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Let's Get Real

25th, February 2010

In Googling for pictures of Iran, in preparation for my tour to the country, people being hanged appeared. The papers only report that it is one of the most dangerous places to visit. In communicating my intention to travel the country everyone advised against it. The reality was different. 73 million people of a generally helpful and friendly culture were being pigeon-holed into something to be avoided.

The 12 million people commuting for hours in traffic in Tehran were as frustrated with their government as commuters are in London. Industrial cities in the south were as worried as UK Manufacturers having to contend with lack of support and heavy bureaucracy. Young people (and half the population is under 25) in Religious cities in North East Iran, held earnest ambitions about their future.

Most people I met had 2 jobs and worked a minimum of 12 hours a day in order to get by. Money was tight and luxury non-existent for most. Without doubt the reasons for complaining are at a far higher level than the western world.

Yet upon arriving in the UK, the focus of all the news was on bullying by a leader that, irrespective of politics, is passionate about his country.

We need to get a perspective. This is not the worst winter – I remember that the country was frozen solid for the first 4 months of 1963. Interest rates are 0.5%. When I started in business interest rates were 17%, tax was 60% and unemployment was 3.5 million. The UK refer to themselves as being a nanny state. When you hear a complaining populace of small, spoilt children that do not know how to behave and blame the government for everything bad that happens, is it any wonder.

Let’s get real. If we want things to change, then we have to change our thinking. A change of government, interest rates or recession should not make the difference. History records that all the best businesses have started during a recession. If history records this as the Great Recession then we are indeed living in very fortunate times. We have never had it so good.

We are lucky to have the opportunity to overcome challenges that will develop our potential. If you don’t agree then spend a week in a third world country and be embarrassed about the positive enthusiasm they have for the future. They are poor but they have goals, dreams and focus on what they can do.Do you?