I’m generally quite a positive guy. My wife will tell you I’m the ‘it will be fine’ type who believes that things will generally just always be okay. But let’s be honest, looking around us it’s hard to feel positive right now. Between the pandemic, lockdowns, load shedding, lootings and poor economic forecasts the world seems doomed. But while the media is having a field day with all the negative news, there are positive stories and events happening around us all the time. And choosing to see the positive is in itself a catalyst for being happier.

For starters, forcing yourself to smile has a direct positive impact on your health. Science has shown that the mere act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life. It’s a pretty backwards idea, isn’t it? Happiness is what makes us smile; how can the reverse also be true? The fact is a smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin.

In other words, smiling can trick your brain into believing you’re happy which can then spur actual feelings of happiness. But it doesn’t end there. The physical act of smiling can also make a difference in building your immunity. When you smile, the brain sees the muscle activity and assumes that humour is happening. So even if you may not feel positive at the moment, the general advice is to fake it till you make it!

As for running a business in these times, I remember a friend and mentor said something to me ten years ago when we just started the AdMarula journey. His words were: “Building a business is like riding a bicycle, yes you need some capital and people and some luck, but at the end of the day what it comes down to is getting up every morning, getting on that bicycle come rain or shine, and keep cycling. And if you do that consistently and for long enough, you will succeed.”

I think that’s pretty sound advice, and something we should all bear in mind right now as we navigate our businesses through unchartered waters. Let’s aim to stay committed to the good, help others where we can, and keep cycling…

Onwards and upwards!

Daniel Gross – CEO