10 brutal truths about life you should have learned from your parents but probably didn’t

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Let’s face it, life can be tough.

There are ups and there are downs, and sometimes, things can get really challenging.

These are the moments that teach us some hard truths about life.

Ideally, our parents should have taught us these truths when we were kids.

But let’s be honest – most of us probably didn’t learn these lessons growing up.

Here are 10 hard truths about life that you should have learned from your parents, but probably didn’t. 

1. Life Isn’t Always Fair

Here’s the first hard truth: life isn’t always fair.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “That’s not fair!” countless times when we were kids. And you know what?

It’s true.

Life won’t hand you things on a silver platter just because you think you deserve it.

Sometimes, despite working really hard, you may not get the promotion you want. Or even after being kind and loving, you may end up with a broken heart.

It can be frustrating and upsetting, but that’s just how it is.

But here’s the thing: it’s not about the unfairness of life, but how we respond to it that truly matters.

Rather than dwelling on the injustice, use it as a motivation to work harder and become stronger.

You can’t control what life throws at you, but you can control how you react to it. That’s what really counts in the end.

2. Failure is a Part of Life

The second brutal truth is that failure is a part of life.

Many of us have grown up with the idea that failing is bad, and success is good. But in reality, both success and failure are two sides of the same coin.

It’s important to understand that it’s okay to fail. It doesn’t mean you’re not good enough or you’re not trying hard enough. Instead, failure is a sign that you’re pushing your boundaries, trying new things, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

The key here is to learn from your failures and use them as stepping stones towards success. Each failure brings with it a valuable lesson that can help you do better next time.

So don’t be afraid to fail. Embrace it, learn from it, and keep moving forward.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

Growing up, I was always the people-pleaser, the one who wanted to make everyone happy. I thought that if I said the right things and did the right things, everyone would like me. But boy, was I wrong!

There was this one time when I planned a surprise birthday party for a friend. I invited all of our mutual friends, booked her favorite restaurant, and even got her the gift she’d been eyeing for months.

But instead of being thankful, she got upset because she didn’t want a big celebration. That’s when it hit me – no matter how hard you try, you can’t make everyone happy.

It’s not your job to fulfill everyone’s expectations or desires. The only person’s happiness you are in control of is your own.

So instead of trying to please everyone around you, focus on what makes YOU happy and content. Trust me, it’s a lot less stressful that way!

4. Change is Inevitable

Whether we like it or not, change is a constant part of life. Everything around us, from our environment to our bodies, is in a constant state of flux.

Here’s an interesting fact: did you know that the cells in our body are continually dying and being replaced? According to scientists, about 330 billion cells die and are replaced daily in our body. That’s like changing the entire population of the United States every day!

Just like our bodies, our lives too are in a constant state of change. Friends come and go, we change jobs, move houses, grow older – everything changes. Instead of fearing or resisting it, embrace change. It might be uncomfortable at first, but remember that every change brings with it new opportunities and experiences. So don’t fear change, welcome it!

5. Time Heals Almost Everything

It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially when you’re going through a rough patch. Heartbreaks, disappointments, grief – these can leave us feeling broken and make us feel like the pain will never end.

But here’s what you need to remember: just like a physical wound needs time to heal, so do emotional wounds. It may not seem like it in the moment, but with each passing day, the pain will lessen a little bit more.

It’s like weathering a storm. The rain may be heavy, the thunder loud, and the winds strong. But no matter how violent the storm, it eventually passes, leaving behind clearer skies and a calmer sea.

So, give yourself time. Be patient with your healing process. It’s okay to feel hurt and it’s okay to grieve. But also remember that with time, things will get better. You will get better. The sun will shine again on your life, and when it does, you’ll come out stronger than before.

6. You Define Your Own Success

For a long time, I thought success was about getting good grades, landing a high-paying job, and living in a big house. It took me a while to realize that I was chasing someone else’s definition of success, not mine.

I remember when I got my first job out of college. It paid well, had great benefits, and everyone around me was proud. But deep down, I was miserable. I didn’t enjoy the work, and I felt unfulfilled. That’s when I realized that success isn’t about what you have, but how you feel.

I decided to redefine what success meant to me. For me, it was about doing work that I loved and felt passionate about. It was about having enough time for my family and friends, and for myself. It was about feeling content and fulfilled.

Don’t let society or anyone else define your success. It’s your life; you get to decide what success looks like for you. And whatever it is that makes you genuinely happy and satisfied – that’s your success right there!

7. Not Everyone is Going to Stay in Your Life

It’s a harsh reality to swallow, but it’s absolutely true. People come and go – friends, lovers, even family members. Relationships change, people change, and sometimes, they drift away.

Maybe you’ve had a best friend who you thought would be there till the end, but one day you just stopped talking. Or maybe you were in love with someone who you thought was ‘the one’, but it just didn’t work out.

It hurts when people leave, especially when you thought they’d stay. But here’s what you need to understand: it’s a part of life. People enter our lives for a reason, and when their part in our story is over, they leave. It’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes their exit makes room for someone else to enter – someone who brings with them new lessons, new joys, and new experiences.

8. You’re Stronger Than You Think

It’s easy to underestimate ourselves, especially when we’re faced with challenges that seem insurmountable. But believe me, you are a lot stronger and more resilient than you give yourself credit for.

Here’s an interesting fact: have you ever heard of the term ‘hysterical strength’? It’s a display of extreme strength by humans, beyond what is believed to be normal, usually occurring when people are in life-and-death situations. There have been recorded instances of mothers lifting cars to save their trapped children – a feat they wouldn’t normally be capable of.

Now, I’m not saying you’ll have to lift a car anytime soon, but this goes to show that we often don’t realize our own strength until we’re put in challenging situations.

9. It’s Okay to Ask for Help

I’ve always been the independent type, always taking pride in doing things on my own. But there was a point in my life when things got too overwhelming, and I realized I couldn’t handle everything by myself.

I remember when I was juggling a demanding job, taking care of my sick mother, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. I was stretched too thin and was on the verge of a breakdown. That’s when a close friend stepped in and offered to help. Initially, I resisted, not wanting to burden anyone else with my problems.

But then I realized that asking for help wasn’t a sign of weakness but of strength. It takes courage to admit that you can’t do everything on your own and that you need others’ support. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to carry all your burdens alone.

10. You Are Responsible for Your Own Happiness

And here’s the final brutal truth: you are responsible for your own happiness. It’s tempting to put our happiness in the hands of others, to believe that if only this person loved us, or if we had that job, or if we looked a certain way, then we’d be happy. But the truth is, happiness doesn’t come from external factors, but from within.

No one else can make you happy. People can contribute to your happiness, but they can’t be the source of it. That’s up to you. You have to decide to be happy, to find joy in the little things, and to create a life that makes you feel good.

It’s a tough lesson to learn. It means taking responsibility for your own life and your own happiness. But it’s also empowering. Because once you realize that you hold the keys to your happiness, you can start making changes that bring more joy and fulfillment into your life.

Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns. It’s not always easy, and sometimes it’s downright hard. But these brutal truths aren’t meant to scare you or bring you down, but to prepare you for the journey ahead.

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Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an entrepreneur and thought leader in personal development and digital media, with a foundation in education from The London School of Economics and The Australian National University. As the co-founder of Ideapod, The Vessel, and a director at Brown Brothers Media, Justin has spearheaded platforms that significantly contribute to personal and collective growth. His deep insights are shared on his YouTube channel, JustinBrownVids, offering a rich blend of guidance on living a meaningful and purposeful life.

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