There are many facts of life that are continually present to us. The fact that we see these things time and time again means that they should be considered staples of the way we live. But, alas, most of the time we end up forgetting these things.
Sometimes life has a harsh way of reminding us again, but if we try to remember these foundations, we find ourselves in a better spot on the path to success.
While there are unarguably more than five of these pieces of knowledge, I believe the five I have picked are extremely relevant in order to set yourself up for success.
1.) It Takes Hard Work to Achieve Anything Worthwhile
This single point is probably the one that is forgotten the most. You can see this point prevalent in most of society today. There are an abundance of commercials on television everyday that promise quick fixes to problems that cannot be fixed in an instant.
Want to get out of debt? It will take a planned and patient approach. Want to lose weight? It will take an all out struggle. Want to get smarter? You’ll have to do your homework.
These important things that most of us strive for are not easy and instead take a systematic, planned, and well thought out approach.
That is why they are valued by many. If they were easy to achieve everyone would be reaping the benefits. That is not the case, however, and it remains a common problem to all of us.
And while the wholesome things in life take hard work, there is something else that we always forget that is relevant.
1B.) You Can Always Work Harder
The human body is capable of surviving some of the most extreme conditions it is placed in. Elite athletes, military personnel, and hard job laborers push themselves everyday to the brink of what they believe they can take, and everyday it seems they find that there is more left in the tank.
It can be extremely uplifting to know that you always have more in you, but it can be disheartening as well. We usually think that we work hard anyways, how much worse would it be if we had to work even harder?
But working towards the worthwhile things in life allow one to have a goal, a reason for working hard. Working hard with a wholesome end gives one an extreme motivation. The athlete strives for gold, the soldier protects our freedom, and the laborer supplies for his family. It is when we do not have a wholesome goal that we find ourselves falling short.
Worthwhile things take hard work, but to work hard one must be in pursuit of worthwhile things.
2.) Most of Your Problems are Self-Inflicted
“I am the cause of my own ignorance.” ~Bruce Lee
When we find ourselves in crises that arise in our workplace, relationships, and life, if we really take a moment to reflect, we will find that with a little change in perspective we can relieve the situation.
We are always shielded by our own biases, opinions, and thoughts. This can allow us to bring our own perspective to the table that is the world, but sometimes this can hinder us as well.
Unless we take a moment to “step outside ourselves” or open ourselves up to other ideas, we will find that we are always trapped in our own center of the universe. The way we do things now will be the way we always do them and there will be no growth present.
Hubris, that ancient version of being much too prideful, makes us think we are “most-knowing” beings; that we can do little wrong. This gets us into trouble not only in relationships, but at work, at home, and in the mirror.
We are all wrong sometimes, and it takes a person willing to grow to see that faithfully.
3.) Knowledge Goes A Long Way in Problem Solving
While this point may not be the most forgotten piece of knowledge about life we have, it is one of the most important. Take any problem you have, figure out exactly what the problem is, and research it. You won’t need any luck to help you. You won’t need fate to intervene.
For some reason we sometimes believe that our problems will either go away, fix themselves, or we will somehow have a Eureka! moment in which all the answers are shown to us. Well the important problems never go away, they loom over us like storm clouds. They sure as hell don’t fix themselves. And Eureka moments only happen when you’ve acquired relevant information and it lies dormant in the mind just waiting to shout out the answer.
The key though here is being able to determine the problem. Some problems are right there just waiting for an answer. Other problems are dug deep within the soul, affecting our dispositions yet for unknown reasons. To figure these problems out, we need to gain self-awareness, we need to be able to know what is going on in our body and mind.
Those problems we do know though, the solution is research. Talk to people who have had similar problems, read books on the subject, but for the love of Thor, at least Google it.
Knowledge is a tool for solving problems, the more knowledge you have, the more tools.
4.)Your Success is Limited By Your Will to Act
It’s true. You are a human being. You were well equipped to be able to act in this world and become successful. If your ability to solve problems is hindered by your knowledge, it is completely crushed if you fail to act.
Knowledge with a desire but without action won’t get you anywhere. This is usually not a forgotten element, only one that needs to be reiterated time and time again. You know it, you just don’t do it.
The action is the hardest part. It is always the element that holds us back the most, but if you have the desire, have the plan, and truly know the consequences, then what is it holding you back? Fear? Fear of what, a better life? Hurting someone? If you don’t act honestly you will cause them more suffering in the long run. More responsibility? Why would you fret over making yourself freer?
To be scared to act is only to be excited. The big decisions are the ones that force us to feel most alive. If you don’t take advantage of that, can you truly say that you have lived?
5.) Nothing Ever Lasts
Don’t get me wrong, I can see how pessimistic this one is, but it’s true. And is it really pessimistic? We all seem to forget that one day the one’s we love will be gone. It is not pessimistic to realize that someday they will die, it only serves to fuel our motivation to spend quality time with them.
With the knowledge that nothing ever lasts comes the knowledge that we should make the important things count whenever we have the chance. Why leave things in the tank? Hoping that someday we will use this “precious resource” for bigger and better things?
In a way, this last point synthesizes all the others. If you become aware of this point, then all the others become easy. You seek knowledge, you work hard, you realize that you are not the center of the universe, and you see things for what they are. Knowing this allows you to want no regrets, live life to the fullest, and love those around you while you can.
While there are many more elements of our life we always seem to forget, I will leave those for a later date. These five I have shared with you seem to me the most important for achieving a life well lived, and that is what we all are striving for.