Margaret Thatcher didn’t earn the “Iron Lady” for nothing, but one embarrassing mistake she made is a great lesson to keep sane in these strange times:
Driven to push the “Buy British” campaign, Margaret Thatcher was adamant like no one else in making sure the public bought, used and enjoyed as many British products and services as they could, shunning imports.
In theory, it was a good strategy to boost the UK’s economy, although results were mixed at best. But it didn’t stop the battle-hardened Prime Minister to push it like there was no tomorrow.
She went as far as to call out journalists during press conferences about their Japan-made tape recorders, their Italian shoes or maybe suits made in Hong Kong. For her, it was almost betrayal to their country!
But the campaign lost most of its steam during a visit of Thatcher to the Falklands. Since she had to keep her iconic hairdo on the road, she brought some heated rollers with herself.
The problem? the rollers were made in Denmark. And it immediately transpired to the public.
Now, there are two angles to this story. The first one is that I respect Thatcher for going all in on her projects; in my opinion, there is no other way to live our lives. When we make a decision, it HAS to be all or nothing.
The quicker the action, the quicker you fail, understand what went wrong, correct course, and keep pushing forward again.
Notice that failure never means to stop, by the way!
But there is something about our state of mind, and that’s why Thatcher’s anecdote is so closely related with mental health and insanity, at the same time.
I mean… she went SCORCHED EARTH with the ‘Buy British’ thing. To the point of publicly exposing and shaming people for not cooperating with such an ideal.
But ‘practicing what you preach’ is a two edged sword. Because even if you’re not the leader of a country, anybody assumes that you’ll be as strict with yourself as you are with others.
But this barely never happens that way.
Take for instance, a personal trainer that binge eats pasta on his ‘cheat day’.
This hypothetical personal trainer is not a hypocrite; cheat days are important to ‘refeed’ the body from time to time. Because you can’t have your body on edge permanently, every day and every week. It would break down!
That’s why you take rest days as well. To let the body recover. In fact, ask any personal trainer worth their salt and they’ll tell you that real progress happens when you sleep and let your body rest after working out.
A true hypocrite would be someone that tells you that drinking spirits is evil, but drinks spirits everyday as well.
Now, the other day I saw a famous Instagram doctor (yes, that’s a thing) that says many useful things about nutrition… but this time he said that instead of using shampoo, you should just apply a raw egg to your scalp.
And I went like, “NOPE. That’s where I draw the line, pal. I understand your concern with living a healthy life but the raw egg as hair nourisher is too much for me LOL”
That’s a slippery slope of minding GMOs in food, microplastics, smoke and smog, blue light, and all the stuff so many people are pushing to live a ‘healthy life’.
Some of them push all that stuff with Thatcher’s “Buy British” intensity.
Wake up, have a grounding mat, do box breathing, drink water with a pinch of salt, absorb sun for 15 minutes in a 45 degree angle to your eyes, wait one hour until breakfast, meanwhile drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, wear clothes free from polyester, store everything in glass, brush your teeth with fluoride free toothpaste… and that’s only the first couple hours of the day!
I mean, I don’t doubt anyone of those recommendations are good. Some of them, in fact, have been really helpful for me.
(If I had to pick one, would be to get some sunlight as soon as I get out of bed… it’s great to fix your circadian rhythm)
But now imagine that you follow EVERY. SINGLE. RECOMMENDATION that these gurus spew.
You won’t be healthy, I assure you.
Because you would be ANXIOUS about getting everything right, at the right time, in the right dose.
That’s not a healthy life. We are not robots.
So we could ‘Buy British’, but have Japanese tape recorders, and that would be OK.
Moreover, this extends to any other area of your life.
Sometimes, eating that pizza is OK. Sleeping in is OK. Not getting sun today is OK. Drinking a pint with your friends is OK. Playing videogames until dawn is OK.
As long as it doesn’t become a bad habit that can harm you or others… there will be no problem.
So Margaret could have used her Danish heated rollers and everything would have been OK.
Let’s learn from her mistake.
Let’s push to do better, to be healthy, to be a better version of ourselves today, one step further than yesterday… but leave some room for imperfection.
That goes hand in hand with something I always say:
Remember to be kind to yourself.
Never forget that.
Much Love and Bliss,
The Body Language Guy.
P.S. Remember that you can download my free 100+ Body Language tips here: https://knesix.com/tips