Are you a 2%er?

Do you belong to the happiness crew?


fasten your seat belts, expect turbulence and plenty of it. Yes, there will be smooth bits, in-flight movies and amazing views but there will be bumps along the way that will shake our mental cabins and test us.

We’ll have to brace for impact on more than one occasion and life jackets maybe required but whatever happens, every day is a new flight, a new take off.

What happens day by day on our own personal flights can be unpredictable but whatever the weather, conditions and circumstances, we can control how we think and react to them. For most of us, upgrading our thinking is crucial to dealing with the rough patches.

Things That Go Bump In the Flight

Life turbulence is inevitable but mentally we can adopt a bump-free mind-set by electing to be a 2%er.

2%ers are people who expect and accept turbulence but consciously and deliberately choose positive over negative every time. They remain realistically hopeful, energetic and effervescent and they don’t grip the seats in front of them expecting the worse.

When things get choppy, they adopt a 100% ‘can-do’ happy  attitude, they oxygenate their thinking with positive thoughts and they make other people around them happier too.

Unfortunately, only 2% of the population choose to be happy, 98% muddle along.

2%ers don’t wear rose-tinted glasses but they see how embracing full-on optimism about life’s possibilities is vital for their health and relationships.

They know that being well feeds well -being and they fuel their wellness with positive thinking which is why they live life to the full and opt to see the world in Dolby Vision with moving audio.

They belong to a ‘happiness club’, light up the room, regularly commit random acts of kindness and avoid stinking thinking. They prefer to see happiness as something to experience now rather than later.

2%ers have high happiness quotients, they are emotionally intelligent and possess bucket loads of grit and resilience.

I first came upon ‘being a 2%er’ when reading The Art Of Being Brilliant by Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker and ever since then I’ve handled turbulence pretty well and not spilt any coffee.

Image result for be a 2%er

Image: The Art of Brilliance

They describe 2%ers as upbeat, passionate and radiant people that glow on the inside and on the outside. They say that 2%ers still experience downtime but they don’t dwell in this habitat for long and often wear a smile.

They like to live by the 10/5 principle, which is when they smile at everyone who comes within 10 feet of them, make eye contact  and say ‘hello’. They like to make an impact.

Essential toils

Being a 2%er is a growth mind-set. This isn’t like flicking a switch and suddenly turning on positive vibes for all to see – training and action are required to get a twinkle in your eye and a grin on your face.

Essential oils at bedtime might help but what really counts is the essential toil of taking personal responsibility, choosing to be happy and choosing to have a spring in your step every day.

It is actually easier to be a 98%er because this doesn’t require much effort. You’ll find 98%ers in comfort zones doing what they are used to doing: playing it safe, getting by, surviving and avoiding the unknown.  98%ers aren’t bad people, they are just stuck in a rut, panic when turbulence comes along and would rather not fly.

Comfort zones are like that – they are cosy, fluffy, safe and full of hygge. There’s nothing wrong with a zone where you feel comfortable either but you can’t stay there forever protecting yourself from what might happen…it might not happen.

If you hit an air pocket then you can scream and shout all you like but does it help the situation? A 2%er would find another way and this explains why they live longer and are more productive. They stand tall, up their game and put a different spin on things so that even the worst-case scenario isn’t all doom and gloom.

If you think the plane is going to crash then it probably will. 2%ers would prefer it if the plane didn’t crash but if it does they have a plan to keep on living. Their daily mood makes the weather.

2%ers are also pretty good at S.U.M.O. and they stand out a mile.

This isn’t because they wear loincloth belts like sumo wrestlers but they are good at wrestling with life problems and adopt the philosophy of ‘Shut Up, Move On’ (S.U.M.O) so they don’t dwell, get bogged down or stuck. They get on with things, allow a bit of internal and external moaning but essentially crack on.

S.U.M.O. comes from performance coach Paul McGee and his philosophy helps us helps us to change our world view. This is about coming off autopilot, recovering from setbacks, avoiding being a victim and taking responsibility for our own lives. Telling yourself to S.U.M.O works wonders when you feel sorry for yourself.

Aliveness and vivacity have to be worked at through strategy so a 2%er is going to have a plan to deal with the fog and treacle of life. They adopt the 3A’s model as a mind tool and ask three questions to help guide their responses and decision-making:

  1. Can I alter this situation?
  2. Can I avoid it?
  3. Must I accept it?

Some situations we can alter and change, some are unavoidable and others we just have to accept but with a glass half-full approach to life.

A 2%er will do what W. Timothy Gallwey says in his book The Inner Game of Work and STOP. They

S – Step back

T – Think

O – Organise their thoughts

P – Proceed

2%ers are their own thought leaders, they are their own pilots. They accept that they can’t control events but they can control their reactions to them. They choose to react differently by changing their internal world so their external world changes.

Mental baggage

2%ers are good at checking their bags.

Everyone has mental baggage and most of us are carrying far too much for the journey. Some of our bags are way over the limit packed with things we just don’t need.

A lot of the things we pack ourselves but sometimes when we leave our thinking unattended, other people can shove stuff into our bags that can weigh us down even more.

They like to deposit their own special brand of negativity into our worlds. These people are dangerous because they are permanently in moan mode and they can unhinge us if we aren’t careful so vigilance is required: never leave your baggage unattended.

Some possess habitual negativity bitten by the radioactive spiders of bitterness and fatigue. They might see the world as being against them and so seek out a zone of their own where they can have a good moan. The problem is, some try and suck others into their moan zone to share their drizzle cake. We’ve all been there and perhaps you still are.

Professional moaners can rob us of energy and confidence so 2%ers avoid the toxic talk and choose to socialise elsewhere. If the average life-span is 4000 weeks why would we want to spend any of those with mood-hoovers? Check your bags, travel light and be the light.

Flying high

For wellness to flourish then 2%ers focus on their whole being and pay close attention to their social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical lives. They know that these seven dimensions act and interact in a way that contributes to their quality of life.

What runs through these layers is positive thinking and minding our mindset keeps the whole from falling into a hole or developing holes.

So, prepare to take off. Make sure you do your pre-flight mental cabin checks and enjoy the ride on your wellness journey, there are going to be some great bumps along the way.

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