As children, we were taught the basic survival guide to life: be yourself, follow the rules, get good grades, be good to other people, and you’ll be good to go. At the time, with our young, naïve, and hopeful minds, these things made sense and indeed, they were all we needed to survive life as children. Adult life, on the other hand, is a different story. Now that we’ve been exposed to the realities of life without anyone protecting us from the truth, we now know that the lessons taught to as us kids don’t exactly apply in real life anymore, like “just be yourself” isn’t a good advice to someone miserable with the way they are, and simply getting good grades throughout middle school and high school isn’t enough to get you into your dream uni or job.
Here are five other cold, hard truths you need to accept in order to be a better person and live a better life.
You Don’t Have to Accept Yourself For Who You Are
My entire life, I’ve always heard the same advice getting thrown around when someone’s asking for reassurance, whether it’s before a job interview or a first date. It’s the same thing, all over again: “Just be yourself.” If the person is truly satisfied and happy with who they are, then maybe that will work. But then again, anyone who is confident with themselves won’t be asking for validation.
You see, there’s a danger in advising people to just be themselves and be accepting for who they are when they aren’t happy with it, or when it’s getting in the way of their growth. And if you follow this advice, it just means you’re giving up on yourself. If all you do is accept and not do anything about your bad qualities, you’re passing on the chance to improve yourself and grow as a person. It’s the same mentality that makes miserable and unsuccessful people the way they are.
“I’m a shy person. I’ve always been that way and I can’t change it.”
“I didn’t do what I was supposed to do again! I’m so lazy! Eh, but what can I do? It’s in my nature.”
People tend to spend effort and time convincing themselves that they’re perfect just the way they are, flaws and all, than actually doing something about it and stepping out of their comfort zone because it’s easier that way. It’s easier to justify flaws and mistakes by convincing yourself those bad qualities will always be in your nature and you’re hardwired to do certain things, but that’s not true. We develop habits as we grow, we didn’t acquire them when we were born.
It’s not enough to accept who you are, regardless of what others say – especially if you’re not happy with it. Determine who you really want to be and find out how you can become that person. Don’t just settle for the version of yourself that you’ve been comfortable with all your life. Take that brave first step into transforming yourself into someone you’d proudly and confidently follow the “just be yourself” advice for.
No One Will Care For You Better Than You Will
Another harsh truth you need to accept is that no one – not even your family members or closest friends – will care about you as much as you do. We are all born into this world to find our purpose and fulfill our own aspirations. Everyone is too busy looking out for themselves to care about your name brand clothes and expensive car that you almost spent your entire life savings on.
The sad truth is that most people would spend most of their lives trying to impress other people. They would buy things they can’t afford to impress people who don’t care – sometimes to the point of compromising their own lifestyle just to keep up appearances. But guess what? These people don’t care if you’re “living the dream,” in fact, they’d probably hate you for it and they’d be waiting until you make your first mistake. You don’t have to live a fake life and live miserably for the sake of everyone else.
Do things for you, not for other people. Invest in something and spend a lot of money only if it’s for the sake of making your life better. Work hard to improve yourself at the things you want to get better at on your own pace. Just because your friends are traveling all over the world and partying every weekend doesn’t mean you should be doing the same thing. We all have different ideas of success. If success for them is living a carefree and happy life while staying in nine to five jobs, then good for them. But don’t set aside your goals just because you’re not experiencing the same things they are experiencing right now.
Do your own thing and live your life on your own terms. There’s no shortcut to success. Think about the long term instead of constantly worrying about what other people think of your life right now.
You May Be Better Off Without Some People
It may seem impossible to think that the friends who mean the world to you right now might not be there for you anymore in the future, but it’s the reality of life. People come and go. As you grow older, your priorities and characters will change. You might try to keep up and work on your friendships with your high school best friends during your college years, but it will never be the same as before. Inevitably, you will outgrow each other, but it’s nothing to be afraid of.
As you begin to make new friendships along the way, you will realize that there’s a reason why you had to let go of all those people who once meant everything to you. It doesn’t mean that what you had with them means anything less; it just means you’re all heading to different paths now and you’ll begin to grow close to those with you on your new journey. Allow yourself to move on and head to a new chapter in life, even if it means letting go of incredible friendships. Accept that growing means you’ll have to leave a lot of things in the past, no matter how hard and painful.
Sometimes, Bad Things Happen to Good People
When you experience tragic events in our life, you might ask the universe or a higher being, “Why me?” And you’d think about how you’ve been a good person all your life and you feel like you’ve done everything right. And yet, terrible things still keep happening to you. You can blame anyone you want, but it won’t change the fact that there are just some things that are out of our control. It doesn’t matter if you donate to charity all the time or you haven’t so much as touched a fly – bad things happen all the time for a lot of reasons, and some will be totally unrelated to how well you lived your life.
There will always be evil in the world and diseases we can’t see coming that may take us or our loved ones away. You can’t control everything that happens in your life. What you can do, however, is use these dark and painful life circumstances into opening your heart to feeling and transforming your circumstances into your destiny instead of falling victim to them. Find purpose in those perceived tragedies and ask yourself what it’s trying to teach you. Bad things only appear “bad” if you perceive them to be that way. Once you stop seeing them as such and accept them as something that’s meant to teach you something, life will become less “unfair” and painful.
Nothing is Permanent in This World
The people you promised you’ll be friends forever with might not be there anymore when you start a family. Your parents will not be around forever. Often, we take things for granted because we think they’ll always be around. We put off time spent with them because we think there will always be tomorrow to make up for it. But what if there isn’t? There will come a time when you can no longer pick up the phone or knock on your parents’ door to ask for advice and opinions such as what art piece would look best on your living room. They won’t be there forever to listen to your problems at work.
Spend more quality time with your parents. Don’t waste your chance to ask for their advice while they’re still here with you. Ask them to tell you stories about their own life and the lessons they learned that might help you someday. Never take the people you love for granted. Stop making excuses and pick up the phone. Make more time for them and make sure they know you appreciate them while they’re still here with you. We can never tell how much time we have here in this world.
“Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.”
The world might not be as good, happy, and bright, and we might not possess the same zest for life that we did as kids, but it’s all just a part of growing up. We can’t stay in the same place and keep the same perspectives forever. After all, it’s after we undergo struggles in life that we experience growth and become better people than we were yesterday. So don’t be afraid to look at things from a different point of view. Let go of your fears and what ifs. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and truly live.