I had breakfast this morning with an old friend of mine of about 30 years. Our conversation inevi-tably went back to the early days of our acquaintance. We had occasion tolaugh at some events during those 30 years.
He shared that his wife had become very spiritual. But she had refused to see him for the past ﬁve years.
I understand that she is proceeding with divoce. They have three adult children, all university graduates and doing fairly well in their careers. He is now staying with another lady, a much younger and accomodating person with a sharp but subservient character. He told me that his wife gave him lots of problems, and he naturally gravitated to this present companion who could look after him rather than persistently bombarding him with problems. I think his situation is not uncommon throughout the world.
On top of his wife’s pending legal action, he had failed in a business venture a few years ago, losing a chunk of money. He had to forgo his lovely Jaguar, replacing it with a practical two-decade old Mercedes.
Though disappointed over his marital and business problems, I see in this man the resolve to move forward and to do his best. He made this statement, “Jimmy, I am getting tired after all these years of struggle”.
His statement echoed many times in my mind. I am sure that many others at his age would have uttered the same.
I am now thinking my other friend who are 20 or more years older than me. They are enjoying life to the maximum, playing golf when possible and laughing out loud at any nice joke. They are deﬁnitely not tired of living!
This leads me to the following thoughts:
• Fear of failures can make us tired.
• Tiredness is the sign of decay and surrender. It is the preamble to giving up.
• Tiredness should only be a temporary phenomenon in our life to warm us to take time off to rest, relax and unwind. It should not be a haunting syndrome that follow us like our shadows.
• Tiredness is the fastest route to our diseases. It makes us “out of ease” mor “dis-ease”.
• Failure and tiredness close cous-ins. They come from the same family. Failure is a “past tense” event. We can erase it from our mind. But tiredness is a temporary symptom of “body and mind” imbalancede-manding determined remedy.
• Words cannot describe the goodness and sacriﬁce of people who are willing to be counsellors. They are rare breed who are ever ready to help guide and counsel people who are tired or stressed. They themselves need help at times. They are no different from us. There should be a special Recognition Day worldwide for them. You can help initiate it. Make it a wonderful day to recognise their great contribution to mankind.
• Failures are good stepping- stones to success. You can know this by checking the histories of many successful people. Most of them had humble beginnings. Many we belittled. But they just move forward. They did not need to follow the herd. Istead, they moved against the wind, not with the wind. They borrowed the forces of failures and humiliation to move up, just like kites. Kites ﬂy against the wind, not with it. If they drifted with the wind, they would soon be lost and land on the ground or get caught among trees, broken and tattered.
• Never be afraid of failures. Use failure as a positive force. In life, you will encounter some failures. Each step of the way, you will need to overcome them. You will become stronger and calmer in the process.
Remember, difﬁculty will always appear after opportunity. Difﬁculties are not failures. They toughen us. Know that after a tempest, there will be the lovely breeze. And when you are enjoying the breezes, remember that there will be tempests forthcoming. It is as sure as the four seasons. It is inevitable. So, be prepared for future tempests to avoid damages, fully or partially.
It is human to fail
It is also human to overcome failures.
There is no harm
Preparing for contingencies.
1.13pm/Monday/22.10.01/Home:Bilal Lane, Singapore
By JIMMY TEO