In life, it is easy to lose sight of the important things. A busy life filled with regular routines where we work like robots, can make our brains work on autopilot. This means that sometimes, we unintentionally miss things or lose focus on things that really matter in life. At the same time, there are truths or facts that we tend to ignore on purpose. Focusing on life’s fundamental truths can be difficult, especially when it has to do with really serious things. Whether you missed them, or turned your attention the other way around, it’s always good to have reminders that help us to stay focused on them. Here, we are listing 10 truths that most of us don’t want to hear in life.
1. Looks matter! Studies show that attractive people have more opportunities in life and are also treated better.
From time to time, we hear people say that good things only happen to good people and looks don’t matter. While it may be true that good things only happen to good people, studies show that looks also matter. Facial symmetry is considered a sign of health as well as wealth. A University of New Mexico study found that general intelligence is positively linked to body symmetry. In a study of nearly 300 Dutch advertising agencies, economists found that firms with better-looking executives had higher revenues. People who look better are also perceived as more likeable and trustworthy.
They are also typically treated better by others. In a study from Harvard University, researchers found that wearing makeup enhanced the attractiveness of a person, and also boosted people’s perceptions of that subject’s competence, likability, attractiveness, and trustworthiness. (source 1, 2, 3)
2. You’re only as good as those you associate with. Surrounding yourself with the right people could be vital.
It is often a good idea to surround yourself with those who love, inspire and share positivity with you in life. Almost all of us have been around at least one person who makes us feel emotionally drained. While you stick around them because you feel bad, even though they don’t support you or only show you respect when they get their way, it’s not necessary to be weighed down. In general, people who make you feel uncomfortable will never let you be yourself. If someone in your life makes you feel worthless, anxious, or uninspired, then you are not only wasting your time, but you are also becoming more like them. Since life is too short to associate with such people, it’s best to cut them loose.
3. Some of your best friends typically want to see you do well, but just not better than them.
While most of your friends and acquaintances want you to succeed in life, there might be a few who would love to rain on your parade. When you manage to land your dream job, or a romantic relationship, there would always be a smug feeling inside them. According to research led by Lauren Leotti, and echoed by psychologist Susan Weinschenk, people have an innate need for control. For some, it might feel good to see their friends do good in life but when they start exceeding expectations, things can turn sour.
Scientists explain that this is because having a sense of choice and power reduces the stress they feel and makes them more confident against the odds of survival. At the same time, research led by psychologist Jason Plaks demonstrates that people get anxious when performance doesn’t meet their expectations; mainly because the results disrupt their perception of being in the driver’s seat.
“People are driven to feel that they can predict and control their outcomes,” Plaks says. “So when their performance turns out to violate their predictions, this can be unnerving–even if the outcome is, objectively speaking, good news”. (source 1, 2)
4. Change is inevitable and the only thing you can do is embrace it.
Humans are creatures of habit, which means that every small change can feel as if it is disrupting our day to day life. While it is certainly disruptive, change is inevitable and the only thing we can do is embrace it. Only when we embrace even the smallest of changes and view them as opportunities, do we capitalize on them. Having an open mind and arms can help recognize and utilize the changes.
However, if we choose to keep doing things the same and hope that ignoring change will make it go away, we are bound to fail. Once a wise man said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Change is imminent and happens in everyone’s life. It’s not the same for anyone and does not stop for anyone. So, when things are going well, appreciate them while they last since it too will undergo change sooner or later.
5. Sometimes we have to let things go very wrong before they can be right.
The fear of making mistakes is within everyone. With each mistake, you not only understand what went wrong, but can also find the solution to improve yourself to succeed later. Failure is not the end but failure to change might be. In order to overcome failure, one has to first become friends with it. Only then can they understand the significance and make necessary changes. For instance, the master has thousands of failed attempts behind them, but no one really thinks of that because all they see is the final result that is success. In life, you will fail more times than you will succeed but never forget that they are both equally important to shape your future.
6. Falling in the hands of materialism is easy and will cost you your happiness.
Thanks to the big corporations and their marketing strategies, today consumer culture is a thing. Whether it be social media, news outlets or TV, we are constantly reminded of how we need those shiny and expensive things in life. It might seem ideal to fill the void in life with material items but materialistic items can never satisfy that void. By surrounding yourself with these expensive materials, you are not only cluttering your house, but also cluttering your mind. The more items surrounding you, the more stressful it becomes. It can also put a strain on your financial life.
Media strategists understand this and take advantage of the situation. What really matters in your life is friends, family, goals, and hopes. Instead of spending money on materialistic items, spend them on experiences and meaningful connections.
7. Your self-worth must come from within if you want to be successful.
The first rule of life is that you should never compare yourself with others. It’s certainly easier said that done and most of us have this bad habit. When you compare yourself with others and find a sense of pleasure and satisfaction, you are no longer the master of your own destiny. If you are proud of something you have done, take time to appreciate yourself rather than comparing it with others. Allowing your thought process to compare your success with other opinions or accomplishments can only make you feel worthless.
While it’s certainly not possible to simply switch off your emotions to what other’s say, you can always take their advice with a grain of salt. This way, no matter what others think of you at any given moment, you will never be as good or bad as they think you are.
8. We too often think we are better at something than we are.
According to the Dunning Kruger effect, the more incompetent people are, the less they are aware of their incompetence. The effect is named after David Dunning of the University of Michigan and Justin Kruger of New York University. We all have an interest in assessing ourselves realistically, but the busy and stressful life can put a lot of strain on us. In order to reduce the stress and to make ourselves feel better, our brain often makes us think that we are better at something than we are. The process increases our sense of well-being and performance in life. However, the real test is to only use the process to boost our self-esteem momentarily and nothing more.
9. Some of our best childhood memories can actually be false memories.
Everyone has at least one special memory from their childhood that is dear to them. While most of our childhood memories can be real, a study published in the journal Psychological Science found that many such memories can be nothing more than lies perpetuated by our brain. According to scientists, we are not capable of making memories any younger than three-and-a-half years old and even at that age, there’s no promise that the memory will stick forever. During the study, approximately 2,487 participants were asked to recall their first memory. At the end of the study, scientists found that more than 800 of the participants who recalled their first memory were basically recalling memory fragments.
This means that the subjects remembered very little but filled the rest of the information with stories they’ve heard, pictures they’ve seen, and imagined facts. Scientists explain that over time, these false memories can feel so realistic that we can’t tell the difference. (source 1, 2)
10. Success does not happen over night.
Most successes happen in small steps and take a long time. In order to reach the end goal, there is no easy way or quick fix. The truth is that the hard work you put in today can take days, weeks, years or even decades to pay off. Hard work also does not guarantee future returns. It depends on many confounding variables in a person’s life. While some have the necessary connections to reach the top, others have to depend on luck or make their own luck.