Host: Welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast, where we talk to wellness professionals from around the world to gain their insights into healthier living. I’m your host, Wes Malik. Today our guest is John Vespasian, who was born in Spain and lived in Germany, Italy, and France before settling in the Netherlands. He’s the author of 11 books about Rational Living and History. We’ll talk more about these, but his books combined his passion for history, investing, and personal development, reflecting his philosophy of rational living, productiveness, and respect for the individual. In his books, he talks about how different individuals made decisions, the process of decision-making, and how to learn from the wisdom accumulated from centuries of human experience. To talk more about his books and living healthy, let’s invite John Vespasian to the show. John, welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast. How are you doing today?
John: Very well, thanks for having me on, Wes
Host: Alright! John, before we begin, we’d love to know how you've lived your life and what living healthy and living well means to you?
John: For me, living healthy means to be able to do what I like to do, which includes writing books and traveling, mainly in Europe. I’m on European soil, so I travel mainly in Europe as that doesn’t require a lot of money. I have to say, people believe that to be able to do what you want to do, you need a fortune. This is not true. It might be true… maybe you live in a very expensive area. But in Europe, you have your choice and for me, this is a perfect place to be.
Host: Okay, so you choose to live in Europe. So I’m assuming you’re from there. You’re based there?
John: Yes, I’ve been in the States many times. I really like Europe because of its variety. Before the start of the show, we were mentioning this COVID situation.
John: You see Europe, it has many countries. The countries are usually small.
John: In comparison to the US, you only need to drive a couple of hours to pass a completely different environment. So this is, for many Americans incomprehensible.
Host: That’s true. And there are many different cultures, different languages. Even within the, even within the countries, there’s different pockets of different cultures and languages and the food and the way they lived, the style of the houses, everything. You know, down to even the government system, they are absolutely different. Now, getting back to living well and living healthy, you mentioned, you read, sorry, you write a lot of books? So tell us about the books that you’ve written in your life, in the past.
John: I think this is a common thread, there is now 11 books I wrote. I write about one book per year. And I intend to, give a reason, I would like to write faster if I could. I find it, for the moment, I’m having difficulty. I think I’m getting faster with every book, but it still is one book per year. There’s a thread running through the 11 books, which I called Rational Living.
John: The books are basically reflecting my views on happiness, on effectiveness. In contrast to most books about personal growth or personal development, my books are a hundred percent based on history. What I do, is in each book, I go through really dozens and dozens of biographies of different people, different countries, different professions, different cultures. And I try to understand the patterns that lead to success, happiness based on facts, based on real stories. And each book touches on a particular aspect of Rational Living, with how to reduce stress, how to be able to deal with adversity so each book emphasizes a particular aspect. But the logic of the books is always the same. And I try to understand the patterns that lead to success, happiness based on facts, based on real stories.
Host: So, who’s the most interesting person you’ve written about in your eleven books?
John: Well I have to say, it’s always the latest one I do because I am a voracious reader. I’m reading history for decades.
John: I love to read biographies. And in every book, I usually just start with ideas for the book. When I read a biography that I find particularly fascinating… And I read biographies, from ancient history until the very recent history. The reason for this latest book symmetry, one of the ideas that came from the very beginning was why did Mozart die so young? Because in the biography, it basically asks questions, why did it happened? Why do people become successful? Why do people die so young? Why do people have accidents? And I found the story of Mozart fascinating because he was very talented, he was very hardworking, he was working 18 hours a day.
John: Years and years and years and eventually he died very young. I don’t remember the age. I think it was a very early 30’s or late 20’s. I mean, he was ridiculously young.
John: He could have lived decades longer, he could have made a fortune. He basically killed himself by working without stop, without holidays, without breaks. I mean, 18 hours a day for years and years.
John: And I analyze why… I analyze why it’s possible. Who is a genius, who’s so talented that he ends in this horrible situation?
John: So I analyze the biography, I found an answer that I presented in the book. The book is titled Asymmetry. The idea in the book is that it’s very difficult…I don’t say, nothing is impossible. It’s very difficult to become successful, to become highly effective, to stay healthy if you have a linear mentality. If you try to deal with problems without looking at all the asymmetries, all the asymmetries that you have in your life. In the case of Mozart, for instance. You see, he’s a typical guy, like today in the different century, who is working very hard, he’s working 18 hours a day, 16 hours a day in his job and then he has to commute, he has to take care of the children. Mozart was a genius. I mean he was able to write music super quickly. He was a great performer. He was giving concerts. He was giving piano lessons. And the problem with Mozart, like with many people today, is that he was chasing too many rabbits. He was doing things that were marginally profitable. He was working, but it was a waste of time to teach piano lessons, I mean, it’s just ridiculous.
