post written by: Angel Chernoff

7 Critical Truths We Forget All Too Soon


7 Things We All Forget Too Soon

So much happens in our lives every day that we often forget what we have learned.  In effect, the only thing faster than the speed of our thoughts is the speed of our forgetfulness.

Here are seven important reminders to jog your memory…

1.  Attitude makes all the difference.

Two people can be affected by the same circumstance and respond in completely different ways; it just depends on their perspective.  One might see themselves as a victim, while the other discovers and makes the most of an opportunity the circumstance provides.

When you expect life to be unkind, it will always live up to your expectations.  On the other hand, when you consider yourself to be in a fortunate situation, you will find yourself in many more.

It’s important to remember that there is value in every situation and circumstance.  Positive possibilities are generated by every possible turn of fate.  No matter what happens or doesn’t happen, life is what you choose to make it.  You just have to choose to make it great.

2.  Some sadness is necessary.

You cannot completely shield yourself from sadness without also shielding yourself from happiness.  Sadness is part of the journey.  Life is a series of highs and lows – an adventure that requires you to take chances and actions that have the possibility of both success (happiness) and failure (sadness).

When you find your path, you must not be afraid to step forward.  You need to have sufficient courage to take chances and fail sometimes.  Disappointment and sadness are the tools life uses to show us the way.

In the end, we learn even more from our failures than we do from our successes.  Every step is a step in the right direction.  Read Learned Optimism.

3.  You can’t fight fire with fire.

Don’t spew hostile words at those who spew them at you.  Tone it down and replace the stink of confrontation with the fragrance of resolution.  The louder the opposition wants to yell, the calmer and more confidently you need to speak.  Keep your composure; don’t let them get to you.

Be an example of a pure existence having a pure understanding of reality.  Communicate and express yourself from a place of peace, from a place of love, with the best intentions.  Practice good judgment in what you say and how you say it, in the thoughts you carry, and in the emotions you reveal.  And most of all, use your voice for good – to inspire, to encourage, to educate, to spread the notions of love and understanding.

4.  Everyone struggles in some way.

When you deal with your own issues, use your head; when you help others deal with their issues, use your heart.

The questions you should be asking yourself:  How much could I possibly know about the troubles in another’s heart?  How much can I hope to understand this person who has suffered from a specific circumstance of pain or disappointment than I have known?

And even greater than your ability to inspire them with hope for a brighter future is your capacity to motivate them to directly confront the worst in themselves and deal with it upfront, so they can rediscover and reclaim the best in themselves over time.  Read The 5 Love Languages.

5.  Fear always exists.

Every new experience triggers a least some fear; and that’s okay.  Fear can help you to assess risk and prepare for all kinds of important, challenging situations.  But first you have to understand that the purpose of fear is not to stop you.

Fear helps you evaluate the path forward.  Certainly it is important to pause and look carefully before you move into unknown territory.  However, it is just as important that, after sufficient due diligence and preparation, you do indeed move forward.

Let the fear sharpen your awareness, and then let it inspire you to act.  Your success cannot be built by seeking refuge in what is already familiar and comfortable.  You must journey out into the unknown, prepared for the challenges and determined to do whatever is necessary.  The way to get beyond your fear is to go through it.  Do the thing you fear and the fear loses its control over you.

6.  Small steps get you to big places.

The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing simply because you can only do a little.  In fact, it is far more productive to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a giant leap only to stumble and fall and never get up again.

Bottom line:  The path to every goal requires a hundred small steps – one after the other.  Figure out where you want to go, take a step, and keep on stepping.  Diligence and persistence will get you there.  Read The Power of Habit.

7.  You can only change yourself.

Don’t wait for someone who hurt you to make it up to you; this kind of thinking only keeps your old wounds from healing.  Waiting for them to change is not the answer.  You have no control over them, and they may never change.

Inner peace is found by changing your thinking, not the people who hurt you.  And you change your thinking for yourself, for your joy, your peace of mind, your own understanding, and your bright future that has nothing to do with this person or what they did to you.

