Sunday, May 15, 2011
There is a classic psychology study, regarding Stress, involving
two monkeys, a bell, and an electric shock. It goes something
Monkey "A" was given an electric shock every other time the
bell rang. This monkey was able to adapt to the specific Cycle
of shock vs. no-shock and suffered minimal, if any Stress. No
harm came to this monkey.
Monkey "B", on the other hand, was randomly shocked when
the bell rang. Therefore, this monkey could never anticipate which
ring of the bell would provide the electric shock and was unable
to adapt. Monkey "B" suffered extreme Stress and died of a heart
This experiment is an excellent example of the difference between
anticipated Stress, which we can control, and un-anticipated
Stress, which we cannot control.
By taking this line of thought one step further we can classify
Stress into two different categories: Self-Created Stress (which we
can anticipate and manage), and Externally-Imposed Stress (which
we can neither anticipate nor control).
Externally-Imposed Stress: This is the negative Stress that bears
down upon, and wears out, the majority of people. It is the
unexpected and fearful type of Stress that ages us before our Time
and destroys us both physically and mentally. It is a primary source
of heart problems, stomach problems, and psychological trauma.
Nearly everyone who has worked at a job has, at some time,
experienced Externally-Imposed Stress. No employee is immune
to Externally-Imposed Stress. It affects everyone from upper
management all the way down to the most common laborer.
It results from external Events, Decisions, and Actions which are
entirely unexpected and beyond our control.
Some examples of Externally-Imposed Stress are:
...the expectancy to meet deadlines which are continually being
changed, sped-up, or even cancelled
...merit reviews which our "superiors" continually bludgeon us with
that keep some menial promotion, or raise, just beyond our grasp
The list of "rat race" Stress that affects the majority of adults is
How many adults sacrifice their Sovereignty for a thankless "job"
devoid of personal growth and integrity only to be rewarded with
How many adults dully, and semi-consciously, look forward to only
one thing in their life: the "finish-line of retirement"? Only to be then
kept alive by heart and stomach medication.
And, what is perhaps even worse, having almost never exercised
their minds, these same people often end up having little or nothing
to offer society, either mentally or spiritually, when they eventually
Furthermore, how many of these people die shortly after reaching
that "finish-line of retirement" having wasted the gift of Incarnation?
The people who fall into this category are the Monkey "B" alluded
to at the beginning of this article.
Self-Created Stress: This is the expected and anticipated kind
of Stress that is part of the everyday life of the Lone Wolf, the
Trailblazer, Wizards and Wanderers, and all those who pursue
These persons are the independent businesspersons, private
investors, inventors, explorers, and makers of history. These are
the individuals who face life on their own terms and accept all of
the failures, setbacks, and successes that are a part of their
personal and unique Incarnation.
These individuals understand and embrace the Stress which is
part of their special Journey. They understand that their Road
will sometimes be rocky before it becomes smooth; that some
unexpected crises must be experienced if they are to eventually
experience success in whatever Quest they pursue.
They live their lives, and make their Decisions, by relying on
their talents, skills, imagination, creativity, and experiences.
In other words they face the obstacles of life armed mainly with
And because they are constantly faced with options, Choices,
and anticipated crises, their mental faculties and Decision-
making muscles are sharply honed to handle Stress. Therefore,
for these people, Stress has a minimal affect on their mental
and physical well-being.
These are the individuals who can run their businesses, pursue
their experiments, and plan their next pursuit long after the
average person has succumbed to the boredom of "retirement".
And they do it with a gleam in their eyes and an enthusiasm in
their demeanor that is only found in a naive, excited, and curious
These are the individuals who never think about the "finish line of
retirement" for they are much too busy looking forward to new
projects, ideas, and plans. For these people each new day is a
new dawn in which they expect and anticipate new Adventures.
These individuals are the Monkey "A" alluded to at the beginning
of this article who boldly says: "bring on that electric shock, I can
handle the Stress".
Conclusion: All aspects of our Divine Nature are like muscles.
They must be constantly exercised, used, and pushed to their
limit if we are to make them strong and resourceful. When we
stop using our skills, our mind, our imagination, and all of the
rest of our mental and spiritual muscles, they atrophy.
They wither, become weakened, and either tear or break at the
first sign of Stress. When this happens they are no longer a
viable and valuable component of our being.
Therefore, if we are to face life head-on, master Stress, and
truly enjoy our Journey through our Incarnation, it is our sole
responsibility to continually hone our mental and spiritual
muscles just as we would our physical ones. For only then
are we able to nimbly overcome the surprises and Stress
that are a normal part of all physical Incarnations.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.
© copyright Joseph Panek 2011