John: He was barely making any money. He would write pieces of music and very often they were performed only once.
John: He writes music, yes, yes, for a birthday party, for a funeral and it was performed once and then they threw it away. He did it hundreds of times. So it was ridiculous. And why did Mozart, why was he was not able to actually make a fortune? He should have made a fortune. Because he was not able to see the asymmetry in the market. The only way to make money in the 18th century as a musician, was as a composer in opera.
John: And if Mozart had really discarded everything else and concentrated on writing operas, and eventually he wrote a few operas… but he didn’t realize that he had to stop everything else. And for him, it was very difficult. Like many people today, if you have a skill, about how you’re running your business, you’re doing marketing, you’re doing sales, you’re doing human resources. For many entrepreneurs, it’s very difficult to let go and to hire someone, to do it, and say, “I should concentrate only on product development”.
John: Or I should concentrate mainly on whatever or hiring people, whatever it is.
John: If you just try to do everything and you do it for years and years and years like Mozart was doing, trying to chase every dollar, trying to chase every opportunity without concentrating on the asymmetry in the market… because you could make money in opera because he was the only product, the only musical product people actually paid a substantial amount of money for…
John: …for the promise. And then you could sell it, you could license it all around Europe. And Mozart wrote a few operas and they were performed in different cities in Vienna, in London, in Paris, in Milan. He was collecting royalties. But the problem is that to write an opera he has to work with someone else because he wasn’t able to write the lyrics. He was not illiterate, but he was not a very literary person. So he was teaming up with a professor, a Latin professor in Italy, who could write because the opera wasn’t basically an Italian product so they wanted to be written Italian. So he has to team up with this guy and share the royalties. But he was making money. He was making big money with the opera, but still, the guy couldn’t stop. I mean, even during the rehearsal of Don Giovanni, and this is one of his most famous operas, he was still writing music for a funeral. When he died, he died basically of infection because he was very very weak. His immune system was very weak. When he died, he was writing a small piece for a funeral, for a few hundred dollars. I mean, it was ridiculous. And this is the story of many people today. Unless you realize, and this is the point of the book, that you have to find some asymmetries because if you try to do, I mean you have to spread, if you try to spread your energies, your attention in many different areas, eventually you will collapse. It’s not possible. Humanly it’s not possible. You have to really find, in all of the areas of your life, the asymmetric areas where you can really enjoy yourself. You can really make money, you can be really happy, you can stay healthy. And it’s one of the key ideas in the book. I found the story of Mozart very intriguing so it gave me an idea for the book and then I add dozens of biographies of different people to actually research the theory.
Host: And through those biographies, you extract the lessons that we can use right now. That’s a great example – using Mozart’s life and how he was spread out very thin, and he was overworked and he wasn’t focusing on the right things and that’s… you come to a very right conclusion that we can apply in our lives. You are absolutely right. Even today, we don’t focus on our strengths and what we’re doing. We’re just trying to spread ourselves thin and try to do everything ourselves instead of delegating or collaborating with people, sharing responsibilities, sharing wealth even. As you mentioned that Mozart had a problem in sharing the royalties with the Italian professor who wrote the lyrics to the opera. And lessons from a couple of hundred years ago, that we can apply now. You’re 11 books are fascinating. Let’s go through the titles just so that our audience has a better understanding of what you write about. You have a book called:
- Rationality is the Way to Happiness
- The Philosophy of Builders
- The 10 Principles of Rational Living
- Rational Living, Rational Working
- Consistency: The Key to Permanent Stress Relief
I’d love to talk about these two things, rational living and stress relief
- On Becoming Unbreakable
- Thriving in Difficult Times
- Sequentiality: The Amazing Power of Finding the Right Sequence of Steps
- Undisrupted: How Highly-Effective People Deal with Disruptions.
And through this, you wrote Thriving in Difficult Times, I believe in 2015, 2016?
John: Yes. This is a book about ancient Greece. And I have to tell you that my approach to history is very different from what you learned at school.
John: Because when people hear about ancient Greece, they are horrified, and they say, “Oh, this has to be super boring”. Because what they learned in school about history is just a bunch of dates and names of battles and kings. It’s completely useless and I understand that most people find history extremely boring.
