I want to revisit information I shared with you in a column four years ago about ways we might keep worry and fear from taking control of our lives. In my many years as a Dale Carnegie instructor, I have heard countless examples of this from people who have gotten "wrapped up" in worry and anxiety but were able to break free by putting things in proper perspective. Here are some of the ways to do this.
Realize that in a hundred years from now it won't matter what our bank accounts were, the type of houses we lived in, the kind of clothes we wore, the cars we drove, the promotions we received, or the trips we took. What will matter is how we LIVED each day. We are today standing at the meeting place of two eternities - yesterday and tomorrow - and we can't live in either one of them. But by trying to do so, we can wreck TODAY. Yesterday is gone, and no matter how hard we try, we can't bring back one second of it. And so far as tomorrow is concerned, there is no such thing. There never has been. If this so-called tomorrow does get here for us - which it may or it may not - but if it does, it will be TODAY when it does.
We spend a lot of time worrying about what "might" happen. For example, the old gentleman was nearing his last hours on this earth, and his children and his grandchildren gathered by his bedside and asked him to share some of his wisdom with them. Here is what he said: "Well, children, my life has been filled with many GREAT misfortunes - most of which NEVER HAPPENED." Our concerns for today, whatever they might be, are going to seem foolish just five years from now. We won't even remember what they were. And what can possibly take place between now and tomorrow's sunset that won't seem insignificant in the river of centuries.
Some people get caught up in the following scenarios: They get bored with childhood and rush to grow up, then they long to be young again; They lose their health trying to make money, then they lose their money trying to restore their health; By thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, so that they live in neither the present nor the future; They live as if they will never die, then die as if they had never lived.
Folks, these guides to more enjoyable living are, as you know, not new. They have been passed down through the ages. Like this advice from Sir William Osler, who organized the world-famous Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He said there were 21 words that helped him live a life free from worry. These words are: "Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to DO what lies clearly at hand."
I will close this column with a little prayer, that most of us have heard numerous times: "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Have a really WONDERFUL day!
Reece Gardner is the host of The Reece Gardner Hour television show which airs on Tutt Media at 8:00 P.M. on Tuesdays and 7:00 P.M. on Sundays, on Suddenlink Channels 17 & 117, and simultaneously on other cable outlets throughout Eastern NC. Reece can be reached at email@example.com.