19 People Discuss The Biggest Misconceptions About Life

We love giving out advice, but most of us don’t take it. We give, but never take. What’s up with that? Now, think about life. What if we had listened to a few that really did make sense (and right, for what it’s worth), would we be happier? Maybe — but isn’t life about making it yours? I don’t know, don’t listen to me. If you want to read more people discuss the misconceptions of life, check out this Quora thread.

1. Deepak Singh

That we have to fight and achieve something “grand” to stay happy.

2. André Ediassen

That there is something externally you have to do in order to experience happiness.

For instance, many think that the formula for happiness is:

Work hard = reward/success = happiness

You say to yourself that once you are done with your education, you can be happy – no more exams, hurrah! Or once you have found the love of your life, got the job of your dreams, the perfect body or a big house at the beach, then you can allow yourself to be happy. In other words – you attach happiness to an external event.

But the formula is the other way around. It’s much easier to work hard when you are happy!

The reason may not be obvious but every time you reach a goal, new car or a new and better job, you merely move the goalpost of what success looks like, making it impossible to reach happiness, hunting for external goals.

3. Mrinal Shekhar

Quoting one of my undergrad professors – “The biggest misconception that people have about life is that it has to be fair.”

4. Abdul Karim

“That it will never be OK again”

I am 23 and there have been at-least 5 times that I have been into a situation where it seemed that everything is over and life will never be normal again.

The lesson that life taught me is “Life goes on.” Nothings is over unless you are dead.

5. Anonymous

That there is a prize at the end.

No matter how many points you score during life (going to a fancy school, landing a six-figure salary, marrying a hot chick), we all end up at the same place: dead. The richest man dies just as the poorest woman does. So, think about what you want to spend your lifetime doing.

6. Stephanie Edelmuth

That there’ll always be a tomorrow in which to do the things you’re too lazy/tired/unmotivated to do today.

7. Linda Rogers

I think the most common conception I see people making is assuming that other people are doing things deliberately to hurt them. That guy that cut you off in traffic isn’t trying to annoy you, he’s late for work or promised his wife to be home 10 minutes ago. It’s not all about you, so don’t take it all personally.

8. Ray N. Kuili

The most widespread misconception is the notion that life has any meaning other the one you put into it yourself.

People of all ages, religions and backgrounds look for it as if it were something external to their life, something that can be defined by external forces, be it God or evolution. But whatever meaning we decide to settle on, whether it’s a set of axioms prescribed by a religion, an outcome of years-long soul searching, a set of rules defined by a society, or simply “I don’t give a damn” position, at the end it is still a result of our own choice.

9. Mark Savchuk

That it’s too late to start something new.

10. Osiris Romero

Don’t be happy for a reason, because that reason is based on something that is out there and that can always be taken away from you. Be happy for no reason, that way, happiness can never be taken away from you.

11. Ravi Tandon

One of the biggest misconceptions in life is that our life is a mad rat race.

Sorry, but I really do not agree.

We are born as innocent looking sweet kids, ready to enjoy the world and suddenly these kids are taught the concepts of competition of having to fight against other innocent, sweet looking sweet kids and win an illusionary struggle. The conceptions get deep rooted into our minds. This social conditioning gets embodied into our subconscious.

As we grow old, enter school, there are a system that gratifies only those who supposedly do well at a pre-determined set of subjects. In college, the story remains same. You go get a job, and you are pitied against each other on the basis of the amount of money you earn, and the story goes on …..

Life is a battle – for sure it is !!!
And yet, it is a battle against oneself, others are just companions, comrades fighting the same battle.

We have a very scornful metric based measurement system that supposedly measures our performance over our lives. What we fail to understand is that no system can be perfect enough to understand your value other than the system you have evolved over your lives.

Yes, I agree that we as humans have to fight – this is a battle of survival. Yet, it is disconcerting to see people trying to beat each other at the game called life and at the same time praying for each other too.

Respect for other individuals, love, camaraderie, compassion have somehow been deteriorated in this race that we have falsely started to believe in !!!!

Life has to be loved, lived happily. There is no end goal, no end result, the almighty would not stand there with a report card there waiting for our performance review.

12. Abhirup Dutta

The biggest misconception about life is that it is a stack of achievements, like a staircase. And you keep climbing to the top. People always worry about things not falling in place, or what they would be in a few years.

In reality, life is a free-flowing collection of experiences. A person who has had wonderful experiences and stories to tell, a person who has done meaningful work, etc. are far more satisfied with their lives, simply because they see each thing in life as separate experiences, and not tie them together in a string and evaluate their life as a whole.

13. Brendan Cooney

Three-way-tie, in my opinion:

  1. It’s not my fault.
  2. It has nothing to do with me.
  3. I can’t do anything about it.

14. Larry Mann

That it’s not as good as it was in the past. Nostalgia blinds us.

15. Anonymous

That life is about destinations.

Life is not about destinations, it’s about journeys.

Many people end up living their life in a tasteless manner, trying to reach for so called destination, which might be the heap of all happiness.

The sad thing is such destinations do not exist.

Only thing that matters in life is that you live each day with vigor, doing what you want to do.

16. Fred Landis

Americans: that their life should proceed along the lines of stories from comic books, movies, and TV.

Russians: That if they just get rid of communism they can all live like Americans.

Italians: That every little incident in life is part of Grand Opera.

Spaniards and Latin Americans: That you should find some get-rich-quick scam, work for 5 years, and then retire.

Swiss and Germans: That everything is right and that is right always has been right and foreigners are wrong.

French: That Justice demands their right to 2 hour meals, 35 hour work weeks, retirement at 55-60, 30 day vacations, and that if anyone tries to take any part of this away they should all go on strike.

17. Michele Kim

“This will make me happy.”

We get caught in a never ending chase for the next thing. While it’s human nature to want more, this thirst is never quite quenched leaving us eternally unsatisfied.

Once we achieve our next marker of happiness (whether that be a new job, raise, children, car) we quickly acclimate to that current state and no longer feel the “high” of what we believe happiness to be. And then it’s on to the next shiny goal.

Happiness is not something that is given to us or some mythical thing to chase. It’s a daily struggle and a strength. It’s a choice, to appreciate what we have and not value our self-worth by comparison to others.

You make yourself happy.

18. Mervyn Teo

I guess a majority of people have a misconception that everything in life is a standalone, independent and permanent entity, event or being. However many evidences support the thesis that things (be it animate or inanimate) exist because of the things and circumstances that surrounds it and events are often interrelated, just that many are too distantly related that it is hard to fathom the eventual relationship.

We once thought elements are the most basic form of the earth, then we realised theres quarks and realised theres nothing within the core of a quark while it appears to form something. Discovery of Higgs Boson further supports this.

Nothing is truly permanent and everything is transient. Just as a person keeping still may not be truly still as the person is moving at the same speed of rotation as the earth that is constantly moving.

This is widely applicable to many areas.

19. Shruthi Hosur

That life is about constantly proving your worth!

I have always tried to be worthy of my parents sacrifices, worthy of my friends and the life I have! I have killed myself all these years trying to prove my self-worth!

No! Life is about you. It’s your picture to paint. You have to learn to chose the strokes, decide the colors and paint whenever or however you feel like.

Your self-worth is just what you think of yourself. It is a culmination of the choices, decisions and the experiences you have. It takes some time to understand it.

Breathe. Smile. Live. Now. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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