Managing Stress as a Type A
In a world where advice is geared towards Type B's
In August 2004, I first stepped into the world of Division 1 athletics, a world buzzing with ambition, adrenaline, and people running on caffeine. I was surrounded by perfectionists, workaholics, alcoholics, and everything in between.
4 years of blood, sweat and tears later I would be drafted by the Colorado Rockies. But let me tell you, it wasn't the endless hours of work or the chase for perfection that led to my success; it was learning the art of efficiency while maintaining my sanity. If you have found yourself shackled by the burden of perfection, have had your output throttled by insignificant details, or have been suffocated by the fear of failure, then my guess is you also struggle to complete tasks that seem effortless for others. What I learned through my journey as a professional athlete and later as an executive in Silicon Valley, is that there's a high effort way to go through life and there's a low effort way to go through life. And that those who find the greatest success are not those who grind away the hardest at tasks but rather are those who are intelligently efficient in their approach. To preserve my mental well-being and achieve my goals, I was forced to study natural order and the human condition. Hundreds of hours of focus led me to perceiving shortcuts that have become crucial to my survival. For instance, in Corporate America, I noticed how you looked and how you spoke mattered more than what you did
In the gym, I noticed that training intensity instead of volume made workouts more enjoyable because I was allowed to rest more and it also saved me time and energy. Life isn't kind to those who can't find efficient paths to accomplish their goals. So, I urge you to invest time in creating, deconstructing, and reconstructing mental frameworks that help you understand the world with increasing accuracy as you age. Though we can never fully comprehend the world as it is, prioritizing the development of increasingly accurate mental models can help us predict our surroundings, better understand human nature, recognize natural order, and strategically focus our efforts. With these models, we can identify what we need to focus on and what can be completely ignored. In order to embrace efficiency and achieve success with less effort we should focus on these four things: