I have been asked a couple of times in the last week how I stay happy and upbeat all the time. It’s an interesting question and one that has come up time and again through my life, especially when life has thrown me it’s fair share of challenges along the way in the way of health, wealth, work and family. My hurdles are not as difficult as some and not as easy as others, but we all face hurdles in life, it is the attitude with which we tackle them that differentiates us.
The other thing that has come up with regards to being a Gentleman all the time is dealing with difficult, rude or challenging people and situations. My answers to both these things are similar, so I thought I would tackle them in this week’s ‘From the Desk Of’ column.
Lets clarify one point, I am not upbeat and happy all the time. There are moments when I am not happy and not upbeat, but I choose not to let those moments drag on and I choose to make myself happy again. I also view the world with a certain set of perceptions which mean that any temporary downward elements never cause me to spiral or allow those feelings to last.
The main word here is “choose”. I choose how I feel. This is a choice that all of us can make; we can always choose how we feel about a situation, a person or an event. We can change our feelings with a thought. Some feelings are harder than other to change quickly, but you can choose to feel different and if you keep choosing the way you feel it will become easier to do.
My dog is a lovely Jack Russell named Dixie. I have often wondered why she shakes herself all over, so I asked one of my vet friends, who told me that terriers, more than other breeds, shake it out to change state or transition from say sleep to alert. So I talk frequently about the ‘Dixie Shake’ in order to change my state and move on from the state I was in and into the state I wish to be.
My Grandfather once quoted the poet Don Williams Jnr, “Everyday above ground is a good one”. This phrase more than any other struck a chord and affected my perception of the world. I think about what I have and I am grateful for it.
As for being a Gentleman all the time, people assume that politeness, kindness and generosity means weakness. That is not the case, as we often mention when talking about the Gentle Man. There maybe the Gentle, but there is always the Man. The man may need to stand his ground or defend his position or rise up to a challenge, but he must do so when it is right and, to use a phrase from our friend James Marwood, Proper.
When I used to work doors and security, it was much easier to disarm people’s aggression with politeness and kindness than aggression. But there was always a time when it went over the edge and you had to escalate the situation. However, if you have been ‘proper’, your conscience and actions will always be justified.
In practical terms, be grateful for everything you have, even if it is not a lot at the moment; choose how you feel now and how you feel about events that happen; Shake it out to move you along; don’t confuse kindness with weakness; be proper and if you need to escalate then do so…
Finally, what do I mean by “the Glass is always full?” Well, here is my logic: if it is half full of water and half full of air, it is full of both air & water, which are both vital to life and therefore always full of life.
Respectfully & Cheerfully yours,
We will be running courses on the Mental Aspects of being a Gentleman in 2015 and we cover these in our Becoming the Perfect Gentleman Live event, which will be over the world in 2015. Stay tuned and sign up for our Newsletter to stay in the know.