(all of this hurt so much to learn)

  • the biggest determiners of your mood are: how many pleasant social interactions you have, and how competently you perform tasks
  • don't put anyone on a pedestal. don't idealize anyone, because they will disappoint you eventually, and the resulting hurt, anger, and alienation will ruin your relationship with them and ensure that you end up cynical and alone.
  • stop feeling threatened by other people's talents. instead of comparing yourself to others, try to purposefully surround yourself with people whom you consider better. study them, absorb their habits, and better yourself in the process. if you are the least competent person or the biggest asshole in the room, that's good in a way, because you're the one with the most opportunities to learn and grow.
  • alternately, instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on personal development. it's not about being better than others, it's about being better than who you used to be.
  • people will wrong you, and you will want to wrong them twice as painfully in return, which will make the other person want to wrong you again four times as painfully. this creates an escalating cycle of wrongdoing in which both people believe themselves to be the victim and the hero, while both acting monstrous and hypocritical. instead of getting even, aim to rise above. for each bad turn someone serves you, put good into the world.
  • remember that you and everyone else will always have the potential to commit the most repugnant acts imaginable, as well as the most altruistic.
  • don't assume you have time. live as though you had one year left of life, and be aware every day of the possibility that this day could be your last. accept and be as much at peace as you can with this possibility. let it spur you to go after the things you truly want. let life become suddenly precious and beautiful in the unflinching knowledge of its ephemeral nature.
  • don't assume your loved ones have time. try to treat each interaction with them as though it were the last one the two of you will have together. this mindset will not be possible to always feel but what makes relationships worthwhile lies in the trying. make your love known. "it is always necessary."
  • don't assume people will be nice. even when you do good things for others, don't expect them to return the favor or even to say thank you. this is because, when you hold these expectations, some people will inevitably fall short, leading you to feel bitter and entitled. you will start to restrict your good actions for only those who you're sure will be grateful and like you for them. therefore, instead of extrinsic appreciation, focus on the act itself of doing good, which is intrinsically rewarding, and enough.
  • don't assume others are similar to you, or that things are necessarily the way you think they are. consider other possiblities/interpretations and keep them on the table. "there are more things in heaven and earth, horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
  • you are not responsible for rehabilitating other people's bad behavior. you are not responsible for being "the person who sets them straight and turns their life around." you cannot impose change on someone, they must decide to change themself. all you can do is speak your mind and try to make them more aware of parts of themself, or consequences of their actions, they may have been unaware of. do not expect dramatic (or any) results.
  • do not let the happiness of others make you sad about your own life. take a global perspective and think, "the more happiness there is in the world as a whole - even if it isn't my own - the better."
  • shake off the fear of being negatively judged by others and just focus on doing your best. you are doing a disservice to yourself if you let your feelings be dragged down or your self-worth be dictated by the opinions of haters and fuckboys.
  • be as non-judgmental as you possibly can without compromising your moral compass.
  • when faced with a bad situation, find the humor in it and/or frame it as an interesting story your future self can tell.
  • it isn't true what they say about the secret to happiness being extremely low expectations. if anything, try to have as few expectations as possible. dwelling on worse case scenarios will drag you into a funk, while dwelling on best case scenarios will set you up for disappointment. having no/very few expectations will open you up to surprise, and often there will be many more pleasant surprises than unpleasant.
  • you don't need anyone's approval. you merely *want* or *prefer* their approval. but you do not NEED their approval. you will not die without it. you may even thrive in its absence.
  • it's perfectly possible to have high empathy and also be an asshole.
  • don't get too torn up over unknowns. not all secrets are interesting or worth knowing.
aug 11 2016 ∞
nov 26 2020 +