85 votes

What's a life lesson you've applied that has changed your life?

When I was about 18 years old, I had a philosophy class where the teacher said this quote: "Things over which you do not have power should not have power over you." It could also be read as "control the things you control, ignore the rest".

That lesson really spoke to me. I put a lot of effort integrating it into my personality and I must say now, almost 15 years later, it made my life so much more enjoyable.

I used to get mad, really mad about stuff or get stressed about stuff out of my control, and I could never really remove those feelings. These words kept coming back to me and through some effort, I must say that I can more or less apply them in my everyday life now. It saved me a lot of trouble on various situations and has helped me break through problems way faster than I would have in the past, simply by helping me identify the things I could change and focus on those things.

I'm curious about you guys and your life stories. Has any lesson had as much impact on your life?

73 comments

  1. [2]
    cdb
    Link
    "No one is coming to save you." I was at a point where I was kind of just letting life happen to me, and things weren't going well. I felt like I was just unlucky, and was kind of waiting for...

    "No one is coming to save you."

    I was at a point where I was kind of just letting life happen to me, and things weren't going well. I felt like I was just unlucky, and was kind of waiting for something to happen that would change the trajectory of my life. That's basically the plot of a lot of movies, right? The protagonist's life sucks, something interesting happens to them, then their life suddenly has meaning. I'm hindsight, it was a pretty childish way of thinking, but reading this advice really resonated with me at the time. Turns out life isn't a Disney movie, and I had to start taking responsibility for the direction of my life. Most things I tried didn't work out, but my life slowly got better because some things did.

    That's not to say that you won't ever need help in life or that you can fully control the trajectory of your life, but a lot of things that had seemed like constants in my life were able to change because I decided to change them.

    56 votes
    1. Tuna
      Link Parent
      Closely related to that is "luck will never be on your side". Maybe not the best mindset, similar to yours, but it helped me through my teenage years. It softened the blow of failures and helped...

      Closely related to that is "luck will never be on your side".

      Maybe not the best mindset, similar to yours, but it helped me through my teenage years. It softened the blow of failures and helped me to stand up and try again. Embracing being unlucky gave me the mindset to face the future without fear; like looking life in the eyes and asking " is that the worst you can do?".

      It also had the added benefit of keeping myself from gambling since my win chance is always 0, no matter the odds.

      2 votes
  2. [8]
    Asinine
    Link
    Regret is only for mistakes from which you didn't learn anything.

    Regret is only for mistakes from which you didn't learn anything.

    39 votes
    1. [4]
      krellor
      Link Parent
      I'll tack onto this with "guilt is for when you knew you were doing wrong and acted anyway, not for when bad things happened that you couldn't have forseen."

      I'll tack onto this with "guilt is for when you knew you were doing wrong and acted anyway, not for when bad things happened that you couldn't have forseen."

      21 votes
      1. elight
        Link Parent
        Hits hard. I've acted out, at times, when I had a lack of control (too tired or too scared to think straight, etc). I've found I have guilt for that instead of regret. I've also spent most of my...

        Hits hard. I've acted out, at times, when I had a lack of control (too tired or too scared to think straight, etc). I've found I have guilt for that instead of regret.

        I've also spent most of my life being too hard on myself. I've been getting better...

        5 votes
      2. [2]
        Asinine
        Link Parent
        Well, the thing is... yeah I have done a lot of stupid shit that I was like "hold my beer"... That's what my actual reply was about. Not about the bad stuff I couldn't have foreseen: it's about...

        Well, the thing is... yeah I have done a lot of stupid shit that I was like "hold my beer"...
        That's what my actual reply was about. Not about the bad stuff I couldn't have foreseen: it's about you may or may not have realized this wasn't the best option, but you did it anyway.

        Here I am now, in my 40s, and I still do dumb shit. Sometimes I am an idiot, but most of the time I have learned enough. But I'm trying to state for most folks: sometimes we do stupid shit and we know better, but we're still dumbasses and do it anyway. I mean, this is coming from someone whose username is Asinine...

        1. krellor
          Link Parent
          I got that from your post, I was just adding in on a related theme rather than create a new top level reply.

          I got that from your post, I was just adding in on a related theme rather than create a new top level reply.

          1 vote
    2. RheingoldRiver
      Link Parent
      My version of this is: "The goal isn't to be good at something this time, it's to make sure you're better for next time"

      My version of this is: "The goal isn't to be good at something this time, it's to make sure you're better for next time"

      4 votes
    3. [2]
      Randomise
      Link Parent
      Any story behind that one?

      Any story behind that one?

      1 vote
      1. Asinine
        Link Parent
        Yep, but that's not the point of this thread. ;)

        Yep, but that's not the point of this thread. ;)

        4 votes
  3. [4]
    lou
    (edited )
    Link
    My father used to tell me: "it's not about the ten times you try, but rather the one you get". That was in the context of me developing an interest in girls, and helped me understand the value of...