John: It happened to me as well when I was in school. But the way I approach history is like a source of practical knowledge. And you have to look at the biographies of those people, you have to see what is behind, you have to look at the background and see why people become successful, why people fail, why countries become very prosperous and why some countries are staying poor. And you’ll find the answer if you really look at the stories in detail. In contrast, when you see in the newspapers today and say Mr. blah blah blah became a millionaire because he had this business, blah blah blah, you don’t know the background story.
John: You don’t know if the guy has been working 20 businesses and 20 times he went bankrupt…
John: …20 times. You only know this when you have the perspective of history. So I try to get stories that are complete, because when you just… I’ll give you an example, I mean, I used to admire this comedian, Robin Williams.
John: I thought he was a very happy person, a very benevolent person. I think he committed suicide. And then you learn all of the background stories when he committed suicide and honestly, I say, Jesus, it is clear, that I didn’t have a clear picture, that the image he was projecting was not giving you the whole picture. So what I try to do in the book is to really look at the whole picture, like in Mozart, to ask questions. This is the kind of history you will not learn at school.
Host: So what is the topic about in Thriving in Difficult Times? Is it about countries or large populations or specific people thriving in difficult times?
John: It is about the Greek mentality, the mentality nation in Greece. How the Greek civilization was able to thrive for hundreds of years, I think about a thousand years in total.
John: While all the countries in their surrounding area were falling apart one after the other. Because in the Mediterranean, Greece is in the middle of the Mediterranean.
John: In ancient history, most civilizations disappear, disappear completely. They were wiped out through hunger, war, all kinds of catastrophes. And the Greeks, for hundreds of years, they continued to grow and to expand. And I found the question fascinating. Why did it happen? What made them so different? And when I designed the book to go through dozens of biographies of Greek leaders, philosophers, artists and to show the mentality, the flexibility, the drive that enabled them to do that and to try to draw conclusions that we can apply today. For instance, one of the typical things in the Greek mentality is that they were extremely good at spreading the risk. While other countries, they were basically saying, “Okay, we specialize in the sea, we’re still in this territory”. The Greeks, due to their specific geography, because in Greece people usually travel by sea, because it was very difficult to cross a mountain so most of the cities were on the coast.
John: And they were used to sailing since they were basically teenagers, they were sailing. So eventually they expanded very quickly and they, when the city became a bit too big, I mean over three hundred people, three hundred thousand, they immediately started another city.
Host: Right. Okay
John: They took because those were their spirit. They wanted to start a new business, to make money, to develop and eventually, they were so diversified… They had so many colonies, so many, so much trade with different people, that it was basically indestructible. Nothing could destroy their race, nothing. War, famine they always came back because they had this network of contents. And in that characteristic, is that they were very good at dealing with other cultures because most people today, just see it in many countries, basically want to kill and they want to say, “Ahh! I want to destroy this country” because they’re doing this and this. The Greeks, they have a different mentality. They went there to trade and they went with their ships. They traveled for months, they opened a trading post on the other side of the Mediterranean. And they found people who spoke different languages, they looked different, they had different cultures. And the Greeks, they’ve found a way to make, to do business. They sold them, what they were able to do, they sold them olive oil, they sold them wood, what they were selling from Greece and they bought something else and they made a profit. And this is a mentality that was very rare in ancient history. In ancient history, you see most people just want to dominate, they want to enslave other people. The Greeks wanted to make money. And this, I found the, I mean I’m just telling you a couple of stories but I went through really dozens and dozens of biographies and I found the lessons fascinating because we are still making the same mistakes in the 21st century. When people sometimes look at other countries, they have to very aggressive, very ignorant attitude.
John: Basically they don’t travel. And the Greeks they travel a lot, they learned different languages.
John: They tried to make a profit wherever they went and they tried to make friends instead of trying to destroy other countries.
Host: That’s a great lesson to take from the Greek civilization and from history. That’s from your book Thriving in Difficult Times, I found the topic very interesting because, I wanted to ask you if we’re in difficult times right now, but of course centuries ago the world was very, very different. But your most recent book Undisrupted: How Highly-effective People Deal with Disruptions and your previous book also talks about, you know, how people deal with disruptions and then stresses. Tell us about how people deal with disruptions in their life? How do they overcome obstacles? What are the strategies or what are the key takeaways that you present in your book?
