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10 Truths That Smart People Often Forget About

10 Truths That Smart People Often Forget About

As intelligent as many people are, there will always be moments when the most blatantly obvious concepts completely elude them. Here are a few basic truths that even the wisest folks out there can lose sight of on occasion.

1. It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

None of us are completely error-free, although we’d like to wish we were. Perfectionists in particular don’t like the idea of messing up, but screw-ups are inevitable; the key is to acknowledge them with grace, and move forward from them.

It’s also to remember your own mistakes when you feel frustration with someone else: that barista who accidentally made you a regular venti-mocha-frappa-whippy drink when you asked for a low-fat one might still be in training, so be patient and gracious, and don’t be a dick. There was once a time when you weren’t an expert at what you do, so give someone else a break, as others undoubtedly gave you in turn way back when.

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2. Showing Appreciation to Others is Important

Think about how happy you feel when someone tells you that they appreciate something that you’ve done for them, or even just that they cherish your friendship. It’s a pretty spectacular feeling, isn’t it? Now, consider that others feel the exact same way when you say such things to them in turn. It doesn’t take long to let another person know that you really appreciate X thing that they’ve said/done, and you can be certain that your words will be remembered forever.

3. No-one is an Island

We all need support on occasion, and that’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. Grief, illness, and a myriad other issues will touch all of our lives, and it’s when these hardships arise that it’s vital to ask for—and accept—help. Whether you have a strong support network of friends and acquaintances, or if you’re very close to members of your family, it’s absolutely okay to lean on them when you need to. You wouldn’t begrudge help to someone you care about, right? Consider the fact that others feel the exact same way about you.

4. You Need to Take Care of Yourself Before You Can Take Care of Others

Many people seem to martyr themselves in their eagerness to care for others, but they generally end up feeling drained, sick, or otherwise utterly depleted as a result. As much as you want to be there for those you care about, remember that you’re no good to anyone if you’re a tired, weak, emotional wreck. Take time to rest and rejuvenate so you can have the strength and energy needed to help those you love.

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5. It’s Never Too Late to Learn Something New

You might think that it’s “too late” to embark on a new career path, learn a new language, or start watercolour painting, but do you have a good reason as to why that may be? Is it because you have the misconception that a pursuit is only valid if you’ve mastered it by a certain age? Consider the idea that the journey and the process are what’s important, rather than milestone achievements, and enjoy delving into a topic that intrigues you. Not only will it help you grow and evolve, but it’ll keep your mind active and healthy as well.

6. Health Isn’t Measured by a Clothing Size or Tape Measurement

It’s important to eat well, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also important to remember that every single body on earth is different, and your individual health can’t be measured by mean standards. Someone can be very thin and extremely unhealthy, or on the heavier side and in spectacular health (and this goes for people of all genders!). Determine what state is the healthiest and happiest for you, and strive to maintain it.

7. No-one is More or Less Important Than Anyone Else

We’ve all been in situations where some jerk has tried to make it known that they were terribly important, and their time was more valuable than that of others, etc., as they belittled those around them. Guess what? No-one on earth is any greater or lesser than anyone else; we’re all just different flavours of human, period.
Wealth, status, degrees, possessions—all are completely irrelevant, and everyone should be treated with equal respect, courtesy, and dignity. The bottom line here is that those who point out their inferiors don’t have any.

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8. Children and the Elderly Are Worth Listening To

It’s often easy to dismiss the thoughts and observations of the very young and very old alike because we assume they’re either too little to have any real insight, or already in their dotage, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A child will have a unique perspective of the world because his/her observations haven’t yet been tainted by external influence, and an elder will have a lifetime of experience to draw upon. You don’t have to heed all of their advice or believe everything they say, but it’s important to listen anyway; you never know what you may learn.

9. You Cannot Change Others, Nor Should You Try to Do So

Living authentically, in a manner that feels right and true to yourself, is of rather high importance, right? Well, how would you feel if someone you cared about tried to change aspects about your lifestyle to better suit their own whims and preferences? You’d likely feel hurt, disrespected, and annoyed, and would probably start to feel as though you were doing something wrong, even if you were absolutely happy as you were. None of us have the right to try to change someone else to make them into what we deem to be “better” versions, so it’s important to learn to accept and care for people exactly as they are.

This is especially important to remember if you’re searching for a romantic partner: If you find yourself thinking that X person would be “perfect” for you if only they changed this and that, then they’re not perfect for you at all, and you’ll both end up feeling awful if you try to make them into something they’re not. They’ll get frustrated because you can’t accept them for who they are, you’ll be disappointed that they’re not willing to change themselves to make you happy, and it’ll spiral into greater ugliness down the line. If it’s your child whom you want to change, remember that this person is an individual with their own leanings, wants, and sense of self—they don’t exist so you can live vicariously through their experiences.

