Through out life we get lots of advice on how to live our lives. It may come from your parents, friends, the internet, or your sweet old racist grandma, who’s life advice may shock and appall you. “No grandma, we don’t say those things”
For the most part, I’d like to think a lot of the life advice being thrown around serves the greater good and is generally helpful. But like granny’s racist advice, there are some pieces of life advice that just plain suck. Not only does the advice suck, but it can actually be harmful and counter-productive.
So here are some pieces of cliche life advice/sayings that you have undoubtably heard many times, that I believe, needs to stop being said.
“Everything happens for a reason”
No shit. It’s called cause and effect.
This has got to be one of the worst, most counter productive, hallow, useless, boiler plate sayings ever.
I get it that it’s based on fate and things supposedly happening for your greater good, but who’s to say something that happened really was for the best? Who’s to say you just didn’t flat out fuck something up royally and missed a great opportunity? And besides what are you suppose to do with a line like this? It serves zero purpose.
To me, when something goes wrong and you say to yourself, “well it just wasn’t meant to be, everything happens for a reason,” thats a cop out. That’s not taking responsibility for your actions and not going to help you learn from your failures or mistakes.
That’s basically saying you had no control of the outcome, that it was fate, karma, god, allah, buddha, the cosmic alignment of planets, whatever you want to put the responsibility on, that controls what happens to you.
I think this is particularly awful advice when it comes to dating or bad break ups. Sure certain elements of it may have been outside of your control. You can’t fully control a person or everything that happens in a relationship. But to throw your hands up after it and just say “eh, everything happens for a reason” and leave it at that? Yeah Casonova it did happen for a reason. But what was that reason? Or better yet, reasons, that it happened, because it’s usually never just one.
So don’t just say everything happens for a reason because that’s hallow and obvious. Examine what happened it. Learn from it. Accept that it happened, but understand why it happened. What happened? What lead to it happening? What was in your control that you could you have done and what was outside of your control? Man up, and take some responsibility. The universe isn’t going to align itself to your wants and needs, you need to go out and make it happen.
As the saying goes “history repeats itself.” So if don’t examine your failures and take responsibility for what was in your control, you’ll only continue to fuck up and keep believing it was for somehow for your greater good.
“Good things come to those who wait”
No, just no.
I mean, I get the premise here. Things take time, be patient, nothing happens overnight. Blah blah blah.
But this advice flat out sucks.
I’ll tell you something more accurate. Missed opportunities come to those who wait.
Now this isn’t to be confused with the thought process of working hard now to get where you want to be later. That’s not waiting, that’s actually doing something now.
You usually think well I just need a little more time before I can do X, I need to learn a little more, climb the corporate latter a little more, save a little more, I’m just not ready yet.
You look at the future as if somehow suddenly you will miraculously just be who or where you want to be. “It just takes time.” Then that time comes you look back and you’re still the same person and haven’t achieved anything that you wanted. You haven’t changed at all.
I wanted to start this website 2 years ago, but I kept waiting. I kept thinking, I need to read more, learn more, write more, but finally realized if I didn’t just do it, I’d keep waiting for the “right moment” and that would probably never come.
Don’t wait. Go for it now. If you keep waiting until “the right time” or when you’ll “be ready,” then it’ll never be the right time and you’ll never be ready. What I’ve come to learn is there is no perfect time and you’ll never be 100% ready. Like I wrote about in “Ready, Fire, Aim” you need to just go do it and figure it out as you go.
This is that wildly overused, cliche, advice that is heard time and time again, in movies, from your parents, and when little Johnny is about to go on his first date with a cute girl in school and he’s freaking the fuck out.
What does that saying actually mean? I get it says don’t try to be or act like someone you’re not. But there a lot of problems with this.
First, it’s impossible to be anything other then yourself. Everything you do is still you. You still choose to be, act, say or do something in a certain situation or moment. You’re never the same person you were years ago, months ago, or even minutes ago. Moment by moment, you are constantly changing, evolving, growing, and so are the people and world around you. So there is no such things as one physical, constant self.
Along with that point. No one has just “one self.”
Let me explain. There is no one type of person you are for every situation of your life.
You have a person you are when you are among your close friends, another when you are among your family, when you are at work, when you are among strangers, among a significant other, a person you are around your dog (which is usually the weirdest). In this sense we have many selves. You’re not going to act the same way you would around your best friend or dog as you would on a first date or an interview. Nor should you, probably.
Second. This can be a very limiting thing to say and believe. Trying to “be yourself” means you are trying to define yourself, which usually limits yourself.
You may look at something you want to do, but say “yeah, but that’s just not me. I wish I could do that, but I’m just not the type of person who does that” or even worse you say “I’m not going to pretend that I’m something I’m not.” But who are you? I mean seriously. Have you even tried? I mean truly given it a valiant effort. If not, then who the fuck are you to say “that’s just not me?”
Don’t shackle yourself to this person you think you are. Instead, figure out the type of person you want to be and start working towards that.
But realize it won’t be easy. Often the person we want to be is someone very different then who you think you are at this moment. It will usually be uncomfortable and nerve racking for a while.
If you are someone who’s typically shy, but want to be more outgoing and social, the pathway to get there is going to be long, uncomfortable and full of awkward moments, but you can become that person. Don’t ever say “I’m just shy, that’s just who I am.” Fuck that. You may be shy now, but that doesn’t need to be a permanent part of your life. If you put in the time, effort, and work you can change that.
“Everything heals with time”
This again, usually pertains to break ups, and again, this advice sucks. First off, no one who just went through a bad break up wants to hear this crap. “It hurts now, but everything heals with time” yeah? well fuck you, because it hurts like hell right now.
Also, this is bad advice because it suggests if you just sit around and wait eventually you will feel better.
“They say that times suppose to heal, but I ain’t done much healing.” See even Adele gets that’s straight up bullshit.
No amount of time seems to help Adele’s pain
Time alone doesn’t heal, it’s what you do with that time that makes you heal sooner or later. It’s all about what you do with that time.
Let’s stay on the break up path as an example.
If you are constantly sitting around, obsessing about your ex, what happened, looking at old pics of your ex, still calling or texting them, wearing their sweatshirt they left at your house, stalking them on Facebook, instagram whatever, then it’s going to be a damn long time before you feel better.
On the flip side, if you accept what is, drop them out of your life, throw away or give their shit back, delete them off social media, keep yourself focused and occupied on other things, move on and get back out there, then I guarantee you will get over it much faster.
Do these things still take time? Absolutely. Is it usually easy to stay active and do other things to take your mind off it, despite the pain? Hell no. It will still be very tough. But the point is the pain will reside faster if you use the time productively. Either way your relationship is dead. Do you want it to be a long, slow, painful death or as quick as possible?
Also, unlike a cut, healing isn’t linear with time. You don’t necessarily get a little better each day. Some days will be much better or much worse then the day before.
There’s a saying I’ve heard as well that suggests getting over someone takes a “half-life,” meaning however long you dated them, it will take half that time to get over them. Example you date someone for 2 years, it will take you a year to get over them. Dated only 4 months, only 2 months to get over them. But this is not necessarily true. Again, it’s all about what you do with that time.
You sit around obsessing, then a 4 month relationship could take years to fully get over. You do something proactive to move on, then a 2 year relationship could take a month to fully get over.
Don’t limit your beliefs. There is no such thing as being anything other then yourself because it’s always you still doing it. So set out to be the self that you want to be in that situation. Don’t wait for the right moment or when you’re fully ready because it’s not time alone that makes you better, but what you do with that time. And whatever happens in that time will happen for a reason, but not because of some idea of an external greater good or Karma force, but because you made it so.