The things you learn over time, if only we knew them when we were younger! Unfortunately that’s not how life works. The lessons come later.
Even so, I’ve started to pay more attention to the simple truths that life has offered me through my experiences so far. Here are a few of them that will hopefully be useful for you too.
1. There’s no right way to do something
It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to others, although it’s not good for your health. Often when we do this, we get envious and wonder why we aren’t achieving at that same level. We’re the same age after all (or younger)!
The worse comparison nowadays is probably Mark Zuckerberg, 18 years old is a ridiculously high standard to hold yourself too, but in reality all of these comparisons do more harm then good.
There are a lot of different paths to success, to achieving your goals, and realizing your dreams. Just because one person did it a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s how you have to do it too. There’s no right way to do anything. Everyone’s story is a little different, so stop comparing and focus on your own.
2. Strategies and hacks only get you so far
There was a time that I was obsessed with digging up the latest and greatest hack that would solve all my procrastination and productivity problems. What actually happened was I found a handful of methods that were slightly different, but not really moving the needle towards progress.
It can be easy to chase these constantly and forget about what is really important: doing the work.
At some point you have to look yourself in the mirror and realize that it’s up to you. Either you do it or you don’t. Stop looking for shortcuts and get to it.
3. Everything you make is original
People say everything has been done already. If that were true, the world would be a boring place. Fortunately that idea is far from the truth.
A lot has been done, but not much of it has been done by YOU. This small distinction makes all the difference because when you create something from your own personal perspective, it is original.
Whatever it is, it becomes a part of you, an expression of your self. So when you’re not creating because it’s already been done, get over yourself and make the things that only you can make.
4. Ignore the haters and the lovers
In the world, you’ll always have people who will hate and love your work with a fervor. That’s how it goes when you make anything. While ignoring the haters is talked about often, the same should be done with those that are lavish with their praise.
Jeremy Isaacs said, “You’re not as good as they say you are, but you’re not that bad either.” Truer words have never been spoken. It can be easy to get carried away with your own success.
Instead, you should stay humble, keep your head down, and keep making. Don’t fall into the trap of fame, just do what you do, and the rest will take care of itself.
5. Most ideas are terrible
I love ideas. I probably have like 10 ideas every day, scribbled in my commonplace book, and in the past I always thought they were all amazing. Age has taught me otherwise. The truth is, most ideas are terrible. You probably shouldn’t pursue them, but you shouldn’t stop searching for them either.
I write down all my ideas, the good, the bad, and the ugly, because you never know where they may lead you. Often times, a few of those bad ideas put together can make something amazing.
The point is that having ideas is never a bad thing and having great ideas is a numbers game, so don’t get too attached to them. Odds are they’re not as great as you think they are, but you’ll know when you strike gold, then the hard part starts.
These are just a few of the simple truths I’ve learned over the years, but I’m certain there are many more worth sharing. I’m planning to continue adding to this list over the coming weeks and months and would love your insights as well.
Do you have any simple truths from your own life that you’d like to share? Post them in the comments below.