So forgive those who have hurt you in the past, and even more importantly, forgive yourself for allowing them to hurt you.  Then smile like you’ve never cried, re-open your heart and mind like you’ve never been hurt, and live the rest of your life like you’re running out of time.  Read 1,000 Little Things.

Photo by: Werner Kunz

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41 Comments

  • Such perfect reminders. I just read these to my teenage daughter. She’s hurting and feeling so out of place right now. She said they really helped. And honestly, they helped me too.

  • Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • A big thank you… number 7 is a big wake up call for me - one I desperately needed. Reading your articles every day is so inspiring. It’s helping me move forward from a situation I found hard to let go of. Your words are helping me to appreciate myself and my life more and more…

  • I love your point about the value of Fear. Never thought of it like that.

  • Love: “small steps get you to big places.” That’s a great way to say it!

    Another mantra that is similar is: “Big is little and little is big.” The basic concept is if you want the big things in life, you have to do the right little things…and if you are consistent in the right little things, you’ll get the big things.

  • Hi Angel

    I loved the 2nd and 5th points because its only through a little sadness that you will understand the value of happiness.

    Yes, fear always exists and the important point is the time that you decide to embrace it.

    This article is so lovely because each point has been explained in a crystal clear manner and it is easily digestible.

  • Once again right on time!!

    Thanks Aila

  • Great post as always !

    Forgive those who have hurt you in the past, yes, probably for the best (although easier said than done sometimes).

    Forgive yourself for allowing them to hurt you. mmmmm… Many times we don´t “allow” people to hurt us, such as abused children, people who get mugged in the street, the wife (or husband) who gets cheated on, or even the person who was fired from his job due to lies of other co-workers.

    Many people get hurt all over the world, every day, in many different ways, without “allowing” it to happen.

  • What a power-packed article. So much wisdom in this.

  • Dear Marc & Angel,

    I Just love all your inspiration that comes in my e-mail. Your words seem to spark a fire in the core of life. Where do you get all this wonderful spirited inspiration? Of change, faith, hope, love that can make one feel that change is so important to make one’s life worth while to find peace & Happiness. I have been inspired by your words and am truly thankful. I also pass it on to others to remind them to that there is more to life. It is how one lives it and enjoys life to the fullest that count most. This is my new way of life. Thanks again, and keep up God’s work!!! Love Frannie.

  • Great post- #6 is deadly accurate & yes, “The Power of Habit” is a fantastic book. Keep up the great work!

  • These are wonderful. Especially that fear ALWAYS exists as well as sadness. Thank you!!

  • Very nice and helpful advice. Thank you so much Marc and Angel.

  • One of the best ones you have written. Thank you so much for sharing…

  • It’s been while since I commented, but this one hit the nail on the head. Well done. These are life principles to live by and remember always.

  • Number 5 is exactly what I’m working to correct in my life. I know I’m not the only follower who reads these posts and blogs and says “This is exactly what I needed right now, how do you always know?!” THANK YOU.

  • Thank you!!
    Your daily messsages are helping me get through some difficult decisions. I’m finding inner strength and peace again.

  • Great stuff you guys, as always everything written here resonated deeply within me.
    You are both touching so many lives now, keep smiling and keep writing!!!
    Thank you again.

  • Great work as always. Have to agree with Ellen on the ownership of hurt though. Would love to see your take on Finding your Path, it’s referenced in so many of your postings.

  • I love all your posts as usual. You light our spiritual path with all your (and other people’s) comments. My spiritual path is a circle that keeps going around with ever deepening layers. So, I keep going to deeper levels in all the things that I learn in life. This leads to lifelong learning and growing. With respect to Ellen’s and Dave’s comments on the ownership of hurt and “allowing others to hurt us”, I take your meaning from ” The Four Agreements”. If we take things personally than we allow them to hurt us, We can look at anything that happens to us and make a conscience decision not to let it hurt us. That is what a change of attitude does for us, by changing our thinking. Today I look at all the bad things that happen to me and “hurt me” as the stepping stones of life, to somewhere I don’t know, or “why” it is happening, as blessings. Things always turnout as they are meant to. The “Bad stuff” always leads to looking deep within ourselves and learning something very important. Today, I can truly say that I am Thankful for all the hard times and hurt that has happened in my life, because they all combine to make me the better person I am striving to become.A gain, Marc and Angel, thanks for all you do.

  • Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Every word in this post spoke to me.

  • These are wonderful reminders. You just uplifted me gain and gave me a boost of courage to take full responsibility over my life.
    I believe that everything I’m doing today, though small, is leading me to my desired path.
    Thanks, for once again bringing me inspiration..
    Peace, love, and light for everyone! My gratitude for your work…

  • 7 great points to remember. I like this statement best, “the only thing faster than the speed of our thoughts is the speed of our forgetfulness” wonderful post.

  • Thanks so much!!! I think attitude makes the whole difference!

  • Always Inspiring and Insightful! May God and Life reward you for your good work at helping and inspiring people.

    Please keep it up.

    -Tasmiah Faaredah

  • Thank you Marc and Angel for the wonderful post, it has given more light to my dark world. May the Almighty continue to inspire you with great thoughts and words to give us hope at the right time. Keep it up please. I need more of these words of wisdom like every point in this post. Thanks especially for point 7.

  • This is so positive and it always helps a lot to read your posts. They bring back positive insights and make everything more bearable.

  • I truly love this site and everything it says and stands for. It’s been so helpful for me on my journey.

  • Dear Marc and Angel,

    I have been following your site for last two years. You people have always lifted my heart, made me feel great when I was down and inspired me to live the life that I’ve always wanted to live. You two are doing a wonderful job with this site.

    Love…

  • Well said! Every word.

  • How did you guys get so darned good? Keep it up.

  • Awesome site… thank you!

  • @Kent Julian: Very true. We have to remind ourselves of this when we feel like we’re getting nowhere. Thanks for the mantra.

    @Ellen: You make a decent point. In my mind though, the self-forgiveness isn’t so much about believing that you physically allowed someone do something bad to you, as it is about forgiving yourself (if needs be) for being where you were when it happened. It’s an issue of emotionally wiping the slate clean so you can move on.

    @Fran: Thank you for the extremely kind words. =)

    @David Rapp: That theme echoes throughout our posts. We’ll consider writing something more in depth on this specific topic in the future, but it’s simply about following your heart and taking action on the ideas that move you.

    @Carol: Great response and oh so true.

    @sidy: Thank you for your continued support and feedback. =)

    @All: Your comments are very important to us; thank you. Sometimes it helps to be reminded that everything we need to be happy already lies within each and every one of us. So keep reminding yourself and each other. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week

  • This is a really great post. Thank you for sharing. What I really liked about the list was that it delves into some areas of the human psychology that often become overlooked like the acceptance of sadness and how to use fear to really stimulate your senses rather than fall into the victim mentality. We seem to externalize our blame and try to mold our personalities depending on what we would ideally like to feel, rather than what is actually going on around us. When we can just accept us for who we are– including all the positive and negative stuff, we can move forward and release some of our self-limitations holding us back.

    As I said, just some great stuff in there and continue to keep up the in-depth material.

  • Great thoughts. Thanks a lot.

  • Like most of your posts, this one really resonated with me, reminding me that acknowledging my humanness is the first step to experiencing completeness. And how true it is that we tend to forget this very fact. I was reflecting on how so much of material floods us (and we go seeking too) that ultimately reinforce what we already know innately but have lost access to. What causes it? Perhaps denial of our humanness, perhaps succumbing to consumeristic and competitive herd responses. Loved reading. Sharing.

  • I have been reading about wisdom in college from multiple religious perspectives and we are currently on Taoism. Fighting fire with water is so important. Everyone gets burned if you don’t. Another thing that I am learning is that being okay with the way things are, not accepting or denying reality, is so crucial to happiness. Just finished The Art of Possibility by Zander. Phenomenal article! Your blog is helping me maintain a growth mindset from the start of every day. : )

  • Many life changes for me recently. I know I have a part in everything… Great post- thank you.

  • Thank you for sharing! You guys are so inspiring :)

  • Harshitha Sajja
    April 27th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Really inspiring! no. 7 is darn good…

  • You always have the right posts pop up on FB when I need it the most?? Thank you.

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