There’s a lot we can learn from the ancient stoics in order to have a more fulfilling life. Chris Pollinger, “profit whisperer” to leaders in luxury real estate, offers ways to be a better leader.

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Being a leader can be stressful. It seems as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Sleepless nights filled with worry are commonplace. How can you break free from the unnecessary burden of stress that leaves you exhausted? Here are five secrets from the ancient stoics to help today’s leaders. 

1. Focus on what you can control 

Most of what happens in life is out of our control. The market operates on its own cycles. Unforeseeable events come out of nowhere. People let us down. The world turns at its own pace regardless of how much I may want to slow it down or speed it up.

Don’t focus on the macro things that dominate the news headlines. Instead, focus on the things you can control. Concentrate on making your reactions positive and constructive. How can you make the best of the current situation? Where are the opportunities everyone else is missing? What is the most important thing you can do today to get closer to where you want to be? Focus on that.

2. Don’t suffer imagined troubles

More than a fair amount of stress comes from worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. Yes, be thoughtful. Be aware and prepared. But don’t spend your precious energy worrying about things that have yet to happen. All that does is steal your current joy and creative energy. 

All suffering is obsession with yourself. Your disappointment is the gap between what you expect and what you have. Stop expecting and start appreciating. Coming from a place of gratitude is the quickest way to radically change your life for the better. It’s not what we have, but what we enjoy that constitutes abundance. Dump the worries about the future and choose to live in the now. 

3. Make a little progress every day 

A 1 percent improvement each day will have you growing 360 percent-plus a year. The greatest investment you can make is in yourself. People generally overestimate what they can do in the next month, while grossly underestimating what they can do over the next 10 years.

Concentrate on being more valuable to the world around you. Financial wealth is a result of the value you bring to others. Same goes for relational wealth — the value you drive to them on a regular basis. Become obsessive about how you can add a little more to those around you each day. 

4. Make others the hero of the story 

It’s not about you. Rather, leadership is about everyone you touch. The real job of a leader is not to be in charge. It’s to take care of the people who are in their charge. When you make your life about others, stress and anxiety melt away. 

Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind. There are about eight billion people on the planet. You can’t touch them all. Be true to yourself. Your core values should be your compass. When they are, you will attract the right people into your life and business.

Don’t change so people will like you. Be who you are and the right people will love you.

5. You are closer to dying every day

The morbid truth: Time is not on your side. To put this into perspective: if you live until you are 75, how many more summers do you have left? How many more holiday seasons do you have left if those you love live to 75? Realize your time is your most precious resource. We can always make more money. We can’t make time. 

Be intentional with each day you have. How do you choose to spend it? What legacy are you choosing to leave? When it comes to the end of your days, what do you want to be remembered for? Invest in those things. You will be amazed at how fulfilling your life becomes.

Today’s leaders are under an extraordinary amount of pressure. It can be unrelenting. Social media has made us live in glass houses. We are always on, with very little chance to breathe and unplug. To manage the stress inherent in today’s leadership, we look to these five secrets of the ancient stoics.

Chris Pollinger, CEO of RE Luxe Leaders, is the profit whisperer to the leadership elite in the business of luxury real estate. He is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, driving profit, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting and culture building.

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