When I was a kid I used to occasionally hear Queen’s famous “Under Pressure” song. At the time it was just a catchy tune that my friends and I could link to the good old days. Little did I realize the significance it would have when I heard a snippet of it recently; in particular the word pressure. It began to boggle my mind…pressure! Pressure seems to be more relevant now then it was say 10 or 20 years ago. Pressure seems to be prevailing in almost all areas of a person’s life. They say that change is the only constant, but I think they should rephrase it and add that along with it comes pressure, free of course!
What is it with this phenomenon called pressure? Some revel in it, bringing out their best, even in the most crucial or fatal of situations in their lives. Others become its victim, often becoming paralysed in their attempts to resolve the problem. Whatever the case may be, pressure is here to stay, whether it is an invited guest or not.
We face pressure from so many people or acquaintances; be it family, your close friends, your peers and co workers, hell even the government sometimes! We face pressure in numerous social and mundane facets of our lives- such as the lifestyles we exhibit; the way we come across our friends; the money and bling we can acquire; it even can go to the most ludicrous such as how many pies you can eat at a particular contest! What’s the need for all this fuss of pressure? Is there something to gain from it all? Yes, maybe the odd push would be good once in a while, or like they say to get the old kick in the butt so we attain the high life we all supposedly strive to achieve (or so I think)! But even pressure has its boundaries, something that I only really realized last year when I received tragic news that a former colleague took the fatal route of ending his life. He obviously had some form of pressure so much so that its intensity must have been too much to bear. You then ask where’s the fun in this all Mr Pressure?
Each of us has received pressure from many points or persons in our lives to varying degrees. Sometimes you might feel the pressure is a master crafter, supposedly moulding you into this perfect being for your audience, the audience you serve throughout your life. Pressure will sometimes unexpectedly announce itself, sometimes catching you cold in your track! At other times the forms of pressure can be idiotic and immature…so much so that I label such pressures the ‘waste of time’ pressures. Sometimes such pressures occur in agreement with Murphy’s law, and then you roll your eyes wondering why this had to happen to you at a particular point in time?
There is a solution to it all I think. Just be indifferent. Not cold, aggressive or any of that stuff. Just indifferent. I discovered a greatness in being indifferent to pressure…there’s nothing you are looking to gain or lose…you are just on a level playing field. Some might say that is running away…absolutely not! You are still present in the moment of pressure, but now it’s no longer that enemy that just creeps up behind you without you realizing it. You are aware of it but your indifference becomes a barrier to it. I wonder sometimes if sports persons who revel in pressure situations actually adopt the mindset of indifference…it makes perfect logic to me. They have nothing to lose or gain personally (sure there is the achievement of victory which is part of the bigger overall picture)…they just know that what matters is being present in the ‘now’ of the pressure point. If they get through it with their indifference, there will be no major after effects to their psyche.
Halfway through Queen’s song there is a line that goes insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking…maybe Queen knew back then what was really going on. All this about pressure…Life should never be that way; it should never really be for pressure!
- Where there is smoke, there is pressure (cnet.com)
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