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The Uncommon Reasons for the Rise of Stress

03/07/2015 04:47 am ET | Updated May 06, 2015

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Do you feel like there is an unlimited supply of stress in this world?

No, not the kind of stress that comes with growth.

Unfortunately, it is the kind of stress that comes with being stuck.

Common sense says that your growth is hugely influenced by the right investments you make in yourself.

If that's the case, the problem may be that you may not be making the right investments in yourself.

And, the reason for that?

Here are nine of them:

1. Limitless possibilities, unlimited competition

On one end of the globalization is unlimited possibilities.

On the other end of the globalization is unlimited competition.

It cuts both ways.

Your playground to make a difference is the entire globe.

Unfortunately, your competition is coming from the entire globe.

You can no longer rest on your laurels of being a "local hero" because there is rarely something that's "local."

2. Always on; mostly off

Look around.

Do you see people glued to their smartphones.

They are the lifetime members of the "always on" club.

What about you?

Always on is not a bad club to belong to if you know how to take advantage of it.

In reality, being "always on" to something somewhere will result in you being "mostly off" to the present.

You can be guaranteed that learning will be absent when you are not present.

3. Engaged everywhere; focused nowhere

This is the direct result of being engaged everywhere.

You will most certainly be focused nowhere.

You might say that the world has changed and we now are permanently living in a state where you have continuous partial attention to everything.

If that's the case, how is it working for you?

In the words of Seth Godin, if you are NOT "shipping" something meaningful in a reasonable timeframe, it is time to re-look at everything - especially the focusing part.

4. You can seduce through storytelling; you can be seduced through storytelling

Stories sell.

You can tell compelling stories to sell a lot of things.

That's a good thing.

If you are not careful, thousands of companies are using compelling stories to seduce you to buy their stuff - or at least make you think that whatever they are selling is something you badly NEED. A lot of things in life are "nice to have", but good storytelling will upgrade the "nice to have " to "must have now" status.

The problem?

Unchecked, the growing list of "must have" things is a surefire way of guaranteed frustration.

5. The surface is shiny; the foundation is shaky

A lot of techniques and tactics are at the surface level.

The surface is usually shiny.

If you get attracted to the surface level techniques and tactics and think that you are making investment in yourself, you are mistaken.

Growth happens when your foundation gets stronger.

Too much focus on the surface will leave your foundation shaky the result of which is that your progress is temporary.

6. Fun; no fun

While you are trying to make meaning in your life, if you are like most people, you can't resist the temptation to check what's happening in the social networks.

When you do, you will notice that there is so much fun happening in everyone's life.

Someone just got married

A few people were on vacation.

A lot of people went to fancy restaurants.

A few people were celebrating some life events - birthdays, anniversaries, graduations etc.

A lot of people were sharing how cool their kids were.

Overall, there is no dearth of fun in the social networks. They had plenty of it.

Your life.

It's a different story.

You are swamped with work and no time to breath.

Fun in abundance everywhere. Can't seem to find it anywhere in your life.

Right?

Wrong.

The nature of social networks is that people publish their select moments in their life and amplify them. Their select moments should rarely be compared to your "non-select" moments.

7. Expert today; dated tomorrow

Gone are the days where you invest in yourself for a few years and reap the rewards of the same for the rest of your life.

Whether you want it or not, real school starts when you finish your academic schooling.

You can pay the price to learn or you pay the price for not paying the price to learn.

Your choice.

Your expert status on anything is short-lived. If you don't have the mindset of a lifelong learner, you will be dated sooner than later.

8. Right content; wrong context

Warning.

This is a trap.

Suppose, let's say you want to be a lifelong learner and start reading expert advice (including reading this article) please remember that no author can create content that will specifically resonate with your exact present context.

It is YOUR responsibility to take that content, fine tune it for your context, test it out and then apply the lessons for good if the tests succeed.

Even the right content works only in the right context.

9. Unlimited content; limited time

There is no problem with the availability of all kinds of content.

In fact, the problem is the other way around.

There is too much content.

There is not enough time to consume all that good content that's out there.

Curation is key.

You are smart and ambitious. But, you are busy as hell.

You have to find your own path to access learning tools that are designed to fit your lifestyle.

When Mike Martin and I created Audvisor, our goal was to create a push-button learning app for smartphones that is designed to fit the lifestyles of smart, ambitious and busy people like you. We realized that you only have slices of time available (may be during commuting, during your workouts or when you are waiting) and you would benefit from access to short insights from experts around the world on topics that matter most to you.

Try Audvisor or any other tool that provides an option to learn within the framework of your current lifestyle.

Start growing and you will automatically stop feeding stress in your life.