When our threshold for coping with chaos is reached, we become stressed out. When we are having problems with our family or partners, this affects how well we can cope with other challenging situations and problems in life.
This limit is correlated with our emotional capacity — with our abilities and skills for processing emotion that is the result of processing the information received through our senses.
With an analogy to a computer we could say that different computers have different information processing capabilities, like humans have different situation processing capabilities and abilities to work in different environments.
If stress is caused by excess of chaos in our world, the opposite of chaos is stability. Using the Yin-Yang analogy, we could state that one cannot exist without the other. Stability is where the comfort resides, while chaos is the discomfort. But the lack of stress results in disbalance - in stagnance. Especially for creatives and entrepreneurs, this can be problematic, with studies showing a link between creativity and stress.
Understanding this concept can have powerful implications in every field. When people and organizations don’t recognize the function of this phenomenon, the result is an unstable environment - either a stressful or stagnating environment, or a combination of both.
The boundaries between the poles define resilience of organizations on all levels of operation. A resilient organization understands its environment - the levels of chaos it is bound to, and is structured so that people understand their chaos-handling capacities. With strong culture and awareness in place, they don’t project it to each other and multiply (or, put simply, make drama).
This phenomenon is particularly notable in fast-growing technology and internet companies, which operate in fast changing environments. When the organization’s chaos-handling capabilities and culture is not in place, it will collapse with the same speed (or faster) as it grew.
But you might wonder, how to prepare for that?
First, get to know and accept your personal threshold of chaos and emotional distress that you can effectively and comfortably cope with. Awareness is the first thing necessary to have a good foundation. Understand that everyone is different - because of different experiences and their processing, we all have different levels where we can reach stability.
Second, when you get to know your levels of comfort, make an actionable plan and commitment for expanding your capacities. Cultivating a mindset where you see challenging situations as a gift that is helping you to expand yourself will help you to identify those challenges and chase them. One of my ex bosses said “always do what you fear”. Doing things you fear and pushing yourself helps to callous your mind and extends the amount of things you can cope with.
The key is in the realization that this mindset is not a consequence of passivity, but rather something that will equip you with tools for coping with difficult situations, and in the end enable you to live a better, more resilient life.
Comfort is not a commodity. It is a result of an evolving state of mind.