Publishers love biographies because they usually sell well for many years. People enjoy reading about the shattering mistakes made by illustrious individuals, such as a great actor who accepts a role in a trash film that ruins his career, a successful investment manager who makes a bad decision and suffers enormous losses, or a millionaire who marries the wrong woman and ends up in devastating divorce.
When gigantic blunders are made
provide details about how eminent persons waste opportunities and turn
themselves into fools. On some occasions, errors are made out of
insufficient knowledge, but frequently, vanity and greed play a major
role in self-destruction. What readers of biographies seek to learn
above all is how to overcome feelings of sadness and guilt after having
made a gigantic blunder.
As soon as we realize the full extent of
a major mistake, emotional misery arises from comparing our present to a
parallel universe that would have existed if we had not wasted our
opportunities. Such negative reactions overlook that errors and waste
are the result of the knowledge available to a person at a certain
moment. In essence, what an individual knows and feels are the only
relevant factors in his decisions.
A painful but irreplaceable experience
A man should strive to discard
waste as matter of principle, but after making a dreadful mistake and
suffering major losses, he should avoid comparing himself with someone
else. It makes little sense to lament how well you could be doing if you
had made wiser choices. The only thing you can do is to learn from the
situation so that you can perform better next time.
being is born in different circumstances, each life is unique.
Individuals grow at their own pace and learn their own lessons. Errors
and waste provide us with painful but irreplaceable experience.
Here is a significant virtue you should adopt
not linger on illogical comparisons that bring nothing but misery.
Stand up and look ahead. Your next achievement will bring you farther.
Mistakes will make you a better human being and show you the way to
happiness if you acquire rational habits. When it comes to avoiding
waste, no other habit is as powerful as frugality.
major loss has few benefits other than rekindling personal ambition and
making people realistic about how the world works. Whatever your level
of income, frugality constitutes a significant virtue. Even if
contemporary society rarely promotes temperance and thrift, individual
prosperity is the consequence of savings and investment.
of cause and effect governs the world. Nothing escapes its reach, no one
can circumvent its application. What you do today determines the level
of tomorrow's pay. In addition to economic advantages, frugality also
brings emotional benefits. Stress, anxiety, discouragement, and fear
will not haunt the house of the austere.
Discarding waste and
embracing frugality lead to peace of mind. Worries won't keep awake at
night those who live with measure. Leading a rational life spares man
the effort of following the latest fashion. When we dismiss artificial
alternatives, we are left with the fundamental. Serenity is the result
Choosing frugality instead of waste will allow
you to make fast and consistent decisions. When you trust your own
judgement more than external opinion, you learn from mistakes and
develop your skills. Frugality, which is based on stable values, leads
to decisiveness. A man who possesses clear priorities can reject
inconsistency without need of long discussions.
Free of encumbrances
A prudent conduct
brings the added benefit of risk reduction. A judicious man protects
himself when at risk and tries to avert threats whenever possible. The
tension of complex choices can wear out even the most balanced mind. On
the other hand, a straightforward and consistent approach reduces errors
of oversight. Shunning unnecessary cost keeps risk exposure low.
the allure of short-sighted decisions leads to more enjoyment of life.
Ignoring the noise of false opinions liberates resources. Frugality
enables man to breathe free of encumbrances and focus his efforts on
what really counts. Happiness is not the result of accumulating tasks,
but of a few essential activities that make a difference.
waste brings man wealth, but the material advantages of frugality go
hand in hand with its psychological benefits. Disregard the unnecessary
and pay attention to the crucial elements of a good life. Realizing that
most things possess little relevance is what enables man to make wise
For more information about rational living and personal growth, I refer you to my books.
[Image by Fr Antunes under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]