Every week in the magazine we have a back page interview called Life Lessons where people I interview give their five life lessons. I have thought long and hard about what my life lessons would be and can only come up with a couple.
Treat everyone as your best friend would be one of them. This is what Ines de la Fressange told me when I thanked her for all her time and help with Two Lipsticks and a Lover.
Another would be to get the hairs on your legs lasered well before the age of 40. I could have written another book with all that time I spend shaving and waxing.
Last week I interviewed my lovely yoga teacher Ria. Her number one life lesson is Live your life without expectations. This is of course not a new concept. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” But it is really worth thinking about.
Over the weekend I expected nothing from the children and guess what? They behaved a lot better than normal. Although Leo did have a mini-tremor at one stage and told me “life is so frustrating at this age”. This was after he came out of the bathroom, his face covered in Hermes body lotion and asked me “do I look younger?”
Anyway the fact is if you expect nothing and get something you are overjoyed and if you get nothing you are not upset. So there’s really no downside. I have realised that the problem with my life so far has been high expectations. I expected all my books to become bestsellers and they didn’t (with the exception of Two Lipsticks which sold above the 10,000 copies required to classify it as a bestseller). This time I am just going to expect that it does nothing and so I will be pleasantly surprised if it does anything else. It may sound hard to do but once you get your head around it, it’s as easy as a forward bend. Easier in fact.
So here’s to a life of contentment with no expectations but lots of success. If that makes sense…..And not that I’m expecting it….
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2010
What a great concept! I too always set the bar way too high and am then disappointed when things don\’t go as well as I\’d hoped. The legacy of life in a high-flying career, I suspect. Happy New Year, Helena, and best wishes for an expectation-free 2010.
Thanks Kate and to you too Hx
Quite agree with the idea after a fairly long stint in this world although I must admit to low expectations rather than none especially where books are concerned. Thoroughly enjoyed your Ciao Bella especially as I am trying to learn Italian and at present am in the middle of Jo Tatchell’s A Diamond in the Desert about Abu Dhabi….wondered what you thought of her opinions? Happy New Year with many glad surprises!
One of my favourite quotations (attributed to that great thinker, Anonymous) is “Those with no expectations are never disappointed.” Oh so true, especially for those of us who are parents.
So opposite the new age school of thought. Perhaps your next book should be a sort of anti-Secret? I think I need to practice this for awhile but the old visualisation board is going to look pretty blank! xx
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