Are you passionate about your life? By that I don’t mean you love every aspect of your life, jump from one enjoyable aspect to another, and see yourself as somewhat superior to others who seem to wrestle regularly with stress. No, passionate means you value your life; you believe it is important to be an active participant in life; and you have a realistic and humble confidence in being able to meet the challenges you face.
Being passionate encourages you to engage yourself in both the good and the bad aspects of living: You try to connect with your stress, not avoid it, even when faced with difficult challenges; you believe that effort and action are more important than ambivalence; you do your best to plan how to meet challenges, and following failure, you modify your plans rather than withdraw; you seek achievement, not stagnation. These are the components of passionate coping – Connecting, Effort, Planning, and Achieving – and they are effective coping strategies.
Tennis star Billie Jean King once said: “No matter how tough, no matter what kind of outside pressure, no matter how many bad breaks along the way, I must keep my sights on the final goal, to win, win, win, and with more love and passion than the world has ever witnessed in any performance.”
When it comes to coping with everyday stress, the only change I would make to King’s statement is to substitute “try” for “win”: “No matter how tough, no matter what kind of outside pressure, no matter how many bad breaks along the way, I must keep my sights on the final goal, to try, try, try, and with more love and passion than the world has ever witnessed in any performance.” Remember, successful coping is not about winning; it’s about effort that brings you satisfaction and fulfillment, knowing that you have done the best you can.