Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep-calm-and-carry-onDuring the horrific Battle of Britain when the German Luftwaffe was pounding London with bombs, the threat of invasion was extremely high. The British government produced a series of posters in order to raise morale. One such poster, not widely used, was intended to be posted in the case of an actual invasion by the Nazis. It stated simply to "Keep Calm and Carry On".

During the invasion of this recession in our lives, the sentiment to "Keep Calm and Carry On" couldn't be more relevant:

Keeping Calm means having the stubborn resolve to stay mentally steady in upheavals. It's tough. Some of us are over reactors to events. Some are ambivalent about them, and some are just downright despairing.  All three are mental patterns that can be resisted by keeping our thoughts and attitudes in check. I mean, it's easy to give circumstances the upper hand and go on our usual merry, mental way.  Hope jolts us into another way of perceiving. In the midst of the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill kept a steady resolve to never give in and encourage the British people with hope to never surrender.  He kept them calm. As a result, Britain was never invaded and the beginning of the end of the war was realized.

Keeping calm requires a stubborn hope and a stubborn hope inspires a committed resolve – a resolve to carry on.

Carrying On means answering the big "Why?". That is, what is the purpose for which you live? This goes beyond just making money (which can vanish quickly) or saving for retirement (which isn't guaranteed). What is your life for, really? What is its purpose, really? To answer those questions first begins with hope – hope for a future that keeps us calm enough to reflect on the answers. The big "Why?" for Winston Churchill and the British people was to overcome the tyranny of Nazism. After all, life must have deeper meaning than just recessionary panics and momentary despair. Once you've determined your big "Why?", nothing can keep you from carrying on.

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One comment on “Keep Calm and Carry On
  1. Kim says:

    I printed up the red poster you pictured , laminated it, and have it here on my desk…..

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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