One refrain heard far too often amongst acquaintances, friends and family has always been, “There’s too much pressure”. And possibly there is – pressure to find a job, pressure to settle down, pressure to do well, pressure at work, pressure at home – pressure from every imaginable quarter. Most people don’t handle pressure well and succumb. But why should this inordinate amount of pressure on our mortal shoulders weigh us down after all?
Remember the pressure cooker? That essential utensil that is probably found in every kitchen? Do you know how it works? When the steam builds up inside, it lets out a whistle and releases all of this pent up steam, the pressure that is threatening to blow it apart. We could do the same with our lives too, don’t you think? There is plenty of pressure to take us down, to undermine us at every step, but what if we could push it all away, and channel it into something advantageous?
There’s a young rapper by the name of J. Cole, quite popular among those who listen to hip hop and that kind of music. For those who don’t there’s something else you can remember him by; at an interview he said he puts pressure on himself to do better when he feels things are not good enough. It has helped him produce some of his better songs he said, made better by his conviction to take the pressure surrounding him and turn it into a body of work that is appreciated by all who come across them. He hasn’t let the pressure overwhelm him, but instead he has used it all to fuel his creativity, to drive him to success.
That is what each of us can do too – channel all that pressure into fuel for traits which push us to do much better than we think we are capable of doing. P is for pressure, but P is also for positivity. How we perceive the ‘P’ is all in our minds. Some of us end up taking the bait and fall into the trap which is waiting to push us further into the abyss. So what if the world is constantly treading on our toes, waiting for us to make take that fall? If we hold on with stubbornness, as stubborn as the pressure itself, there’s nothing to keep us from marching on ahead.
There comes to mind a speech made by Eric Thomas, an American author and motivational speaker, “The next time you feel slightly uncomfortable with the pressure in your life, remember no pressure, no diamonds. Pressure is a part of success.” As it is a part of life. Unfortunately, there is no end to pressure in life.
Every step along the way, someone or something will come along, bringing a heap of expectations for us to fulfil.
Like Paulo Coelho said, “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once”.
There’s pressure in both these scenarios and undeniably, all this pressure is bound to get overwhelming. Standing tall in the face of all the pressure may seem like a hard thing to do, but it is not impossible. Will power – that is what works in the face of the intense pressure, as does our belief in our own abilities, in our strengths.
Pressure doesn’t mean that we end up into that deep bottomless pit of despair that clinical psychologists like to call ‘depression’. Oh there will be plenty of ‘pressure’ to fall, but keep holding on.
Over time, the pressure may not completely vanish, but it will definitely fade. But resilience, the strength to toughen it up and take pressure head-on, that will stay if we make up our minds. And with that resilience to keep us going, no amount of pressure will seem undefeatable. Standing tall in the face of pressure, all it needs is a little positivity – in the way we think our thoughts, in the way we act out our actions, in the way we view our circumstances.
And all shall be well with the world.