I ran across a Ted talk the other day where the writer who was speaking talked about the truths she knows to be true. The premise was that there’s so much confusion these days around what is true and what isn’t that she felt she needed to set some level ground and retreat back into some things she knows to be true. It was a good idea. I steal from it here blatantly. Here are the things I know to be true, empirically.
Hard work pays off. One of my fundamental truths is that hard work definitely advances your goals. Most people don’t want to work hard. Understood. Hard work is, well, hard work. But that’s what separates anyone who’s successful from those who aren’t. Lazy doesn’t pay, commitment and consistency do.
I found the truth about diet last year. Eat like your parents told you to. Eat your vegetables. You don’t need a fancy diet, or to buy a book from a celebrity to get this advice. Simple ingredients are best. If it comes in a bag or a box, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Lean proteins and a lot of veggies, mostly veggies, and fruit. Replace calorie-dense foods with those that aren’t so dense. Everything else in moderation. If you need to lose weight, count calories and reduce. It’s really just simple math, eat less than your body burns. Cut out sugar completely. Don’t use a substitute. Just stop. You can do it, and you won’t starve to death.
Something will always go wrong when you don’t want it to. This is a fundamental truth that we all deal with all the time. Mostly because who walks around wanting things to go wrong? But if your toilet is going to back up and explode, it’s safe to say it will be the morning you have company coming over.
People walk like they drive. Next time you’re out shopping, take notice of how people walk. Fast, slow, weaving from side to side, they tend to drive the exact same way. You can spot them in the mall and make sure not to get behind them when you leave.
Pets make your life better. I don’t care if you’re a cat person or a dog person or a bird person, pets give us a sense of being needed. They also give us love from a source that’s not human. Some days, that’s what you need. Get a pet and treat it well, the returns far exceed the outlay and efforts.
Know thyself. A vague reference at best, but the idea here is that you need to know who you are. You may be trying to change who you are, and that’s fine, but know who you are first. The majority of people wander through life without ever really understanding their own actions and feelings. Don’t be one of them. Figure out why you do this thing or that. Why does your sister drive you crazy when she acts like your mom? Learn yourself then accept who you are.
If you spend more than you make, no matter how much you make, you will run out of money, eventually. Get a handle on your spending first and foremost, the rest is pretty easy. Yes, that means you might not get the latest, newest iPhone, or that new car, or that shiny new bobble, or that new watch. But you can plan for the things you really want and save for them. Cash is still king. Save 10% of everything you make first and foremost, and you will never have money problems. Try not to fall into impulse buying. See the previous truth…
Reading is good. The difference between an illiterate person and someone who doesn’t read at all? Zero. Nothing. Life long learning is the new standard in business. With technology moving faster than ever, you have to work to keep up to snuff in whatever your job is. Get used to reading every day, it’s good for you. It doesn’t matter what you read, or what medium. If you like to read blogs, go for it. If you want to spend your time reading the news and trying to figure out the truth from the bullshit (that inspired this post, by the way) that’s your prerogative. My reading list is long, and I add more to it than I take away, but I am reading through it 10 pages at a time.
Kale is barely edible and shouldn’t be sold as food. Just stop. It’s complete shit. I don’t care how good it is for me, I’ll eat my weight in spinach before I eat kale again. You don’t have to convince me how healthy something is just so I’ll eat it. There are plenty of things that taste good that are good for us too. Does anyone else think that someone is trying to play a big joke on us thinking, “Watch, I can get them to eat this?”
It’s difficult to live with someone who isn’t related to you. We grow up with family, and eventually, we spread our wings and move out. When you find the love of your life, and live with them, you’re going to find a lot of things the love of your life does that irritate the hell out of you. Little things that don’t bother you when you’re first in the throes of love and passion. But know that after that wears off, those little things will grate on your nerves like nails on a chalkboard. It’s OK, it’s what happens when we live in close proximity to another human. It’s why some of the previous truths are up there. If you know yourself, you can warn your partner not to do certain things. They probably won’t listen, but at least you’ve warned them, right? Don’t get me wrong, living with someone is one of life’s great pleasures. It’s also one of life’s great tragedies. We can be alone with someone we love and know they are capable of greatness and only get anger and despair from them. You can’t make someone happy who doesn’t want to be. It’s not your responsibility to make others happy. Make yourself happy and those who love you will benefit.
There are rednecks everywhere, not just in the South. Similarly, there are people who grow up and die in the same town because they are afraid to venture out. This is a human characteristic. After you look deep inside, you may have those tendencies, there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re all people, and it takes all types to make the world work the way it does. Embrace yourself, and realize that we should leave the judging for the churchy people. And the afterlife. There’s sure to be lots of judging then.
So there we have it. My first round of things that I know to be true. Regardless of fake news, real news, interpreted news, and news for entertainment, I know that these things hold true in my life.
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6 thoughts on “Things I Know to be True”
Amen to all of your points, Iain – and great post, btw. If I may add one from my own world as a freelance webdesigner: Clients are generally decent, understanding people. But, obviously, they see their own needs first and not yours, and they see you as a cause of an interaction gone wrong by default – not technology, not the weather, not someone else. That may be unfair in any kind of business but that’s how business is, and if you can’t handle that you should get a ‘real job’ (but not one with customer interaction).
Lastly, some clients – and hence some people – are indeed real a-holes. Really certified a-holes. You can psychoanalyze all you want and excuse the rest, but they are just bullies, egotists or morons, or everything and then some. Accepting that, even if one generally has an optimistic view of mankind (like I feel I have) – that is the secret to getting fewer hassles in your life, because then you can try to steer clear of such people as soon as they come on your radar.
This is so true, Christopher. I generally dismiss people as being stupid rather than intentionally mean, but that doesn’t mean I disagree with you. There are indeed a lot of a-holes in the world. As I get older, there seem to be more, but I think that’s just me getting older and becoming, dare I say, less tolerant. Thank you for the comment – I have many more of these out there…
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Deep down I do agree. I believe in the old Socrates (?) saying that ppl aren’t evil, just ignorant. But in practice it often comes down to the same thing. And it is also, obviously, a strategy of detachment for me so I can do business. But it’s a fine line. The day I begin to brood over and backtalk former a-h clients, then it’s gone too far, this necessary attitude as I would call it. They actually don’t deserve it, and it is a waste of time – to brood and backtalk/trashtalk. But I have been tempted…☺️ Thanks for a great blig btw. Glad I discovered it!
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I couldn’t agree more. I have to focus on things that don’t drag me down, too. It’s why I stopped watching/reading the news about a year ago. Happy to have you here!
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This is the best advice I’ve read in years! I agree with all of them. Especially the kale part. I don’t do kale. But I DO do pets! 100% loving and 100% a pain in the butt, I couldn’t live without mine. And, oh…grandkids. For those of us who have them. They make you misbehave and act like you’re 10 again. Thanks for a great break in the day~
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Thank you for the comment! I’m really looking forward to grandkids – but my youngest is 24 right now… he probably needs to wait a few years first, but I am looking forward to regressing. I’m not that much of a grown up to begin with, actually.
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