John: Well, the book presents many different stories. I will just give you one of them. One of the main lines of the book. I will tell you a story, the story that actually gave me the idea for the book. In the 19th century, there was a very successful industrialist in Russia, his name was Sarah Mamontove
John: Mamontove was the Russian equivalent of the American Andrew Carnegie
John: Mamontove was in the railroads. He made a fortune. He was a very, very able executive in the railroad. He was listed in the stock market in Russia. I talked to him before the communist revolution. And Mamontove was really a celebrity, he has different houses, he has a huge art collection. At a certain point, Mamontove decided to start another business. He looked at the US and said “Oh! I want to manufacture steel, seems to be a good business”. So, he started the steel manufacturing company. He started to lose money… you cannot imagine. You know he lost, he was bleeding money. He realized it was much more difficult than he thought.
John: And the problem with Mamontove, is that he didn’t give up. He continued with his steel manufacturing, thinking “Oh! I have, I can really master this”. And eventually, he started to pay for the losses of steel manufacturing with the profits from the railroad.
John: The shareholders found out, they sued him, he was prosecuted for embezzlement and eventually he lost everything. He didn’t go to jail, but they took away his art collection, his job, his shares, everything. And for the last thirteen years of his life, he was in total misery, ostracized by his friends. He was really a spectacular failure. And I found the story even intriguing, and said, “How is it possible for someone that is so intelligent…”
John: …so well trained”, because Mamontove could speak not only Russian, he could speak French, he could speak English. He was reading US newspapers every day, I mean he was amazingly clever.
John: I mean, yeah he made a mistake. Then I said, “How could you make such a horrible mistake, how could you destroy your life”? And many people do that. And what the book does is to try to understand how this happens? Why are some people are able to deal with disruptions so easily? Why do people destroy their lives? In the case of Mamontove, one of the main conclusions from the book is that, when you’re facing a crisis like for instance, Mamontove made a mistake, he should not have entered the business he knew nothing about. When you make a mistake and you have a crisis, well it could be in your health and profession, what you have to do, one of the keys to living healthily with disruption is to go back to what you know best.
John: To go back to a territory or a skill or a lifestyle that you have mastered in the past. So if Mamontove had said, “Okay, I’ve made a mistake.”
John: “I'll close the steel manufacturing, I'll go back to the railroad”, the problem would have been quickly forgotten. He could have kept most of his money. But what happens with people, when all of us, when we make a mistake and we say “Okay, I shouldn’t have taken this job or I shouldn’t have started this business”, we find it very difficult, to first to acknowledge our mistake and then to actually take a step back and say, “Okay, I let it go. I’m going back to what I know best. I’m going to back to my previous job. I’m going back to wherever”.
John: And this is very difficult to do because we tend to panic when we’re facing adversity. When you make a mistake and this mistake is really embarrassing.
John: To say, “Okay I made a huge mistake”. But this is one of the big lessons from the book. People who are very good at dealing with mistakes, even if they’re investors in the stock market and they say “I made a mistake, I shouldn’t have invested in this company. They let it go and say” Okay I take the loses and I go back to normal business”. This is one of the key lessons from the book, but there are many other lessons. It’s a collection of biographies where you see many spectacular failures and also many spectacular successes of people who were basically terminally ill and terminally poor.
Host: Getting to more individual things. You talked about stress and you talked about knowledge being the only valid response to stress in your book. How does that, how can we apply that? How does that work?
John: Yes! I wrote a book about stress. The title is Consistency. For me, is the only way to reduce stress, and first, before I tell you what works, let me tell you what doesn’t work
John: And the fashion of meditation, I don’t know slow cooking and all these little things you see that become so fashionable. They could work for a while… I mean if you start to meditate, if you do yoga, this kind of stuff, you would be reducing your stress maybe for a few hours. It can work but it will not fundamentally change your life because as you soon go back to your normal pattern, to your job, or to your career, you will go again into the stress patterns and you will be as stressful as yesterday. So it doesn’t really work. Then, what the book shows us is that the only way to reduce stress fundamentally is to integrate your life, to make sure that your life is consistent.
