In two places at once

How do you define stress?

Naval Ravikant defines it in the elegant manner of engineers: to be stressed is wanting to be in two places at once.

A beam’s tendency is to remain straight. When we try to bend the beam, it becomes stressed.

A spring’s tendency is to remain at its natural length. Reducing or extending this length causes it to become stressed.

We might expect to be done with work early, but when our work isn’t done for the day, we are stressed.

We might wish to get to the airport on time to catch a flight, but we might be held up due to traffic.

At the heart of every stressful moment is an unresolved conflict within us. The most effective means to resolve this conflict is to think about why we wish to be in two places at once.

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