Youtube Tuesday

Every week I share five YouTube videos with my team at work. Content ranges from self improvement, health, communication, business, science, philosophy, or anything else that can spark an interesting conversation. Each Tuesday, I will share my favorite video from the past week in the hope that it will make you stop and think. Let’s all keep learning and growing together.

This week, my favorite video is The Art of Living with Less Stress by Derek Sivers | The Tim Ferriss Show. Derek Sivers was a guest on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast episode #125 titled Derek Sivers on Developing Confidence, Finding Happiness, and Saying “No” to Millions and this video is an excerpt from that episode in a fun animated format. I’ll share some thoughts below. Please enjoy!

I rediscovered this clip while looking up some of Derek’s Ted talks, which are also great and deserve a watch. To me, the story in this video tells the life lesson that you don’t need to take everything so seriously all the time. Taking a breath of fresh air and relieving some of the pressure we all put on ourselves is the answer to less stress and more overall enjoyment of life.

My personal example for this story involves my morning workouts. I am very competitive with myself and push hard during workouts. When my wife and I first got a Peloton, I was really into PR’s (personal records). It got to the point where I created a somewhat arbitrary minimum average output and I would feel bad if I failed to maintain that average output. I would literally get minor anxiety over riding because I had created this threshold for myself. Competing with myself is fun and pushes me to improve. However, creating a minimum score that I would feel bad about if I didn’t reach took some of the fun out of it. Instead of having those days where I was tired from previous workouts and could have a chill day, I would push hard just to reach my minimum. I didn’t do a ride one day because I didn’t want to have to reach this number.

That’s when I realized that it is okay to take a slow day. Staying consistent is more important that going all out every ride. By taking the pressure off of myself, I was able to have fun on days when I wasn’t pushing it as hard and then still have those days I would go big and compete. My anxiety was gone. The funny thing was, it was all in my own head. We choose how we interact with the world. I didn’t have to die every time I rode the bike and my workouts once again became what they should be: fun. A source of energy rather than a sucker of energy.

So the next time you’re stressing about something that doesn’t really matter, let it go. Hit cruise control, take a deep breath, and think about how wonderful it is to be alive. As the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote, “We suffer more often in imagination that in reality.”

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