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Are you a cheese? Cynicism and inspiration.

I recently surprised myself when I said the following during a conversation: “Life is too hectic to just sit down and enjoy it.” This stuck in my head as I’m not usually a pessimist and I seldom let things get on top of me: this sentence is riddled with cynicism and doubt.

Later that day I was going through old magazines and spotted an article with the title “21 Ways to an Easy Life” or something similar along those lines. This inspired me and some of the quotes stuck in my mind. Here is a selection:

  • Appreciate what you have: “Think not on what you lack as much as on what you have.” – Greek proverb
  • Remember to rest: “Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a book.” – Thomas à Kempis
  • Be truthful: “The good I stand on is my trust and honesty.” – William Shakespeare
  • Learn to laugh at yourself: “If I could present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at him or herself.” – Charles Schulz
  • Be kind: “Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than necessary?” – Sir James M Barrie
  • Love people: “I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” – Vincent van Gogh
  • Finish what you’ve started: “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” – William James
  • Forget what others think: “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition: oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.” – William Shakespeare
  • Start something new: “Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” – Billie Burke
  • Create happiness; Get rid of guilt; Love yourself; Cast off outworn beliefs; Stop hurrying; Trust yourself; Nourish your friendships

I was confused by “create happiness”. How does one create happiness? Then I realised: we can’t achieve happiness without the desire to do so in the first place. We must first allow ourselves to be happy before we can become happy.
I also learnt this weekend that a man called George Dawson realised that he was never too old to start something new: at 98 he decided to learn to read and write. Two years later he was a published author with “Life Is So Good”.
I also read a quote, the author forgotten, that was something along the lines of: “When lying on your death bed you won’t remember the cars you’ve owned or the stocks you sold, but you will remember those you’ve loved and those who loved you back.”