If you’re like me, you get annoyed at the “fairy tale” successful life stories.
They usually go something like this:
– I had a dream.
– So then I achieved it!
– Voila! And here I am now giving you advice.
And the author ALWAYS skips over the hard parts to make themselves look smarter than they really are.
Give me a break.
I’m 29 now. And while I still have a lot to learn, I know life is much harder than these success stories make it seem.
So today, I’m going to go over 10 brutal truths about life that mainstream media simply won’t tell us.
1) Without goals, life is pointless
If you’re not working towards something, then you’re living without direction.
Goals help us to sort out what is important and what isn’t.
And when I look back on my life, my happiest moments are when I’m focused on the present moment working towards something bigger than myself.
2) What other people think about you really doesn’t matter
I’m sure many people can relate to this. I know I can.
The moment people stop saying positive words towards you, you feel dejected and devalued.
It’s up to you to build your own value and approval in life.
3) We don’t have much control.
A lot of us experience a great deal of anxiety thanks to our preference to control everything in our lives.
But the truth is, we don’t have much control.
Think about your body right now. Your hair grows by itself. The heart beats by itself. Your glands secrete their essences by themselves.
If you’re going to be human, it’s necessary to accept that in life we don’t have much control.
On some level, you’ve got to let go and accept what you can’t control, so you can spend more energy focusing on things you actually can.
4) Failure is the road to success
Nobody has a life just full of success. It’s unavoidable to have some sort of failure in your life unless you don’t take the chance to succeed.
Yet so often we try to avoid failure because it makes us feel worse about ourselves.
But if we’re honest, failure often gives us the best lessons in life. It’s time to not fear failure as it may be your stepping stone to finding success.
5) A person isn’t defined by what they own
Expensive cars, branded bags, lavish clothes – Sure they may seem cool when you’re young, but they do not add value to you as a person.
It’s time to stop focusing on these material things and start building meaningful experiences and relationships.
6) Thinking vs doing is not the same
This brutal truth about life is a kicker.
We do a whole lot of daydreaming when we’re young. But if there’s no actions involved it will never happen.
Success will not come find you and pick you up on the journey, it’s our responsibility to get up and start doing what we’ve been thinking about.
We need to stop waiting for that perfect moment and get going!
(Coursera is an online education platform open to anyone. Check out my comprehensive Coursera review for 2020 here).
7) Change is the only law in life you can count on
Change is the only constant in the universe. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to stop the natural force of things.
We’re all getting older. It’s better to grasp the good moments while you can, while accepting that life goes on.
8) Everyone you know will eventually die
When we’re young, we don’t appreciate this fact. We think our elders will live forever.
And if you forget this then you won’t make the most of these relationships while you have them.
9) Worrying is useless
Worrying is created in the mind and really doesn’t offer any value to our lives.
Will worrying change what’s going to happen? If not, then it’s a waste of time.
This quote from Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh says it best:
“Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so. If we don’t know how to breathe, smile,and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness or conditions that will bring about more happiness. The most important practice is aimlessness, not running after things, not grasping.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
10) The root of suffering is pursuing temporary feelings
So many of us crave those feelings of what we think is happiness. We think happiness includes excitement, joy, euphoria…but these are only temporary feelings.
And the constant pursuit of these feelings only turns into suffering because they don’t last.
Instead true happiness comes from inner peace – being content with what you have and who you are.