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10. “Success” and Money Don’t Equal Happiness

What is “success”, really? Achieving something that someone else expected of you? As for money, well… it can let you stuff your face with caviar and champagne now and then, but it can’t buy you emotional stability, spiritual fulfilment, or true friendship. Consider that the most beautiful experiences in life aren’t those that can be purchased, and determine for yourself what makes you truly happy. Pursue that which makes your soul shine, and never mind how much money others are making, or what labels they have on their business cards.

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

We all know some overachievers: supermoms who manage to get online degrees between cleaning, cooking, and taking kids to practice; students who write 10-page papers when the directions call for 4; managers whose resumes look more like pages from the Guinness book of Records.

How do they do it all? How is it possible that one person can graduate at the top of their class, found an orphanage in India, run 30k marathons, write a best-selling book, travel all over the world and learn to speak Mandarin Chinese while having a full-time job?

What’s the secret of an overachiever? Here’re 11 things overachievers do differently that you can learn from.

1. They Know How to Manage Their Time

It’s pretty simple actually – you can never become an overachiever if you don’t know how to organize your time efficiently.

The great thing is that overachievers are ready to share their knowledge and time management talent with the rest of the world. Read The 4-Hour Workweek or The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

2. They Don’t Spend Hours Watching TV or Playing Computer Games

Mostly because they have better things to do, like exercising, reading, spending an evening with their family or volunteering to work in the local soup kitchen. Their philosophy is simple – the world is full of wonderful things to try, explore and experience. Watching TV is not one of them.

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3. They Are Obsessed With Perfection

Imagine Steve Jobs’ work approach and you’ll understand the level of perfection and painfully high standards that overachievers set for themselves and those around them. Often it pays off (especially if they focus on just one domain). But sometimes compulsive over-striving turns into a sure-fire road to disappointments and unfinished tasks.

Learn how to strike a balance: How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up

4. They Know How To Inspire

Overachievers learn quickly that it is much easier to achieve goals through collaboration (and especially delegation). So they know how to inspire, encourage, persuade and motivate people around them. Even though they often drive their team crazy with their stubbornness and perfectionism, people quickly follow under the spell of their enthusiasm and greater vision.

Learn these 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively.

5. They Set Clear Goals

The term “overachiever” itself implies that they know how to achieve goals. That is kind of hard to do if your goals are vague, unclear and lack specific deadline, which is why overachievers educate themselves, read goal-setting books, and think about the best way to approach a new task.

Although, it’s worth mentioning that overachievers usually use their time management and goal-setting skills towards competitive, “I want to kick butt” type of goals rather than self-improvement, mastery goals.

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Take a look at these tips to help you set clearer goals: What Are SMART Goals (And How to Use Them to Become Successful)

6. They Are Organized

It’s hard to imagine a disorganized overachiever, isn’t it? Their great organizational and planning skills usually serve three main purposes: keeping track of time, keeping track of progress and keeping track of achievements.

This hasn’t been confirmed by scientific research yet, but overachievers might actually get a “runner’s high” from crossing tasks off their to-do lists, and making new to-do lists.

Here’s How to Organize Your Life: 10 Habits of Really Organized People

7. They Try to Avoid Failure at All Costs

Some psychologists believe that overachievers place their self-worth on their competence, driven by an underlying fear of failure. Rather than setting and striving for goals based on a pure desire to achieve, their core motivation becomes avoiding failure. This may explain the fact that overachiever beat themselves up for even little setbacks and seemingly-insignificant mistakes.

But be aware that having a strong fear of failure can wrek havoc your productivity. So the best thing to do? Learn to conquer the fear: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It)

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8. They Love Awards

Who doesn’t love them, right? True enough, but unlike most people who like to feel acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts, overachievers are bent on collecting ‘awards’, be it university degrees, spelling bee prizes or unusual destinations.

While loving awares isn’t bad, it’s even better if you’re driven by internal motivation instead of external ones which could be quite uncontrolable or unstable: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It).

9. They Don’t Understand the Concept of Work Hours

Don’t get surprised if you receive a work-related email anywhere between 8 p.m. and midnight. It’s something overachievers usually do and you weren’t the only one. At least 20 more emails have been sent during these hours to other people. The concepts of over-achieving and working overtime usually go hand in hand.

The downside of this is an imbalnced life, which may need to problems in other aspects of life including health and relationships. A better way is to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance.

10. They Rest

Overachievers might often be labeled as “workaholics”, because they often ignore bodily signs of hunger, fatigue and even a full bladder, hoping to finish just one last little part. This doesn’t mean that overachievers don’t know how to disconnect and relax.

True that they tend to work in the highest gear, but they also have enough sense to give themselves time to rest and recharge. Of course, they do it in their own overachieving way, preferring climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or hiking through the Amazon jungle to lazing on the beach.

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11. Overachievers Continuously Educate Themselves

A great quality that most overachievers have is the hunger for knowledge. They surround themselves with bright people. They know how to listen, and most importantly, they get tons of mentoring.

Despite the fact that overachievers want to excel at everything they set their minds on, they are humble enough to admit that to get on top of their game, they need help. And they are willing to pay someone to push, coach and guide them.

You too can learn How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You.

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Featured photo credit: Nghia Le via unsplash.com

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