|Are you mainly tired, or mainly uptight?
This new book came out of workshops called "Pruning the Stress Tree" that I
ran with Frank Darby in New Zealand between 1997 and 2000.
The main aim of the workshop was to demystify
stress, so that people could apply what they already knew about life.
At that time people were saying that stress was "The Fight or Flight Syndrome"; that
stress meant wanting to kill someone but not being able to. So our
workshop poster said "What if stress isn't a tidal wave, isn't a
monster, but just a weed that grew in the corner while you weren't looking?"
We went on to say things like
• It doesn't take a major upset to make you feel stressed. Just
normal, everyday things, done for long enough, can leave you emotionally
exhausted – and that's exactly what stress is!
• If all your tasks are incomplete, day after day... you'll feel
• If your job requires you to pay constant attention, with serious
consequences for any slip-up... that's stress too.
• If you feel put upon and resentful at work, or if you let the sun
set on an argument, if you take those feelings home with you and leave
them on your mind all night... you guessed it, that's also stress!
The workshop notes grew and grew. Eventually they became a book. Then a
Sydney writer, Gaynor Foster, produced a punchy version
for managers and individuals who want to learn more about managing their
own stress. She and I argued back and forth for several years, each
rewriting what the other had just done, and finally we produced something that we both liked.
Here it is!
Here is an extract (PDF file, 295kB).