|I have a nagging feeling that 300 years from now, when we’re all dust, historians will look back at 2019/20/21 and label them as ‘the angry years’. There’s a whole lot of puce people shouting at the news. If you want Brexit you’re angry. If you don’t want Brexit you’re angry. Ditto another referendum, an election, a hard/soft deal.
Angry, frustrated, incredulous, perplexed… they’re the new black.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way at the outset. If you’re waiting for the perfect ‘Goldilocks’ Brexit outcome, you’ll die waiting.
So three super-quick points that might help you enjoy the Brexit shenanigans:
First up, happiness isn’t a ‘thing’, it’s a feeling and, in line with all your other emotions, it can only ever come from one place – your thinking. So, huge point number 1, Brexit is not making you angry. It’s the way you’re thinking about Brexit that’s making you angry.
That gives you some options. You can continue to think angry thoughts and be consumed by rage in the knowledge that all sorts of gastric acids are churning down below. Or you can switch your thinking to something else. Oh, and in case you haven’t twigged, Brexit is going to dominate the next 30 years. That’s a long time to be angry. Those gastric acids will be doing serious harm.
Secondly, I bow to the genius of the well-worn Serenity Prayer: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Which reminds me to ask the question – can I control Brexit?
In which case I’m probably better off thinking about something I can control. Something positive, perhaps. I can think about how to inspire my team or how to be the best dad in the world. I can also control my actions and reactions, how I invest my time, how I treat myself and others.
But, of course, there will be a hard core of readers angry at my placid response. Don’t you understand Dr effing Happy? My business is affected by Brexit. My future! And all you’re advocating is basically to stick a smile on my face and accept it. #FFS!
Actually, if you re-read the paragraphs above, that’s not really what I’m saying. I’m pointing out the fact that all your feelings come to you via thought, and that you have more choices than you imagine.
But if we cut to the chase, the truth is that businesses have always had to adapt. If you’re in charge of a business that needs to change as a result of Brexit then I would respectfully advise that you book one of our fabulous workshops. We only do 10 things – all variations on a theme – that theme being you at your unstoppable, optimistic, enthusiastic, passionate, inspirational best.
You’ll learn to upgrade the only thing that’s in your power to control – yourself – and when you’re feeling amaaaazing Brexit (hard/soft/none) seems much more do-able.
You learn to embrace the world as it actually is, not how you want it to be. Whatever happens, bring it on!
[Note to self: I’ll re-issue this exact article in 10 years and it’ll be about #Brentry]
Dr Andy Cope