joe btfsplk

Slaying the Internal Nattering Nabob of Negativity…

This is The Monday Line
by Denis G. Campbell

Some weeks seem pre-destined to doom before they start. This past week saw a New Moon with tidal floes a record 9+ feet above normal. Living on the ocean, we notice that.

And that was the precursor. By the time I got to Sunday, it was a day and week filled with multiple ‘irritants…’ causing me to second guess EVERY aspect of my life… There were fights and reactions to articles written, basketball referee decisions taken, voice-over roles lost, client engagements slowed, personal and health issues and while out pondering these fates, it tossed down an inch of rain on top of my head.

Yup, Joe Btfsplk in the Li’l Abner strip was following close behind all week. Those old enough to remember the comic, recognise Joe’s a jinx. If near you, all you ever have is bad luck. His name is pronounced in one syllable like a Bronx cheer. It was a week where the best advice was to pull the covers back over your head and say ‘f*** it all!’

And then the little voice inside said, “listen to you now… moaning on about all your little first world problems…”

No, I didn’t feel better, but the voice was right.

All of the petty dramas we find ourselves in create such ‘Sturm und drang’ (18th century German literary movement with high emotionalism) in our lives that every… little… thing… becomes a Category 5 storm. And social media allows everyone to pile on. So our opera’s Fat Lady is ready to sing (meaning it’s all over) before the Orchestral prelude is even finished.

Every one of us creates our own dramas and boy… some of them are so convincing.

Why am I writing this? We’re eight weeks out from a major election in the UK and almost two years away in the USA. Yet we end up focusing on the pettiest of little things and let the media and politicians get away with turning our attention to bullshit vs real issues.

What’s missing in political commentary (and life) is perspective. I’m sitting in a warm house. I came back from the supermarket with a dozen fresh eggs. I didn’t encounter warlords or military checkpoints on my journey. Yet the dramas above weigh on my mind and being? Am I crazy?

No one here runs the risk of immolation or beheading from ISIL. We’re thousands of miles from any refugee camp. No one’s targeted us for drone strikes or monitors our phones. We don’t need to kill to eat or put a roof over our heads.

Yes, we’re far from being in the top 1% of this world’s economic elite, but I would wager we are in the top 20%. And yet like so many others, I obsess over what others think, often to the detriment of both what I need to do and who I am on a daily basis.

It’s almost impossible to hear the many voices of support about our work because of my laser-like focus on the VERY few nattering nabobs of negativity (still Spiro Agnew’s best line). I worry about how to convince THEM vs. serving the broader audience. How insecure is that?

And… show of hands… how many people reading this are also saying, yup… that same voice plays inside my head. Well, it’s time for us all to shut it down.

So join me please in telling that internal voice to ‘shut up’ and politely dismiss those who just attack with the words, “I’m sorry you see it that way. I see it differently,” and move on.

That would certainly be preferable to letting the internal voice join in and control how you think, feel and act. It just leads to second guessing.

Geesh, now I sound like some New Age preacher…

Just file this under #JustSaying #ThanksforyourOpinion #Perspective #STFU

Oh, and that BLOCK key on Twitter and Facebook? It works wonders.

Denis G Campbell View more

Denis G Campbell
Denis G. Campbell is founder and editor of UK Progressive magazine and co-host of The Three Muckrakers podcast. He is the author of 7 books and provides Americas, EU and Middle Eastern commentary to the BBC, itv, Al Jazeera English, CNN, CRI, MSNBC and others. He is CEO of Monknash Media and a principal with B2E Consulting in London. You can follow him on Twitter @UKProgressive and on Facebook.

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