Advice from the world of Monty Python


I was asked to write a blog and I didn’t want to write the usual “How to stand out in a crowd“, “How to get a job”, or any similar subject that every recruiter writes about, where you unintentionally don’t achieve the intended outcome, as everyone else just did the same thing as you.
Having survived C-19 along with every one of you, I thought it would be beneficial to write about how you can be happier and generally feel better about today by taking some advice from Monty Python by “always look[ing] on the bright side of life.”
We’ve all heard the question, ‘Is the glass half full or half empty?’ and I try to live my life with the view that it’s half full. Yet I’m sure many of you are now questioning if this is true.


Is optimism all it’s cracked up to be?

Believe it or not, it’s been proved that having a more positive mindset can provide you with physical benefits like fewer strokes, better sleep, and a longer life compared  to a pessimist. According to Alan Rozanski, Chirag Bavishi and Laura D Kubzansky in their article, ‘Association of Optimism With Cardiovascular Events and All-Cause Mortality, A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis’ - their research found that optimists had 35 per cent fewer strokes than pessimists. 

In another article - ‘Optimism is associated with exceptional longevity in 2 epidemiologic cohorts of men and women,’* the authors, they state “Our results further suggest that optimism is specifically related to 11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of achieving “exceptional longevity,” that is, living to the age of 85 or beyond.”


In real life, what does a positive mindset look like?

Having a positive mindset is easier said than done. Particularly after a year of relentless challenges, uncertainty, and even with a vaccine roll out, there’s still so much that needs to be done before we can get back to some sort of normality. Unless you work in pharmaceuticals or government, much of this is out of our hands. However, we do have the power to change how we think as well as how we view things.
You may be one of the many who have found themselves jobless or you may be stuck at home trying to work with the kids driving you crazy. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, try to see the silver lining, no matter how small or inconsequential it may seem.
You could try to clear your mind and try some breathing exercises or yoga. How about keeping a diary? You’ll have something to look back on and reflect on changes you may not have noticed that have taken place. Or, you could just shut the curtains,turn up the volume, play your ultimate - never failed me before - music playlist, and dance like you just don’t care. What’s important is that you find what works for you.
I talk about this because like everyone else, I’ve had my fair share of challenges. A few years ago I owned a toy shop in Chelsea and during that time, I was navigating my way through a divorce. An older, quite frail looking gentleman used to visit regularly. On the outside, he was often viewed as the most ‘politically incorrect’ person on earth and perhaps even rude, but when I got to know him, I saw he cared a great deal and he gave me the best advice to help me through that time.

Last week, I found out he passed away a few years ago. As sad as I was to hear this, my first thought was how happy I was to have had that time with him because he really did change my life by just being there.
Personally, I do think of myself as lucky in so many ways - I may not have the money I want, or the house etc, but I’m alive, I have a job I love, I have fantastic friends and an amazing family. It’s easy to get caught in the physical haves and have nots, but what you’ll realise is that what turns out to be the most important things in your life are the things you just cannot buy - having a glass of wine while catching up with old friends on a video chat, the feeling you get when you smell freshly cut grass while on a walk, or the sound of a child laughing and so full of joy. 
This is a time to be thankful. You woke up this morning and you have an infinite amount of possibilities ahead of you, and you can smile.

Life's a piece of s#!t
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughin' as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you
And always look on the bright side of life...


*”Optimism is associated with exceptional longevity in 2 epidemiologic cohorts of men and women,” by Lewina O. Lee, Peter James, Emily S. Zevon, Eric S. Kim, Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald, Avron Spiro III, Francine Grodstein, and Laura D. Kubzansky

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