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People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths

People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths

The expression “the truth hurts” is one we are very familiar with. We resist telling the truth to ourselves and to others because it is painful to face a reality that is different from the comfortable worlds we create for ourselves. Eventually, these worlds will fall away as reality intrudes. Don’t be afraid of reality. Use it to your advantage. Here are nine harsh truths that will allow you to see the world more clearly and offer you the opportunity to live more powerful and authentic lives:

1. You are not the center of the universe

We tend to think people care about us and our needs as much as we do. They don’t. They care about themselves and their needs.

Opportunity: Use this to your advantage. Dale Carnegie in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” Ziz Ziglar puts it even more plainly when he said “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”

2. Achieving your goals will be harder than you imagined

It always is. Whether it’s losing weight, starting a new business, writing a blog, raising a family, you will encounter this truth.

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Opportunity: I once heard this advice about exercising that will change the way you approach life difficulties: “When you think you can’t do another rep, or take another step, go a little further. It is those little extra steps that make all the difference.” When you feel like quitting, go a little further. This is where breakthrough lives.

3. The things that matter most in life are spiritual, not physical

It’s easy to accumulate things in order to feel like you have accomplished something. Most rich people (the honest ones) will tell you that it only makes a difference in the short term. It’s harder to grasp the spiritual, or immaterial. They cannot be collected, hoarded, bought, or sold. These are love, respect, passion, morality and empathy. These things are all about relationships. In the end, relationships are all that matter.

Opportunity: Learn to appreciate this truth and you will be freed from materialism. You will be happy when you have a lot and when you have a little. You will learn to cherish the important relationships in your lives.

4. You will always have critics

You could be the nicest person on earth, someone out there will not like you for who you are, what you do, or what you stand for. You simply cannot be all things to all people.

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Opportunity: Stop trying to be all things to all people. Focus on your natural strengths. The people who appreciate these will form a strong tribe around you. Caveat, the number of your critics will increase but this will be a sign of success.

5. If you are not failing, you are not living

We tend to like to play it safe. We don’t like to fail. We don’t like being vulnerable to rejection. The most successful, happiest people have failed multiple times. The harsh truth is that you cannot achieve the tangible and intangible signs of success if you are not willing to fail.

Opportunity: Don’t be afraid of failure. Consider every setback as a step toward success. You will be released from the invisible chains that keep people from trying new things or daring to pursue a dream.

6. In order to receive, you must give

One of the quickest paths to unhappiness is hoarding. It is hard to give away the things we value. But if we hoard, the thing we cherish will lose its value and will instead become a burden.

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Opportunity: Lighten your load. Give of your resources, time, and self. You will be cured of your spiritual obesity.

7. People will hurt you

It may happen intentionally or unintentionally. It still hurts. They may say something unkind, steal from you, lie to you, spread rumors about you, be difficult coworkers or bosses, etc.

Opportunity: Don’t be tempted to strike back. Show grace to this person. Forgive them. Your example will give them an opportunity to transform their lives. You will also experience more peace in difficult situations.

8. You do not control every part of your reality

Things often do not go the way we expect. There are always unanticipated problems or blind spots you just could not anticipate.

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Opportunity: Become more flexible and nimble. This will keep you from getting stuck.

9. You will die.

We all know it but nobody says it quite that bluntly. We pretend that we have all the time in the world. You don’t. Every second is a precious, limited resource. Not only that, for most of us, we do not know when death will come. When it does, it will likely be a painful experience.

Opportunity: Stop procrastinating. Live. Learn. Love. Know that suffering and pain are a part of life. You will become more resilient and even joyful in the face of suffering. The unimportant will be stripped away. It will sharpen your focus on what matters most.

May these truths be a starting point for a life that is authentic, loving, rich, and fearless.

May they “set you free.”

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

More by this author

Cylon George

A spiritual chaplain and blogger who writes about practical spiritual tips for busy people.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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