This summer I am posting the best of The Blunt Bean Counter blog while I work on my golf game. Today, I am re-posting a March 2018 blog on I wrote on quotes and proverbs to ponder. I have found the first couple especially relevant during the pandemic.
Let Me Tell You - Quotes and Proverbs to Ponder
As I noted previously, I am writing occasional blog posts under the title “Let Me Tell You” that delve into topics that may a bit more philosophical or life lessons as opposed to the usual tax and financial fare. Today, I discuss three of my favourite quotes and proverbs. I think these words of wisdom provide some insight into my psyche, but I will leave that for you to decide.
I have tried my best to attribute these sayings to the proper person; but regardless of whether I have the correct acknowledgement or not, the key is the message, not the messenger.
Make a Decision and Go with It!
I have discussed this quote once before, but I am bringing it back, since it is one of my favourites. The quote as best I can tell is from a poem by S.H. Payer’s “Live Each Day to the Fullest”. It goes as follows:
"When you are faced with decision, make that decision as wisely as possible, then forget it. The moment of absolute certainty never arrives".
Think about that last line: “The moment of absolute certainty never arrives”. Whether a decision is personal or financial, it has been my experience that people can freeze in their tracks with indecision and are often unable to act on their issues, until they feel they have found that moment of certainty.
However, we all know that the moment of certainty very rarely identifies itself or if it does, it is likely not in a timely manner. This is why I love this quote; time constraints often force us to deal with an issue before there is certainty. People who make the best decisions, under the circumstances and move forward without regret or second-guessing themselves, are best equipped to solve and deal with life and its often confounding decisions.
We Are Not Immortal – Live Your Life to the Fullest While You Can (but save a few bucks for retirement)
In October of 2015, I wrote a blog post titled “Believe it or Not - We Are Not Immortal” in which I discussed how denying our mortality had a significant impact emotionally and financially upon our families. The take-away from this blog post was that you should provide your spouse and loved ones a financial roadmap so that they are prepared as best they can be, should you pass away.
In the comments to that post, one of my reader’s, Vernon L provided a quote that read:
“Man, he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the results being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
What a great quote! While it in part touches on our mortality, it has a wider breadth, in that it comments on how we live, or more accurately, how we often live improperly.
After reading the quote, I immediately googled it to determine who made such a perceptive comment on human behaviour. Initially, the quote appeared to be attributable to the Dali Lama. However, as I researched further, it appears the consensus is that it has been inaccurately credited to the Dali Lama and it should be attributed to John James Brown (pen name James Lachard) a writer and former CEO of World Vision Canada. So, while I am not 100% sure whom to attribute this quote to, let us just leave it at it is very sage advice.
This quote refers to money and the financial and health consequences of chasing the almighty dollar. But of course, enjoying your life and living in the present is not 100% correlated to money. We have family, religious and altruistic components of our lives that enrich and make our day to day living fulfilling (as discussed in this blog post I wrote).
I have written numerous times about having a bucket list and ensuring you cross items off your list during your working life. The longer we wait to undertake these bucket list items, the greater the chance we are not physically able to do them, or worse, not around to do them.
While this quote goes much deeper, we all need to live in the present and enjoy our lives and family, plan for retirement (where hopefully health and money permitting, you clean up your bucket list and make a new one), and always understand that you are very lucky for each day on this earth.
It is Never My Fault
Somebody sent me this quote/life lesson that was circulated on Facebook last year. I have no idea whom to attribute it to, but it very succinct and accurate in my opinion. It goes as follows:
Three Ways to Fail At Everything in Life:
- Blame all your problems on others
- Complain about everything
- Not be grateful
Craig Soroda who provides leadership training noted in this blog post that the above three points are known as blame, complain and defend (“BCD”). He provides a quote by well-known football Coach Urban Meyer that says “BCD has never solved a problem, achieved a goal, or improved a relationship. Stop wasting your time and energy on something that will never help you.”
Personally, I go back to the old school thoughts of my father. Dad always taught me that I must take responsibility for whatever I did, not to complain, and to never give up. I think being grateful just came from the way I was raised by my parents.
In brief, these quotes can be summed up as follows:
1. Life is fleeting, live it and enjoy it as best you can, but save a few bucks for retirement.
2. Don’t dither on decisions, make an educated decision and move on.
3. You are responsible for your own life, don’t blame others,it is counter-productive, and people don’t like whiners.
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