1. Money doesn’t buy happiness.
Whoever coined this phrase clearly never lived paycheck to paycheck. While there might be some truth to it, the lack of money certainly causes unhappiness. It’s hard to “live life to the fullest” and “savor every fleeting moment” like you’re supposed to when you’re barely making enough money to put off-brand food on the table every night. The fact of the matter is, it costs money to go places with your friends. It costs money to date (yes ladies, you should pick up the tab every once in a while, too). It costs money to travel home to see your family, or to buy your best friend a thoughtful birthday gift, or to treat yourself now and then. And when you can’t do these things, you feel inferior. You may not be happy with money, but you will almost certainly be unhappy, or at least incredibly stressed out, without it.
2. What goes around comes around & everything happens for a reason.
In my own personal life, I’ve seen karma fail miserably. The guy who sexually assaulted me in high school just got engaged last summer, and one of the best people I’ve ever known has battled cancer twice in the past 3 years. Although it’s comforting to think that there’s some cosmic reward for being good and punishment for being bad, I don’t buy it. Good things sometimes happen to shitty people, and shitty things sometimes happen to great people. I don’t think it always has to balance out. You’ll be miserably disappointed if you live your life waiting to be rewarded for your good deeds or waiting to see others punished for their bad ones. Shit happens – sometimes for no apparent reason – and then life goes on.
3. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Only if you let it make you stronger. There are plenty of people in mental hospitals, or addicted to drugs, or sleeping in homeless shelters. There are tons people struggling with PTSD and incident related depression. If you let it, what doesn’t kill you can ruin you. It’s up to you to take lemons and make lemonade. Or a whiskey sour, whatever you’re into. Nothing can make you stronger but you.
4. Ignorance is bliss.
Even if you’re ignorant about something, it’s still real. Not knowing doesn’t make it less real. It just makes you less prepared, less informed, and less wise. Whether we’re talking about politics, your cheating spouse, a terminal illness, or really whatever – I think it’s always better to know. Informed is enriched. Forewarned is forearmed. Knowing gives you power to prepare. Secrets suck, and ignorance is most certainly not bliss. That’s why calling someone ignorant is an insult.
5. You will never be given more than you can handle.
Tell that to the thousands who commit suicide and their families. At some point in your life, you will definitely be given more than you can handle. I guarantee it. You will be completely and utterly overwhelmed, and something will fall through the cracks, and you won’t know how you can possibly go on. But most of us do. We find ways to cope and we realize that nobody is ever in total control of everything. And that’s okay. We’re human. We ask friends and family and therapists and God for help. We make it through. But pretending like you can always handle everything all by your big bad self, well – you can’t. Everyone needs help at some point, including you.
6. The early bird gets the worm.
Sometimes. And sometimes, the early bird does all of the work digging, squirming, struggling, and finds that worm, then the late bird swoops in and grabs it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be the early bird – you totally should – but don’t expect that just because you’ve worked hard at something, you’ll be rewarded properly. You won’t always be. This is an incredibly disappointing lesson to learn in life.
7. You can do anything you put your mind to.
It takes more than your mind to get places. It takes physical work. Late nights, early mornings, studying, practicing, whatever. Just because you’ve made a conscious decision that you want something doesn’t mean that you can automatically do it. And sometimes, even if you do put your mind to something, it might not work out. How many high school athletes practiced their asses off only to not be recruited by a college? It doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan. Like one of my favorite cartoon fathers, Hank Hill, taught his son – just because you love baseball, want to do it, and have a great attitude about it doesn’t mean you’re any good. And that’s okay. Dream up something different.
8. Follow your heart.
This garbage is the reason the divorce rate is so high. It’s not hard to fall in love with someone. That’s why it’s called falling – it’s easy and uncontrollable and leaves your stomach in your throat with butterflies. But once you’re there, once you’ve fallen, your head should be a large part of the decision making process. Actually, the main part. If they aren’t financially stable, don’t have any interest of their own, rely on you for happiness, or have major trust issues, it doesn’t matter that you have so much in common or have a phenomenal sex life. Your heart ignores red flags. It’s your brain’s job to recognize them and pump the breaks when need be.
9. Good things come to those who wait.
Good things come to those who go out and get them. Don’t wait for the love of your life to magically bump into you at the grocery store. And don’t assume you’ll be head-hunted for the awesome job you’re dreaming of. Waiting patiently will not get you ahead in work, school, or life. If you want something, go out and get it! Besides sex. That’s what we call a rapist.