John: That pursuing your goals does not interfere with each other in your private life, in your financial life, in your health. You need to integrate the whole story because if you’re living different stories and you’re chasing too many rabbits, you are trying to do things that are inconsistent, eventually, you will become super stressed. To an extent that many people get actually sick. In the US alone, you have 50 million people taking medication against anxiety, depression, high stress. So it is a really serious problem. But the solutions that are presented, leaving medication aside, the solution that I presented like I just mentioned meditation, yoga…
John: …I think they are not effective. And what I write in the book, in this book titled Consistency, The Solution to Stress Long Term Solution, I’ve gone through biographies of people who were in really horrible situations, really horrible, horrible situations, and they were able to come out on the other end very successfully with little stress, and the stories are, I have to say irritating, because people read the story and say, “This guy had everything in favor for him and I had everything against me. It’s not true, the story that I present are the people who went through a bankruptcy, they become severely sick, they faced all kinds of problems and eventually, by integrating their life, by letting go of bits and pieces that were out of the whole picture. Eventually, they reduced stress and they became very successful and very happy.
Host: I see, so that’s the key and that the basis of being stress-free. In this day and age, there’s a lot of negativity, there’s, it’s the age of social media, we’re bombarded by news and information, and before maybe a hundred years ago, we didn’t know what was happening in the next village or the next town or the next city. But now, we know what’s happening all across the world and positive images and mostly negative images because they attract our attention way more than positive ones on our phones, our devices, and we're exposed to them 24 hours a day. One of your books warns against the Prophets of Doom, and is pessimism not justified nowadays?
John: Not at all, I think today we are going through this COVID story which looks like the end of the world, It’s not the end of the world, people are making mistakes looking at the story from a very short range.
John: Effective, I think when we are going to next year will soon be forgotten and say “Okay, that was really a mess”. But…
John: It’s not going to destroy the world and what I learned in the book, is that the only defense because I can tell you a million philosophy theories on how to become positive, but usually it doesn’t work.
John: I mean, it’s like positive thinking, you can repeat every day to yourself, “Oh everything is going to be fine. It's going to be fine”. It doesn’t work. I mean, you go back to this stress very very quickly. For me, the only thing that works is you have to be really familiar with history, with perspective, with the stories of real people in different centuries. So then immediately, as soon as you see something like this COVID threat, or you see some disaster, you see… Ahh because you see the problem with the stock market or whatever.
John: Immediately you have sufficient background to put the story into a context and see that this has happened a million times in history, has happened very often. This kind of overreaction… and then you will not panic because you have this perspective, you have this, I mean, I just told you about the Mozart story.
John: Once you listen to the Mozart story, you will usually remember when you find yourself working 18 hours a day and are very stressed, very prone, I mean you cannot sleep well and you have, you will remember the story and you'll remember Mozart, you'll remember the book and say,” Ah! I heard this before, I should not be doing this, I should be trying to find an asymmetric solution”. you might not find the solution immediately, but if you know the story, you will react in the right way, because you will say “I’m doing something wrong. I have to really take a step back. I have to find a solution”. It is only through stories that we developed this intellectual ability to actually slow down and to think, and to avoid making mistakes because if you don’t know the Mozart story, and you’re working 18 hours a day and then you see your neighbor is also working 18 hours a day, you get an idea that it’s normal.
John: You get the idea that there is no alternative, that…
Host: This is what is what I’m supposed to do. Yeah
John: And eventually you get a heart attack and it might be the end of the story. So I have to tell the only solution I found to have the right reflexes. To have this perspective, this knowledge, and this is why you just mentioned a quotation from one of my books that “The only solution to stress is knowledge”, you have to really have these stories in your head so that if you see and I just mentioned this COVID story you see all this overreaction, you see these people completely panicking. My God! Looking at history, they have had this pandemic a million times and a million times people survived most of the time without any problem and if you don’t know the perspective of history, you will panic and you will overreact and you will become sick just from the stress because you say “I’m going to die”, “No! you’re not going to die, no most people are not going to die”
John: And then get the virus. So for god sake
Host: The knowledge is the key, it’s basically the power and more knowledge is the key to avoiding stress and knowledge of history about what’s going on in the world that’s the message in most of your books right?
John: That’s the message but of course I go into every detail
Host: Of course
John: Into the strategies, it’s not phrased. Let me just give you an example from the latest book
John: In the book, Symmetry, one of the messages I try to really convey is that most careers, successful careers or successful people, happy people, they come through the broken line, the holy book variation of happiness when you have this linear story and you see someone, I don’t know, who is 5 years’ old.
John: Wants to be a chairman of, the CEO of General Electric and then he goes to General Electric he gets the job and then he’s rising through the hierarchy. This is complete nonsense, this kind of idea that this life is linear and then you know exactly what you want and you have to have a goal.
John: Look at history, look at biographies of people. It’s never like this, it’s never like this. People, to become successful they go through all kinds of mistakes, they change careers, they change up, they don’t know what they want.
