Juan had his favourite phrase, which he used in almost all situations. However, although he had lived many years in Sweden and spoke Swedish fluently, this phrase was in Spanish. He didn’t feel right about using it in another language.
I heard the phrase for the first time when the neighbours son was learning to ride the bicycle and just hit the ground for the third time:
“Inténtalo otra vez pero diferente” – Try one more time, but differently.
Yes, it was that easy. If you really want to achieve something, but don’t succeed, stop for a moment, think about what you were doing and how you could do it in a different way, and then – try again!
The neighbour’s son managed the bicycle. Of course he got his share of bumps and bruises, but I’ve got a feeling that he saved many tears, compared to other children. Somehow you just don’t need to cry that much when you calmly note the fact that you’ve just fallen another time and are busy figuring out what you could change for next attempt.
I heard Juan whisper the same words to himself when he just lost his job… and when his thin pancakes came out as an overfried and gluey mess.
But it turned out that his wisdom not only was applied to disasters. When the company he had started had such a success that it was acquired and he got so much money that he could have retired at the age of 45, he said exactly the same thing “Otra vez pero diferente”! He already nurtured ten new ideas and was thinking which one would be most interesting to turn into reality as his next project.
When he turned 50 I gave him a couple of specially designed cuff links with the letters O.V.P.D. that he was wearing whenever he had an opportunity. Not for that long, though, since his illness took over.
But I believe we’re going to see more of him. As he was lying in his bed during his final stage of life, he looked so calm and settled that I was almost immediately convinced that our souls are reborn and he somehow knew about this, when he winked at me and pronounced what turned out to be his final words:
“Otra vez pero diferente!”
The image was generated on http://www.jjchandler.com/tombstone/
PS! Juan is a fictive person, just as much as the image was generated.