Last week, in Part I of this series, we started exploring universal truths and listed five of them. This week in Part II, we talk about five additional universal truths.
6. Happiness Is a Fleeting Emotion
Despite the fact that as Americans we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, notice the word “pursuit.” We don’t have the right to be happy at all times and in all places, just to pursue our own happiness. Happiness, like every other emotion, is one that comes and goes, and what makes you happy doesn’t necessarily make anyone else happy. But that’s the beauty of happiness – there are so many ways to experience it.
7. Toxic People Spew Out Their Own Misery
We all know toxic people. They’re the ones who never seem to have a positive thought in their heads. Instead, everything that comes out of their mouths is negative. Everything irritates them, and they’re not at all loath to tell you about it. Just the opposite. But recognize personal toxicity for what it is: someone else’s problem, not yours. Just because toxic people criticize you does not mean that their criticism is valid, and you certainly don’t have to take it seriously. Don’t let other people’s misery invade your life, let alone rule it.
8. Change and Uncertainty Go With the Territory
Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, is credited with the saying, “Change is the only constant in life.” Thousands of years later, D.B. Coulson, the famous author, put it another way: “The only thing that never changes is change itself.” For some reason, however, most of us are resistant to change. We’d strongly prefer to control our lives 100% of the time and know ahead of time exactly what's going to happen. But seeing as how this is impossible, the wise person instead finds ways to manage the constant change inherent in life and not let it push him or her over the edge.
9. The Right One for You Isn’t Necessarily Who You Think
If you’ve got a mental image of the perfect person for you, you might want to rethink a lot of what makes up that image. Does he or she really need to be beautiful/handsome, witty, intelligent, educated, successful, rich, empathetic, and a dog lover to boot, all rolled into one? Come on now. Do you really want to spend your entire life searching for the impossible perfect person who will continually delight you in every possible way? Is your ideal worth spending your life alone? Besides which, do you really possess all those traits yourself? Time to get real here. No one is suggesting that you lower your core standards or ignore your core values. No one is suggesting that you “settle.” But having said that, unreasonable expectations are bad expectations that few people, if any, can possibly live up to.
10. Your Thoughts Create Your Own Heaven or Hell
Call it positive thinking. Call it mind over matter. Call it whatever you wish, but your thoughts do control how you feel about any given situation. Furthermore, you have control over your thoughts. So exercise it. Make your cup half full, not half empty. Look on the bright side. Don’t wallow in potential negative outcomes. Don’t always come up with worst case scenarios and assume that’s how everything will in fact go. What you look for, you generally get. So look for good things.
Remember, you are not alone, despite how you sometimes feel. With an estimated 7.7 billion people populating the world as of this month, there’s almost a 100% chance that at any given moment, someone is feeling exactly the way you do. That’s why our 10 universal truths really do represent the ones virtually everyone has experienced at some point in their life.