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How not to be like Normal People…

“Life is the thing you bring with you inside your own head.”

― Sally Rooney, Author of Normal People

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most likely heard of ‘Normal People’, the Irish drama based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel.

The BBC series of the book has become a smash hit around the world, breaking all sorts of records. For example, the new series received 16.2 million views in its first week on the BBC streaming service. The opening week record was previously held by the first season of Killing Eve, which received 10.8 million total requests in its first week.

I wasn’t going to watch it until a friend of mine I wouldn’t have expected to like it, said he really did. So I was curious.

And it’s true – regardless of whether you relate to the story or not, the acting, directing and story-telling is top drawer. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

But there are times when watching the show that I wanted to jump into the screen and bash the two heads of the leads together.

Not because of their acting (they’re superb) but because of the many incidents of mis-understanding between the two main characters, due to poor communication or mistake assumptions.

And perhaps this is why it’s so relatable. It’s very human.

And it’s a challenge we all face daily, and the reason I disagree with author’s quote above.

Life isn’t what you bring inside your own head. The thing you bring inside your head is your thinking. And your thinking creates your experience of life.

Life is reality – what’s happening all around us without any distortion from our minds.

And our challenge is to remember that.

We distort life by our thinking. And this determines how we see the people and circumstances around us. Yet it’s not often true.

You can change your experience of life by changing your thinking or at least by becoming more conscious of your thinking. I see it all around me now interacting with different companies. How we react to today’s challenges will determine our outcomes. But how we react is really up to the thoughts we ‘choose’ to have about today.

But are we open to challenging our thinking?

Can we at the very least choose better thoughts about our lives, our organisations and our world?

We can choose to be pessimistic or we can choose to be more optimistic? But let’s be clear – it is a choice.

And science, and my own experience, has shown that optimism can be learned.

And optimists are more resilient, enjoy better health and relationships and tend to succeed in their careers more often. It’s something every leader needs to actively lean into now.

Maybe this week, you can be a little more aware of what you’re ‘bringing inside your head’?

It’ll add more profit to your business, and it’ll bring more profit to your life.

Have a great week,

Best,

Shane

PS – One way of improving your clarity around what you’re thinking is relaxation or meditation. I’ve been doing a version of it for over 20 years and recently I started hosting a weekly session for free – but – I’d appreciate your input on what the best time and platform to use is. Here’s a really short survey to have your say if you’re interested in attending.

Clarity and Stress Reduction For Leaders (Tuesday 19th May 11am Irish time): Join me on Instagram live where I’ll be doing a meditation for leaders/achievers. Here is an explanation and taster meditation to get a sense of what it’s about. When you see top performing business leaders and top sports people exploring meditation to get the edge, it’s time to take notice and at least give it a try…

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