Sunday, March 29, 2009

When God says "today" the devil says "tomorrow"

Don't put off till tomorrow what can be done today is the same idea. People have long recognised that humans have a tendency to procrastinate. The trouble is that having made a decision you then have to live with the consequences for good or ill. It is therefore tempting to put off a choice till the last moment.

Those who study these things and offer advice will tell you to make lists, prioritise have a routine, be positive and so on. It is so easy to give well-meaning advice -- and even easier to ignore it.

If you wake up one fine morning and rise determined that today it will be different -- you will be decisive and efficient -- you just might be starting on a whole new way of life.

If you are naturally pessimistic and cautious your decisions will be mainly to do as little as possible and be safe. If confident and energetic, you will boldly go on to fame, fortune or disaster.

There are no perfect guarantees in this life.

The ills that have come upon us as a result of the credit crunch mean that many people will be faced with difficult decisions. Now is a good time to get your house in order.

Like a ship heading for battle or stormy seas it is a good idea to batten down the hatches and clear the decks for action. Only you can know what that means in your own life, and how to transfer the metaphor to practical actions.

You are the captain of your ship of life and your decisions will affect the outcome for good or ill. Be prepared.

"The human race has one really effective weapon and that is laughter." - Mark Twain. This book will arm you:
700 Limericks & How to Write Them by William Clark

Sunday, March 22, 2009

He that studies his content wants it

This saying suggests that only those who are discontented are to be found pondering the nature of contentment. Put another way: only unhappy people are concerned with the pursuit of happiness. You never miss the water till the well runs dry is a very well known saying and all of us have experienced it.

The wisdom here seems to be telling us that if we go about our lives in a sensible, active way we will be happy and contented without realising it. But like a contented, suckling baby, take away its teat and you will get howls. Perhaps being overly concerned with the pursuit of happiness could be a false goal -- just do the ordinary things of life competently and conscientiously, and happiness follows.

Tell yourself that you must keep up with the neighbors to be happy and you will never be.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The habit does not make the monk

This could be a play on words as habit can refer to a regular practice or a monk's cloak.

Here we are being advised that just because someone professes to be something or goes through the motions it does not follow that they are genuine. The proof of the pudding lies in the eating thereof. Many people convince themselves that appearances are what counts, and that the image they project is the reality. After all, we do tend to take people at face value.

The typical con man is an expert at appearing to be what he is not. He assumes the outward manners and style that his victims expect in their heroes. Don't judge a book by its cover conveys much the same idea.

But are you wearing a false habit? It is not until a testing time comes that we really find out what we are made of. It can be a shock to realise that under pressure we will let ourselves down. Tough training courses in the armed services are designed to confront and reveal weaknesses so you will know your true capabilities.

Many people discover that it takes a major crisis in their lives to become self aware, realise weakness and folly, learn to truly improve, and become the person you only thought you were.

An excellent present for Mothering Sunday:
700 Limericks & How to Write Them by William Clark

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The house shows its owner

Our homes are to some extent an expression of ourselves. They demonstrate our ambitions and make statements about our aspirations. Given time and unlimited resources we would externalise our personalities in what we build. Our follies and weaknesses would be plain to all but ourselves.

If you look at some of the buildings commissioned by the super wealthy you get the idea. From extravagant tower blocks to show the dominance of a super tycoon to the awe inspiring devotion to love of the Taj Mahal. The buildings are reflecting in stone the innermost thoughts and motives of their owners.

Conversely, a humble and penitent monk will live in the simplest cell possible. He is trying to tell us that he has put aside all earthly temptations and desires and seeks only the simplest existence.

Most of us content ourselves with an average house with the occasional little attempt at individuality -- even if it is only a twee garden gnome.

This book will help you write your own verse, romantic or otherwise:
700 Limericks & How to Write Them by William Clark

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Those who starve together stick together

Adversity tends to form a common bond: in dangerous occupations like mining and soldiering people have traditionally formed strong supportive communities. The men become a band of brothers and the women support each other -- never knowing when a husband will be lost or a child need help.

To a family on the breadline, survival is uppermost in their minds, and they recognise the need for each other. When everyone is poor there is no jealousy, no reason for envy of other's possessions. You share what you have and others share with you.

When good times come and people have plenty they become more selfish as they are not dependant on the support and sympathy of fellow sufferers. Driven by envy and greed each strives to beggar his neighbor and keep up with the Jones. This kind of behaviour can lead eventually to a community failing -- reducing everyone back to basics where they can relearn the value of co-operation. Their credit gets crunched along with their big heads.

This book will help you write your own verse, romantic or otherwise:
700 Limericks & How to Write Them by William Clark