PC puts it so well especially after the budget speech.
Business Owner Tactics
February 26th, 2015
We South Africans stretch facts so that they are a little bigger than they really are. This causes lots of stress in our lives.
As we describe an event with strong emotive words, many of them just four letters long, we enlarge the smallest issue into the end of the world. And we are already so tired because just this morning, on the way to work, we had to live through two Armageddons.
In this context we can learn a little from the Norwegians. As the saying goes, A fulfilled Norwegian has no need to speak. It is unseemly here to show any temper or even haste.
This is a country whose leaders pondered long and hard on what action to take when invaded by Germany 1940. They opted to post letters to all of the soldiers on leave to invite them to partake in defending the realm, rather than to announce this on radio which might alarm the rest of the populace. We can learn from this restraint.
Sam Carpenter points out in his Work the System book (your free copy is here) that when the cooler part of our mind prevails it is obvious that 99% of everything works just fine.
We South Africans take the very few things that seem awry and we make a really big deal of them. We do this at home, at work, on the road, on the phone...
In doing this we talk ourselves into an awfully stressed group of people.
Here's my idea for the end of February. Find yourself a pencil and a piece of paper. Then find yourself inside a coffee shop, one of the experiences I miss most about South African life. Then stop a while and watch the passing parade. And while you are pondering them list all many things that are going right in your life.
Start with your toes. They still there? Still working? Work your way up. Then look at your home. And your job. And your income. And your partner, your children, the dog, the car, ...
For instance, 99.99% of me works just fine even though I am diabetic. That broken .01% might seem a biggie but it beats the heck out of holing up in a wooden box for eternity. 99% of our families work just fine. And the kitchen, even with that smidgen of tomato sauce on the tile above the stove, is pretty close to perfect.
As is the car, even with that new scratch where Nick whacked it into the garage wall. (Hint: If we get violent about the tomato sauce or the scratch we may need to visit coffee shops a little more often to find balance.)
As for that fellow in front of you driving like he had too much Merlot at lunch, maybe:
his blood glucose is a little low and he cannot remember where he hid the chocolate;
he is having a heart attack;
he is laughing at a joke on the radio;
he is having an epileptic fit;
he has just heard that his wife is leaving him, and:
he is crying with grief while praying for a reprieve;
he is crying with thanks for his prayers being answered;
he has just dropped a lit cigarette between his legs;
he is choking on the piece of apple he was trying to eat;
a wasp has just invaded his car...
So what? Why should we take it personally? 99.9% of drivers that we see this year will not have this problem. Slow down and give this person more space. (Actually, this is great advice on any day in SA, whether Armageddon looms or not.)
We should respond to events. Take steps to avoid any fallout. Not react to them by getting vexed at things we feel could be righter. It seems silly to let someone else's issues so affect our mood that we yell at the people we love.
That's losing focus on that 99% of things that are going just fine.