It is a common notion that mild stress is not bad and in fact helps one become more productive and often necessary for achieving peak performance.
However, this is not true. Mild stress is more like a short cut to ‘near peak performance’!
If you consider the highest level of achievements, whether they are works of art or music (Picasso, Beethoven) or the works of science (Einstein’s theories), it is inconceivable that they were performed under any stress.
The primary requirement of achieving excellence in all martial arts like Kung fu is that the practitioner be in a deep state of relaxed concentration (as opposed to having concentration with slight stress).
To reach a level where one can achieve peak performance with no stress, one needs to master several mindfulness techniques, along with the habit of usually being in a deep state of relaxation. Developing all those can be time consuming and in a way a lifelong journey, but any progress in that direction is well worth the effort.
So accepting mild stress in order to get through the many tasks at hand or to perform at so called peak levels, may be the only practical choice – and adopting that is perfectly fine.
However, it is good to be aware that a superior path exists and continue to make progress in that direction within one’s means.
Finally, what are those skills which you need for performing at highest level with a perfectly relaxed state of mind – that is a topic for next time…