Stuck in the mud!
September 01, 2019
So I was listening to Monica Lewinsky in a TedX Interview about cyber bullying. She talked about the psychological trauma she went through from being publicly humiliated in 1998 and the ordeal that followed. The silver lining is how she has turned a near suicidal situation into one of positivity, where she now spreads her message around schools of how to not sleep with your boss. No jokes aside, she talks about how people can move forward from traumatic situations by integrating them into their lives as opposed to running away from their issues. This inspired me to write a blog about a sticky situation I found myself in recently on a visit to Norfolk; when I quite literally got stuck in the mud.
The long and short of the story is we went for a wellies walk along Norfolk’s lovely coast region, where the tide was out and the marsh lands remained full of abandoned boats. I had my four-month-old daughter in a baby carrier on my chest who was laughing away and loving every minute of it. There’s something about wearing wellies that makes you a little cocksure about where you tread and down on the banks I saw a couple of boats that I thought I would go and snap a few photos of; knowing my wellies would glide through all sorts of terrain. What I had accounted for was a sort of quick sand/cement mud, that when I turned to leave had taken hold of my welly and left me flat of my arse! What followed was a bit of panic, my wife also falling on her arse trying to save me, my baby girl screaming her head of from bashing her head on my chin, a very scared 3-year-old who was shaken with fear from what he was seeing, and a group of ‘friends’ literally belly laughing at the top of the bank as the trauma played out. I had literally made their day!
After a useless attempt to save the welly and my dignity, I gave up. I lost the welly about a foot into the ground, walked back to the car in one sock with half my body covered in mud, spent half-an-hour in a toilet naked trying to clean up with locals giving me all sorts of looks, and drove home in my boxers with my wife taking photos of me and sending it to her various WhatsApp groups to laugh even harder.
So I thought the only way to deal with this deep humiliation is to share the story, get over it and pretend there is some learning from it. The main learning is to engage your brain quicker when walking on dangerous terrain. However, I have concluded there are some deeper, more spiritual learnings if you look hard enough…
- In scary situations, remain calm. Panicking would have made the situation worse and I had a baby strapped to my chest. So before you react, take some time to think about the different choices you could make and how they will each play out.
- Your friends are arseholes (well mine were). Whilst some will try to help you, most don’t want to suffer the same fate as you, so they think about themselves whilst laughing at your misfortune. It’s something innate with humans. When the jokes on you it can feel lonely, but sometimes you have to laugh at yourself and the whole world will laugh with you.
- Humility. You need a lot of it. Someone said the one reason Donald Trump is able to be so successful is that he doesn’t feel shame. Deciding on how you deal with shame will shape you as a person. People who can’t laugh at themselves are miserable and awkward. We all have flaws, so embrace them.
- When you’re struggling for content ideas, write about the stuff that’s happening to you right now. Sometimes there is more value in your every day life that you give yourself credit for.
These lessons can also help you in sales, so try to apply the following:
- When sales are low, don’t panic and change tact. Review what you’re doing, seek advice and maybe the best thing to do is to keep focusing on your strategy.
- You will get a lot of rejection in life. It’s how you bounce back, learn, improve and deal with it, that will make you the person or business you want to be.
- Find interesting ways to tell your stories and give advice by using personal content that people can relate to.
Most importantly, be safe on walks!
Any lastly, if any of you are wondering what the masterpiece photo was that I took and made it all worthwhile; it’s the header image.
Here’s some more images for you to really embrace the story…
The bounce back… (£38 later)