Control your attitudes 103
and what we see as our vocation and purpose. We might call this
your ‘life project’.
An authentic life project
Stress arises when your life project is ‘inauthentic’. That is, it is
one that you feel you ought to pursue, in order to conform to
the pressures and expectations of society, your family or other
people around you. Such a role in life is almost predetermined
for you by others and you will therefore have no motivation
of your own to pursue it. The extent to which you do will be
determined by the strength of your drivers to work hard, please
others, be perfect, be careful and hurry up about it too!
You will be far happier and less stressed when you pursue an
‘authentic’ project: one you determined for yourself from a
considered evaluation of your experiences. This will result in
a decision freely made, and you will feel powerfully motivated
when you work on it. Progress will be enormously satisfying.
Decide what you want from life: what will give you fullment
and make you happy? Set yourself goals that enhance your life,
and start to notice all of the opportunities that are available to
help you meet your goals.
Too often, we put our goals far out into the future. Bring some
of them forward and decide how to achieve some of them now.
Some people spend a lot of time saying ‘when I have some free
time . . .’ or ‘when I retire . . .’ If it’s important to you, start now.
Your hobbies, your pastimes, your very passions are massively
empowering when you pursue them with vigour. Making time
for what you really love to do is one of the best ways to reduce
your feelings of stress.
From myths to mastery
Can someone else make you feel good? For that matter, can they
make you feel bad? Most of us recognise times when a careless