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In his later years, the nineteenth-century Italian composer Rossini loved to work in bed. He had become so lazy, according to some rumors, that if he dropped a sheet of music, he would rewrite the whole page rather than get out of bed and pick it up. Undoubtedly, many people today would give Rossini a good run for his money when it comes to lethargy.
In most Western nations today, the plethora of ever-evolving laws can overwhelm us. Luckily, there is still no law that says we can live only to a certain age or at a certain level of health and happiness. Many individuals take advantage of this; they live much longer and healthier and happier than others. Millions of others, unfortunately, allow their health to slide through sheer neglect.
No doubt you have noticed that it isn't all that difficult to get advice for your problems - regardless of the size or nature. To be sure, most individuals will be more than happy to give you guidance on anything imaginable and declare that it is great advice. A lot of them have likely adopted one of Oscar Wilde's principles: "The only thing to do with good advice," concluded Oscar, "is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself."
This, in fact, is a darn good question. A problem occurs when there is a difference between what "should be" and what "is" between the ideal and the actual situation. The key to correcting something that is not right in our lives is to try to figure out what is wrong. Put another way, we must identify the problem correctly.
For some odd reason a large majority of people think that their problems are a lot more serious than they really are. You may be one of them. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that practically everyone else out there has a much easier life than you. But as Socrates pointed out, "If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart." Think that you and your problems are so important?
Have you ever considered that your perception of reality could be wrong? If you haven't, this is a pretty good sign that it is. One of the great creations of the human mind is a perception of reality that has absolutely no relationship to it. Thus, you have to be careful with what you perceive as reality. Any misrepresentation of it is a lie. This will cause you all sorts of big problems in life, particularly when you perceive circumstances more much more serious than they really are.
Do you want an exotic sports car? Think it will make you happy? Maybe. Maybe not. A former sports car owner remarked, "The two best days in my life were when I bought my Alfa Romeo and when I sold my Alfa Romeo." This man is not the only person to have wanted a certain dream car, obtained it, and found out that it was the car from hell. There may be something positive in every negative event but there is usually something negative in every positive event. Best-selling author Richard Bach wrote, "Our disasters have been some of the best things that ever happened to us. And what we swore was blessings have been some of the worst." As Bach implies, the negative in a positive event often turns out to be big enough to make the positive event something that you would rather not have happened to you.
Not so long ago an acquaintance of mine was extremely concerned about a nasty rumor that supposedly was all about him. For months he was determined to find out who had started the cheap gossip so he could seek some sort of severe revenge. Months after everyone else had forgotten about the rumor, he kept reminding others about it. Revenge had become his obsession.