101 Simple Truths We Often Forget

101 Simple Truths We Often Forget

It‘s not where we stand but in what direction we are moving.

Sometimes we find ourselves running in place, struggling to get ahead simply because we forget to address some of the simple truths that govern our potential to make progress.  So here’s a quick reminder:

  1. The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing.  Growing happens when what you know changes how you live.
  2. You can’t have good ideas unless you’re willing to generate a lot of bad ones.
  3. A good idea without action is worth nothing.
  4. Change is often resisted when it is needed the most.
  5. Discipline is choosing what you want most over what you want right now.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  6. People seldom do things to the best of their ability.  They do things to the best of their willingness.
  7. You can’t change other people; you can only offer guidance, and lead by example.
  8. Right now, there’s a lot you don’t know.  And if you never challenge your own beliefs, the list will never shrink.
  9. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about the topic of conversation than you do.
  10. The most common and harmful addiction in the world is the draw of comfort.
  11. Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone will put things into perspective from an angle you can’t grasp now.
  12. When you spend time worrying, you’re simply using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
  13. It’s usually only as good or bad as you think it is.  Most of what we see is only what we think about what we see.
  14. Most of the bad things you worry about will never happen.  Most of the bad things that do happen will have never crossed your worried mind.
  15. Some circumstances are uncontrollable, but we can always decide how we react to those circumstances.
  16. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least.
  17. Whenever somebody discredits you, and tells you that you can’t do something, keep in mind that they are speaking from within the boundaries of their own limitations.
  18. Every problem you have in your life right now is your responsibility, regardless of who initially caused it.
  19. It’s not so much about finding opportunities as it is about creating them.
  20. Having a plan, even a flawed one at first, is better than no plan at all.
  21. Paving your own road is intelligent only if nobody has gone exactly where you are going.
  22. What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.
  23. What you don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.
  24. If you’re waiting for the perfect conditions, ideas or plans to get started, you’ll never achieve anything.
  25. Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.
  26. Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier.
  27. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  28. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  29. The harder you work, the luckier you will become.
  30. Kindness and hard work together will always carry you farther than intelligence.
  31. Lots of successful people have failed as many times as they have succeeded.
  32. Failures are simply lessons that help you prepare for next time.
  33. Being successful is a journey, not a destination.
  34. To be successful does not mean you have to dominate others; it means you have to dominate your own potential.
  35. Your success isn’t just about you.  It’s about how you positively impact the lives around you.
  36. Being busy and being productive are two different things.
  37. Being happy and being successful are two different things.
  38. You have every right to be happy, but it’s up to YOU and only YOU to exercise that right.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  39. Everyone you meet is better than you at something.  We all have different strengths.  What worked for someone else might not work for you.
  40. When you’re worried about what others think of you, you’re really just worried about what you think of yourself.
  41. The bad news: nothing is permanent.  The good news: nothing is permanent.
  42. You don’t have to settle.  It’s simply a choice you make every day.  If you don’t like your life, then it’s time to start making changes and better choices.
  43. There’s no such thing as ‘risk free.’  Everything you do or don’t do has an inherent risk.
  44. No matter how smart you are, you will make mistakes.
  45. Problems, when they arise, are rarely as painful and hurtful as the process of fearing them.
  46. Confusion isn’t a bad thing.  It means you’re growing and thinking.
  47. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
  48. In the beginning, you need to say “yes” to a lot of things to discover and establish your goals.  Later on, you need to say “no” to a lot of things and concentrate on your goals.
  49. Even if it doesn’t cost any money, it’s not free if it takes up your time.
  50. No matter how you make a living or who you think you work for, you only work for one person, yourself.  The big question is:  What are you selling, and to whom?
  51. Money makes life easier only when it’s yours free and clear.  The stress of financial debt can change a person.
  52. The fewer possessions you own, the more you will use and enjoy them.
  53. Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.
  54. There is good reason why you should wake each morning and mindfully consider what and who you will give your day to:  Because unlike other things in life – love, money, respect, good health, hope, opportunities, and many more – time is the one thing you can never get back once it’s gone.
  55. Cutting your losses is often better than the alternative.
  56. We sometimes do things that are permanently foolish just because we are temporarily upset.
  57. Screaming at people always makes things worse.
  58. Everyone likes a person who gets straight to the point.
  59. First impressions are oftentimes inaccurate judgments of a person’s true character.
  60. When you’re up, your friends know who you are.  When you’re down, you know who your friends are.
  61. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.
  62. When someone truly loves you, they don’t ever have to say a word.  You will be able to tell simply by the way they treat you over the long-term.
  63. We rarely lose friends, we usually just figure out who our real ones are.
  64. Just because one person doesn’t seem to care for you, doesn’t mean you should forget about everyone else who does.
  65. Family isn’t always blood.  They’re the people in your life who want you in theirs – the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.
  66. Good looks attracts the eyes.  Personality attracts the heart.
  67. In human relationships, distance is not measured in miles but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.
  68. Being nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re fake.  It means you’re mature enough to control your emotions.
  69. If you aren’t happy being single, you won’t be happy in a relationship.  You have to create your own life first before you can share it with someone else.
  70. Whenever you hate someone or something, you are giving that person or thing a piece of your heart.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  71. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.
  72. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.
  73. Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities.
  74. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  75. You can raise the bar or you can wait for others to raise it.  Either way, it’s getting raised.
  76. In life you get what you put in.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It really is this simple.
  77. Cynicism might seem warranted at times, but it’s never useful.
  78. Everyone dies, some sooner than later, and often unexpectedly.  To know this means you are alive, with a chance to make the time you have left count.
  79. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself.  You are competing to be the best you can be.
  80. Trying to be somebody you’re not is a sure path to self-hate, and a waste of the person you are.
  81. It’s better to be disliked for who you are than to be liked for who you are not.
  82. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.
  83. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  84. You can’t make the same exact mistake twice. The second time you make it, it’s no longer a mistake, it’s a choice.
  85. Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  86. You never have to deal with more than one moment at a time.
  87. Many of the greatest lessons we learn in life we don’t seek on purpose.
  88. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
  89. A harsh fact of life:  Bad things do happen to good people.
  90. Regardless of the situation, the sun rises the next day and life goes on.
  91. You never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  92. We end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  93. We meet no ordinary people in our lives.  If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.
  94. Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.
  95. People are not as beautiful as they look, as they walk, or as they talk.  They are only as beautiful as they love, as they care, and as they share.
  96. Silence is often the loudest cry.  So pay attention to those you care about.
  97. Making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.
  98. Blowing out another’s candle will not make yours shine brighter.
  99. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  100. Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
  101. Life is short.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

