Internet Wisdom

So true (not my words)…

1. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try.

2. It is a hundred times more difficult to burn calories than to refrain from consuming them in the first place.

3. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you’re talking about than you do.

4. The cheapest and most expensive models are usually both bad deals.

5. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly.

6. Bad moods will come and go your whole life, and trying to force them away makes them run deeper and last longer.

7. Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be.

8. If everyone in the TV show you’re watching is good-looking, it’s not worth watching.

9. Yelling always makes things worse.

10. Whenever you’re worried about what others will think of you, you’re really just worried about what you’ll think of you.

11. Every problem you have is your responsibility, regardless of who caused it.

12. You never have to deal with more than one moment at a time.

13. If you never doubt your beliefs, then you’re wrong a lot.

14. Managing one’s wants is the most powerful skill a person can learn.

15. Nobody has it all figured out.

16. Cynicism is far too easy to be useful.

17. Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.

18. Whenever you hate something, it hates you back: people, situations and inanimate objects alike.

19. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s works alone can teach you everything you need to know about living with grace and happiness.

20. People embellish everything, as a rule.

21. Anger reveals weakness of character, violence even moreso.

22. Humans cannot destroy the planet, but we can destroy its capacity to keep us alive.  And we are.

23. When people are uncomfortable with the present moment, they fidget with their hands or their minds.  Watch and see.

24. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least.

25. Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier.

26. Credit card debt devours souls.

27. Nobody knows more than a minuscule fraction of what’s going on in the world. It’s just way too big for any one person to know it well.

28. Most of what we see is only what we think about what we see.

29. A person who is unafraid to present a candid version of herself to the world is as rare as diamonds.

30. The most common addiction in the world is the draw of comfort. It wrecks dreams and breaks people.

31. If what you’re doing feels perfectly safe, there is probably a better course of action.

32. The greatest innovation in the history of humankind is language.

33. Blame is the favorite pastime of those who dislike responsibility.

34. Everyone you meet is better than you at something.

35. Proof is nothing but a collection of opinions that match your own.

36. Knowledge is belief, nothing more.

37. Indulging your desires is not self-love.

38. What makes human beings different from animals is that animals can be themselves with ease.

39. Self-examination is the only path out of misery.

40. Whoever you are, you will die. To know and understand that means you are alive.

41. Revenge is for the petty and irresponsible.

42. Getting truly organized can vastly improve anyone’s life.

43. Almost every cliché contains a truth so profound that people have been compelled to repeat it until it makes you roll your eyes. But the wisdom is still in there.

44. People cause suffering when they are suffering themselves. Alleviating their suffering will help them not hurt others.

45. High quality is worth any quantity, in possessions, friends and experiences.

46. The world would be a better place if everyone read National Geographic.

47. If you aren’t happy single, you won’t be happy in a relationship.

48. Even if it costs no money, nothing is free if it takes time.

49. Emotions exist to make us strongly biased towards or against something. This hinders as often as it helps.

50. Addiction is a much greater problem in society than it’s made out to be. It’s present in every person in various forms, but usually we call it something else.

51. “Gut feeling” is not just a euphemism. Tension in the abdomen speaks volumes about how you truly feel about something, beyond all arguments and rationales.

52. Posture and dress change profoundly how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you, like it or not.

53. Everyone thinks they’re an above average driver.

54. The urge to punish others has much more to do with venting frustration than correcting behavior.

55. By default, people think far too much.

56. If anything is worth splurging on, it’s a high-quality mattress. You’ll spend a third of your life using it.

57. There is nothing worse than having no friends.

58. To write a person off as worthless is an act of great violence.

59. Try as we might to be otherwise, we are all hypocrites.

60. Justice is a human invention which is in reality rarely achievable, but many will not hesitate to destroy lives demanding it.

