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September 2022

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There’s a really interesting bit of research which adds some science to the common observation that when someone is under stress, they perceive things more negatively. 

When it’s stated like that, it perhaps sounds a bit obvious; but the corollary goes deeper. If under stress, you have to deliberately factor that observation into your assessment of the world, and apply a course correction. 

And there’s little doubt that at the moment, we’re under stress. The word ‘crisis’ is liberally sprinkled across most news headlines, and our perception of the world is customarily now framed through the steeply increasing cost of living.

For the last two years our landscape has been stalked by the grisly triumvirate of Brexit, Covid and War in Ukraine; whether used accurately, or just as a convenient excuse, their baleful influence is now cited in most discussions of anything which goes wrong. But whatever the true cause, we are being bombarded with prompts that the world of 2023 will be a very tough one, with everyone – from governments down – looking for more money. 

Which is self-fulfilling. It will be true, because we say it will. 

And that brings me back to the observation above. When we are under threat, we only see more threats. Which then creates more threats (repeat). 

I’m not suggesting we become rigidly optimistic, obsessively and mindlessly mouthing the tired mantra that everything is fine, Jersey has a proud entrepreneurial history of punching above its weight, being ‘fleet-of-foot’, responsive and ‘world-beating’ (insert other clichés here). 

But, in any accurate assessment of the position, there are always opportunities as well as threats, and just as many businesses have used the pandemic to accelerate technology changes, the latter often creates the former. 

So as people come back from leave, and make their plans through the final third of this year, don’t get swamped by negativity, otherwise you will crystalise the position you are trying to avoid. Those slippery little strands of optimism, and its bed-fellow opportunity, are always right there if you feel around for them, no matter how murky the water looks.

Perhaps Connect will give you some ideas.
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