    My father used to tell me: "it's not about the ten times you try, but rather the one you get". That was in the context of me developing an interest in girls, and helped me understand the value of accepting rejection and not being one of those assholes that keep pestering women that clearly have no interesting in them. Since an early age, I simply don't insist, which ironically sometimes created an interest in me that didn't exist before.

    37 votes
    1. [2]
      BashCrandiboot
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This is a great one. I think learning to recontextualize "failure" as a success is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, things someone can learn to do.

      This is a great one. I think learning to recontextualize "failure" as a success is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, things someone can learn to do.

      16 votes
      1. papasquat
        Link Parent
        It's also the only way someone can enjoy playing dwarf fortress

        It's also the only way someone can enjoy playing dwarf fortress

        6 votes
    2. ShroudedScribe
      Link Parent
      In a world of toxic masculinity and bad dating advice with rampant popularity, this is a refreshing take. I was fortunate enough that my partner, who told me a couple of dates in she wasn't...

      In a world of toxic masculinity and bad dating advice with rampant popularity, this is a refreshing take.

      I was fortunate enough that my partner, who told me a couple of dates in she wasn't interested at the time, reached out to me a while after to do something as friends, which turned into dating again.

      My only dating advice would be to be respectful over everything else, and then be yourself (and don't try stupid pick up lines you read online).

      9 votes
  4. [2]
    vord
    Link
    Here's one mantra I've developed to help me get over some procrastination, particularily surrounding doing housework at the end of the day when the kids are asleep and I can finally rest. "You're...

    Here's one mantra I've developed to help me get over some procrastination, particularily surrounding doing housework at the end of the day when the kids are asleep and I can finally rest.

    "You're not going to want to do it more tomorrow."

    Also, and a bit stranger one that also works, is thanking my past self. It strangely helps me stop fucking over future me.

    26 votes
    1. papasquat
      Link Parent
      This is a good one. I also ask myself "why not do it now?" Ive suffered from undiagnosed ADD most of my life. Getting a diagnosis and on medication has really helped me over the last couple of...

      This is a good one. I also ask myself "why not do it now?"

      Ive suffered from undiagnosed ADD most of my life. Getting a diagnosis and on medication has really helped me over the last couple of years, but I still struggle a lot with procrastination, and the bad thing is that most things I procrastinate are easy things that would take five minutes to do, but snowball and become big problems just because I put them off till the last possible minute.

      If I ask myself "why not do it now?" I'm forced to look at the logical reasoning why I'm making the decision to put something off, which is usually just "i don't feel like it and would rather scroll reddit". I can usually have enough awareness that that isn't really a good reason and force myself to do it.

      Every so often I really do have a good reason like "I'm driving a car" or " this other thing I'm doing is more important", which is fine, but usually when I'm forced to confront the answer it's something frivolous and I just end up doing what I normally would have put off.

      8 votes
  5. [10]
    first-must-burn
    Link
    I found this quote years ago: Seeking kindness and understanding in every interaction (and even in the way I treat myself) has not made life easier, but I think it has made it better. At least...

    I found this quote years ago:

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
    ~ Philo

    Seeking kindness and understanding in every interaction (and even in the way I treat myself) has not made life easier, but I think it has made it better. At least it's easier to bear the bad stuff. And, in the bigger picture:

    When you help, care, share, and listen, you are being kind.
    When two people help, share, care, and listen to each other, they are called friends.
    When people from different countries help, care, share, and listen to one another, it is called peace.
    ~ Because of You, a children’s book by B. G. Hennessey

    21 votes
    1. [6]
      cdb
      Link Parent
      My version of this for road rage is that if anyone is driving too aggressively, they might just have to poop. In general, be creative about imagining excuses for people in scenarios where they...

      My version of this for road rage is that if anyone is driving too aggressively, they might just have to poop.

      In general, be creative about imagining excuses for people in scenarios where they offend you, but wouldn't/couldn't tell you the reason why. Helps me feel less angry about things in general. If I really think about it, some of those excuses are probably not far from the truth. People do occasionally have legitimate excuses for being in a rush or sometimes have bad days where they are not feeling like being nice.

      11 votes
      1. ViridianDream
        Link Parent
        This, specifically, rings very true for me. I been a passenger so many times where my driver is just prone to reacting negatively instantly at the slightest provocation, which stresses me out....

        This, specifically, rings very true for me. I been a passenger so many times where my driver is just prone to reacting negatively instantly at the slightest provocation, which stresses me out.
        When I'm driving, I like to imagine that the other driver is just late to something important (even needing to poop) and give them the space to pass me up or whatever.

        3 votes
      2. Spydrchick
        Link Parent
        Spot on. Many times it's not about you. If some folks didn't take things so personally, there would be a lot more understanding. I usually ask myself "is the situation going to matter 5 years from...

        Spot on. Many times it's not about you. If some folks didn't take things so personally, there would be a lot more understanding.

        I usually ask myself "is the situation going to matter 5 years from now?" Most times the answer is 'no', so even if it is somewhat personal, I let it roll off my back because I hate to waste energy on negativity.

