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Reality check: Once you learn these 8 harsh realities of life, you’ll be much stronger

harsh reality
Image credit: Shutterstock - Soft_Light

It isn’t until we accept some brutal realities of life that we can make a change and be better versions of ourselves. Sometimes we need a reality check to see how we are doing.

If you want to change your life for the better, you might want to stop chasing rainbows and butterflies and take a long hard look at what’s really going on in your life.

We all have habits that we carry about with us that cause us to think we are living life, but are we really living life, or are we on autopilot?

When we stop and ask ourselves some tough questions, we start to get to the heart of what is causing us grief in our lives, and we can become stronger for it.

Here are eight brutal truths about life that will make you stronger.

1) You can’t go back

Many people spend every waking hour of their lives living in the past, wishing for do-overs and a chance to make things right again, or different. We wallow in our sorrows and worry about things we said or did to ourselves and others.

But you know what? None of that matters anymore. It’s done and over with, so why waste another precious moment worrying about it?

When you come to terms with your past, you can start living for the present and making plans for the future.

Learn from the past. Then move on.

If there are past traumas that you need to heal, consider getting some professional help. Or learn how to connect with your inner child. It won’t change the past, but it may change your perception of it.

2) Busy doesn’t equate to productivity

We are all busy. There. Now get over yourself and get some actual work done.

Pretending to be busy is not the same as actually being productive.

Being busy does not equate to being productive because if you are busy but you have not set clear goals for yourself, then being busy did not help you actually achieve something. You can be busy with something else, such as rearranging your furniture, when you really need to finish writing an essay for class, for instance. Business, in such a case, could serve as an excuse for not attending to the more urgent task at hand.

If you don’t drag your ass out of bed until 10 am every day and then wonder why you are always working into the evening hours, take a look at your routine. There are 24 hours in a day, and how you use these hours is up to you. Effective time management should easily remedy insufficient productivity.

We are usually to blame for our misfortunes, and our lives are exactly as we want them to be. If you want to live a different life, start doing things differently.

3) You actually do have the time

Everyone has the same 24 hours to work with, so why are some people getting more done than others?

Start using checklists or a planner to manage your time. If you are tired of always telling people you don’t have the time for things, make time.

You do have the time, and whether you want to hear it or not, you do get to choose how to spend your time.

So if you don’t have the time for someone or something, that’s your fault and your fault alone.

If something or someone is important enough for you, you will make the time. That is the harsh reality.

Every time you make an excuse, a little part of yourself dies.

4) You might not live to see tomorrow

You could wake up dead tomorrow so don’t put off doing what you want with your life.

Don’t run out and rack up a million dollars worth of debt, but make sure that every moment of your life is spent living the life you want.

Or, at the very least, is spent in service of the life you want.

If you want to finally lose those 50 pounds and keep them off for good, make decisions that guide you toward that goal.

Hate your job? Time to find one that you don’t dread going to every day.

Because it might be too late to make those decisions tomorrow.

5) Failure is part of the plan

Whether you like it or not, you are going to fail. Some people thrive on failure, while most of us sit in the dirt for a while feeling sorry for ourselves.

While we might not have control over the things that happen in our lives, we can control what we do about those things.

If you accept failure as part of the plan, then you can work in recourse when you find yourself flat on your face in life.

6) Life isn’t perfect

Life is beautiful. But it’s also hard, and messy, and exhausting, and temperamental, and sad.

Life is many things, but it isn’t perfect. You need to accept that fact in order to be happy.

Rather than look to the future for glimpses of a life that you could be happy with, start being happy with the life you have right now.

Gratitude can do wonders for your life happiness, health, productivity, and relationships. Try writing down all the things you are grateful for in your life.

You can ask yourself what you want in life, and find a way to achieve this.

7) Do things you love

Our time on this planet is short, and our lives are best spent doing the things we love.

You weren’t born just to hold a job, pay your rent and bills, and die.

Do what inspires you and makes it a joy to be alive. This will motivate you to live better as well.

If you love to read, make time to read. If you love to cook, make time to cook. If you want to travel the world, start booking some flights.

