Lean Towards Your Edge (Why Stress Is Not As Bad As You Think)

Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!

I don’t know where to start, February started tough. I’m short a few pesos from January and my daughter got sick. I’m left with no choice but to use some of my emergency funds. The thing about emergency funds is, if you are forced to withdraw money from them, then it is an emergency. In short, my current situation is… challenging.

There was a time when this kind of thing would bring out the worst in me. With all the bad things that happened to me back then, I thought I have every right to be angry. Little did I know, that life doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to be. Just because you wanted something, doesn’t make it so. Life taught me that fact matters, my opinion or feelings don’t. For me, this was my edge.


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In lifting weights, the key to size or strength is the progressive increase in load or repetition. One cannot expect to grow in size or strength in squatting the same amount of weight for the same amount of reps.

This systematic increase in repetition or load is stress.

Stress breaks down muscle fibers. But, with enough rest and proper nutrition, the body will recover. This continuous cycle of stress and recovery is what drives the muscles to grow.

But why the talk of physical strength in a topic about self-development? Bare with me on that. 

What most people don’t realize is that this process of muscle building applies to all aspects of life. By introducing a controlled and manageable amount of stress into your life, you can grow. 

By applying these principles, you are allowing yourself to grow.

A good example of this is my irritation to some of my friends’ banter. But instead of cutting them off, I relax into their jokes and allow our friendship to bloom. Can you imagine what could happen when I decided to cut them off? Not only I would lose precious friends over a childish joshing but I would also be someone who can’t take a joke. 

The same thing goes with my problem at the beginning of the month. If I’d stop challenging myself, I’d never get out of these kinds of situations or worst. Without any kind of mental or emotional fortitude, I would have given up long ago. 

By exposing myself to various stresses, I have grown. I owe my progress to my desire to challenge myself. Though I don’t always emerge victorious in some of my life’s challenges I still manage to move forward. 

While most feel-good philosophers would advise to cut off toxic people or events in life, I would wager that the key is to manage those instead of cutting them off. Treat yourself like a muscle and challenge it to grow. Comfort or stagnation only leads to atrophy of the muscle and of self. 

To Courage, Freedom, and Growth!

“Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

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20 thoughts on “Lean Towards Your Edge (Why Stress Is Not As Bad As You Think)

Add yours

  1. Hey Mr. Barbarian😁 How are you doing friend. I am sad to read that your daughter is sick. I wish her quick recovery.🌸 And I can feel that you are going through a rough patch, but don’t lose hope and be strong and as they say THIS TOO SHALL PASS🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You are lucky to have that emergency fund,I assure you. The thing about growth and discomfort think about this. An oyster does not know that if is producing a pearl. It only knows that same keeps getting inside and constantly irritating it. But soon that irritation becomes a beautiful pearl… You see something beautiful can happen when we grow

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I never quite understood the feel good philosophy of cutting off. It is so either / or in nature and this type of thinking does not promote any form of physical growth. In essence, like the comparison to weight lifting, it is laziness.

    Sitting with the tension awakens inherent resources not once awakened within; from here, we foster a superior essence of Self to emerge.

    Great post Barbarian. It sounds like you are doing some great growth here!

    Liked by 2 people

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