The truth does not change based on your ability to accept it.
I do my best to live life in a way that I am aware of what I do, while also trying not to chase things that are outside of my control.
Here are some of those truths that help me stay in control of my life.
Life is pain
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” — William Goldman
The first person that comes to mind is Gary Vaynerchuk, whose constant social media posting encourages folks to chase happiness instead of money.
Well, sorry to break it to you, but life is pain. If you do not accept this, life is going to break your heart on a daily basis.
The pursuit of happiness? How does that even work? How does one go about it? How long does it last?
Don’t wish for fairytales. Just don’t.
The truth is that you have to make use of your suffering. That you must do your best to choose the battles you want to fight.
Do what is hard every single day, do what is meaningful, and happiness will come as a by-product of your actions.
Envy is the most stupid thing ever
“People always get what they want. But there is a price for everything. Failures are either those who do not know what they want or are not prepared to pay the price asked them. The price varies from individual to individual. Some get things at bargain-sale prices, others only at famine prices. But it is no use grumbling. Whatever price you are asked, you must pay.” – W.H. Auden
There’s a price that one must pay for anything. The price is sometimes time, sometimes energy, sometimes compromising oneself.
If someone has more than you, if someone is better than you at a certain skill, you can rest assured that they are worst than you in other areas.
We get what we are willing to sacrifice for.
I spent eight years writing before I earned a single dollar. I was living mostly on coffee, Coca-Cola, and cigarettes. I was also a recluse. I felt as if there was this invisible wall between me and the rest of the world. I cannot count the times I cried whenever I saw people who were in love or seemed to be.
I paid the price. To be able to write my stories, to share them with the world.
Think about that next time you feel like being envious of someone else’s success or achievements. They paid the price. You didn’t.
Cynicism is going to poison your soul
“Michelangelo’s great perfect marble David cries out to its observer: “You could be more than you are.” When you dare aspire upward, you reveal the inadequacy of the present and the promise of the future. Then you disturb others, in the depths of their souls, where they understand that their cynicism and immobility are unjustifiable. You play Abel to their Cain. You remind them that they ceased caring not because of life’s horrors, which are undeniable, but because they do not want to lift the world up on to their shoulders, where it belongs.” – Jordan B. Peterson
Here in Romania a lot of folks tend to believe that rich people are all thieves. Corrupt. They did something bad to acquire their fortunes. And when I tell them that they could also steal, they look at me like…
Play by the rules, if you want to win. If you hate the game, hate the players, you’re only going to be bitter about it for the rest of your life.
You know those guys who call the police whenever a neighbor throws a party?
Well, they do so because no one ever invites them to parties. The same goes for guys who slut-shame women, people who hate on the rich, on the famous, on the talented, on every single other category.
The dog that can bite, almost never has to
“Morality is just a fiction used by the herd of inferior human beings to hold back the few superior men.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
We have a saying here in Romania: the dog that barks never bites. The people who are most vocal about their beliefs, about ethics, about the way that we should live our lives, they are most afraid of the chaos that life truly represents.
You know one of the best ways you can gain self-confidence and speak up for yourself? If you are strong enough to defend yourself physically. Funny. But true.
The thing is, unless one is capable of being bad, he cannot be considered good.
A rabbit is not good. It is harmless. Being harmless, being the nice guy, that’s not going to get you the kind of life you dream about. Avoiding conflict makes it so that you attract conflict.
Just take a look at the kind of kids that get bullied. As a matter of fact, take a close look at kids aged 2 to 4 and the way they play together. How mean and aggressive they are. They lie, they steal, they fight. Little monsters.
I think it’s almost a miracle we don’t all end up as serial killers.
There’s a certain darkness in each and all of us, and we must accept our own darkness, and we must be willing to face the darkness in other people’s souls.
Pretending otherwise? You’re just setting yourself up to be exploited by those who do accept the darkness that lies in each and every single one of us.
Think about it.. if you expect the lion to not eat you because you didn’t eat it, guess what’s going to happen?
Intentions don’t matter
“Remember, people will judge you by your actions not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg.” – Maya Angelou
A few years ago I was deeply in love. Or so I’d define what I was feeling back then. One fine morning, after a particularly long and tedious fight the night before, she decided to break up with me. I didn’t expect it, never thought it could happen.
All I could do was cry and tell her that I loved her as much as I could. That was it. All I could do. What I felt for her, I couldn’t feel more of. There wasn’t more to be felt. There wasn’t room in my heart to love anyone or anything else but her.
It didn’t matter, of course.
The rabbits from my previous truth on life are probably judging her as insensitive and cold.
Here’s the thing: in life, everyone except your mother is going to judge you by your actions. It does not matter that you tried to do the right thing. Did you do it? That’s all that matters.
It does not matter how much you love someone or what you’re willing to do for them, it matters if you love them the way they want to be loved, if you are the person they want to love.
Unhappy kids raise unhappy kids
“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth” – African proverb
A mother is supposed to love her child unconditionally. It does seem to be the one element an awful lot of successful people have in common, but not the only one.
Children are fragile, and you can even break them by giving them too much love and attention, or by never saying no, or by trying to protect them from what you consider to be a dangerous world.
It took me years and years to understand my own self, to get rid of traumas that I had the tendency to downplay.
And the demons that we acquire when we are kids (that we sometimes end up calling destiny) are not so easy to get rid out.
Habits, not goals
“Successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.” – Jeff Olson
It’s February and I bet that the vast majority of people who set New Years Resolutions have already failed at them.
Goals are not as exciting as we think they are. As a matter of fact, most of the time reaching a goal is not as satisfying as daydreaming about it.
Habits, on the other hand, can last a lifetime.
Develop the habits. Focus on the twenty-four hours ahead of you.
Ask yourself who do you want to be, and do something today that brings you closer to becoming that person.
Be a king. Always.
“About this time he had the sarcophagus and body of Alexander the Great brought forth from its shrine, and after gazing on it, showed his respect by placing upon it a golden crown and strewing it with flowers; and being then asked whether he wished to see the tomb of the Ptolemies as well, he replied, “My wish was to see a king, not corpses.” – Suetonius
Be the king of your own life. Of your own soul. True mastery is mastery over oneself. Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes. Especially if your voice shakes. You are going to die, no matter what. Do not beg for moments or temporary comfort.
Be a king. Keep your head high.
And remember, always remember, that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything. It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
If the world asks you who you are, you speak loud and clear, because you if you do not, it will tell you and you won’t like it.
These are some of the truths that I try to remind myself on a daily basis. There are, of course, a lot more, like the fact that most people are wrong (and it always helps to stay away from what the majority thinks or believes in or does), or the fact that we must do something hard every single day, or that we must embrace uncertainty.
What do you think? What are some undeniable truths that you figure out about life?