I firmly believe that my day to day happiness and satisfaction (or stress and dissatisfaction) with life is controlled entirely by me.
It has ZERO to do with anyone or anything else and that includes whether the UK is part of the EU.
My belief is that the feelings and emotions we experience are simply the result of the thoughts we think.
And our thoughts are the one thing in life we have absolute control over (although controlling them can sometimes be more difficult than others).
BUT, last weekend I heard genuine worry in someone’s voice as they weighed what might happen to them as a result of the referendum this coming June.
I thought it was mad that someone could be stressed over which way to vote!
Yet, the following day I was out pushing my baby boy Jake’s pram in the early Spring sunshine and I found myself thinking deeply about how I would vote.
Very quickly I decided that the outcome of the referendum won’t have any effect on my day to day happiness or stress.
However, my personal choice of how I vote (in or out) is definitely an opportunity to have a positive effect on how I feel. Maybe just short-term, but possibly (in a very small way) forever.
So this is what I decided:
Firstly, making a choice is much easier if you have an ultimate goal.
And, being as the result of the referendum won’t affect me personally, I thought about Jake and his future family and how the generations yet to come.
Would the result make their lives better or worse? Or in other words – if there is no real short-term difference for us either way, what will the long term affect of voting in or out on the people I care about?
That is easy to answer.
If you consider everything that makes your life good – the freedoms, the comforts, the luxuries, the opportunities, the entertainment, the knowledge – all of these things had a starting point in someone’s mind.
And in my opinion, everything that makes life good, exists because someone had an idea of how they could help someone else, or how they could improve the lives of a group of people.
Every positive step forward in history that has brought you the things you enjoy most in life, has come from people who didn’t think “will this make me better off”.
Those people are the ones who held us back.
I believe that the human race has been advanced only by people who thought “will this make others better off?”
So if you want to adopt the mindset of the people who drive the human race forward, making the world a more civilised, advanced and enjoyable place to be for you kids and theirs, when deciding which way to vote just ask yourself:
“Will the people of Europe be better off with us in or out?”
or more importantly:
“Will I help (or hold back) the advancement of the human race with a mindset of collaboration or isolation?”
I will be voting to stay in and that thought is one that has already me happier.