There are just some truths in life that you have to know and accept. You can bury your head in the digital world of video games, Netflix, and the news media for most of your life. But there will be a time when these painful truths will come into your life and you’ll have to overcome them. So why not take some time today and prepare. You’re not going to like some of these so roll up your socks and get the kettle on.
1. You will die and everyone around you will too
Many people are scared of death. They avoid it so much so that they never really, truly live their life. Your family won’t be around forever so make sure you make the most of it, if that’s something you value.
Parents get old, they die. It’s a fact of life. It’s how you spend the years you do have with them that counts. Friends will come and go, some will move, some will also pass away. It’s pretty painful to think about and even type. Yet, you have to accept that it’s going to happen. Unless you’re the first one to go.
Our minds play many funny games with us. However many times you tell yourself something, your brain just decides that it’s not going to happen. It can’t comprehend that it will at some point not exist. You won’t exist. Try it now and see what your little brain does.
We started pretty heavy out the gate here with this one but the idea is that it may sound cliche, but today you’re here and it is extremely lucky that you are here. For those of you living in a society that looks after you to a certain extent. And you have a life that isn’t in poverty. You’re even more lucky. So take each day as it comes and accept that you’re here, and one day, you won’t be.
You’re only here for a small amount of time. So accept that you won’t be around forever and do what you can now to be kind to you and others.
2. You are the result of your decisions
For the most part, everything you do, every day builds towards your life and the people around you. You can take yourself as far as you’re willing to go. People do tend to settle in things in life.
People settle into jobs that make them stressed all the time and take away quality time from things they actually want to do for 30-50 hours per week. Some people get stuck in relationships that are probably not pushing them to be what they truly are. That goes for loving relationships physically and mentally.
Even some people settle in places around the world where nothing they want to do happens. For example if you love live music like we do here at DW, then living in a place where you can’t see bands play live, or have access to would really impact our passion.
You decide where you want to live. You decide what career you’re going into. You spend your time with people. No one is forcing you to do any of these things apart from one person. And that’s you.
Over time these things can build into something more. You put yourself where you are and there really is only one person to blame. That’s when you start to underperform at work or become very negative about what you’re doing and your work colleagues. That day at work leaks into your personal relationships and ultimately your health.
It’s a difficult one to think about as there are so many variables, but if you are honest with yourself and look ahead in 10 years time to ask yourself if you would have any regrets, what would they be?
Write them down. And make sure you turn them into a goal rather than a regret that’s hanging over you for the rest of your days. Everything is under your control.
Set goals and do as much as you can to get what you want. No one will be doing it for you.
3. Life is a game stuck in God mode
Every day something is thrown at you that can change your day. For the good, and for the bad. You’re player number 1 in life and you’re trying to get through each level in God mode. It’s bloody hard work, and it never ends until the day you die.
The only thing you can do is never stop, and never give up. As long as you’re lucky enough to be here on this earth then you have a chance to get through it. You can complete the game with the best score. Each level may seem larger, but you get better every day by playing.
For every level you complete in the game of life, you get a reward. It’s like passing go in Monopoly. For as long as you’re playing, you will get a nice reward as you go around the board.
Think back to moments in your life when you thought it would be impossible to get through your current situation. But what happend? You’re here right? You did get through and worked a way around it no matter how hard it was. Which must feel good.
Many of us don’t reflect back on the things we have done in our lives enough. It doesn’t have to be the big promotion at work or the buying of your first house. It’s the little things that you did every day that moved you closer to the milestones.
That’s what you need to reflect on when you’re stuck on a level in the game of life. You’ve been there before in one form or another and by reflecting back on them you can find a way through again and use a combination of things you’ve learnt about yourself over time. Write them down in a journal.
Play the game of life and expect it to be hard. Everyone else is playing too, but you can learn the rules to work for you.
4. Easy choices means you have a hard life
Fundamentally, this is what makes the difference in your life. This is why you see some people thriving and others struggling. This rule applies to everyone, wherever and however you grew up.
It applies to everyone equally, and as long as you make the hard choice in life, you will win. Give it enough time and you get the benefits tenfold. Think about getting into shape again. That’s hard work. It’s a hard decision. You’re making sacrifices and having to work hard.
