In the spring of 1939 it seemed inevitable Great Britain would be attacked by Nazi Germany. In an attempt to calm civilians, England’s Ministry of Information department designed a poster with an icon of the King’s crown and the slogan; Keep Calm and Carry On.
Throughout the war, the Royal Family handled themselves with typical British composure and everyone could sense that Keep Calm and Carry On was on their minds. King George VI and Queen Mary maintained official residence at Buckingham Palace during the war as a show of solidarity with Londoners. Winning would take a united effort and they was committed to lead by example.
A couple of years ago I received a copy of the royal poster for my birthday. I had it framed and it’s hanging over my fireplace where it’s hard to miss. Keep Calm and Carry On. Bottom line: if you want your world to be under control, you first have to be in control of yourself.
When facing trials, how do you usually respond? If you drop a plate on the floor loading the dishwasher what do you do? If milk is spilled at the dinner table, do all eyes turn on you to see how you’ll react? Does a friend or coworker delay telling you unpleasant news for fear of your response?
Most of us live as if we are in High Alert. No wonder we’re so stressed and worn out. Recently I watched a woman fling her arms and yell like her hair was on fire as she stormed out of the convenience store because her favorite tea was out of stock. It was amazing! Spilled milk, a shattered plate, losing a contract to a competitor, or tea out of stock are all exasperating, but no where close to a German invasion.
We all face challenging circumstances that are out of our control every single day. What we do have control of is how we respond to them. Who runs your life … you or your emotions? For the general welfare of their country the King and Queen chose to hold their composure and remain calm in the face of war. For the benefit of family, friends and colleagues we can do the same.
Whatever you face today remember you have the opportunity to choose an unperturbed, cool-headed response or a Level Orange reaction. Save your energy and enjoy the day.
Keep Calm and Carry On.