        2 votes
      3. BashCrandiboot
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Can I be mad if I'm stuck behind someone who is driving very slowly and obliviously with their blinker on for 4 miles when I'm the one that has to poop?

        Can I be mad if I'm stuck behind someone who is driving very slowly and obliviously with their blinker on for 4 miles when I'm the one that has to poop?

        1 vote
      4. [2]
        crdpa
        Link Parent
        I always say they are rushing to pick up their mother from the brothel.

        I always say they are rushing to pick up their mother from the brothel.

        1. ThrowdoBaggins
          Link Parent
          I suspect the default assumption is as an employee, but I got a chuckle from imagining some middle-aged man getting into an exasperated discussion with his retired mother about “spending your...

          I suspect the default assumption is as an employee, but I got a chuckle from imagining some middle-aged man getting into an exasperated discussion with his retired mother about “spending your whole pension on attention from young women”

          5 votes
    2. [2]
      ShroudedScribe
      Link Parent
      I love this. It's a great way to combat the "spotlight effect" (aka "main character syndrome" as I like to sometimes call it). Remembering that everyone else has a past that affects their present...

      I love this. It's a great way to combat the "spotlight effect" (aka "main character syndrome" as I like to sometimes call it).

      Remembering that everyone else has a past that affects their present self is key to mutual understanding.

      6 votes
      1. Lapbunny
        Link Parent
        Think you're looking for fundimental attribution error? Spotlight effect is more about your biased assumptions of people's attention to yourself, but it's probably safe to say based on the former...

        Think you're looking for fundimental attribution error?

        Spotlight effect is more about your biased assumptions of people's attention to yourself, but it's probably safe to say based on the former that if you think you're getting some unkind attention after you accidentally cut someone off... You're probably correct :^)

        2 votes
    3. entitled-entilde
      Link Parent
      There is no way that is an authentic Philo quote, haha, but good advice nonetheless.

      There is no way that is an authentic Philo quote, haha, but good advice nonetheless.

      1 vote
  6. [2]
    tyrny
    Link
    For me it’s the mantra that “perfection is the enemy of good”. I have struggled a lot with being a perfectionist and it has definitely led to becoming paralyzed over things, becoming afraid to try...

    For me it’s the mantra that “perfection is the enemy of good”.

    I have struggled a lot with being a perfectionist and it has definitely led to becoming paralyzed over things, becoming afraid to try or get started because I felt like it had to be perfect and I would end up just never starting or trying at all. Having the reminder that striving for perfection can be harmful and that things less than perfect have value has been really important in giving me the confidence in trying things outside my comfort zone and wheel house.

    21 votes
    1. ShroudedScribe
      Link Parent
      "Art is never finished, only abandoned." - Da Vinci (supposedly) Applies to more than just artistic endeavors too.

      "Art is never finished, only abandoned." - Da Vinci (supposedly)

      Applies to more than just artistic endeavors too.

      11 votes
  7. [3]
    NoPants
    Link
    I think you will spend most of your life learning the implications of that single life lesson. Road rage is rarely the right response. Dash cams are worth their weight in gold. If you have a toxic...

    I think you will spend most of your life learning the implications of that single life lesson.

    Road rage is rarely the right response. Dash cams are worth their weight in gold.

    If you have a toxic boss, all you can do is suck it up or ideally simply leave.

    In a committed relationship, communication is key, but ultimately you only control your own reactions.

    Sometimes things and people change. You can fight it or move on.

    16 votes
    1. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      My wife got a dashcam but it hasn’t paid off. I guess we’re lucky so far?

      My wife got a dashcam but it hasn’t paid off. I guess we’re lucky so far?

      5 votes
      1. MetaMoss
        Link Parent
        I never had any use for the footage on my first dashcam, and I even joked that its mere presence protected me through sheer cosmic irony. But then within the first two weeks of buying a new car...

        I never had any use for the footage on my first dashcam, and I even joked that its mere presence protected me through sheer cosmic irony. But then within the first two weeks of buying a new car and installing new dashcams on it, I catch someone stealing my neighbor's trailer. Then a few weeks after that, right after returning from giving my old car to my sister, the back cam catches me getting rear-ended. Since then, it seems that the irony shield has returned.

        6 votes
  8. [3]
    BashCrandiboot
    Link
    A fuck ton. I keep a collection. Some favorites: My truth is not THE truth. (I've been thinking about this one a lot lately.) On any mountain, the climb is the fun part. A little nonsense now and...

    A fuck ton. I keep a collection. Some favorites:

    • My truth is not THE truth. (I've been thinking about this one a lot lately.)

    • On any mountain, the climb is the fun part.

    • A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

    • Nothing is foolproof to the sufficiently capable fool. (I kinda of direct this at myself in an endearing way. Like, sometimes naivete can be a strength, and grit and tenacity can carry you the rest of the way.)

    • Let me fall if I must, the one I become will catch me.