Yet, give yourself a few months, and you start to see the results. Then, in a years time you will be in the best shape of your life if you stick to it and all that hard work will have paid off. You’ll feel better mentally and physically, you’ll hold yourself differently when walking. The benefits are just endless. And that’s just if you choose the hard road for working out.
So many stories of people making the harder choices in life come to an ultimate successful end. In some form or another. You may not succeed at your first business, but by going back and working those extra hours and putting in the hard work, you will already be twice as successful as you’ve learned so much.
Taking the easy road can have its perks. Yet the easy way hasn’t been the best for you has it? This is another great one to think about if you’ve had time to think about something you played safe with and taken the easy way.
The easy route always ends up being the hardest one in the long run. Do the hard things and life will be better than you think.
5. You think you can but probably won’t
We all think we have potential. We do. As a child you are a little fun bubble of energy that has the potential to do so many things in life. The odds are stacked against your child self, and you probably aren’t the full potential you could be.
Where you are right now means you have experienced your life from one perspective. Yours. Your story has one character and that’s you because everything is in relation to how you look at the world and what you’ve experienced.
At some point in your story something will click. You’ll realise that it’s not all about you. Other people in your life are the lead characters in their stories, and you’re the extra. We’re all thinking the same things. So why do we make it so complicated?
We think our potential is just going to happen overnight with no work involved. Remember, we’re the lead character, so it’ll happen right? It’s just simply not true. The people that push themselves to new places only do so by themselves.
They become the lead character in a life story because they accept that everyone else is thinking the same, yet they’re not acting like their characters should each and every day. The people that put the work in and do everything in their power to make things happen become the star of the show.
Planning, sacrificing, and setting goals in a way to be able to achieve them becomes an addiction. Think big but set small goals and plan ahead. If you’re checking off those smaller goals each, day, week, month or year then what can you do next?
Using tools and methods that work for you and your goals is half the battle. You need to find what makes you tick and helps you get closer to where you want to be.
Set smaller goals you can achieve on a regular basis. Going too high and too long won’t work.
6. Being busy isn’t a marker for productivity
Running at full speed doesn’t mean you’re getting much done. Your life is probably still a mess and even more chaotic when you’re making yourself even busier. And for some reason people seem to think that the busier you are, the more successful you seem to others. It’s really quite the opposite.
Many people think they don’t have enough time to get everything done. Yet most of the time it’s as simple as shifting the focus on the priorities. Granted it’s not easy to find what the priorities are, and that can be half the battle and the added stress that comes with it.
When you focus on the urgent things that come up in life and work, you get distracted and more than likely you end up being stressed. It can all bubble up into an absolute nightmare with some people getting burned out.
One simple way to refocus is simply to stop what you’re doing. Take a moment to think if you have set a goal for what you’re doing. If you haven’t, set something small that’s achievable in a relatively short time frame.
With one or two simple goals set, you know when things start to get chaotic again you can check to see if this urgent task you have at work, or that killer party is happening this weekend is aligned to that goal.
It’s always easy to refer to health and fitness when it comes to something like this. Say you are trying to get in shape for summer, get a promotion at work, have fun with your family and friends. You know, the normal life stuff we end up being wrapped up in.
You are probably running full speed ahead. Then you get that party invite from your friends we mentioned above. If you don’t have a specific goal set that’s achievable, then you’ll more than likely attend the party, drink loads of booze, and eat a shed load of bad foods.
This may be fun at the time, but how many times have you done this, and how many times have you wasted days in bed because you’re hungover and tired. Will you go to the gym and workout now? Definitely not.
Having a goal set will make you rethink that invite. You know you won’t achieve the goal if you do your usual routine. So, what will you do? You might go, have a few drinks and leave a little earlier than usual. This is an achievement in itself. You win and you’re in control. That’s something to be proud of and you won’t have achieved that without setting that goal.
Spend some time getting to know your priorities. This gives you a route to take every day.
7. You’re not the things you own
One of the maddest things that happened in recent years to us here at DW is the realisation that being better off financially makes you not want the things you thought you might. And ultimately, that you don’t need those things. It’s something we always thought was a myth, and that money does buy more happiness.
The harsh truth is that money changes your ability to live a certain lifestyle. For the good, and for the bad. It means you’re not struggling to pay for food, bills and a roof over your head. This brings comfort and takes the edge of many worries in life. Yet, you’re still the same person you were when you weren’t in this situation.
