Hard and Uncomfortable Truths
As 2019 draws to a close, my activities throughout the year have exposed me to an insurmountable number of new experiences and learnings. Ostensibly this leads to some hard truths that most people refuse to accept, often playing the victim and looking for ways to outrun reality.
Here are a few hard & uncomfortable truths. Do any of these truths trigger an emotional response when you read them? If so, ask yourself "why", and then ask yourself "why" again. And then maybe another "why" to find out what tickles the precious sensitivities.
Appearance matters - a lot.
Our brains are wired for presentation, it's unavoidable. A well-built guy or girl who dresses sharp has more value to our reptilian brain than the slobbily attired brain surgeon. If you're comfortable kicking it in public in a wife beater with torn trackies, all power to you. But don't be surprised when the bouncer won't let you in the bar.
Tall people live on a pedestal.
Particularly for men. A tall guy is considered more masculine, is given more respect, and usually more female attention. That's human nature. Because they're treated so well, tall people tend to expect positive outcomes and are more self-confident. That's human nature. Can't outrun it.
Being offended doesn't make you right.
Most people I've encountered don't take criticism well, even if it is well-intentioned and meant to motivate. Society accepts mediocrity under the guise of protecting peoples feelings at the expense of quality and results. Just because someone tells you off and you get hurt in the feels, doesn't make your work any better. These people need to be offended more often, so they learn to harden up a bit.
You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
Yes, I stole that line from Fight Club. Fact is, 99% of us are not game-changers. We are not unique. We are not worthy of attention. That includes "celebrities." Yet for some reason, we all think our crap doesn't stink, and the world owes us. Well, the world owes you nothing. I don't mean that in a nihilistic way. To me, it's liberating. You want success, you earn it. You're entitled to nothing.
Most of the people you know don't like you - and they never will.
And that is perfectly ok. Face it, you don't like a lot of the people you know either. We are a societal species, we need the tribe to survive. Problems arise when you spend all your time pleasing others and trying to get likes and follows. You sacrifice your own wants and needs for others and create covert contracts that are impossible for people to know about.
It's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know.
Being connected to a few key influential people is significantly more advantageous than "ticking all the right boxes." Getting a great job rarely comes from applying to a job ad, it's from getting a tap on the shoulder because you perform above the crowd. Same thing with events and social circles. Don't aim to be smartest in the room, strive to be the most connected. That will get you ahead much faster.
People aren't out to get you, they're just putting themselves first.
Leave your grievances at the door. I like to refer to Hanlon's Razor. "Don't attribute to malice that which can be attributed to ignorance." That dude who cut you off in traffic? That wasn't a "go screw yourself", that was an "I'm so unhappy with my own life that putting myself first makes me feel better and lets me hide from my anger." We can operate vehicles, understand science, and build incredible structures - but emotional intelligence evades the vast majority of the population. Stop taking everything personally. It's not about you, it's about them.
Karma/justice is mere coincidence, nothing more.
If you honestly believe "karma" or "the universe" is going to right wrongs, you're dumb. There's no spiritual power that smites enemies and delivers victory. If you feel wronged, you may as well make peace with it and move the hell on. Vengeance and anger poison you, not the target of your vitriol. Learn to let things go quickly, and your life becomes brutally straightforward.
There isn't someone for everyone.
Waiting for Prince Charming or Princess Peaches to come to find you and sweep you away to a land of bliss and happiness? Apologies kiddo, you've been sold a fairy tale. Literally. There is no perfect partner out there for you. In fact, there may not BE anyone at all out there for you. And that's perfectly ok. Learn to create an internal locus of happiness where everything is within your control, and you will NEVER feel lonely.
You're dumber than you think you are.
Especially if you believe in karma or the Disney fairy tale love story. Most of us were raised with participation awards and the dumb ideal that our self-esteem is more important than the ability to fail and grow. Now, as adults, we think we're super smart and can't fail. Well, we're not. We're actually all quite dumb. But you can fix that. Learn to change a car tyre, fix a doorknob, rehang kitchen cupboards, and cook some kick-ass meals. Sample new things always and continue to grow until the day you die.
Sometimes, there's absolutely nothing you can do.
It's human nature to want to help when things go pear-shaped, but sometimes, there's just nothing that can be done. You can't save everyone, let alone people who don't want to be saved. Sometimes the best option is to let scenarios run their course, brace for impact, and deal with the consequences when it's over. That applies to relationships, work, natural disasters, anything. Let go of the wheel. You'll be ok.
The primary obstacle to your happiness is yourself.
You can blame whatever you want, but the real reason you don't have what you want is you. You're not prepared to work relentlessly, to study fastidiously, to push your boundaries. You're too scared to ask that cute person out. You're waiting for the perfect moment. It's all on you. If you want to be happy, you can do it. It starts with gratitude. Be grateful for the clean water you can readily drink. The roof over your head to protect you. All the troubles of the past for making you stronger. The rest gets more comfortable after you start counting your blessings instead of worrying about "curses."
That's all I have for now. What are your hard truths that people seem to rail against?