John: Eventually, just by sheer persistence, by developing certain skills, they actually become successful. But don’t believe the nonsense you see every day on the media, because people become depressed because they say, “Oh my God! I’m not successful. I should be a millionaire”. And they become depressed and it's nonsense. And just to give you a story from the book very quickly. Everybody knows the books of Dale Carnegie
John: This book about how to make friends, I mean he was a best-selling writer but he died in 1955 and he did, people most believed that this guy was I don’t know a genius, was a best-selling writer and he made a fortune. I mean, you look at his life, how he actually became what he became, and he was a mess, he was really a mess. I mean, the guy was a salesman and could not make money. I think he wanted to become an actor.
John: And he went to acting school, he couldn’t land a role in a theater and eventually he started to teach evening courses. He wrote a book about public speaking and the book didn’t sell. I mean, you know it was mistake after mistake, failure after failure.
John: And eventually after 20 years, his books started to sell. He became very famous. But if you get the story without the details, without actual analysis, of course, you become depressed and say, “My God! This guy has sold, I don’t know 50 million books, I’m really a failure as a writer because I only sold a hundred thousand”.
John: And look at the whole story, and this is why I tell people, the readers, most success stories, most stories about happiness, they are asymmetric. The idea of a linear development you only see it, you only see it in the movies, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense. Most of the time it doesn’t happen the way they tell you it happens. When you look at history and you look at successful people, most of the stories are asymmetric, most of the lines are broken many times.
Host: That’s a very important lesson to learn for everyone, especially if it, in terms of your life and your career, in terms of your happiness, your well-being, you know even things like stress. You’re absolutely right! We don’t have the whole picture. We need to understand you know, if we are looking at somebody as a role model in our careers or in our lives and say “Okay, we like to become this”. We don’t go into the background of how that person actually got there. That’s a wonderful, wonderful message. These days, what are you working on in terms of your latest book, what are you working on now?
John: Yeah, I’m working on the next book which I think I will have it ready for publication next year. I am improving with my speed and I think the books have become better and better. But still, I’m not able to write as fast as I can, I find it very frustrating because I’m all about efficiency and about self-improvement and this kind of stuff, but still I can write the first draft of it very quickly, but to actually edit the manuscript until it’s ready for publication sometimes I have to edit 5 or 6 times and this takes forever. So, I’m not a genius writer, I’m not at all, it takes me, I mean when you see the final book, I think the quality is very good but it's the result of taking pains at editing editing editing editing.
John: Eventually I get it right. But, yes yes I’m working on my next book and I hope I will be able to keep writing at least one book per year.
Host: Wonderful! That is fantastic! Where can we find your books? Where can we get them?
John: I’m very very easy to find. If you type my name, John Vespasian, on the internet. Even if you type it incorrectly… doesn’t matter because they will correct you
John: Very unusual name John Vespasian. You will find books; they are available in different outlets on Amazon, of course, Barnes and Noble very very easy to find. There is also a blog with hundreds of free articles, there is also free newsletters is very very easy to find just type John Vespasian on the internet and you will find everything in one second.
Host: John, your parting thought if there’s one thing you would want the world to know in terms of living well and being healthy. What would, what advice would you want to leave people with?
John: Well, if you just remember one thing from this conversation, is that one of the best strategies for improving your decisions is to think in terms of a lifetime. Normally, you are going to live 85, 90, 95 years when you’re having adversity or facing adversity, you have to I don’t know, you lose your job or you become sick or now we’re going to this COVID story. When you think in terms of a lifetime and I’m going to live 95 years “Okay I have this problem, but within a few months it will be solved”, and most problems are solved within a few months, even if you are sick, even if your facing some very difficult treatment, most of the time people will say “Right”! and they keep on living. Then you will stay calm then you will decide and say “Okay! this is just a problem, but I still have many decades ahead of me, eventually I will get it right. If you take this perspective you will not panic, you will not think that the world is coming to the end or to an end because of this COVID story because you go, you lose your job because you will get a divorce. No! you still have many decades ahead of you. You still can recover; you can still be very happy. This one of the lessons from the books, if you take this perspective and it’s very difficult. I tell you when you’re facing a really big problem most people will panic
John: But if you take this perspective and you train yourself to think in terms of a lifetime, you will make better decisions, you will avoid mistakes and I think you will be much happier.
Host: That is wonderful advice. John Vespasian, thank you so much for being on the Lifelong Wellness Podcast today.
John: Many thanks, Wes.
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