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Five things I have learned

23 Apr 2011 | BBC News

Anthony Seldon reveals the five most important things he has learned in his life. As the head of Wellington College, he threw out GCSEs and established his own curriculum - which includes lessons in happiness.

1. Stop worrying

Learning that nothing in life ultimately matters, and that we have bravely to face up to whatever life throws us, over which we have no control. I was brought up by a wonderful but fear-filled mother who made us all full of apprehension about some impending disaster. I spent my adolescence, 20s and 30s full of anxiety about terrible things happening to me, my wife and our children - even to our dog, help us!

In my late 40s, I began to understand that everything in life is as it should be, and that worry can be a terribly self-centred and limited way of thinking. Luckily I married, Joanna, who is a worry-free zone, but even with her help, it took me many years to begin to free myself. Worry is a denial of trust, about which I wrote a book last year. As Camilla Carr and Jonathan James write at the front of their book about their kidnapping by Chechen rebels, "being human, our nature is love, our nurture is fear".

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