    My absolute favorite (slightly rewritten to my own taste for pacing and rhythm):

    "When nothing seems to help, go look at the stonecutter
    hammering away at his rock- perhaps a hundred times
    without as much as a crack to show.

    Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two,
    and I know it was not the final blow that did it,
    but all that had gone before."

    14 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      I’ve thought about this a lot for years. I have in the past a compulsion to find objective truths, and the thing I have come to realize is that most of them are beyond humanity to understand. We...

      My truth is not THE truth.

      I’ve thought about this a lot for years. I have in the past a compulsion to find objective truths, and the thing I have come to realize is that most of them are beyond humanity to understand. We do not even completely understand fundamental physics, so how on earth do we expect to understand everything else?

      So I have instead settled for finding the best possible truth. What that means is still up for debate but I have more-or-less been hovering around truths that create the most human happiness, from a utilitarian perspective.

      8 votes
    2. Lia
      Link Parent
      This is a great one. Thanks for sharing!

      Let me fall if I must, the one I become will catch me.

      This is a great one. Thanks for sharing!

      6 votes
  9. boxer_dogs_dance
    Link
    My grandfather used to say 'always leave the woodpile a little bit higher than you found it'. There isn't one interpretation but it's about doing your share and a bit more.

    My grandfather used to say 'always leave the woodpile a little bit higher than you found it'. There isn't one interpretation but it's about doing your share and a bit more.

    14 votes
  10. [3]
    post_below
    Link
    One life lesson for me came from listening to old people, or it probably did, I don't remember specific instances. I just remember having the impression, as a young person, that a lot of people...

    One life lesson for me came from listening to old people, or it probably did, I don't remember specific instances. I just remember having the impression, as a young person, that a lot of people who had lived for a long time said some version of "pay attention, be in the moment, you'll wish you had."

    Which I took to heart. It has evolved into something like: Life is a series of moments, none of which will ever repeat. It will end and you'll take nothing with you, there is no goal and no payoff. All we get are moments.

    And so, all that really matters is the quality of those moments and our ability to be present in them. That's life distilled. Of course it gets complicated from there, because of all of the factors that inform moments, such as the people you share them with, the knowledge and experience you bring into them, your physical and mental health, the material circumstances surrounding them, your larger goals and dreams, and so on.

    One thing this says to me is that, for lack of a better term, meta-life is important. Thinking about what matters to you, and how best to live those values. One of the most important aspects of quality moments, to me, is the quality of our relationships with other people and central to that is the quality of our relationship with ourselves.

    It's always been a bit mystifying to me that we don't spend more bandwidth on meta-life. That it isn't more of a priority on a cultural level. It's been heartening to see that changing, slowly. Because the payoff isn't just personal, it makes for healthier societies.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      RoyalHenOil
      Link Parent
      Along these lines, the overarching lesson I have gathered from older people around me is to think about how future-me will look back on present-me and my present life, and to try to make sure I...

      Along these lines, the overarching lesson I have gathered from older people around me is to think about how future-me will look back on present-me and my present life, and to try to make sure I live my life in a way that I will look back on fondly rather than regretfully.

      I was lucky to know a couple of my great grandparents when I was young. When my great grandmother was in her late 90s, I remember being there when someone asked her which decade of her life was her favorite and that she would choose to live over again if she could. She said her 80s. While she did feel quite unwell in her 90s and didn't think she'd live much longer, her 80s was the happiest decade of her life because, for the first time, she had fully embraced where she was in life and had stopped wishing to go back in time.

      I am approaching my 40th birthday, and sometimes the people around me ask if that makes me feel old. But the honest answer is no. How is 40 old? Are we really expected to spend 50% of our life feeling like we're at the end of our life?

      Will 80-year-old future me look back on photos of 40-year-old me and say, "Yep, that's when I started being old"? Of course not. I'll be saying, "Wow, I was so young back then!"

      What I don't want to be saying is, "Wow, I was so young back then! I can't believe I thought I was old. I can't believe I spent half my life feeling old and never let myself enjoy my youth while I still had it."

      7 votes
      1. post_below
        Link Parent
        It's so true. The 80 year old me would kick my ass for feeling old right now. Well, maybe gesture weakly at my ass. When I hear people in their 30's and 40's talking about being old, I get it,...

        It's so true. The 80 year old me would kick my ass for feeling old right now. Well, maybe gesture weakly at my ass.

        When I hear people in their 30's and 40's talking about being old, I get it, it's not the same as being 25, but physically this is as good as it will ever be. Appreciate it!

        An interesting statistic... self reported life satisfaction increases significantly once people get into their 50's and 60's, and keeps going up until at least 70. I suspect health issues start to have an impact for many at that point.

        As long as you stay healthy, it just keeps getting better.

        5 votes
  11. Hobofarmer
    Link
    Be present. For me, it means being able to live in each moment fully; to appreciate what you have in a moment of bliss and and bear what you feel in a moment of pain. This was what I lacked during...

    Be present.

    For me, it means being able to live in each moment fully; to appreciate what you have in a moment of bliss and and bear what you feel in a moment of pain. This was what I lacked during my deepest depression, and what I found through years of aimless wandering.

