Life has been described as many things because it means different things to different people. All the angles people see life from are accurate, and when all angles come together, life makes holistic sense. For someone who has experienced varying degrees of hardship in life, the summary of how they view life is that it’s not fair. For others who have gotten results proportional to their effort, life is like a space of endless possibilities. People who have been handed luxury and given priority see life as a beautiful bed of roses. However, beyond the general notion of how life is perceived within each social class or observed by other social types, universal truths stand tall, like the lighthouse and beam the light of fact to help us grow.
Growth is inevitable, challenging, rewarding and can be positive or negative. It is positive when you are moving in a holistic direction, considering how you affect others and how they affect you. Taking responsibility for your actions and not feeling entitled to people. Growth becomes negative when your eyesight only sees better in the tunnel vision you’ve created for yourself. You find yourself tilting toward the negative curve of selfishness and irresponsibility, forgetting there are principles of life you need to live by. Life, however, will present you with experiences that push you toward positive growth by teaching you patience, tolerance, responsibility and respecting people’s emotions.
The thing about emotions and feelings you must never forget is that people experience them differently, just like life. Two people can share the exact happy moment or traumatic event and react differently. Yet there is a temptation to downplay one’s experience because you went through it and handled it well. It is also easy to downplay the struggles of the person who looks well put-together, has all the wealth you hope to have, and settles all your problems. For those who have wealthy people’s issues, it is easy to belittle the difficulties of others.
A one-sided approach does not change your life or boost the desired. Embracing life-changing truths and living by them makes life understandable and makes you more considerate and less selfish. You tend to see people as people and give them the dignity they deserve. Above all, life makes sense and serves a higher purpose than what you’re experiencing.
Here are some life-changing truths to imbibe in your daily practice.
Your willingness to try even when you fail guarantees success
Success is one of the metrics for measuring growth. Success in wealth, health, positive habits, relationships and education, to mention a few, are the visible outcomes people see as evidence that you are growing and not stagnating. Success in any aspect of life, however, does not happen overnight. On the contrary, achieving success takes hard work, commitment and several failures. The truth is no matter how impressed people are by your success, they never experience your self-doubt, tears, frustration, lack of discipline, start overs, and effort put into growth. If you are at the stage before the glamourous success, you must hold on to the truth that every time you fail but get up to try again, you are closer to your financial, health, behavioural etc., breakthrough.
Flee the temptation of making yourself too busy and less productive
In a world that glorifies being busy, prioritise productivity. People have this need to appear busy so that they can look important and hardworking. So, you see them jumping from meeting to meeting, staring at computer screens all day, travelling, and feeling guilty about resting and taking vacations. As if the world will malfunction if they take a break and self-care. Being busy is a good thing entirely. To meet some targets, growth requires time to put in the work. However, some activities we bombard ourselves with for ego could be more productive. They are not mind-stimulating, so we don’t learn from them. in essence, if you must be busy, let it equal productivity and the things that matter, like quality time with family, developing new skills and self-development, amongst other things.
You grow self-confident every time you measure your worth by understanding who you are and not based on what people think. When your action and drive come from within, you tend to take people’s opinions and compliments as what they are, mere ideas and compliments. You rid yourself of the pressure to do things because of what people will say. People’s expectations of how you should run your life or your projection of what you think they expect you to do are inexhaustible, and you will fail at pleasing humans. It is a strength to believe in your ability to achieve anything you set your mind to because you want it for yourself and not because it is expected of you. It is a strength to feel confident in your skin, look the way you want, change the path when the old one is leading nowhere and keep reinventing yourself for you.
Be present in the moment
So much to catch up on from the past and a lot to fantasise about from the future. Between giving attention to the two time zones, there is hardly time left for living in the moment, enjoying the experiences and people around us in the here and now. If you want growth, you cannot be trapped in the past with hurt, regrets, missed opportunities, bitterness or past achievements. Neither can you escape into another trap of wishing you are someone else, having the type of relationship others have or that you need to achieve a goal before you are happy. If you fall for any of the traps, you will wake up old and realise life happened while you focused your energy on things you didn’t have control over.
Forgive so you can heal and do it for you
Offending each other is just one of the occupational hazards of being human. We will cause others pain, and they will do the same. Sometimes the offence may be intentional and unintentional, but that’s all part of life, and we must learn to move on from the place of pain. Prepare your mind to forgive without an apology because some people will never know they upset you. Others may not validate the pain they caused you since they don’t see anything wrong in what they did to you. In many cases, the person you need to forgive is yourself for putting yourself in a position that got you hurt or for enabling people to step on your toes. Forgiveness helps you create room for a better relationship with your offender and know when to cut off from toxic offenders. Forgiveness and time allow you to remember them with their excellent features and not just their flaws. Plus, forgiveness sets you free from grudges and emotional stress.
You are responsible for the life you create
It may seem unfair that you should be responsible for your life even though you didn’t ask to be born, be raised by your parent or take part in some of the decisions made by others on your behalf. Yet the key to making a difference and growing is taking responsibility for your life. Where you make mistakes, own up and work toward change. If you are a recipient of someone else’s mistake, accept that the deed has been done, it was beyond your control and found a way forward. You cannot feel entitled to people’s time and money, for no one owes you a thing, even your parents. When you take responsibility for your life, you shield your heart from unmet expectations.
Acknowledge the brevity of life
No one is indeed promised tomorrow. It is even truer that no one is promised the next second, for the difference between life and death is often a split second. So, spend your time on the things that make you happy and add value to your life and others. Try out new things and spend your life discovering and being yourself. Put in your energy to preserve the memories and relationships you cherish because the community keeps us going in happy and sad times. Also, hand people their flowers and accolades while you can give them, and they can collect them. Because all it takes is the last breath of air, and memories hardly survive oblivion.
Fear only holds you back
Fear is a natural human response that helps us question things before embarking. Fear triggers our fight-or-flight survival instinct to help preserve us. However, fear hinders life if it restricts you from trying new things, believing in yourself, making changes and taking risks. Life is about taking risks till you find what works well for you. Life is being afraid and trying anyway because there is better beyond fear.
Embrace change to effect change
Some of us resonate with familiar because it’s all we’ve known, and uncharted territories feel scary. At one point, we didn’t know some traditions, rules and things we hold on to for dear life. And that’s how change works, by creating space for new things. Imagine you only knew how to talk about one topic or do one activity. I reckon you see how boring your life would be. So, whenever you’re afraid to embrace a change of any sort, remember that once you try it once, the fear has no hold on you. Remember, change only occupies the room you create for it, no matter how small.
Surround yourself with the right people
The age-old saying that no man is an island remains true even today. We are as strong, successful, happy and progressive as the type of support we surround ourselves with. Community is integral to human existence, and we must get our community selection right to progress. Where bridges or fences need to be built, do so. Make sure your community support and believe in you because it can get lonely sometimes when you’re working on growth, and you’ll need to draw strength from others. Get the right people around you, and you’ll survive happy and sad moments.
Life-Changing Truths That Will Help You Grow