The Happiness Connection  

Should you stay or go?

When I arrived in England three weeks ago, hearing about Brexit every time I watched or read news  seemed like a pleasant change from constantly hearing about Donald Trump and his latest tweet.

The novelty has worn off. I am ready for a break from Brexit.

When we were in the Czech Republic last week, I laughed when our taxi driver said they are talking about a possible Czech-it from the European Union. It was the name I enjoyed, not the politics attached to it.

It seems that many countries and individuals are wondering, “Should I stay or should I go now?”

This line from The Clash hit keeps swirling through my head as I write this column. It is a question that many of us ask ourselves during our relationships, work lives, and social occasions.

The seriousness of the question depends on what you are thinking about leaving, and the consequences of doing so. Staying out late when you have an early morning meeting may not be as life-changing as leaving your job or marriage.

The uncertainty of what will happen if you stay or if you go, is a dilemma that surfaces whenever you have a decision to make. It is impossible to know with certainty, what the result of your choice will be.

It is like a game show where you have to choose what is behind Door A or Door B. You may believe you are making an educated guess, or imagined best and worst case scenarios, but there is rarely a fail-safe guarantee.

Being sure you have chosen the ‘right’ answer is what humans seek. Sadly that rarely exists during decision making. The bigger the risk, the greater the possible reward or loss.

As the year comes to a close, your mind may begin to consider 2019 and the goals and adventures you want it to contain. Unless you choose to maintain the status quo, you will be faced with decisions. What changes should you make to your life?

Here are two points to consider when you have choices to make.

  • Never make a decision when you are feeling emotional. Emotions such as anger and excitement cloud your thinking.

Take time to consider your choices with an unimpassioned mind. Saying yes to an unexpected proposal may seem romantic at the time, but that emotion will fade.

The truth of your situation will reveal itself in the harsh light of day. It may well be the best decision you’ve ever made, but then again you may find romance is replaced by regret.

  • Try to be positive in your decision making.

By that, I mean you should choose what you want, not what you don’t want. Humans seem to find it easier to state what they don’t want in a relationship, job, or life. Knowing what they do, is more challenging.

Staying with your relationship because you don’t want to be alone, or continuing with a job you hate because you are frightened to leave a steady salary are examples of negative decision making.

Staying because you want to make it work, or because you believe there is scope to move into a position that you will enjoy, are positive choices.

Although both ways lead to the same outcome, being scared to leave is vastly different than choosing to stay. The second option comes with a feeling of empowerment, rather than one of being stuck.

Research has shown repeatedly that humans regret what they haven’t done far more than things they have. It doesn’t seem to matter that they didn’t work out as expected.

Our brains are designed to learn. Experiences give us this opportunity. The things you don’t do will never give you that opportunity.

Humans are extremely resilient beings. Remember that the next time you are offered an opportunity that requires some level of risk. If you choose to leave, you will find a way to make it work as long as you remain strong and don’t give up.

It may not work out the way you thought it would, but it will offer you a learning opportunity that inaction never will.

You may think I am recommending that you choose to leave, but that isn’t the case. I want you to choose based on what you want, not on what you don’t want, or because you are afraid of the unknown.

Make a positive decision that feels right. Whatever is behind the door you choose, you have the strength to learn from it and to move forward.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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