The dangers of thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ 1



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Last week a friend of mine was driving home on the motorway when he must have closed his eyes. He woke up as his car veered into a guard rail, spun through 180 degrees and finally stopped facing the opposite direction. Fortunately no other cars ran into him and his air bags all deployed so he got out of his wrecked car with only a few bruises to remind him of this brush with death.

I could have been going to a funeral this week.

Another golfing friend had a stroke a couple of months ago and will probably never play golf again and may never even walk.

Is it fate, divine intervention, karma or just luck that decides whether we escape or are devastated by events that just happen in our lives?

My point here is that it’s not a great idea to just assume that bad things “won’t happen to me”.

I’m not saying that we should start worrying about all the possible things that could go wrong. That’s probably a worse response than never thinking about it.
The sort of events I have just mentioned are a reminder that it’s very likely that we will have to deal with some major dramas in our lives that are likely to force unwanted changes on us and the people close to us.

We have a chapter titled “What if” in our book “The Rest of Your Life” and it suggests we think about our possible responses to some of the more common challenges that confront many people over 60. Now there are some threats that can be partially planned for. For example we can downsize from a large family home to something more suitable, rather than waiting till we are forced to sell .We can check that our wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and insurance policies are current. We can discuss possible threats and responses with those close to us.

How we handle the things that just happen and we can’t stop is one of the great challenges of life. It becomes more important as we grow older and ignoring the possible threats is not a great planning strategy. Remember that while we can’t control the things that just happen, we can generally control how we respond to them.

Are you prepared?

Paul McKeon

Paul McKeon is the founder of the website and the publisher of 3 books about lifestyle issues affecting people in their 50s, 60s and 70s. The books are titled – “The Rest of Your Life”, “Relationships in our 50s – 60s and beyond” and “How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement”. All the books can be purchased on his web site. He had a career in marketing, tourism, sports promotion and publishing in Australia, the UK and S.E. Asia. His books and website stress that a successful retirement is about more than good money management and people need to consider the important lifestyle issues if they are going to find lasting happiness.

  1. MURPHYS LAW : If something can possibly go wrong, it will, and always at the worst possible time.
    Always assume and plan for the worst .
    I was driving from the sunshine coast to the gold coast some time ago and “felt sleepy” I immediately pulled off the highway parked on a quiet road and closed my eyes . an hour later I was woken by a cop who had seen me parked and not moving .He advised me that in Queensland it is illegal to sleep in a vehicle . he was about to book me for that offence when I said would you rather I sleep in the vehicle or continue and perhaps kill myself and several others ?
    He saw my point and let me off with a warning .

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