It’ll all be over before you know it, so start doing the things you love more often. You are not here to suffer.

Experiences make life worth living.

8) You can’t rely on anyone but yourself

You might find this out the hard way, but no one is going to look out for you, but you.

Your friends and even your family have other things to worry about other than how well you are doing in life.

You are responsible for your own happiness and success. When shit hits the fan, you need to be prepared to take things on by yourself. Even though you may have friends and family who support you, ultimately you are alone and must fend for yourself. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  If you cannot rely on someone 100% of the time, then the harsh reality is that you should not expect to be able to rely on them at all.

Having people around who care about you is nice, but only you are responsible for getting through the crap life flings your way.

What do you think about these brutal life realities? Do you have some of your own that you would like to share? Feel free to comment below.

Closing thoughts

You’ve probably noticed a bit of a theme in these brutal truths about life.

The theme is this:

It’s up to you, and you alone, to change your life. It’s up to you to take responsibility for everything that happens to you.

There are so many reasons to keep things the way they are now. There are so many people in your life who will be happier if you continue to live the same life, in the same way, hanging out with the same people.

But you’re not a victim. You’re not the kind of person who rests on your laurels. You’re not going to accept mediocrity for yourself and the life you live.

You’ve made it this far through the article, and there’s the flicker of fire deep within waiting to roar to life. Fuel the fire by taking responsibility.

If you liked this article, you’ll probably enjoy reading this one on the signs of emotional maturity. It contains a lot of wisdom on how to be the kind of person who takes responsibility.

24 signs of emotional maturity

You may also be interested in our free masterclass on how to embrace your inner beast. It’s with a shaman, and by the end of the masterclass, you’ll be inspired to grab hold of your anger and turn it into your ally.

Embrace your inner beast: Turning your anger into your ally (free masterclass)

Finally, check out this article by Ideapod founder Justin Brown on why he gave up positive thinking, and how it helped him to live a better life.

7 brutal truths I learned about life after giving up “positive thinking”

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What do you think?

Notable replies

  1. I hate replying here all the time in negative ways, but it seems far to many writings are simple “Up With People” or kindergarten level optimism.
    Let me take these points one at a time.
    1 You can’t go back.
    Well, you not only can go back but it is impossible to leave the past behind. I scoff at the new AI press about how soon we will be taken over by AI machines. ANYBODY who really meditates and thinks about the mind and what is there and going on will realize there is no way. The complicated work, the storage taking place, the constant thinking and coordinating and production required even to sit in a chair without falling or losing one’s surrounding and reality are astounding.
    "If there are past traumas that you need to heal, consider getting some professional help. " There is NOBODY who can help you, in most cases.These are college trained idiots who are parroting things they memorized in order to graduate. NOBODY can help you through the loss of your child, only you and hopefully others of similar loss.
    When you are scarred…you are scarred.
    2 Keep busy. In fact keeping busy is the healer of the mind. Pull weeds. Raise tomatoes… Vacuum and wash windows.
    Keep busy.
    3 you actually do have time…followed up immediately with 4, you might not live til tomorrow.
    Um, which is it???
    5 Failure is pert of the plan. Well, yes, since we all die at the end of our movies! But the really isn’t a “plan” That’s just failing equipment as designed by happen-chance and evolution…and luck.
    All we are doing is following codes embedded inside walking us through our reactions to the chaos and unknowable instances we see before us.
    6 Life isn’t perfect. No, nor fair and balanced, as they say. In fact, life is cold as midnight in an arctic winter. Holocaust, anybody?
    7 Do the things you love. Well, yes…IF you can or find time AFTER you done doing what you MUST do to live, eat and pay rent.MOST artist are starving, and although doing what they love, are doing it on the side.
    8 You can’t rely on anybody but yourself.
    Well, that is the life plan of the mountain men of the 1800. However, even they had to have the togetherness with similar kind to party, tell stories and share . We are a species in need of company support. We gather in villages and cities because we NEED each other. The days of the renaissance man are dead.Today we specialize and fill our needs through others.

    But keep up the good work, I am sure you are providing assurances to those that follow such

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Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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