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SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best by Laura Stack

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Chapter 26. If You Stew in Your Own Juices, You'll End Up Overcooked

SUPERCOMPETENT Hero Thinking:

I keep an eye on my stress level, realizing it would be a mistake to ignore my emotional health.

SIMPLY COMPETENT Zero Thinking:

If things don't let up, I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown—but I just don't have the time to slack off right now!

It's critical for you to pay attention to how you feel about your work environment and manage your mental health carefully. Emotions, stress, worry, and your temper can all conspire to bring you down, especially if you don't take the occasional break to recharge your batteries. When you ignore your need for rest, that need starts to boil over with worry, and the stress of worry leads to anger. If you've ever allowed yourself to get to the point of extreme stress—where you feel like there's a live wire inside you all the time—then you know how hard it is to maintain your temper, keep yourself from blaming others, and avoid being brusque, pessimistic, and easily annoyed. It might not be a problem if you were the only one affected. But you're not.

A dramatic example of how anger can affect others came in 1972, when an airplane crashed at Heathrow Airport in London. The postcrash investigation revealed that the pilot had been unhappy because of the way in which an airline strike had been settled. As he took the plane off the ground, he felt it to be badly off trim: The men who had loaded the cargo had carelessly failed to keep the weight in balance. The ...

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