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Yesterday at 5PM was Weiss Tech House’s annual Innovation Fair dubbed PennVention. I went just for an hour to listen to some pitches and get a feel for what some other entrepreneurs are working on. That short hour felt like a tunnel into another world or dimension of the world. I learned and appreciated a lot; I hope that next year I will be part of such a competitive, inspiring event.

One business concept that stood out to me, and I felt would be relevant to share with people was a product named Olive. It’s a stress management device/tracker for modern, on the go individuals. It monitors various aspects of your body’s response functions and sends you recommendations on what you can do you decrease your stress level.

One of the questions the founders asked at the fair was raise your hand if you’ve felt stressed in the last 24 hours. Almost everyone in the room raised their hands. I’m not sure if that’s indicative of anything (mostly because some chuckled as the answer was almost unanimously yes), but it causes me concern.

It stresses me to think that everyone is so stressed out.

What causes this long term stress that so many of us seem to have? Is it all bad? Sometimes work grows to become a function of who you are as a person and it becomes difficult to do anything aside from work when it doesn’t feel “productive” or “relevant”. Even though it’s difficult to go throughout the day from meeting to meeting and then go home to wrap up work, there is a sense of laziness or ‘not working hard enough-ness’ that’s associated with not being so busy and therefore not being a top worker.

This cycle of working to be recognized and thereby working more is easy to fall into, especially when one is so adjusted to a constant mode of work coming out of college and entering his/her first job, it seems normal.

However, as I look upon the month of July, the only month this summer where I have no formal job or classes I’m taking, it seems horrifying. It shouldn’t seem that way – but it does. A sense of uselessness and lack of importance comes with not working and not being busy, especially when everyone else is. We no longer know how to truly relax.

So I’m thinking perhaps Veni Vici’s clothing line should be one that emphasizes the importance of balance in life for healthier, fuller careers and people. I’m not sure how it would be incorporated quite yet, but I’d love to hear any ideas or suggestions.

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