What is the most important thing anyone said to you? I would find that hard to identify but certainly I can remember remarks which have stayed with me, and have undoubtedly affected my life and the way I think. How about you?
For example, I remember Trevor – who was a colleague of mine in a job I held briefly over 50 years ago. Something must have been upsetting me. Maybe I had just had a wigging from the boss, or perhaps I was worried that my money would run out before the month did. Trevor noticed that I was upset or concerned, and he said to me: “You can think about disasters in two ways: either you can be happy about them or you can be unhappy about them.”
I had to agree, although I couldn’t see his point. He went on: “Does how you feel about it make the slightest difference to the disaster?” It had never occurred to me, but I had to agree that it made no difference.
“Right.” he said “You might just as well feel happy about it.”
It all sounded a bit too easy. But in fact I have found over the years that Trevor’s advice has often helped me to avoid being unhappy or over-anxious. For example, every news bulletin we hear at the moment contains portents of disaster. My feelings about this won’t mend the financial situation – or damage it for that matter. Why let myself feel cast down about it all?
In fact, feeling happy about it actually helps me to look at it objectively, and to bring my practical wisdom (prudence) to bear. Are there actions I can take to make sure that my affairs are in the best order to deal with the future? Should I reduce my charitable contributions or increase them because my neighbour may be suffering more?These are not decisions which benefit from emotion; they require the cool head of a happy man.
Come and share with us any advice you have received, or insight you have achieved, which you have found especially valuable over the years. Give us a chance to benefit too.