Friday, March 31, 2006

Do unto others as you would be done by.

We are quick to find fault and condemn those who annoy us but how annoying are we to them? The Scottish poet, Robert Burns, wrote,
"I wish the gift the Giftie gies us
Tae see oorselves as others see us."
Correct your own faults before criticising others

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A cobbler's son is aye the worst shod.

If you are too busy pursuing your goals and ambitions you might neglect those around you. Try to find time for those who really matter.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Charity begins at home.

Giving to others less well off than yourself is seen as being a good thing. We all feel for the truly poor and needy. But if you are too soft-hearted and giving you might end up as a needy case yourself, and that is not wise. You should look after your own first and when you are strong you are better able to help others.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

He who hath his quarrel just is thrice armed.

Knowing you are in the right will stregthen your resolve and determination not to be beat. The dishonest person has to struggle with the knowledge that they are wrong and could be found out at anytime.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Laughter is the best medicine.

This is pretty obvious we all enjoy a good laugh and doctors can explain how it relaxes and improves health. Perhaps they should prescribe joke books rather than pills! When you are feeling stressed and life is getting you down take some time out and enjoy a good comedy.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Look before you leap.

This is good practical advice to anyone in the habit of jumping off walls but applies to many life situations. It is an encouragement to consider the consequences of your actions. What you do today will affect how you are tomorrow.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

Often chanted by school children in response to verbal bullying - it lets the bully know you are contemptuous of their attack. Focus on the real problems in your life and ignore the froth.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

When you really need help you often find out who your real friends are and who just hangs around. Help others where you can and don't be too proud to accept help when you need it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Be prepared.

This is the motto of the Boy Scout movement founded by Baden Powell who was influenced by the traditional methods used by Native Americans to train their youth. Good preparation and foresight improves your operational efficiency. Think ahead and your problems will be half-solved before they arise.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Eavesdroppers seldom hear good of themselves.

We all like to know what others think and say about us but would we be pleased if we found out? Most of us have failings and our peers soon cotton on to them but they accept us just the same. How many times have you said something about a friend that they probably wouldn't like to hear?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Let bygones be bygones.

Keeping grudges alive can make people bitter and twisted, it is sometimes better to let them go and move on - forgive and forget.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

While it rained, two bad men were friends.

When external circumstances are difficult people, even enemies, tend to band together to face the common threat. Cooperating with a rival might be tough but it could prove the best survival strategy for both.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

This can be an invitation to cooperate or a thinly veiled warning. It is usually better to get on with people but doesn't do to let them take advantage.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

A major source of inefficiency in business and elsewhere is not attending to something at once if it is feasible to do so. If something can be dealt with immediately then it is cleared from your agenda and eliminates the need to remember to do it later.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

From little acorns great oaks grow.

The long-lived, gnarled, sturdy oak is an impressive tree but like everything else it had to start somewhere. Anyone struggling to start a business from scratch can find comfort in this metaphor. Time, patience and endeavor will build a mighty empire to parallel the tree you planted to commemorate its launch.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A little of what you fancy does you good.

We are surrounded by advice from the media as to what we should eat or not eat, or drink or breathe - often contradictory. This saying tells us not to be over-concerned as most foods and other pleasures will not harm if excess is avoided. By making us happy they contribute to our well being.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Save something for a rainy day.

This is not advice to buy a brolly! At an elementary level it tells us to save money for when we might need it, but also applies to situations where having a reserve of energy or non- material resources could be important. When life is difficult it is sensible to have potential back-up from friends you helped in the past.

Monday, March 13, 2006

When in doubt - ask!

Men are particularly bad at struggling on with a problem when it would be easier to ask someone who knows the answer - the persistence of the hunter, perhaps. Women are often better at asking - especially if there is a knowledgeable man around! If you don't ask you don't get.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Trial and error wastes time, try thinking first.

How many times have you ripped open the packaging and attempted to use a new gadget by trial and error only to give up and have to stop and think - hopefully before breaking it. You might at least have read the instructions. Having a sensible well-thought-out plan of action can save a lot of frustration in most walks of life.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow may never come.

This should not be taken as an invitation to excess... well not all the time, the occasional indulgence will do no great harm. What we are learning here is the folly of being over cautious. Everyone knows stories of misers who have constantly scrimped and saved, lived in rags, and died worth millions. Life should be enjoyed according to your temperament.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Gluttony is a sin.

We live in an age of excess: obesity is a worry for millions; garbage dumps overflow with the detritus of our feasts. Our ancestors lived from hand to mouth winning their food from Nature with hard toil and sacrifice - they earned the occasional feast. We can saunter down to the nearest mega store and fill our trolleys. Now we need to learn self-discipline and to be content with enough.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

That which costeth a man something he values.

People who have it easy do not appreciate their good fortune - hence the spoiled, rich, kid syndrome. The person who has suffered and struggled their way to success really knows what they have achieved and the true value of their gains. Wealth, good health, education these goals are obtained with difficulty by some and they alone know their true cost.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Easy come easy go.

This is often used as an excuse for imprudent spending but few of us find our cash easy to earn. Perhaps it explains why bank robbers are always lavish spenders. If you want to avoid money worries this is a saying better not practiced. On the other hand, if you are looking for a good time...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

There is many a slip betwixt cup and lip.

How often have you thought that something was "in the bag" after a lot of effort only for it to slip from your grasp at the last moment? It doesn't do to relax until an objective has been successfully completed. Failure at the eleventh hour is really galling; learn to follow through and leave celebrating until after you have won.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Look for the silver lining.

Life is full of problems that at times seem to be overwhelming but it is rare for a situation to be all bad. Be positive and an opportunity can come out of a difficulty: getting the sack can be the spur to starting your own business; splitting with your partner can lead to finding a better one, or give you more time to go fishing! Do not let a bad situation grind you down - look for the silver lining.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

Disasters happen - this is a fact of life - but one person's disaster can be another's opportunity. This is not being callous just recognizing reality. A landowner's tree crashes down and wrecks his shed. This creates work for a woodman and a shed salesman.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind man.

"There are none so blind as will not see". Sometimes the truth of a situation is clear but we refuse to recognize it. We cling to outdated ideas and attitudes for fear of leaving our comfort zone. Anything new is a risk but there comes a time when we have to see the light and accept change.

Friday, March 03, 2006

If a little does not go much will not come.

This is an old, Chinese proverb reminding us that you have to put something in to get something out. This applies in most, if not all, walks of life. Investors must risk some money to gain. Businesses must invest to get profits. Farmers must fertilize their fields. In a relationship you must be prepared to give in order to receive.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

He who laughs last laughs longest.

We have all been humiliated by failure or mistake. Unkind people laugh and jeer but if you are made of the right stuff you claw your way back, get to the top of the heap and can then relax and smile at your former taunters as they lag far behind. Success is sweeter after failure.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Anything worthwhile takes time: students toil at their books without salary for years in order to achieve a career goal; apprentices live on low wages to fulfill their ambition to master a trade; artists starve and struggle to create masterpieces. If it's worth the gain it's worth the pain.

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