1. You can’t control everything. As much control as you like to exercise in your daily life to keep things in order, you have to understand that you simply cannot control everything that happens to you or around you. And honestly trying to grasp control over everything is just exhausting. It’s a whole lot of stress that we, as humans, simply can’t afford. You need to learn that sometimes you have to let certain things take their course.
2. You can, however, control your feelings. This is where all the magic happens. Humans don’t usually realize that they have this power over their brains. I’m going to try to put this as simply as I can; if you don’t care, it doesn’t matter. People have the power to change their situation by the way they look at it. It’s seriously so simple it’s almost funny. Like, imagine you’re at this party, and you’re dancing like an idiot. Most people would say that’s embarrassing, but here’s the deal; you don’t care. You’re happy that you’re dancing, so you’re not embarrassed in that embarrassing situation. But, on the other hand, if you cared for a second how you looked, you’d be embarrassed. Simple as that. Same thing with anger and happiness and all the other feelings.
3. Not all stories have happy endings. Some have sad or disappointing endings. It doesn’t mean that life as a whole is sad; it just means that some of the stories won’t necessarily end in a good way. But that’s a good thing. Because humans don’t usually learn lessons from good endings. The best way to learn is to learn from something going wrong. It helps you’re brain grasp the errors that happened along the way and that will help you grow. Accept that sometimes things go wrong and there’s no way to make it right. All you can do is learn from the past.
4. You don’t always want what is right for you. This is really important to understand. Most times people want bigger and better things, and that’s good to have ambition, but you need to think about what you want and think about it well. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith but other times that faith will not have a ground for you to land on. Be ambitious but be smart. Don’t go for that promotion overseas when it doesn’t even offer enough pay to barely live just because you want to work somewhere abroad. Don’t go for that dead end relationship with that misguided guy just because he gives you attention. Don’t put all your money on a stock just because you’re feeling lucky. Yes, in all of these situations, there is a slight chance everything might work out well, but there’s a much bigger chance that they’ll destruct more than they’ll build you. Sometimes you will want things but you will have to curb yourself for your own benefit. Impulse decisions aren’t always the best long term decisions.
5. People rarely ever change. This one is the hardest to learn. You may be the kind of person that believes in the goodness of others. You may be the kind of person that tries so hard to bring out the good in people and never gives up until they succeed. If you’re that kind of person, I applaud you. However, you have to understand that some people have been raised a certain way, that you can’t change. You can change parts of their heart but the core will always remain as harsh as it was raised. You can’t change a person wholly; all you can do is enlighten them. That enlightenment is more than enough to change someone who is willing for a change. But learn to stop trying with the people that see no error in their ways. Their ego won’t let you help and it will scar you.
6. Walk away from anything that does more harm than benefit. That could be a person, a job, a school, a habit, anything at all. Leave all the toxicity behind and start moving forward. If you stay idle in a situation where damage is being done, you will be damaged. Don’t compromise. Don’t make excuses that make you stay when you know you should be going. And don’t be scared because fear will make you stay. And don’t fall into the “But I’ve put so much into this” trap. Yes the time and effort you already put into the matter will be wasted but you don’t have to keep wasting the time and effort to come for the sake of what has gone. Leave when it’s no longer a good investment.
7. Sometimes you don’t get everything you want. I know they told you at school that if you work hard you can achieve anything you want. Well, sadly this has proven to be less than true. Yes, good things happen to good people with good intentions that work their asses off, but sometimes they don’t. They just don’t. Life is not fair and you can’t let that get to you. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t get what you want, or even deserve. That’s one of the biggest challenges you will face; when you work hard and you’re rewarded with less than you expect. That’s life. It doesn’t always give you what you want but when it does, there’s not a word to describe that euphoric feeling.
8. You need to know you’re weaknesses and insecurities. Just knowing your weaknesses gives them strength. Take the time to know yourself and understand what brings you down and what makes you tick. Knowing these things makes them less prone to hurting you. When you give your weakness strength, it weakens its ability to burden you. In a way, you embrace these insecurities; hence they can’t turn against you and hurt you. And in that sense, you give yourself more strength and power over yourself.
9. The law of inertia. It states that “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Translated to fit human life, it basically means that you will not get that job by just talking about applying there. You will not start your life in New York when all you do is talk about it. You will not do well on your exam if all you do is plan to study. Take action. Start taking steps towards your goal. Even if they’re tiny steps, they still count. Just start.
10. Don’t compromise with basics. You’ll think it is okay at the time, but it will come around to bite you in the ass. What is meant by this is that when you settle for a compromise with something fundamental, you’re wrecking the whole compromise. To put it a simple example, in relationships, some people would compromise honesty with having fun. Like, it is okay to be lied to as long as you have fun together. That to me, is bullshit. You can’t be okay with losing a fundamental part of a relationship for something that isn’t constant. This doesn’t replace that. And when the fun is over, you won’t be okay with the dishonesty. Know what you can compromise, and for what, and what you absolutely can’t compromise and stick to it.
11. You have to know your worth. It sounds arrogant, but it’s not. Speaking your worth is arrogant, knowing your worth is something else. Know that you are valuable and know what you’re capable of. Knowing that lets you filter out the people that belittle you. It allows you to know the people who value you and understand you and the people who don’t. So by knowing your worth, you now know who to let in and you will not waste your time and feelings on people that don’t see you for who you are.
12. Your deeds come full circle. Any and every thing you put into this world will take a turn and come back to you. You help someone, someone will help you. You forgive someone, someone will forgive you. You purposely embarrass someone, someone will embarrass you. You put someone down, someone mightier than you will put you down. That’s the one thing that is constant in this life. Your deeds will come back to you, whether it’s a second later or a lifetime later. So do good and be patient, for good things eventually find their way to good people.
13. Having an open mind spares you unneeded arguments. When you’re open to the fact that people can have different opinions on the same matter you liberate yourself from the need to convince people with your views. You don’t have to agree with what they say, just let people think the way they think even if you see it wrong. Spare yourself the heated argument that you will have to prove your point because they will try to do the same thing and sometimes you will not reach a resolution and it’s just a waste of time and energy. So be open and save your time and energy.
14. You don’t have to have your life figured out. It’s absolutely ridiculous to try to plan 30 years ahead. Do realize the amount of energy that entails? Do realize how much stress that could cause? Do yourself a favor and stop worrying about where you’ll be in 30 years. Worrying won’t help, it’s just unnecessary stress. Instead focus on your next move. Not the next 500 steps, just the next one. And as long as you keep making decisions and taking steps that make you proud of yourself, they’ll add up to something great one day.