A good friend, who knows a lot about such things, told me a few years ago that we have 80,000 thoughts a day and 80% of them involve things that will never happen "So why worry about it?"
That statistic (I have not the slightest idea whether there is scientific evidence for it, by the way) has stuck in my mind ever since, especially through a series of scenarios which could have ended badly. The latest, of course, involves the friend I have mentioned several times recently who has been in hospital after an accident.
In the early days in hospital, things looked very grim and a lot of those 80,000 daily thoughts involved things like: "What if she doesn't survive?"; "What if she's paralysed?"; "What happens if she can't live independently at home?".
At that time, the prospect of her living a normal life seemed quite a way off, but the NHS has worked its' magic in various ways and as I write, she is coming home to resume a normal life. She is quite battered and bruised, still fragile and not a little scared about the same thing happening. But I've told her there's no point in worrying about any of that, no point in worrying about anything other than today, in fact, because 'you just never know what will happen.''
It's becoming a bit of a mantra for me. I gave a talk this morning in which I said there is supposed to be a 30% likelihood of me having another stroke because I've already had one. But I can't let that thought rule my life. Sure, I have to be sensible and keep my stress down, sleep properly, eat and drink sensibly, but there's a 70% chance I won't have another. And as a betting man since the 1973 Grand National (I was nine, my nan placed the bet - on Crisp, who led until the final few yards when it was overhauled by an animal called Red Rum), I'll live with those odds.
This week started, as I said in my last post, on a downer. For whatever reason, I felt about 150, everything ached, I had no energy. Monday was rubbish. Yet it ended this morning with me delivering a talk about the brain and how it works, which was described by someone in the audience as 'riveting' (a comment which has made my day.).
So five days ago, I was in the depths, now I'm on a high. 'You just never know.' So why worry?