Stress is a good servant

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explains how stress is not necessarily evil, and how it can be used to boost one's intellect.

Everyone, young or old, complains of stress or tension—a common phenomenon of our times. There are several centres established in order to enable de-stressing, but these provide, at the most, only temporary relief. None of them offer any permanent solution.

Tension is only a negative term for a positive phenomenon. What is generally called tension is, in fact, a sign of a healthy life. It is not evil, but a blessing in disguise. Your mind has unlimited capacity, but this capacity, which is a gift of nature, is in the form of potential. You need to turn this potential into actuality. How should you go about doing this? Your potential can be realised only by being exposed to different kinds of stress or tension. Stress plays a role in developing our personality; stress awakens our mind; stress activates the natural processes which lead to intellectual development.

In volleyball, there are two players—the spiker and the setter. The spiker has the key role of hitting or spiking in this game, but he needs a setter. For without a setter, no spiker can play his part properly. It is this process of setting or boosting which is going on in the life of every human being.

When you face stress of any kind, don’t despair. Take it as a challenge. Take it as an intellectual booster. Stress is a positive sign, a healthy activity. It unfolds your mental potential. All great men have been faced with great problems. But these problems only increased their creativity and became the source of revealing a fresh dimension to their personality. The English poet John Milton has several major works to his credit. His masterpiece was Paradise Lost, which he wrote after he had lost his eyesight. Almost all creative people have had to surmount similar difficulties.

When you come face-to-face with stress, don’t take it as a negative phenomenon. Look upon it as a challenge and try to meet it. You have to activate your mind in a positive direction. Don’t lose your positivity; don’t resort to the language of complaint.




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