Extracted from “The Power of Positive Thinking” by NORMAN V. PEALE
Many people make life unnecessarily difficult for themselves by dissipating power and energy through fuming and fretting. To fume means to boil up, to emit vapor, to be agitated. The word fret is a childish term, but it describes the emotional reaction of many adults.
A physician gave some rather whimsical advice to a patient, an aggressive, go-getter type of businessman. Excitedly he told the doctor what an enormous amount of work he had to do and that he had to get it done right away quickly or else.
“I take my briefcase home every night and it’s packed with work,” he said with nervous inflection. “Why do you take work home with you at night? the doctor asked quietly. “I have to get it done,” he fumed. “Cannot someone else do it, or help you with it? Asked the doctor. “No,” the man snapped. “I am the only one who can do it. It must be done just right, and I alone can do it as it must be done, and it has to be done quickly. Everything depends upon me.” “If I write you a prescription, will you follow it?” asked the doctor.
This, believe it or not, was the prescription. His patient was to take off a half day a week and spend that half day in a cemetery.
In astonishment, the patient demanded, “Why should I spend a half day in a cemetery?”
“Because,” answered the doctor, “I want you to wander around and look at the gravestones of men who are there permanently. I want you to meditate on the fact many of them are there because they thought even as you do, that the whole world rested on their shoulders. Meditate on the solemn fact that when you get there permanently the world will go on just the same and, as important as you are, others will be able to do the work you are now doing.”
The patient got the idea: He slowed his pace. He learned to delegate authority.
He achieved a proper sense of his importance. He stopped fuming and fretting. He got peaceful. And, it might be added, he does better work. He is developing a more competent organization and he admits that his business is in better condition.
By Gloire KONGA
Author, Entrepreneur & Public Speaker