As soon as you can afford something, it loses its appeal. Luxury products and beautiful items sit in the store looking at you, just begging to be bought. And when you bring them home, for some reason they’re magic fades away.
Take a look around your house and look at all the things you have. Some may be expensive, some may be cheap. But which ones do you appreciate and actually use. Probably very little. This is also something we’re currently going through here at DW. We’re taking a long hard look at the lifestyles we live and the things we have around us.
Tying your identity to the material things you have and wear is the way we think we should live our life. Loving something is very different from owning something. And when you start to think about who you are, not what you have, the game of life becomes very interesting.
Material stuff should ehance you. Not the other way round. Focus on the stuff that bring value to your life.
8. Some people won’t like you
We all want to be liked. It’s the foundation of why we make pretty much every decision in our life and literally the feature that keeps many social media companies alive. So it’s hard to grasp the concept that so many people won’t like you or the things you do.
This painful truth takes time to get used to. It also then makes you question everything else you’re doing or trying to do. Why did you take that picture of the sunset and put in on Instagram yesterday? You’re calling out to the world to like something you’re doing.
Then you can go further and ask yourself why do you have an Instagram account? It’s food for thought and most of the time you’ll find, like we did, that you end up back to the fact that you just want to be liked.
By focusing on you, what you’re doing puts you in a very different place mentally. Accepting that many people won’t like you, means you don’t need to go out of your way to try and please some people. It’s just not worth the effort.
Think how many times you’ve probably gone out of your way to make an effort with someone and it’s just not worked out. You may not know if they truly like you or not, but it certainly feels that way. So, just accept it and move on.
Do the things you like to do and spend time with the people you do like. As we mentioned in the first point, you’re only here a finite amount of time. So what’s with all the time spent trying to get people to like you and stuff you do? Just do it for yourself.
Pay not attention to what other people are doing unless it motivates you. Pleasing everyone or thinking you have too isn’t worth your effort.
9. It’s not other people’s job you make you happy
People expect others to come into their life and change everything. You think you’ll find someone that’s super fit and they’ll get you in shape. You think someone will magically appear in your life and teach you to love. And most of all you expect other people to contribute to your happiness.
This is the little world we’ve created for ourselves as mentioned in number 5. We think we are the main character in life. So everyone that comes into it should make us feel good. Being happier can be done by you. Being healthier can be achieved by you. And loving more comes from inside you.
When you start making better choices for you, then other people will inherently make you feel happier as a by product. But it has to start from you first. You can lift those weights. You can do things to try to get better sleep. You can eat healthier foods. The list is endless.
You make your decisions every day. These lead to your happiness. No one else gets you out of bed and shoves food down your face.
10. Your mind can play tricks on you don’t learn about it
Most people are running on autopilot in the same way you don’t even notice that you’re breathing. When you do some form of meditation it usually pulls your attention towards your breathing and tries to cut everything else out. So you’re pulling your attention to an automated system in your body.
However, there are many people who don’t take the time to learn about their brain and focus on the things they’re carrying around with them. We’re all dealing with demons in our heads. In all shapes and sizes. So it’s not just you.
There are days we can put our demons back in the cage, and other days they come out swinging. You can even use them to your advantage in some cases, but in any case, they are negative aspects of your mental health.
The moment you aren’t keeping them in check is when things can become chaotic. Tragic events happen when people don’t look after their minds. You can help yourself, and you can be there for other people. Not to make them happy like mentioned earlier, but to just be a pair of eyes and ears.
One of the most powerful things you can do is embrace self help. You can see a professional, read self help books, listen to podcasts. The list is endless. You may feel embarrassed but who really needs to know if you’re not comfortable talking about it?
The combination of helping yourself and finding a form of meditation puts you on the path of least destruction. Take time for you, and learn about your mind. Your future self and relationships will thank you in the long run.
Spend some time learning how you work. Take notes, meditate, and find out who you really are.
11. You don’t have to wait for an apology
So people carry a weight on their shoulders for many years. This could be an argument they once had with a partner, friend, or work colleague. Life really is too short to keep these inside. Forgive and forget. No matter what it is.
