“In any kind of high pressure situation 75% of success is staying calm and not losing your nerve.” - Sam Kass


Sam Kass was the private chef for the Obamas and the senior White House policy advisor for nutrition. He was named #11 of 100 Most Creative People for his work by “Fast Company” magazine in 2011. He is now a founding partner of Trove, which helps connect people and businesses that want to make a difference.

How do you handle being in high pressure situations? Some people flounder under stress and others remain calm even though both are trying to solve the issue at hand. Sam Kass explains what success looks like in high pressure situations.

“In any kind of high pressure situation… 75% of success is staying calm and not losing your nerve. The rest you figure out, but once you lose your calm, everything else starts falling apart fast”.

In a stressful situation, we gravitate to someone who is calm and in charge. We need to concentrate to not panic, because that tends to make it worse and that’s when “everything else starts falling apart fast”. He gives us an example from his own life when he’s in the kitchen at a restaurant and they’re really busy with a ton of tickets. Instead of just trying to go really fast taking each ticket one by one, he takes a minute to make a plan. For example, if he has 5 dishes that are the same coming up, he can make them all at once and then split them up. This saves him time and decreases his stress since he doesn’t have to work as hard to fill those five orders. He can then concentrate on more orders at once.

We can take Sam’s advice by remaining calm in stressful situations and taking a minute to make a plan. Instead of panicking, we need to stop, think, plan, and then execute!

Let us know in the comments what you do in a stressful situation.



Ferriss, Timothy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers HMH Books, 2016.

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