“Stress is not a prerequisite for or an indication of focus.” -Amy Larson, amyjalapeno.com
Years ago, I had a boss that would literally stand over my shoulder before financial review meetings as I put together last-minute requests for particular data. He would tap his fingers on my desk, the cubicle wall, his arm. His breathing was irregular and bordered on panting. He was the physical embodiment of stress.
“You know, being stressed out is not going to make me get this done quicker.” I said once.
“Yes, it is.” he responded, absolute convinced he was doing me a favor, instead of realizing he was being more of a distraction.
I knew there was nothing I could do to make him leave, so I used it for mental fuel.
I continued calmly, regulated my breathing, moved with absolute relaxation, awareness, and focus, knowing those responses would be the best way for me to produce (with accuracy) the numbers his boss had requested of us.
So I let him tap, pant, and stress out while I rebelliously remained calm and focused.
Stress is bringing the past, the future, our not-enoughness into the picture of now. Focus is absolute presence. It is seeing multiple factors, considering all, yet realizing the importance of sequence and patiently, diligently, intentionally putting each of these pieces into play moment to moment.