It may be one of the hardest things to do in your life but it’s better to forgive and move past what happened that stores it in your mind. If it’s someone cheating on you in a relationship and you want to stay together, you have to forgive and get past it. Or forgive and move on in your life without them.
You can’t have negativity floating around in your mind where it doesn’t need to be. Things do take time, and can be painful. Yet you do get past them. And if you’re waiting for an apology, it probably won’t even come. So why hold onto it?
Don’t hold onto negative moments in your life. Forgive and forget, no matter how hard it is.
12. You can’t save the world and everyone in it
Whatever you do in this life you won’t be able to save everyone. That isn’t your job. You’re here to save yourself. Many people can’t even save themselves on their sinking ship so how can they even think about saving others? Once you can save you, you can then look at saving others.
The United Nations are doing everything in their power to help others around the world. There has been quite a considerable amount of progress and global poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 2000. It’s by far from where it really should be, but remember, you can’t control this. So don’t carry the weight on your shoulders.
When you’re in a good place yourself physically and mentally, that’s when you can make the biggest positive impact on others. Think about it. If you’re tired, overweight, not sleeping, then how are you going to have the energy and do the best job of helping other people?
Learn about you first, then you can be in a better place to help others.
13. Everything is constantly changing
The last year alone highlights just how fast things move and change. Work and life are now moulded through Zoom, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp … the list goes on. We are talking through screens to each other pretty much everyday. This is not normal, and just didn’t happen any way near as much to the vast majority of us.
Nothing that’s done today will be done the same in twenty years from now. The world is changing so fast, and if you focus too much on the negative things about change then you’ll miss out on so many cool things you can actually enjoy.
You’re getting older and your priorities do shift. Your perceptions change and by the time you’ve managed to get your head around the change, it’s already different from what you remember. And unfortunately we have to adapt faster than previous generations due to the technological advancements in the world.
The world changes faster than ever before. Accept that it will, adapt as it does, and enjoy the ride.
14. Better late than never, but not always
If you want something. Don’t wait. Be patient and work out the best way to get what you want and not harm others, but time doesn’t stop for you. By the time you’ve read this you’re already a little bit older. Time didn’t care that you wanted to sit back and enjoy every single word of this amazing article.
Opportunities to do certain things in life do come and go. So make sure if you have something in your mind that you wish you could do, be ready and have everything in place so you can take advantage.
As an example if you’ve always wanted to own your own home but never found the right time. Then do it as soon as you can. As of the time writing this article, the interest rates on mortgages are so low. If you have the time and money to dive in, then now is definitely a better late than never.
Do the think you have always wanted to do. Or, set a goal to get closer. Now, not tomorrow.
15. It’s you, not me
You create most of your problems in life. We say most here because there are a lot of things that aren’t in your control. You can’t control the weather, but if you forget to wear your rain jacket then that’s on you.
Think about many things in your life that you can actually control. Or even dive deeper into things that are actually causing you troubles and see if there was anything you could have done to prevent them. The mental energy it takes to fill your brain with worries of things you can’t control can take its toll on your health.
People live to play victim. It’s much easier to blame someone else for your issues and to justify the situation you’re in. You think it’s some magical person or situation that’s forcing you to eat junk food and put on weight. But it’s not, it’s you doing that.
It’s a hard pill to swallow and we like to think that everything good in our life is because of our efforts. And everything bad is someone else’s fault. So how about you flip that around? Change your mentality on this.
How about thinking that everything good in your life is in some way linked to other people or some new technology you used has helped you get there. Then switching the thought that everything that sucks in your life is a result of your decisions and not being prepared enough for what was about to happen.
Let’s take for example the world right now with a global crisis. It’s something we all couldn’t predict. So we can blame the world for this. What we can’t blame is if we didn’t save for a rainy day in our bank account when we had the money to do so.
Think back to all those times you probably spent far too much on alcohol or a fancy meal, or clothing you never wear now. You can’t blame anyone for those moments in your life. That’s on you. It’s a harsh truth, but it’s true.
You are responsible for yourself. Take ownership of you and the world will look after you.
Own your truths
We spend our life in denial about these 15 painful truths, and we don’t deal with them properly. We go all in on things when we should be thinking longer term. Own your truths, practice patience and your life will be what you want it to be in the future.