3 Painful Truths About Life That We Forget Much Too Soon
Aldous Huxley said “facts don’t stop existing just because you ignore them”. Indeed, the fact that we don’t want to face reality doesn’t imply that things are going to change. However, accepting reality, although it may hurt, gives us a chance to adapt. But some of these painful truths are ones we forget much too soon.
It doesn’t matter if you have lived a long life or short life. Surely at some point you have learned a valuable lesson in a painful way, directly or indirectly. Every once in a while it’s good for us to remember those truths we have learned the hard way. And also the ones we have seen others suffer through.
It is not about living in fear, but it’s also not about acting as if life were endless or as if we will always be able to enjoy the things we currently have. Truths can hurt, but they can also help us keep our feet on the ground. And, above all, they help us enjoy the present moment with full awareness.
1. Being busy is not the same as being productive
We all need to have an objective in life, or at least we all should. Our goals require hard work and effort. Being productive means working towards reaching those goals. Something we can’t forget is the fact that doing something doesn’t imply that said task is going to get us any closer to what we are aiming for.
Many people spend the day doing things. They fill their schedules with activities and pass hour after hour in front of their computer screens. But in order to reach a goal, you don’t have to do a lot. You simply have to do what is necessary. The problem is that what is necessary is in most cases pretty tough and complicated. And it is often easier to handle other things that could be possibly labeled as the same thing.
If you want to achieve something in life, you have to be truly productive. You have to think about what you have to do and accomplish it effectively. Read about how to do something, plan your future and talk about what you’re going to do. Do things in order to try it out, to see what works in this first phase. But if you want to make it far and accomplish a lot, you have to take even more steps.
At the end of the day, what counts is not what you have done to achieve a certain thing, but what you did actually achieve. It doesn’t matter that you have worked hard, or the hours you put in, or the money you invested, of the will you feel, or everything you said or thought. Stop doing things just to do them and start being responsible and conscious of your time and your actions.
2. Every success is preceded by failure
Making mistakes is human, and this is one of the most important truths. Some are inevitable, others simply occur because certain factors were not taken into account, not considered important. It doesn’t matter. If you seek support in your mistakes, you’ll learn lessons that you won’t find anywhere else.
When you learn from your mistakes, you improve. Only if you blame and reproach yourself for your mistakes will you truly fail. Because that in itself keeps you from moving forward.
In order to learn from a mistake, it is necessary to forgive yourself, not feel embarrassed. Instead, try to see it as a launching point. Every great mind has experienced failure at some point. As long as you don’t give up, nothing is completely lost.
The difference between the master and the apprentice is in the number of times that both of them have failed. The master has failed many more times. The more mistakes you make, the more opportunities you have to learn. And thus, the more you know.
3. Life is very short
The average life expectancy of the human being is a little over eighty years. In some areas and cultures this average might be a bit higher or maybe even a bit lower. In either case, ten or twenty years is nothing compared to the thousand years of human history or the millions of years of history the universe has.
Death catches up to us all. The world will continue on its course and history will go on. However, when someone in our lives passes away, we experience an immense surprise and dismay. Even if it was an expected death, something within us is still altered.
How many things did the person that passed away still have left to do or say? How many things will he miss? How many things did you want to say to him, but didn’t? How many things do you think you could have changed for him, but didn’t?
Many people, once they see that death is fast approaching, realize that they have made a lot of mistakes. That they let a lot of opportunities go by, that they have no lived freely. They realize that they have always been conditioned by their surroundings. Our time in this life is short. But it is just enough if we take advantage of it to the fullest. Also, if we live according to our values and seeking to grow as people, based on the awareness of who we are and what we do.
The greatest loss doesn’t happen when we die, but rather when we let opportunities to live fully pass us by.