61. Kids will usually understand exactly what you mean if you keep it to one or two short sentences.

62. Stuff that’s on sale usually has an annoying downside.

63. Casual swearing makes people sound dumb.

64. Words are immensely powerful. One cruel remark can wound someone for life.

65. It’s easy to make someone’s day just by being uncommonly pleasant to them.

66. Most of what children learn from their parents isn’t taught on purpose.

67. The secret ingredient is usually butter, in obscene amounts.

68. It is worth re-trying foods that you didn’t like at first.

69. Problems, when they arise, are rarely as painful as the experience of fearing them.

70. Nothing — ever — happens exactly like you pictured it.

71. North Americans are generally terrible at accepting compliments and offers of help.

72. There are not enough women in positions of power. The world has suffered from this deficit for a long time.

73. When you break promises to yourself, you feel terrible. When you make a habit of it, you begin to hate yourself.

74. A good nine out of ten bad things I’ve worried about never happened. A good nine out of ten bad things that did happen never occurred to me to worry about.

75. You can’t hide a bad mood from people who know you well, but you can always be polite.

76. Sometimes you have to remove certain people from your life, even if they’re family.

77. Anyone can be calmed in an instant by looking at the ocean or the stars.

78. There is no point finishing a book you aren’t enjoying. Life is too short for that. Swallow your pride and put it down for good, unfinished.

79. There is no correlation between the price of a brand of batteries and how long they last.

80. Breaking new ground only takes a small amount more effort than you’re used to giving.

81. Life is a solo trip, but you’ll have lots of visitors. Some of them are long-term, most aren’t.

82. One of the best things you can do for your kids is take them on road trips. I’m not a parent, but I was a kid once.

83. The fewer possessions you have, the more they do for you.

84. Einstein was wiser than he was intelligent, and he was a genius.

85. When you’re sick of your own life, that’s a good time to pick up a book.

86. Wishing things were different is a great way to torture yourself.

87. The ability to be happy is nothing other than the ability to come to terms with how things change.

88. Killing time is an atrocity. It’s priceless, and it never grows back.

“And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one. You wonder when your turn is going to be, or if it’s already happened.” Douglas Coupland

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Paradigm Shifting

I think it’s fair to say that everybody has experienced some form of ‘paradigm shift’ in their lives. Whether it’s instantaneous or gradual. An occurrence or set of occurrences that have forced your eyes open wider. Forced you to reanalyze those deeply ingrained set of beliefs, postulates, theories or general ways of doing stuff. Right? I’ve had more ‘paradigm shifts’ than I’ve had hot dinners. I crave them.

Those ‘ways’ most people always seem to hold close to their hearts and have a need to want to hold on to (for some reason), and are very hard to change. That change of perspective often has to be forced, through some sort of intense exposure of something in a different emotional light. The previous ideas of going about or looking at something have to be ‘ripped away’. Which often leaves people in a state of almost shock, and feeling ‘naked or exposed’ in mind. Like the pieces of a puzzle that you’ve spent years putting together have been thrown up in the air, and you have to take some time putting them back together again. But actually realizing, in doing so, this ‘puzzle’ now looks even more beautiful. And you want to frame it and hang it on your wall forever. You don’t want to call it a puzzle anymore, you now call it a jigsaw. It’s the same thing, but different.

I would like to share a short story of one these ‘paradigm shifts’, from a book I’m re-reading at the moment by Steven. R. Covey. It brought a tear to my eye. I first heard this story from a personnel manager employed by a very famous retail store, during a week-long intense training course I was attending. I was, at the time, working towards a career in management. He asked everyone to close their eyes, and then read out the extract below. I will never forget that day. It changed me. I experienced the exact ‘paradigm shift’ you are about to. It’s from ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (which I felt compelled to buy and read after that training course). Take a moment to really ‘get into’ the feel of this story. If you’re reading it quickly on your way to work while you eat your breakfast in a rush, don’t bother, wait until you have more time. Sit down and really feel this or it won’t have the same effect. Here is that short extract:

“One Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly- some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene.

Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing. It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive as to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, “Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?” The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.””

And there you go. That was a ‘paradigm shift’. Deep isn’t it?

Force yourself to have as many of these as you can; they feel amazing. You can’t put a price on that method of perspective alteration. You can be shown new ways of thinking but until you actually experience something like this it just doesn’t have the same effect.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.

🙂