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Numbers that help put life into perspective


Numbers that help put life into perspective

It’s all too easy to lose our perspective on things. STEVE MENDL recommends looking at the simple things and unleashing the power of gratitude.

All too often, we get caught up in what the American life coach and philanthropist Anthony Robbins and others call “majoring in minors”.

We compare ourselves with the Joneses and find ourselves getting discouraged about where we are, what we’re looking for and where we are going.

If things are headed south in this way, there’s nothing more important than recognising just how much there is to be thankful for and to appreciate.

The results of the Village Project, conducted by the United Nations and others, are very helpful when it comes to finding your true north and regaining your sense of PERSPECTIVE in life.

It was discovered that if the population of the world were reduced to a small town of 100 people, it would look something like this:

  • There would be 60 Asians, 11 Europeans, 14 Americans, including northern and southern Americans, and 15 Africans.
  • 50 would be women, 50 men.
  • 70 would have coloured skin, 30 would be Caucasian.
  • 89 would be heterosexual, 11 homosexual.
  • 1 person of the 100 would own 50 per cent of the world’s wealth
  • 16 would be malnourished or starving.
  • 70 would be undereducated.
  • 50 would be underfed.
  • 47 would have internet.
  • For each one to die, two would be born.
  • 84 would live on less than $20 a day.
  • About 4 or 5 would own a computer and only two of the 100 would have access to higher education (a university degree).
  • Of the 100, more would have mobile phones than toothbrushes.

This morning, if you woke up healthy, you can choose to be happier than the million people who will not survive the week.

If you have never suffered war, experienced the loneliness of a jail cell or the agony of torture or hunger, you’re more fortunate than 500 million people on the planet at this time.

If there is food in your fridge, you have shoes and clothes, and you have a bed along with a roof over your head, the chances are that you are richer than 75 per cent of the people in the world.

If you have a bank account, money in your wallet or a debit card with money on it, you belong to the 8per cent of people in the world who are considered well-to-do.

If you can read this post, you’re blessed because you aren’t among the 800 million people around the world who cannot read.

So how do you like those apples?

Do you find a sense of positive perspective easy to muster? If so, great.

If not, a simple place to start is make a list of what you are grateful for, right now. Gratitude is the most powerful form of perspective.

As Oscar Wilde put it, the optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.

Steve Mendl is the author of Beyond the Money: A Practical Guide for Successful Men Leaving Fulltime Work. Visit


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