Want to Know an Australian Secret?

The key reason you’ll usually see Aussies laughing and smiling

I’ve lived in the US for twenty years now, but I remember it was about fifteen years ago when I noticed that in conversations between Americans, the expression “no worries” started popping up. Which was wonderful! This very Australian expression embodies one of the first things we learn down there. And now suddenly it seemed it had jumped on a plane and made its way Stateside! Ripper! (translation: Australian for “great!”) Fast-forward to today, and I hear it all the time in New York. “No worries!” whenever one person wants to make it clear to another that “it’s all good!”.

But why do we Aussies say it, and what does “no worries” say about our outlook on life? What’s the secret, and as I’ve been asked before, “Why are Aussies always the happiest bastards in the room?!”

For us, “no worries!” is our way of reminding ourselves that – put simply – there’s no need to stress. For some reason, as human beings, we seem to be programmed to worry: about little things, big things, and everything in between. How often have you worried about what might go wrong in a meeting, or during a conversation, only to realize when you look back later, that all that fear and worry was for nothing? Things ultimately played out just fine and there truly was nothing to worry about.

Americans tend to worry. Twenty years living here has taught me that this is a very anxious country for a whole list of reasons, the main being that here, in the home of capitalism, sadly nothing sells like fear. In order for corporations to sell everything from newspapers to insurance, they work overtime to try and makes us fearful so we’ll buy whatever they’re selling. But when we start to become aware of the endless stream of PANIC that we’re being fed on TV and via social media, we can start to sense how we’re being played.

The problem is that fear is destructive to us emotionally and physically. If we’re not careful, fear easily leaks into our personal relationships, too. Bickering, exaggerations, lies: they’re all too prevalent and they’re roadblocks to happiness. When you’re caught up in personal drama, or when someone tries to trap you in theirs, take a step back and really look at these “worries.” You’ll likely be quick to discard them because you’ll realize that, a week from now, you’ll look back on this drama and realize that it was much ado about nothing and not worth the worry you attached to it.

A question for you… when it comes to arguments or altercations, why do we too easily let one bad experience color how we see the whole of society? Run-ins with a rude and/or angry person are unfortunate, don’t get me wrong. They’re no fun. But our tendency is to let that isolated bad experience overshadow the countless positive, warm interactions we have with strangers all the time! So the next time you’re letting the behavior of one ass ruin your week, remember to take a moment to celebrate the polite, respectful interactions you’ve been having with literally everyone else. Most people truly are nice and genuine, and wish you nothing but the best. Let’s not lose sight of that!

What happens when we choose to live by “no worries” instead of getting caught up in the pettiness of little dramas? We start to notice how good things are, and we get back in touch with how great it is to be alive. How well we treat each other almost all the time. How nice the sun feels against our skin. How beautiful the sound of the wind in the trees above.

So when you see us Aussies laughing and smiling, it’s because of “no worries.” It’s because we embrace one of life’s great truths: that despite our struggles, we are still extremely lucky to live on a beautiful planet, filled with people who, by an overwhelming majority, are good folks. That is something to celebrate. Let’s raise a glass to that, mate!

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