Mindset Is Everything

“Happiness has to do with your mindset, not with outside cirumstances.”
– Steve Marboli

Who knew that Canada is one of the happiest places on the planet. Granted the info-graphic below was published pre pandemic, one could still make the argument that compared to the rest of the world during Covid 19 Canada is still a pretty happy place

Please click here to enlarge and read the full article.

It’s heartening to realize that as a country we are a fairly happy bunch. But, depending on how you want to count it, the reality of our current situation is that we are now into month nine of this pandemic with no end in sight. That’s the bad news. The good news … eventually this too shall pass.

To protect my sense of optimism in these unprecedented times I remind myself of the Stockdale Paradox. James Stockdale was the highest ranking naval officer held captive during the Vietnam War. During his horrific seven years in captivity the only thing that kept him  alive was balancing the harshness of his situation with a healthy dose of optimism. This was in comparison to a number of his fellow prisoners who clung to the belief that “this Christmas” or “this Easter” they would be released. Unfortunately, it was these optimists who didn’t make it out alive. When Christmas and/or Easter arrived with no release, they were devastated to the point of quite literally dying of a broken heart. The Stockdale Paradox  reminds us of the inherent contradictory dichotomy between “hoping for the best and planning for the worst”.

And so it is with with the pandemic that we are all suffering through together. Perhaps there will be a vaccine next year but then again, perhaps not. Perhaps we will return to “normal” in 2021 but then again, perhaps not. I believe by embracing the Stockdale Paradox we will not only get through this time but emerge from it psychologically stronger than ever.

Mindset is everything

Keith N. Thomson

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