Life is like putting together a piece of furniture from IKEA: it is difficult to understand what it is all about, you can´t get the pieces to fit, some important piece is always missing and the final result is never what you had hoped for.

Life is not as much fun as we would like it to be. (If you think your life is full of fun and you are always happy, you are either a Labrador retriever or you are taking too many of those small white pills. Talk to your doctor or your local drug dealer about it.)

But, as Robert Louis Stevenson said: "Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well." So let´s try to play our poor hands well. Let´s get a better life by learning to get our priorities right, only believe amusing rumors, expect nothing (or do the opposite), eat something bad for you, accept the unacceptable (very hard to do), don´t harbor grudges, watch out for naked emperors, be a bit negative (yes, it helps sometimes) and don´t be afraid of making a fool of yourself.

Life is, like most designer-shirts, too short. And like those shirts, surprisingly often, ridiculous and too tight. So we must look at life with humor. (If you were born without any humor, perhaps you could at least make other people happy, looking foolish in your short ridiculous designer-shirt.)

We should all go through life like the Disney-character Goofy: good-hearted, happy and - which is necessary - a bit crazy.

To live a better life, here are a few rules to get by on:

When you´re going to cross over the road, what´s important is not whether the traffic lights are at red or at green, but whether there are any cars coming. The same thing applies to life.

"I've just won a million in the lottery, but it could have been two." We sometimes need to remind ourselves that our life and our world could be very different. There is an old saying about that: "I used to complain about not having any shoes until I met a man who didn´t have any feet."

Fatty food is bad for you, unless it´s fatty fish, which is good for you. Fatty cheese is bad for you, unless it´s feta cheese, which is better for you than spirits. Fatty spirits are worse for you than eggs. Boiled food is better than fried food, always assuming the boiled food isn´t fatty and doesn´t contain cheese. Unless it´s unfatty cheese with no strong liquor in it. Cholesterol is not good unless it´s good cholesterol, which is better than bad cholesterol. Eggs should be shelled before eating. Fibre is good for you and reduces the risk of chocolate with salt in.

One should avoid watching nature programs about crocodiles. You can be quite certain that at some point there will be pictures of a flock of antelope coming down to the river bank to drink. Among them there is always a baby antelope looking very similar to Bambi, only more fragile and even sweeter. When this baby antelope dips its head into the river, a seven-meter-long crocodile hurtles out of the water and sinks its serrated teeth into it.

Who wants to watch anything like that?! Why do they show things like that? Let´s just have nice, cheerful programs that show us how they make beautiful handbags and smart wallets out of those bloody crocodiles.

People have different priorities, but there are obvious cases of getting it wrong. If your house is on fire, a typical case of getting your priorities wrong would be to think: "OK, my house is on fire. I´ll just finish the washing up and then I´ll call the fire brigade."

You don´t want to see a doctor who says: "Cure your illness, Mrs. Johnson? I can´t even pronounce it."

Or: "Well, Mr. Johnson, take one of these tablets tonight and another one if you wake up tomorrow morning."
It´s best to look out for a doctor who`s nice but also competent and accessible.

Copyright: Rickard Fuchs

About the Author

Rickard Fuchs, M.D.

Rickard Fuchs, M.D., is a physician, writer, and comedian in Sweden.

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