tells MSNBC.com health editor Jane Weaver: "Very successful people, rather than feeling disempowered, take the extra stress energy ... and make it into a high-energy, positive situation."
Weaver even cites studies indicating that: “…by keeping the brain cells working at peak capacity,” moderate stress could help prevent Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. Periodic stress can be good for you; with the right attitude, the hormone surges of stress can be channeled into higher levels of productivity.
Certainly, humans should reduce unhealthy stress from procrastination, depravity, inactivity and unwholesome foods.
But humans would be foolish to eliminate healthy mental challenges in exchange for a monthly “stress stipend.” I maintain that the human mind is happy when it is operating at full capacity—learning, doing and loving. As I’ve written here and here , man is rational and capitalistic behaviors help him achieve happiness. Socialism is irrational and anti-human and therefore causes mental pain (stress) in the form of apathy and envy.
If stress is a disability, why don’t we talk about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as a disabled person? After all, Jobs was extraordinarily stressed at low points in his career, such as when he was ousted from the company he started. And when things went wrong, even as a grown man, he was known to break down in tears.
Yet, nobody thought Jobs was disabled. Everyone, including his competitors, viewed him as successful. Jobs made mistakes. He had some major regrets. But, as he grew older, he learned to channel the energy he got from stress into becoming a thriving entrepreneur and a loving son, father, husband and friend.
Jobs used stress as motivational energy to fulfill his vision of bringing amazing technology to the masses. Despite ample critics, backstabbers and cancer, he built the world’s most valuable company from the ground up. Jobs succeeded where other men fail (think Warren Buffett); he became a billionaire while maintaining his personal and professional integrity.
If you’re stressed, the federal government says: “No sweat! You qualify for cash from Obama’s stash!” But if you are relying on Obama’s cash to get you through life, please, start sweating. Word on the street is that Obama’s bank account is $16 trillion overdrawn.