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4 Unsettling Truths About Life Nobody Wants to Talk About

4 Unsettling Truths About Life Nobody Wants to Talk About

But if you can, you’ll save thousands of hours

There are 4 things, just 4 that I wish someone had sat me down at 11 and told me.

Just these 4 would have saved me more than a thousand hours of wasted time scratching my head wondering what on Earth is going on. They are the source of the vast majority of procrastination and learning about them has x10 my productivity.

Here’s hoping you don’t waste a thousand hours. Here are the 4 unsettling truths about life.

1. Nobody is coming to save you
This sucks and there is no nice way to put it so let’s just get it over and done with so we can talk about what we can do with it.

Here’s the truth, nobody is coming to save you.

 Watch a few too many Disney movies and you’ll be fooled into thinking that life is just waiting around the corner and there will be someone that comes riding in on a white horse to pick you up and show you the way. 

That’s not going to happen.

For most people, the reality is that they wait, nobody comes and they then regret spending their time waiting. The reality is, that we’re all busy living our own stories, someone saving you requires them to stop thinking about their life and start thinking about yours.

They won’t.

Knowing that, as painful as it is, helps you. It means that you won’t wait around, you know this thing is up to you and only you. I was 25 years old when I realized this truth.

Here’s what changed for me:

  • I realized if I didn’t start doing something constantly online, I’d never have a chance at making a success of things.
  • I knew that nobody was going to kick me out of bed at 5:30 am and tell me to get to work.
  • It made me look in the mirror and decide to commit to this writing thing.

I’ve never looked back.

2. A good life has bad days
Most people you talk to will tell you that 9–5 sucks.

It’s soul-destroying, it’s monotonous, and it’s no way to live. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I know lots of people that enjoy what they do. The trouble is when we expect a good job to be all good days. That’s never going to happen.

Your dream job will have bad days.

Even when you close your eyes and dream up a life that would fill your heart. When you let your mind flow into who you could be. When you build it all up and plan out your amazing life.

That life, that one you’ve dreamed about, yep that one. That one will have bad days. I heard a quote once and it really stuck with me:

“When I’m having a bad day, I stop and ask myself did I always think I’d have good days? The answer is obviously no.”

Bad days are part of the agreement. When you sign up for life, you sign up for all the emotions that come with it. The good, the bad, the ugly. The good news though is that a bad day doesn’t make a bad life.

A bad day in the office doesn’t make a bad job.

Too many bad days make a bad job. Too many bad days make a bad life.

3. You can be anything, you can’t be everything
I have two quotes hanging in my office.

I’m about to move house so those quotes are due to come off the walls. When they do and when I find a new house to live in, there will be a third quote joining those two and it’ll read this:

In life, you can be Anything, but what you can’t be is Everything!

This resonates to the core of who I am. It might resonate with you too. When we’re young we’re told the world is our oyster. You can be anything our parents tell us. We’re giddy with excitement as we bump into the world and try to figure out who we are. That fun. But there comes a point you must decide.

Here’s what I’ve learned about life: there is so much to do that you’ll never do it all. So you must pick carefully. You must explore and choose the few things in life that light your soul. That makes your eyes glisten and your heart full. Pick those things. And go all in.

  • Don’t dance on the sidelines wondering if you’re good enough.
  • Don’t wait for someone to ask you if you’d like to have a go.
  • Don’t talk yourself out of it, telling yourself you can’t.

Jump in. If it feeds your spirit do it. Don’t ask for permission. But don’t give up on it. Don’t flip-flop between. Don’t half-heart it.  Try. I mean really try. 

  • Wake up early because you’re excited to tell the world your thoughts.
  • Absorb all the work of other people that you admire and learn.
  • Spend every ounce of your time thinking about this thing.

This isn’t toxic productivity. This isn’t the road to burnout. This isn’t hustle culture. This is passion. Passion is choosing.

4. Nobody knows what they are doing
It’s hilarious to me that everyone walks around pretending they know what they’re doing. It’s because everyone else is doing the exact same thing that they feel obligated to join in. I do it all the time.

I think there is one thing that, if we’re all honest, we can agree on: nobody has the slightest idea of what is going on.

How could we?

We’re sat on a spinning ball, communicating over sparks of electricity, in the midst of a global pandemic when the world is melting, trying to work out what on Earth is going on.

You flit between forgetting that you put the washer on and the washing has been sitting damp in the machine for an hour to contemplating if the world is going to exist in 30 years’ time.

How can anyone possibly feel like they have their stuff together?

I’m convinced that most good things happen by chance. Most love stories are happy accidents. Life is just a lottery. Nobody knows what on Earth is going on. Not really. In fact, my new rule of thumb is those that who claim that they do are the ones that know the least.

The good news is though, you’re in good company.
In the absence of knowing what is going on, you can make your own life for yourself. To do what you want to do. On your terms. With the people you love. Because that’s the only thing that really makes much sense at all.

  Author: Eve Arnold | Source | Photo by Peggy Anke on Unsplash
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