“Cole under pressure, what that make? Diamonds” — J. Cole (Return Of Simba)

People seem to run away when they hear this word.

Even those who add ‘can work under pressure’ to their CVs do it because it’s a good look. Not because they truly can or would.

There’s almost no one who likes or loves to work under pressure.

Yet, they are people who seem to flourish and thrive under immense pressure.

I was scrolling through Twitter earlier today and then I stumbled on a thread asking about the best guest verses on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Most people had their money on Rick Ross on Devil In A New Dress.

I remember an interview he did years ago where he said he was contacted to do that verse a day before the album was to be submitted.


It was his best verse that year, and undoubtedly one of his greatest ever.

I wrote my best ad yet this past week after my mentor saw a prior ad I wrote and told me it was good, but I could do better.

I felt I had poured so much into the first ad. The mental toll clearly showed on my face even. But I’m glad my mentor has always been kind enough to lead me by hand while also pushing me to be better.

And I’m grateful for the people in my life who push me to be better, and I know not everyone has this. But in the absence of people, you could use circumstances to motivate you to climb up to a higher level.

Most of us never had it easy.

When you look back in hindsight, some of your greatest breakthroughs came from moments of intense pressure.

Although there’s good and bad pressure, of course. And avoiding the bad is super good for you and your health.

Was on a call with my cousin Frank early this week and he was talking about how struggles and pressures we had to face at an early age shaped us and gave us stronger mentalities and personalities.

Low key, I wish we had it easier and didn’t have to go through so much. But we did. And it never dimmed our lights. Only made it shine stronger.

Every day, I wish it could be easier, but then life gets better even as it gets harder. So, why should I complain?

Life is a series of challenges, and so I just have to keep looking for tools and techniques and resources and people to build a better life for myself and my loved ones. So, if we can, we at least stay ahead of the curve.

And yes, I think we should all learn to appreciate people and circumstances that push us to reach the best version of ourselves.

These circumstances and moments might not look sexy. We might even feel the people are asking for too much.

But the truth is, if it doesn’t kill you, it definitely makes you stronger and/or wiser.

Uche Okoro

Writer. Sales & Marketing. Business & Investing Afficionado.

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