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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 December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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