Life is a continuous learning curve. You never quite know it all, and no matter how much you think you know, sometimes, we all need a reality check. I promise you’ll be glad you read this post.
Check out some things about life you definitely should know.
NO ONE REALLY CARES
Got a new car? Nobody cares. You’ll probably get some gawkers for a couple of weeks, but they don’t care. They’re curious. Three weeks in, it’ll be just another shiny blob among all the thousands of others crawling down the road, and sitting in garages up and down your street. People will care about your car just as much as you care about all of those. Got a new wardrobe? Went to a great restaurant? Exotic vacation? Nobody cares! Don’t base your happiness on people’s caring, because they won’t. And if they do, they either want your stuff or hate you for it.
MONEY IS CHEAP
I mean, there’s a lot of it—trillions upon trillions, floating around the world, largely made up of cash whose value is made up and ascribed to it, anyway.
Don’t engineer your life around getting a slightly less tiny portion of this pile, and make your spirit of generosity reflect this principle.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO EVERYONE, BUT YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF
I believe we’re responsible to everyone for something, even if it’s something as basic as an affirmation of their humanity. However, it should most often go far beyond that and manifest itself in service to others, to being a voice for the voiceless. If you’re reading this, there are those around you who toil under burdens larger than yours, who stand in need of touch and respect and chances.
Conversely, though, you’re responsible for yourself. Nobody else is going to find success for you, and nobody else is going to instill happiness into you from the outside. That’s on you.
LEARN TO SEE REALITY IN TERMS OF SYSTEMS
When you understand the world around you as a massive web of interconnected, largely interdependent systems, things get much less mystifying— and the less we either ascribe to magic or allow to exist behind a fog, the less susceptible we’ll be to all manner of being taken advantage of.
ACCOUNT FOR THE THREAT OF BLACK SWAN EVENTS
Sometimes chaos consumes the most meticulous of plans, and if you live life with no margins in a financial, emotional, or any other sense, you will be subject to its whims. Take risks, but backstop them with something— I strongly suspect people who say ‘having a Plan B is a sign of weak commitment’ aren’t living hand to mouth. Do what you need to in order to keep your footing.
MONEY IS EXPENSIVE
I mean, it’s difficult to get your hands on it sometimes— and you never know when someone’s going to pull the floorboards out from under you, so don’t be stupid with it.
Avoid debt on depreciating assets, and never incur debt in order to assuage your vanity (see rule number one).
Debt has become normative, but don’t blithely accept it as a rite of passage into adulthood— debt represents imbalance and, in some sense, often a resignation of control.