I read a quote the other day- “The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook” from William James, American philosopher and psychologist. It made me think back to two encounters with gentlemen who lived through the Great Depression.
The first came around 1990 when we were building out a small retail grocery store and the landlord stopped by to see how the project was coming along. He bent over to pick up a nail and said “You gotta watch the pennies; the dollars will take care of themselves.” I remember it like it was yesterday, but I have never lived my life that way.
In second interaction a material handler on a riding pallet jack was quite obviously dragging a nail under a wheel, causing the wheel to scrape flat on one side. A friend of my father’s just about slapped me upside the head to put a stop to the mayhem. My view was that eventually the guy on the jack would take care of his own problem. Maybe it would cost me a new $35 wheel, but he would be pushing a hand jack while the electric one was in the shop – he would never make that mistake again. I replied that if I worried about every small incident like that one, I would never get beyond them to the bigger issues that I needed to take care of.
I completely understand where these two gentlemen were coming from. My wife is much more fiscally conservative than I am. She has been that way for 30+ years and is showing no signs of changing. Her style is not wrong, but merely different than mine.
I know what is going on – some things I just choose to overlook. My children can attest to that. The point here is that we each have our own style. If you stay true to it you will succeed. You will be on a different path than some other people, but you will succeed.