    11 votes
  12. [2]
    BeardyHat
    Link
    Early in my college career, I was going through the motions of getting my main courses done before getting into my degree field. I had some professor or some class or something which I considered...

    Early in my college career, I was going through the motions of getting my main courses done before getting into my degree field. I had some professor or some class or something which I considered bullshit; a waste of time. Can't even remember what it was now, but I always remember the words a of a friend I had at the time, who was about 20 years my senior and who I'd talk to pretty much every day.

    "Sometimes, you just have to play the game"

    Referencing some of that bullshit in life that you are obligated to do when you're working towards something you want. They're words that have never left me and something I often think about when there's something I don't want to do; I'm the type of person who generally calls bullshit, bullshit and will avoid, stop or be angry about something if it seems like it's just busywork or some artificial obstacle, so having that in my head reminds me that sometimes there's not shit you can do about it and you just need to cope or deal with it and keep your forward momentum.

    10 votes
    1. frailtomato
      Link Parent
      I got a version of that from uni mate who'd been in the army. They had various types of mindless forms they'd have to fill out, which were generally blue or green. The green ones were tedious,...

      I got a version of that from uni mate who'd been in the army. They had various types of mindless forms they'd have to fill out, which were generally blue or green. The green ones were tedious, pointless, and not considered worth the officers' time. But they were eternal and non-negotiable.

      When we were discussing the tedium of our uni admin he told "Don't fight the greens".

      I think of it constantly in my new career.

      5 votes
  13. 16bitclaudes
    Link
    "If the day was not your friend, then it was your teacher". Day to day I'm either having a great time or learning a lot and sometimes, if I am very lucky, it's both!

    "If the day was not your friend, then it was your teacher".

    Day to day I'm either having a great time or learning a lot and sometimes, if I am very lucky, it's both!

    10 votes
  14. PossiblyBipedal
    (edited )
    Link
    This is very specific to me and I don't know if it'll apply or help anyone else. Growing up, I didn't understand people or society or how anything functioned. A lot didn't make sense. I watched...

    This is very specific to me and I don't know if it'll apply or help anyone else.

    Growing up, I didn't understand people or society or how anything functioned. A lot didn't make sense. I watched people a lot, studied them, learned to communicate through fictional books and television (not the best idea, but I had nothing else) and came up with scripts and things like that.

    The one thing that helped me make a slight leap forwards was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I knew it was satire and all that, but at some point the book said something about how humans like pointing out the obvious or something similar. That's when I noticed it happening in person, and I joined in and would be like "Hey, The sky is bright today."

    In my late teens, while still in school, I kept throwing myself into social situations, joining the debate club (that didn't debate even once) and other groups in school and refined my scripts and understood social interaction a lot more.

    I got a lot better at it, but still struggled here and there. I then asked my very social brother how he comes up with things to ask or say. Then he said that he genuinely wanted to know more about the people he converses with. He likes people and getting to know them.

    That kind of flipped a switch for me. I knew this wouldn't work if I wasn't already better at communicating, but I guess I happened to be at the right skill level. From then on, I took an interest in people.

    I don't know. I just somehow talked myself into finding humans interesting.

    I'd always look for something interesting in them. Even if it might seem quite boring at first. I'd be curious and relate to them in ways I understand. And somehow that worked? Rather than focus on what script to engage, I focused on getting to know them.

    I'm not saying I abandoned scripts. I did not. I just have a more versatile one now.

    I'm not saying I'm great with people now. Not really. But I can socialise if I need to and it comes off as relatively natural. I hope. At least based on what people have told me.

    I tried telling this to a friend who was asking me how I learned to socialise. I told him this. And he said, "But I hate people." He also said that to find people interesting would mean to change who he is as a person.

    So. Yeah. It's not going to work for everyone. I think it wouldn't have worked for me if I wasn't at the stage where I was ready for it too.

    9 votes
  15. Fiachra
    Link
    With repeating tasks, when the possibility of failure is discouraging, reframe it as a measurement; "let's see how far I get". When it's a measurement, any number above zero is progress, which is...

    With repeating tasks, when the possibility of failure is discouraging, reframe it as a measurement; "let's see how far I get". When it's a measurement, any number above zero is progress, which is inherently more motivating.

    This has done wonders for my exercise. I used to plan rigid, X minute long sets and then fail to make it to the end, which means 0 sets completed, very discouraging. Now it's a measurement. I lasted A minutes yesterday, B minutes today, so I can track small improvements in fitness over time. My sets are still roughly the same length as before, but with some flex for good or bad days. It's worked for my writing too.

    8 votes
  16. [2]
    Lia
    Link
    As a teenager I decided to follow Hanlon's razor as a guiding principle: 'Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ignorance'. I think the original quote ends with...

