Friday, April 20, 2018

5 Essential Life Truths (that sound depressing but aren't)

The Psychology Today feed on Facebook is terrific.  Recently they posted this article that I enjoyed so much that I just had to share it with my wife.


It's worth the time to read the article.  By way of summary, the 5 Essential Life Truths are:

1.  Stress Happens
2.  There's No Such Thing As A Happy Ending
3.  The Cover-Up Is Worse Than The Crime
4.  There's No Magic Bullet
5.  There's No Elevator...You Have To Take The Stairs

In some ways, the article reminds me of one of my favorite books, Dr. Gordon Livingston's Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart.

I think a lot of what the article (and the book by Dr. Livingston) says can be rolled up into one simple thought:  So many spend so much time looking for shortcuts in life that simply don't exist.

Yes, and to be blunt, there are no shortcuts.

What may seem like a shortcut today...one that may even work at the moment...will almost always cost more in the long term.  Life is a bank where it always ends up costing you more if you delay putting the effort into making payments now.  Today's shortcut is tomorrow's balloon interest payment.

Part of why this is an issue is the fact that we live in a society obsessed with immediate self-gratification.  We get upset if we have to wait more than five minutes for fast food.  We see the seemingly carefree lifestyles of those in the media and delude ourselves into believing that they somehow "have it made".  Never mind how much substance and other forms of abuse are rampant among public figures.  We think we're entitled to instant happiness all the time, and we become depressed at the thought that we're being denied.  I firmly believe that it's all a mirage, designed to distract us from the simple, essential truths of life.

In life, I'm more convinced than ever that it's doing the simple, basic things well that matter the most.  Things like:

Show up on time.

Be polite.

Be first to compliment and last to criticize.

Work hard.

Put the effort into being prepared, no matter what the task.

Always do a little more than you are asked.

Be kind...to everyone...even those who aren't necessarily kind to you.

Be truly present in the moment.

(I fail at many of these by the way, but I do have a secret weapon:  Persistence.)

None of the above costs money.  None of the above makes for a very good television show plot.  None of this will generate many social media "likes".  But in the end, when we all, no matter our wealth or social status, have to look back at the realities of how we've spent...or squandered...our lives, all of this will matter.





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