Achievement - Stress = Contentment
Recently I wrote an article about creating a sustained lifestyle. In the article I introduced a concept which contrasts achievement (doing something meaningful that accomplishes a desired result which gives you joy) and stress (the degree of mental, physical, or emotional strain undertaken to achieve a desired result). In the model I define four different lifestyles driven by achievements and stress, as follows:
As I’ve thought more about the achievement/stress concept, it’s occurred to me that the push-pull of achievements and stress apply to more than a person’s career or vocation. It can apply to elements such as family relationships, health, and finances. You can have high achievement/low stress in your career, but if you have low achievement/high stress in another area of your life, your overall contentment level is adversely impacted. It’s not enough to manage achievement and stress only in your career or vocation; it needs to be managed in other areas of your life as well. Given so, I adapted the good-enough contentment model I created for my Behind Gold Doors-Nine Crucial Elements to Achieve Good-Enough Contentment book to include achievement and stress as driving factors. I tested the model on myself (I ate my own dogfood as we like to say at Microsoft) and was surprised at the clarity I found in defining what good-enough contentment means to me. So, here’s the revised model, explained step-by-step:
As you work through this model there are a few considerations for you to ponder:
Maximizing achievement and minimizing stress across your life is critical to achieving good-enough contentment. Take some time to download the model and go through the exercise. Comment below with your thoughts!
Lonnie Pacelli along with his wife Patty created the Six-Word Lessons series. He is the author of Six-Word Lessons for Project Managers, Six-Word Lessons to Avoid Project Disaster, and Six-Word Lessons for Dads with Autistic Kids. See more at lonniepacelli.com.
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