Photo by: Alexander Steinhof

Comments

  1. says

    Excellent compilation. :)

    I’ve been procrastinating about projects and feeling low about myself all weekend. Now I feel a lot more ready to work.

  2. Patty Clark says

    Oh, my goodness! Is there no end to your wisdom?! I love this list. I always say it is “the best one yet” — and then you write another…. Thank you for such a valuable website. I have recommended it to others and everyone loves it!

  3. Lora says

    Let me tell you, I have never been a ‘blog reader’ before… but I came across your very intelligent and thought provoking blog. Thank you so much, keep up the great work!

  4. Ramkumar says

    Great read! I’d love to see you follow this post up with another post specifically about “hard work” and “consistency.” Getting rid off distractions is not easy, but a big key to success. More tips about how to be more consistent until a goal is achieved would be helpful. Thanks again for a great read.

  5. Liz says

    Wow I absolutely love your site! Every week you put out another great post! Could you add an email button so I can share with friends who are not on Facebook, twitter, etc?

  6. says

    Great stuff as usual. I am scrolling up and down this list and I keep finding stuff that jumps at me. #101 is my favorite. I’ll continue to work hard on that one. #18 is the kick in the shins that I need.

  7. says

    Loved every single point. Simple truths are often overlooked in life.

    The point about ‘failures are simply lessons that help you prepare for next time’ is something I think everyone in life will benefit to remember. So many people give up after a failure, or let it become who they are – If only they realized that they just learned a valuable lesson that will help them be stronger in the future!

  8. says

    @Liz: For once a week email updates, you can subscribe your friends to our email feed/newsletter. Just let them know about it and enter their email address using this link. They will have to verify their email address by clicking on a link in a verification email first, and then they can unsubscribe anytime.

    @All: Thanks so much for another round of kind remarks. Your words keep us smiling all week long. :) We’re so glad you connected with this post.

  9. Julie Takase says

    Right now, there’s a lot you don’t know. And if you never challenge your own beliefs, the list will never shrink. <–love it!

  10. Maricris says

    I am totally blessed to be able to read this article! Really helped me a lot. I’m working in a “not so friendly environment.” This article has given me confidence to deal with it. Looking forward to your next inspirational article.

  11. Somasundaram says

    This is another a great post! Your blog has helped me a lot to change various aspects of my life. I can truly feel the change, and it’s all because of you guys. Thanks a lot.

  12. says

    I feel blessed to found this site. Thank you for sharing this wonderful articles. Really helped to improve couragement to be a better person. And let me appreciate how lucky i am inspite of all the struggles i have now.. More power!

  13. says

    Dear Marc and Angel,
    I always smile when I see your email in my box, even before I open it. I know I have something worthy to read. For that, thank you. I wanted to ask you: Could you tell me if I can translate your posts in French & put it on my blog, obviously with a link back to your blog? I’d be glad to.

    Stephanie.

  14. says

    @Stéphanie: Thanks so much for the kind words. Yes, you may translate any of our articles and post them on your site as long as you give us proper credit and provide a link back to our blog at the top of each article you translate.

    @All: Again, thanks for leaving comments that make us smile.

  15. Kathy Paiml says

    Thank you so much for your blog. I like surrounding myself with positive people and positive and uplifting thoughts. I enjoyed reading this post – I’ve added #97 to my e-mail signature!
    @katpam3

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