By Manik Rege
You’re scrolling through your Facebook wall.
You stumble upon a random motivational quote. For a second, you feel inspired to get up, work hard and chase your dreams. But you end up scrolling ahead, wasting more time, proudly holding on to your title of the laziest arse on earth.
It’s not completely your fault, though. These ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ quotes you read online are nothing but a bunch of flowery sentences coiled together to make you feel good about life for a moment or two.
They boast too much about victory and joy. But they rarely consider loss and grief which are equally important parts of life.
The harsh reality is that you can’t be happy and successful all the time. You have to taste sadness to be able to savour joy. You have to get hit to become stronger. You have to go through pain to experience peace.
The earlier you acknowledge and respect these universal laws of life, the more you’ll be able to learn and grow. Of course, you can’t be enlightened about such a heavy grand truth simply by reading a short article or watching a motivational film.
But a push in the right direction can be a great help, right? All great journeys begin with a single step, don’t they?
So today, I’m going to help you take that first little step towards a better awareness about life by listing down 4 harsh realities you need to accept right now.
Before I begin, I’d like to issue a couple of warnings to everyone reading this piece-
- If you can’t handle the truth, don’t even bother reading ahead.
- I’m going to be brutally honest and to-the-point. So, don’t expect to find any poetical anecdotes, 23 beautiful quotes from French movies and BuzzFeed shit like that.
Without further ado, I’ll get right to our first grand realisation-
- You’ll make a lot of mistakes
The fear of failure is the most widely spread epidemic in the world. It has infected every young mind and it’s hindering our growth as a society.
We’re afraid to let ourselves down. We fear defeat and embarrassment. We don’t want to make mistakes.
In this pursuit for perfection, we sacrifice the beauty in our freckles and the music in our screams. We want to hit the right notes, play the right chords and look flawlessly good.
Our unending hunger for perfection has given rise to entire industries which profit from our insecurities. We are told that we are not perfect so that we will buy things we think will make us look perfect.
But let me tell you the truth- nothing will ever make you perfect. Not even practice.
You will always have flaws. You will always make mistakes. Some people will always hate you. You will be publicly humiliated one day and you can’t avoid that.
You can’t avoid the painful path to success. And even when you succeed, you can’t avoid failing again.
You might have won the race today, but your records will be broken tomorrow. Because that is the singular rule of the universe- nothing is permanent and no one stays here forever.
There will always be someone faster, smarter and stronger than you. But that person will never be YOU. Get it?
You are a completely unique individual with your own set of skills and flaws. These flaws don’t make you a ‘NOBODY.’ Instead, they complete you and make you who you are.
So embrace every inch of your skin and everything beneath. Do what you feel is right. And even if you turn out to be wrong, don’t regret your mistakes.
Just make sure you learn from them. Because learning is something that should never ever stop. And so shouldn’t you. Wow, that’s actually our next point-
- People will leave
Don’t even bother asking why. Let’s not even debate about whether you did something wrong to make him/her leave, or whether he/she was an asshole who deserved to be left alone.
Most of the times, people will leave without warnings or goodbyes and that’s okay.
It’s just the way humans work. No matter how hard you try to stop them, if they’re meant to leave- they’ll just leave, man. Don’t hate them for that. Forgive them. Learn to let go.
Don’t hold on to your grudges- they’ll only bring you more pain. Take your own sweet time but learn to move on.
You come alone and you’ll go alone. Everyone you meet is merely a lesson to help you grow. And lessons can be beautiful or hard but never something you should regret.
So be glad for whatever people gave you, even if all they gave you was suffering and pain. Learn to plant that pain into your heart and let it grow into something pure and beautiful.
Don’t let your heartbreaks stop you from falling in love again. Go ahead and love people like crazy.
Attach yourselves. Be warm and caring. But when it’s time to let go, don’t try to hold on and fight it. Say those hard goodbyes and keep walking forward; you have more amazing people waiting for you ahead.
- Everyone’s life is as complicated as yours
Stop saying- “Nobody understands how I feel.” Right now, there are at least a thousand people out there who are going through the same situation you’re in.
You might not know these people. But they do exist. And they totally understand your feelings.
Know that you’re never truly alone. There is someone out there who’s dying to meet a person like you. There is someone who’s hoping to bump into you and join you in your madness. You’ll find that person at the right time, so stop complaining and be patient.
The truth is, everybody feels left out at some point of time in their lives. Everybody goes through their own problems…and everybody survives.
You’re no one to decide which problems are valid and which ones are not.
You can’t compare people’s hardships like that. Something that appears to be a trivial issue to you might be a pretty big deal for someone else.
Who the hell are you to decide whether someone’s issues are genuine or fake anyway?
Please fit this in your head right now. Everybody suffers and enjoys, just like you do. That rude bitch in class- she’s abused and humiliated by her father every day. That bully who troubles you a lot- he’s going through painful health problems right now. That person who hurt your feelings last week- someone had hurt his feelings in the past, too.
Of course, this does not give people the right to hurt you. But that’s not my point. My point is- once you accept that everyone has a crappy side to life, you’ll start treating people with more empathy and respect and you’ll receive double the love in return.
Treat everyone with kindness. Smile at the people you want to choke. Forgive your enemies. Be humble with rude people and see them magically transform.
Try to understand the emotions people feel shy to express. Listen to people’s silence and learn to respect it. Everyone is fighting their own personal battle. The only thing you’re allowed to do is to be there during their bad times.
If you don’t feel like helping out, then stay away from their lives and be alone. But please don’t tell people everything is going to be okay when it’s not. Please don’t make someone feel like their feelings don’t matter. Either be there for people or simply walk away.
- You’re going to die
It’s so obvious, isn’t it? Yet, the irony of our modern society is that we aren’t fully aware of the most evident fact of life- DEATH, itself. If we were truly aware of death, we’d say what we want, do what we feel is right and not give a shit about what society might think.
Instead, we conveniently plug ourselves into the routine, operate like mechanical clockworks and blindly gulp down everything we’re fed. We live like we’re going to come to work till the last day of our lives.
So let me inform you then- you’re not eternal and neither is anyone else. No matter how famous you are, there will come a time when nobody will know you or remember who you were.
You will disappear. You WILL DIE.
That means- TODAY is all you have to live. So speak out your feelings. Start that project you’ve always wanted to work on. Learn that language you’ve been waiting to learn. And live every moment as if it’s the only moment you’v…