Just before the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, having watched an episode of the latest series of the popular BBC cult drama, Death in Paradise, my partner and I decided we wanted to watch some more. It was a strange decision because I had watched a few episodes when the drama first began a few years before and was not too impressed by its overt nod to colonialism. Any reminder of that oppressive period in any 21st century entertainment was not entirely welcomed.
However, the most recent series seemed better produced in numerous ways, and perhaps with the world beginning to reel from a growing pandemic, the key elements of the programme came in handy at this time: like its humour, escapism, apt multicultural cast, cheerful colourful atmosphere, great setting, police inspectors with their varied emotional issues, and the dastardly convoluted and entertaining plots that only the genius inspectors could solve! We both got hooked on this simple, formulaic programme and decided to watch every one of the 66 episodes from then on.
Halfway through Series 6, the very shy and reticent bachelor, Inspector Humphrey Goodman (played by Kris Marshall), met the lovely Martha who bowled him over. For me, as a relationship guru, it was so simple: boy meets girl, they explore possibilities, and get on with it to see what’s possible! But what followed was excruciating to watch as Humphrey’s bumbling, fearful actions threatened to make a mess of it all! The couple clearly loved each other but were afraid to admit their feelings openly, in case the other person did not reciprocate. His attempts at expressing how he felt to her were repeatedly sabotaged by his own fears, which made me want to tear my hair out in exasperation!
But his situation confirmed a Eureka! moment I had already experienced some time back when I realised why some people succeed at whatever they were trying to do, and others repeatedly hit setbacks. Humphrey Goodman was shy, yes, but that was not the key reason for his frustrating actions. The cause of his shyness, like other shy people in real life, could actually be put into a formula to demonstrate why he was shy – a simple formula that revealed the root of all successes and ‘failures’. So, while I was watching that couple in their painful attempts to meaningfully engage each other, my unique and almost fool proof formula for success gradually came to life!
However, before using The Winning Formula for Your Success! to help you appreciate Humphrey Goodman’s dilemma, let’s look at the whole concept of ‘success’ in more detail.