    As a teenager I decided to follow Hanlon's razor as a guiding principle:
    'Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ignorance'. I think the original quote ends with "stupidity" but I prefer not to see more stupidity around me than absolutely necessary. :D Extending unconditional positive regard to others has turned my life around in many ways. The first time it backfired was a relationship I had in my late 30's. I learned that some people will use this outlook against me if given the chance. I haven't abandoned the principle but I do take some precautions with people I don't yet know well.

    Another thought that helped me grow into a full person:
    'Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt.'
    (They change their sky, not their soul, those who rush across the sea.)
    Horace, The Odes of Horace

    My takeaway: if I'm unhappy with something or someone, I try to change myself first before deciding that my unhappiness is someone else's fault. Usually it works. The times when it doesn't, it's a lot easier to then do what it takes to rectify matters, even if it means I have to disappoint people or make a sacrifice to get where I want to be.

    Right now I have the following as the first thing I see when opening my Obsidian vault:
    'Everything you want is on the other side of fear.'

    7 votes
    1. frailtomato
      Link Parent
      The first person I heard say that was Jaime Foxx!

      'Everything you want is on the other side of fear.'

      The first person I heard say that was Jaime Foxx!

      2 votes
  17. jawa413
    Link
    "It's never too late to do the right thing" - from a veteran consultant I worked with years ago. At the time it was about fixing things on a project, but I think it is very applicable to life....

    "It's never too late to do the right thing" - from a veteran consultant I worked with years ago.
    At the time it was about fixing things on a project, but I think it is very applicable to life. Take responsibility of your life, whether it be a "mistake" or something you passed up. That doesn't mean try to overwrite the situation, but it can mean doing the "right" thing after the fact, at least for yourself.

    6 votes
  18. [2]
    conception
    Link
    I can’t remember where i picked it up but someone argued that the golden rule is flawed - “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is a self-centered point of view. It should be...

    I can’t remember where i picked it up but someone argued that the golden rule is flawed - “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    It is a self-centered point of view. It should be something like “Do unto others as they would prefer or like.”

    Sometimes people want kind, indirect words. Some people prefer bluntness. Etc etc everyone has preferences and sometimes you need to put in some effort to discover them. Don’t just assume everyone is like you.

    6 votes
    1. ChingShih
      Link Parent
      I think that's a very valuable distinction. I've always thought of “Do unto others..." as more of a social-good. In-line with things like the Ten Commandments (essentially a list of things that...

      I think that's a very valuable distinction.

      I've always thought of “Do unto others..." as more of a social-good. In-line with things like the Ten Commandments (essentially a list of things that would ruin the social fabric if everyone did them, plus cannibalism).

      But it also makes sense to modify things to "as they would prefer..." because it's both polite and healthy to view thing from the other person's perspective when offering them kindness, sympathy, etc. That's a valuable element of maintaining the social fabric and also being personable.

      1 vote
  19. bkimmel
    Link
    "Assume people are reasonable until they prove otherwise".

    "Assume people are reasonable until they prove otherwise".

    6 votes
  20. MechanicalMagpie
    Link
    one of my favorites is a little hard to convey in text but it's "All you can control is this right here" followed by outlining your body with your hands. It was one of my mom-by-choice's favorite...

    one of my favorites is a little hard to convey in text but it's "All you can control is this right here" followed by outlining your body with your hands. It was one of my mom-by-choice's favorite sayings and tbh it kinda changed my life. I'd heard the concept in different ways but something about getting the visual along with it just...hit different, and it really helped me solidify the idea that like....I'm not actually responsible for other people. I can be their friend or partner or acquaintance without taking responsibility for their bad choices or shitty behaviors. I can offer advice and help within reason but what they do with that advice or help is on them. I don't have to manage their emotions, and I shouldn't expect them to manage mine.

    5 votes
  21. slothywaffle
    Link
    Just because I don't like something, that doesn't make it bad or make me a bad person for not liking it. The thing just isn't for me. I'm not the target audience, and that's ok!

    Just because I don't like something, that doesn't make it bad or make me a bad person for not liking it. The thing just isn't for me. I'm not the target audience, and that's ok!

    5 votes
  22. Akir
    Link
    I don't have a particular story to go with this one, at least not without going through my entire life story, but one thing I have realized is that there are two things that have life-long impacts...

    I don't have a particular story to go with this one, at least not without going through my entire life story, but one thing I have realized is that there are two things that have life-long impacts on people: pain and love.

    I'm sure you've heard the phrase "time heals all wounds", but it's patent bullshit. Pain is something that stays with you no matter how much time has passed. Training animals usually means introducing some sort of pain, and for good reason; it's a universal feature of conscious thought. Not all pain is the same, though; some things are light enough that they will be completely forgotten and out of mind within minutes. But even a small remark can leave lasting marks on a person's psyche.

    When I speak of love, though, I do not refer to the love that people give you but the love that you have for others - both person and thing. The best way to see this is to look at failed relationships. The desire never really seems to leave, which is part of the reason why people tend to have such fraught and complex relationships to their exes. I think back to my exes and I don't really feel much remorse about any of them anymore, I realize that I still feel some soft fuzzy emotions to people even when it wasn't really a healthy relationship.

