Meditation Categories Stress

Transforming Pressure into a Useful Driving Force

Nowadays, many people feel tremendous pressure from their jobs. As the pace of life speeds up, more and more often, people spend their days feeling panicked and in despair. By learning to adopt a more appropriate attitude, we can transform our stress into something more meaningful.

Transforming Pressure into a Useful Driving Force


Hello, Rinpoche. I used to be a student of NUS. Thanks to my alma mater for giving me this opportunity to enjoy such a wonderful talk. My question is about emotions. My current work gives me tremendous pressure, since I have to deal with many matters every day and they are all required to be completed within the shortest time. So I very often enter into a state of anxiety, which may continue for a long time. I feel I become more and more intolerant and may easily lose my temper toward my colleagues or even myself. A sense of frustration or irritation sometimes arises in my mind. So could you please give me some suggestions on how to change my current situation? Thank you.

Khenpo Sodargye:

Here is my thought. Many people feel they are facing high pressure in their lives and to some extent, it is true for today’s people, because the pace of life is getting faster and faster. Just now, we asked where the pace of life is faster, in Hong Kong or in Singapore? Some said it is faster in Hong Kong than in Singapore. Then we asked about the pressure of life, whether it is also greater in Hong Kong. Some think Singaporeans take on more pressure.

From my point of view, we should be able to transform such pressure into a driving force. Why? As young people, although you face some pressure, if you can maintain good health and good mood, you can easily deal with many matters in your daily life and work. No matter what you do, you should enjoy it as a pleasure rather than to feel pain. Indeed, it is your inherent gift that relates you closely to your current work, so you should really cherish this opportunity. For example, if you were a bus driver, you could drive every day and meanwhile enjoy the beauty of the city. You could also pick up what passengers talk about as a way of learning.

Once I read about the descriptions of people of this age. It is said that finishing many things in a short period of time is a special aspect of today’s people. So you fit exactly into this description. In this modern age of science, people can exchange information and build connections through the Internet instead of meeting face to face as people did in the past. So this is a quite different age, because everyone uses computers and mobile phones to text messages and to get many things done. A variety of ideas and cultures are accessible in our time. So today’s people are following a competitive and fast pace which is just like the fastest tempo in a movie. If we can adjust our pace as quickly as possible, we will not fall behind this age and meanwhile benefit both our minds and our bodies.

Yesterday, I went to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum which has six or seven floors. Instead of taking an elevator, I walked down very quickly and considered it as a physical exercise. It kind of gave me a sense of the fast pace of modern Singaporeans, since I almost ran down from the top to the bottom floor. Actually I felt quite comfortable after running down, which was good exercise for my knees. Therefore, just as our bodies need exercise, our minds also need to be trained. Sometimes you may feel too busy but please do not regard that as a kind of suffering and complain about your work all day.

As I mentioned just now, ants and bees have regular work every day and they might be even busier than we are and buzz around at a stunning speed. Yet they feel happy and successful in their lives. Therefore, it’s better to change our attitude and understand that it is our minds which make up this story. We’d better accept the reality that we have to work in this modern time, but such a lifestyle won’t necessarily bother us. I myself am also travelling around to different places. I regard my travelling as learning experiences and enjoy it a lot.