Everyone seems so down these days.
The other day I was reading the BBC and came across an article about the Budget. As grand as it sounds, this is actually pretty important, or so my wife told me. But what struck me about the mood of the article is that everyone was gloomy and depressed about living standards.
How are living standards supposed to be measured anyway?
I’m not quite sure on that one, but I don’t think I’m still living ten years in the past. I now have a house that can turn the heating on because I called it from work. How many of you had that ten years ago?
But the fact is that people seem to do nothing but complain about the ‘endless squeeze on living standards’.
So I felt inspired to write a piece on this. What do I do about it?
Are My Living Standards Really that Bad?
I look at my little house and my little family and ask the question as to whether my living standards are really that bad. Look, I lost my job in 2008 and I was out of work for two years. Those were difficult times, but I don’t think that my standard of living ever fell. It just meant that I had to be a bit more careful with my money.
Ask yourself whether you are complaining because you cannot afford a third holiday or Sky TV, or whether it is because you genuinely can’t afford food.
The chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Make a Change to Your Life
I’m one man and I can’t change how the economy works. I cannot change what the government is doing. And neither can you. That’s okay because I truly have no interest in trying to protest government decisions or change how things work. I believe only in what I can do to change my situation.
That means I have to be able to adapt myself and my family to what’s going on outside our humble four walls. Whether that means I save more money or avoid my 3am spending sprees on Amazon, I have to make changes. And I’m fine with that because it’s often the signal I need to start taking out some of my bad habits.
Is it always so easy?
I am not naïve, and I know that my family is in a more privileged position than others. We don’t have to worry about putting food on the table and we don’t have to worry about what’s happening in politics.
For you, it may not be the same. But my advice to you would be to consider this the chance for some self-reflection. Think about what you can do to make your life better, regardless of what the goal is. Spending all your time getting angry about smooth talking politicians isn’t going to change anything.
That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned looking back at when I was an angry man. With Brexit and the current state of the government, I would have been screaming at the TV and raging online any spare moment I got. But now I’m not. I try to avoid even watching politics any longer.
It’s a real weight lifted from my shoulders. And a lot of my friends have taken the same course of action. The government isn’t going to do it for you. Help yourselves in the best way you possibly can.
It will be hard, and you’ll have to change the habits that have built up over a long time.
But you can do it. I know you can.