    I suppose the takeaway to this is that it's important to be kind, careful, and generous with affection to others. It may be hard to do at times but you should see it as a form of social investment in the people who are around you.

    4 votes
  23. [5]
    kaffo
    Link
    I have a bunch as well, but one I always live by is "do everything in moderation". That applies to vices, life, relationships, work... I personally think it's unhealthy to apply yourself literally...

    I have a bunch as well, but one I always live by is "do everything in moderation".
    That applies to vices, life, relationships, work...
    I personally think it's unhealthy to apply yourself literally 100 percent to something and I would be worried if someone I knew did.

    4 votes
    1. GoingMerry
      Link Parent
      Oscar Wilde said, « everything in moderation…including moderation! » Which means it’s also ok to cut loose sometimes!

      Oscar Wilde said, « everything in moderation…including moderation! »

      Which means it’s also ok to cut loose sometimes!

      10 votes
    2. [3]
      krellor
      Link Parent
      I'd caveat this with sometimes people have a calling. My friend and his wife from highschool and college started working for international charities right after they got married and graduated....

      I'd caveat this with sometimes people have a calling. My friend and his wife from highschool and college started working for international charities right after they got married and graduated. Literally they have spent their entire adult lives working together overseas doing aid work in the developing world.

      Other examples might be myself at points in my career where I had specific ambitious goals. Bringing a product to market, building a regional research WAN, etc, are all things that took 100% for a period of time.

      That being said, for most people most of the time, 100% is probably not healthy.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        kaffo
        Link Parent
        I understand your point, but I disagree. Your friends who throw themselves 100 percent (and I'm talking living, breathing their work) are therefore by definition neglecting friendships, family,...

        I understand your point, but I disagree.
        Your friends who throw themselves 100 percent (and I'm talking living, breathing their work) are therefore by definition neglecting friendships, family, hobbies, the possibility of kids, holidays...
        Same goes for the times you go 100 percent at work or study, other things get neglected and (especially relationships) suffer.
        I am not saying don't have a focus and don't work hard, but you have to draw lines and life a healthy, balanced life. If it's choosing not to take that 5th plate at the all you can ear buffet or choosing to not spend the evening with your friends because you've got to work late.

        3 votes
        1. krellor
          Link Parent
          I mean, you are gatekeeping what makes people happy and fulfilled. For most people it will be a balance of things, but for others it is burying themselves in a cause. Not everyone finds the...

          I mean, you are gatekeeping what makes people happy and fulfilled. For most people it will be a balance of things, but for others it is burying themselves in a cause. Not everyone finds the balance of fulfillment and happiness the same way.

          In the case of my friends, they have each other, their friends in Mercycorp, and the family they want to talk to over the Internet. I'm sure they are doing what makes them happy and fulfilled, and that is a life of aid work.

          5 votes
  24. thecardguy
    Link
    This usually gets told to kids who may be spoiled, and someone (usually their parents) try to bring them down to Earth by saying, "Be grateful for what you have" I think there's a better way to...

    This usually gets told to kids who may be spoiled, and someone (usually their parents) try to bring them down to Earth by saying, "Be grateful for what you have"

    I think there's a better way to spin it, but this is how I've found my own happiness. Especially considering my current situation- I live in a place that not only is NOT my home country, but English is barely spoken here outside of the field that I'm in. It's also degraded to the point where it's a relatively low salary.

    And yet, I'm very happy where I am- despite the low pay, I genuinely enjoy my job. Also, the cost of living in this country is extremely low compared to my home country. And I'm finding learning the language (something I'd started long before I even moved overseas) is difficult but fun.

    I could easily go back home any time- in fact, some say that the government of this country almost might prefer it. And while going back home means I'd be able to see my friends and family again... I would ultimately be a miserable bastard back in my home town, with little chance of being able to change it. So despite the many challenges, I'm happy to live on literally the opposite side of the world from my hometown.

    Oh, I should mention that I'm from an itty-bitty town in America that doesn't appear on maps until you REALLY zoom into New York State. And I've heard the US is only getting worse since I even last visited over a year ago (though to be fair, it IS an election year, when everything seems to go crazy).

    4 votes
  25. ChingShih
    Link
    "Be honest, not candid." The difference is as important to understand as is the contexts that it applies to, but I often try to proof-read anything I write with this in mind. The gist is not to...

    "Be honest, not candid." The difference is as important to understand as is the contexts that it applies to, but I often try to proof-read anything I write with this in mind. The gist is not to overshare in situations where it's inappropriate or disadventageous, whether at a job interview or making new friends.

    On a somewhat similar theme, "you can lie to yourself, but don't lie to your friends." A friend of mine needs to be reminded of this one. I'm worried she's going to continue burning more bridges than she can afford.

    4 votes
  26. [4]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly." Some days you just are not feeling it. Do <thing> for a bit, and if it isn't hitting right, you did it. Come back tomorrow and do it right, however....

