To smell the roses

True wisdom is knowing what really counts in life.


At a 30-years class reunion, one of the former students had succeeded with everything in his career. At age of 25 he founded his first business. A few years later he had earned his first million, and now he was the owner of a very profitable multinational company with business in 14 countries. At the reunion he was the centre of attention, and his former class mates gathered around him and wanted to learn from his success story.

One of them asked him what his most valuable experience in life was. The answer astonished everyone. The successful businessman simply answered: “I have finally learned how to smell the roses”.

To smell the roses” could of course be taken literally, but it can also be seen as a useful metaphor for finding and appreciating the important things in life. The man realised that despite all his success, the money could by itself not bring him happiness. The roses would then represent everything that brings true meaning to life; love and friendship, a good health, children’s laughter, reverence for nature’s beauty, and simply the ability to stay present in the moment and appreciate what unfolds right here and now.

Illustration: – reinbacher

svensk_flagga   Detta blogginlägg på svenska

Author: Karl Ekdahl

International public health leader and creativity blogger.

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