Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Now is the time to reset the clock to January, as another year begins!

We are a few days in to the month so probably half of our new year’s resolutions have fallen away, or is that just me? How often have you been saying to people “Happy New Year” I wonder? For my part I don’t like saying “Happy New Year” to anyone. Can you guess why?

Well it could be because I am a miserable soulless former banker, but no that could never be the case, as we bankers are a warm and joyful lot of men and women, always looking to bring pleasure in to people’s lives as you well know. So why would I not want to say “Happy New Year”?  

Am I perhaps not a happy person? Well generally I am happy; as long as I don’t look in the mirror too often I maintain a fairly good sense of well-being and contentment.

So let me tell you then… I think “Happy New Year” is too passive an outlook on life. It feels to me – and I could be wrong – like relying on a wish. That is why I don’t like saying it. A wise person a long time ago told me that happiness does not emanate from external sources; it is generated from within, and I believe it. What’s more I want to believe it as it would make me self-sufficient in the well-being department. It is not easy to self-generate happiness, as life is never that simple, but I see it as the way forward.

We are all different and all have our own philosophies, so I am sharing mine but not arrogantly asking anyone to follow them. What I would like to do however is to quote a man of Wisdom, or to be more precise the late Sir Norman Wisdom. Sir Norman had a terrible childhood, living unloved behind a London statue, begging for food and drink. He even walked in his desperation from London to South Wales because someone told him he could get a job on a ship there.

Sir Norman went on to become a successful recording artist in the 1950s, a musician, a writer and a major comedy film star. He developed tremendous self-belief. When he was asked the secret of his success he said this: “The harder you work, the luckier you become”.

From those early days of being the teenager who walked to South Wales he went out looking for opportunities, and consequently found and made the best of most of them. He became a rich man with a beautiful house he designed himself, a Rolls Royce car and a yacht. He was a principled man as well, living in the tax haven of the Isle of Mann, but having his tax address on the mainland where he would pay full tax. What an inspiration!

I wish you “Many New Opportunities” and the self-belief to take them!

Professional development at the ECBM is always an opportunity.

Graham Harman-Baker

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