L. Ron Hubbard said “Man thrives. Oddly enough, only in the presence of a challenging environment.”Too much stress is a bad thing. A little stress can be good. Whenever I feel a little stress, I am more productive, I get more done. Most people who are successful realize this on an intellectual level. Emotionally it’s not always that easy.About.Com defines stress as “The body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response.” Sales people face stress more than most, especially if they are working on a commission. When I feel stress, I remember this story. I hope it helps you.The Japanese love fish. However, there are not a lot of fish in the Japanese waters. To solve the problem the fishing boats got bigger and bigger. The ships went further and further from Japan. This created a problem. The further they went, the less fresh the fish were when they returned. The Japanese paid less for these than the fresh fish.To solve the problem, freezers were put on the boats. This created another problem because the Japanese could tell the difference between fresh fish and frozen fish. The frozen fish brought in a lower price too and this was unacceptable to the fishing companies.To solve the problem, the fishing companies put live tanks on the boats. The fisherman would cram them into the tanks. The fish were alive but barely. They were dull and tired from the stress of being packed in so tightly and from their lack of movement. They weren’t as lively as fish fresh out of the ocean.So, when the fish were sold, the Japanese could still tell the difference between truly fresh fish and the dull barely alive fish. Again, they brought a lower price. The fishing companies responded.To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in tanks but now they give them more room and put a small shark in the tank. The shark eats a few fish but the “Stress” of the shark in the tank keeps them lively and more valuable.The more intelligent, persistent, and competent you are the more you will enjoy the challenges and the stress they bring.Many times, our challenges cause us to grow and develop new skills to find more success. When you start to feel a little stress, let it energize you. Recognize it’s your opportunity not a problem. My first sales manager said, “Be thankful for your problems and challenges, they keep you alive.” Charles Darwin said, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but he ones most adaptive to change.”If there’s no stress in your life perhaps you’re not challenging yourself enough. When you’re green, you grow. When you’re ripe, you rot.