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MEN AND WOMEN: The best cure for stress is to avoid it – and this is how

Most people think stress is inevitable. And think surviving it means meditating, or drinking, or something like that.

A far better way is to avoid it altogether by taking control of your life. Finding work that you love. Managing your career, so you always feel confident of your next move. And knowing your priorities, so that you do a great job, and yet always have time for your own needs.

So ask yourself whether you’re starting each day with energy and excitement. And feel that you’ve found your place in the world. And that your work’s important and has purpose and value.

Most people never do. They live their whole lives on autopilot. Fixated on “getting rich”.

Finding your life’s purpose gives you direction. A good way to find it is to think how you’d like to be remembered. Wealth is meaningless compared to how much people appreciate you.

So identify what you’re good at, like being able to communicate, or organise. Your values, experience and personality. What you love doing, and would do every day, if money weren’t an issue.

SMALL PROJECT

Think what you really care about. What you’ve achieved that you’re proud of. What you do that’s so absorbing it seems effortless.

Are you doing things like that in your current job? No? Then create a small project where you can. Something you look forward to, and do every day so you become skilled at it. Get organised, and set up a routine — including things that keep you fit, such as exercising, eating well, and drinking less!

Living a little of this project each day means people start associating you with your new direction. Test it out by doing a little voluntary work, or helping friends. Which will get you known and build your CV.

You might need to go back to school – but more likely you can move into a new area just by marketing yourself differently.

You’ll need time for thinking, planning, and starting your project. So make it possible by improving your time management skills. That’s mostly about being clear about your priorities.

TIME TO THINK

Making sure you only do what’s important – in both your work and home life. Less Facebook, less drinking, more focus on what really matters.

And take control of your career. Think of each job as a two-year project — by which time you’ve hugely simplified, automated and delegated your workload, so you have plenty of time to think.

And have grown a brilliant reputation for strategic thinking and staff development!

Identify your next move, each time making sure it’s taking you towards your goals, and find out who’ll be taking the hiring decisions.

Network so that you get to know those decision-makers – and they know you. So you’re always the one who’s selected.

And take control of your personal finances, so that you’ve always got real cash in the bank, and can manage any transition or emergency. Then you won’t ever feel stressed again!