A search around the web for the phrase that is today's headline got me nowhere. (Well, I didn't try all that hard but still.)
Now I wonder if I shouldn't just credit my mother who uttered it so frequently in my childhood that I thought it was a universal truism carved in stone somewhere for all to see.
What has happened in my old age is that finally, at last and after all these 78 years of life, I realize that for all those previous decades I made life harder on myself than it needed to be.
It's not like I hadn't heard advice similar to the list below, or that if I had listened to that little voice in my head I would have known what I was doing was probably futile. But I did it anyway.
It has taken cancer, a months-long recovery from surgery and recent new limitations due to COPD for me to see there is an easier way.
So here is a partial list of good advice I ignored for too many years. I know some of them sound like platitudes but that doesn't make them wrong or unhelpful.
⏺ When things aren't going well, remember: This too shall pass.
⏺ Don't spend time worrying. It never changes outcomes.
⏺ Trust your instincts. (Unless your life has proved you shouldn't.)
⏺ Enjoy what you can do; ignore what you can't.
⏺ Remember: Most of the time things work out or, at least, don't fail catastrophically.
⏺ Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer is always good to keep in mind:
God, 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.
⏺ Laugh long, loudly and often.
These “rules” (suggestions? advice?) are unique to me and as you undoubtedly noticed, relate mostly to control – the fact that a whole lot of what happens in life is not under my control. Which took me a lifetime to learn.
“Too young we're old, too old we're wise.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, Mom. I got it now.
Feel free to add your own life lessons, especially those you learned late in life.