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.
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.
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.
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.
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.