    "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly." Some days you just are not feeling it. Do <thing> for a bit, and if it isn't hitting right, you did it. Come back tomorrow and do it right, however. I don't live by it nearly as much as I should though.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      Randomise
      Link Parent
      That's quite interesting. How would you say that has helped you?

      That's quite interesting. How would you say that has helped you?

      1. [2]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        It helps by giving you that little pickup on a bad day. I tend to fall off of stuff for other things, like having next to no established routine in many ways, but it also keeps me locked into...

        It helps by giving you that little pickup on a bad day. I tend to fall off of stuff for other things, like having next to no established routine in many ways, but it also keeps me locked into stuff once I get going on it and undercuts me digging in my heels to not do a thing. For example, if "I don't want to do 100 kettlebell swings today!" I'll go til I don't want to anymore, whether that's 30, 50 with a pause before the rest, or the full 100 in a shot.

        People in worse positions have benefited from, say, poorly brushing their teeth and kinda just combing their hair a bit, but it's more self care than they would've done on a day their depression was wracking them.

        It's the laziest, easiest justification you can use to trick yourself in to doing more than nothing.

        3 votes
        1. andrewsw
          Link Parent
          It also seems like an effective counter to perfectionism preventing starting of tasks.

          It also seems like an effective counter to perfectionism preventing starting of tasks.

  27. loremipsum
    Link
    « Life is suffering. Everybody who pretends otherwise has something to sell to you. »

    « Life is suffering. Everybody who pretends otherwise has something to sell to you. »

    3 votes
  28. trailrover
    Link
    "Leave people better than you found them"

    "Leave people better than you found them"

    3 votes
  29. gravitycat
    Link
    Wanting something has can no impact on getting it. The price you’re willing to pay for what you want does. Make money while you sleep or you’ll work until die. The bridge freezes before the road....

    Wanting something has can no impact on getting it. The price you’re willing to pay for what you want does.

    Make money while you sleep or you’ll work until die.

    The bridge freezes before the road. (This is not some deep metaphor, but it is a stand in for all the collection of practical points, like don’t dive into an unknown body of water head first, etc)

    3 votes
  30. Oslypsis
    Link
    When you are doubting yourself in the face of a daunting obstacle, remember your past achievements. I'm still working on implementing this one, but I feel it has a helpful message. Basically, "you...

    When you are doubting yourself in the face of a daunting obstacle, remember your past achievements.

    I'm still working on implementing this one, but I feel it has a helpful message. Basically, "you are more capable than you think."

    2 votes
  31. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I’m the type of person to obsess over right and wrong. Past, present, and future. Guilt, indecision, and anxiety. Doing what’s the most right is always going to be hard, but avoiding what’s wrong...

    I’m the type of person to obsess over right and wrong. Past, present, and future. Guilt, indecision, and anxiety. Doing what’s the most right is always going to be hard, but avoiding what’s wrong became after I adopted this philosophy:

    The only wrong things are actions that hurt other people.

    As long as I follow that golden rule and temper my perfectionism I can be happy with my decisions.

    2 votes
  32. chewonbananas
    Link
    "I make my own luck.", Harvey Dent, Dark Knight (2008). When I was struggling in life and regaining my composure in college, I said that short mantra every day. If I studied well, I would create...

    "I make my own luck.", Harvey Dent, Dark Knight (2008).

    When I was struggling in life and regaining my composure in college, I said that short mantra every day. If I studied well, I would create luck, I would pass the exam. Sometimes with flying colors, sometimes not. If I prepared in time, I would do well at work. It's just a matter of putting in the time. It's just past me creating this, so called, luck for future me and if luck is something almost tangible, then it is attainable which means it doesn't lay in some sort of field of uncertainty. It's not some kind of happenstance.

    2 votes
  33. 0d_billie
    Link
    When I was young and frustrated at my lack of progress learning to play the piano, I would decry it as "too difficult" and ask to stop. My parents' regular refrain in response to this was "if it...

    When I was young and frustrated at my lack of progress learning to play the piano, I would decry it as "too difficult" and ask to stop. My parents' regular refrain in response to this was "if it was easy, then everyone would do it."

    Internalising that has been a great boon for my determination to keep pushing at difficulty barriers, and the urge to differentiate myself from the pack.

    2 votes
  34. [2]
    Mendanbar
    Link
    I always come back to this one from Kid President: "Before you say something about the barbecue sauce on somebody else's shirt, take a look at the barbecue sauce on your own shirt." It's a great...

    I always come back to this one from Kid President:

    "Before you say something about the barbecue sauce on somebody else's shirt, take a look at the barbecue sauce on your own shirt."

    It's a great simple reminder about perspective, and allowing yourself to process your own (perceived) shortcomings.

    I also really like this quote from Wear Sunscreen:

    "Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth."

    It is making it very hard to hit "Post comment" right now, though. 😂

    1. DrStone
      Link Parent
      That Kid President quote is a cute version of the parable “The Mote and the Beam”

      That Kid President quote is a cute version of the parable “The Mote and the Beam”

      And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

      1 vote