Leadership often involves pressure – pressure from those we serve, pressure from the weight of the responsibility, and most often, pressure from ourselves. Bill Murray is a man who seems to handle this burden pretty well. With Bill as our guide, let’s explore three things we can do to better handle stress.
When I think of actors who consistently seem relaxed, Bill Murray is at the top of my list. When you watch an interview with Bill, he appears to be care-free. The jokes flow effortlessly as Bill eludes what the interviewer asks while giving the interviewer what they need. It is not always so effortless for leaders.
Not letting the stress build can be easier said than done. But that doesn’t mean we should not try. Your best work is not accomplished when you are overpowered by anxiety. As Bill said in an interview:
The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.
How does Bill do this?
I realized the more fun I had, the more relaxed I was working, the better I worked.
So figure out how you can have more fun. There is no better stress reliever than when you are enjoying yourself. The responsibilities and tribulations won’t change, just the way you view them.
When many think of optimism, they often think of the overused phrase to “see the glass as half full.” Let’s be less generic – to relieve ourselves of stress, we need a sense of hope to pop out of our Pandora’s box.
She opens up the box, and all the nightmares fly out. And slams the lid shut, like, ‘Oops,’ and opens it one more time, and hope pops out of the box. That’s the only thing we really, surely have, is hope. You hope that you can be alive, that things will happen to you that you’ll actually witness, that you’ll participate in.
When we allow ourselves to experience hope, we are envisioning what life will be like when we reach the end-goal. This can be a powerful motivator to push us through the difficult times. It is not wishful, dreamer thinking; it is knowing where you are heading and where the result lies. The hope is in believing you will get there.
While the motives may be selfless, stress is an emotion that breeds selfishness. When we are overwhelmed it can be difficult to consider other’s feelings and how our actions are affecting them.
When I feel like I’m stuck, I do something — not like I’m Mother Teresa or anything, but there’s someone that’s forgotten about in your life, all the time. Someone that could use an ‘Attaboy’ or a ‘How you doin’ out there.’… anyone you can get help from or give help to, that’s part of your obligation.
So next time you’re feeling the stress accumulate, take immediate action. Don’t wait for it to get out of hand. Fun, hope, and compassion could be your pathway to a Bill Murray frame of mind.