We gotta get down to get up!

Herman Degener, Digital Media Strategist at The MediaShop

What interesting times we live in… pardon the cliché but seriously, each week brings with it something new and interesting that makes us less certain and more anxious about how things are going to turn out!

Google reports that 15% of daily searches are still of the ‘never-seen-before’ variety, so we are being served-up domestic and global events which are straight out of left field! At the time of writing this blog post, we are on a precipice of one of the most nail-biting elections in the history of the US-of-A; which way will it go? The ramifications for either outcome is equally fraught with complexity, with neither truly instilling a sense of real comfort, right? What interesting times… but whether it’s across the Atlantic or across the road, there’s not a lot we can control, so let’s turn our gaze away from Donald’s tangy glow and towards our own navels… yes, I am saying it’s perfectly okay to spend a (short) while navel gazing J After all, if you truly want to embrace #SelfcareSundays, some inward focus and self-indulgence is necessary.

The point of this blog post is not so much to wax lyrical about self-indulgence, but rather to write about getting down to get back up which is proving harder than ever given the sucker-punch to the solar plexus courtesy of year one of the new decade! Like a purely executed re-targeting campaign, worry is like an omnipresent display banner, lurking on every website or social media page we view after ‘just browsing a new pair of shoes’!

What will happen to our country? What will happen if the economy cannot recover quickly enough? Is my job safe? These are fair and reasonable thoughts that cross our mind, but worrying… well that never helped anybody. We all long for the good ol’ days, although to be fair, some of you reading this post aren’t old enough to use that cliché yet, so indulge me for a bit if you will. The good ol’ days… when things weren’t this hard. When most folk could still get a good night’s sleep sans medicinal help, when we could fit in some family time after a day’s work, or some self-care time! Like the Beetles sang… “Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away…” Well, guess what, them troubles are here to stay, for a while at least. But here’s the thing, how long we stay in a state of anxiety is largely dependent on us; yes, there are macro factors far beyond our control, but as the saying goes, manage what you can and let go of the rest.

The funny thing is, when we actually do just that, i.e. managewhat we can, and truly let go of the rest, the rest kind of takes care of itself and we come up roses. We have to realise that although things are tough right now, it’s us who ultimately determines not only the duration of tough times, but the level of difficulty we place upon ourselves during these tough times. Tough times… reminds me of a piece of creative-genius from the team on Johnny Walker at the time, where Robert Carlyle narrates the history of the striding man. Treat your eyes and ears here, and listen out for ‘tough


To get back to a semblance of the good ol’ days (i.e. the get up part), we need to roll up our sleeves (i.e. the get down part) and get down to not only hard work, but also to putting in the extra time with family, with friends, and most importantly, with yourself. Don’t, under any circumstances, neglect yourself. But know this (cue another slice of cheese for my next cliché), there are no traffic jams on the extra-mile highway!

I was watching what is already now an old movie, Waiting (which, by the way, is a must see if you’re partial to frequently dining-out) and although arguably the most cheesy of all my clichés, one thing from that movie really resonated with me… when the manager in the mandatory intro-video which all new employees are subjected to says “ the difference been ordinary and extraordinary, is that little “extra! ” So cheesy, but yet so true… especially in today’s crazy times. Mediocrity was never acceptable, even less so now, so let’s not settle for it. It’s amazing how doing that little bit extra translates into success and happiness of the purest form, in all areas of one’s life.

Yes, I am a Digital Media Strategist for the best media agency in South Africa, possibly even the world (hey Chris, I hope you’re reading this! #SuckUp) so I should be writing about programmatic algorithms and that the death of the cookie will ultimately prove that contextual relevance was always right! Or perhaps the duopoly of Facebook and Google and how we can actually still achieve many marketing objectives and help SA publishers survive another day by sharing the marketing budget love… (by the way, if you haven’t watched The Social Dilemma it is arguably the most must-watch doccie of 2020, especially if, like me, you’re a parent!).

But for now, I choose to write about something which I believe is the core of our value proposition to the world around us, and that is belief. Belief and faith are one in the same, but hope… well that’s not a strategy. We all hope things will get better, but we have to believe in ourselves that we can make it better, and do the work. Wherever you find your inspiration, whether it’s reading self-worth quotes , listening to Al Pacino’s now famous halftime ‘ pep talk’ from Any Given Sunday, or looking into the eyes of a loved one, find it and let it inspire you to get down so that we can all get back up.

Like the saying goes “if life hands you a cactus, you don’t have to sit on it!”


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