13 hard truths you need to accept if you want to change your life

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It took me almost 40 years to realize some hard truths about life. Most of them are well-known and easy to grasp, yet we don’t hear about them or see them nearly as much as we should. 

If we thought about them more frequently, society would look much, much different. So, without further delay, let’s see what they are!

1) You are responsible for your life

First and foremost, it’s your life. It’s not your parent’s, kids’, partners’, etc. 

Your life is ultimately in your hands. Your choices and decisions shape your path, no matter how big or small. Take ownership of your actions and their consequences.

I was merely coasting through life until I was in my late 20s almost. It wasn’t until I sat back in the driver’s seat that things started to change for the better. 

I also finally realized the following:

2) Time is limited

Time is your most precious resource, and it’s finite. You think you have so much of it when you’re younger, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The sooner you recognize you can’t afford to waste it on activities or people that don’t align with your values and aspirations, the better. 

Prioritize your time wisely.

When you see celebrities or public figures who were once in the prime of their careers aging, it’s a stark reminder of the passage of time. 

It highlights that even the most glamorous and successful people aren’t immune to the effects of aging. 

Except for Paul Rudd, of course. 

But I find regret to be the most powerful reminder of time’s limitations. When people reflect on missed opportunities or delayed actions, they often realize that time waits for no one. 

Use this realization to motivate you to seize opportunities as they arise.

3) Life is unpredictable

Did I think I’d be buzzing around in a flying car by now? Yes, absolutely! 

But if you told me when I was a teen that I’d be earning most of my money by writing articles, I’d say you’re nuts!

Life throws intensely unexpected challenges our way. You never know what obstacle or challenge you’re going to face tomorrow. 

Accidents, illnesses, and deaths, but also opportunities and chances for growth lurk around every corner. 

Develop adaptability and resilience to navigate these twists and turns. Remember that how you respond to adversity often matters more than the adversity itself.

If you survive, you’re stronger and live to tell the tale. 

4) Your health matters

I’ve always been health-conscious, but this past year really hit me hard in some aspects. It all started with my bout with COVID, of course, and I suddenly realized I had to take much better care of my body and mind. 

Your physical and mental health are the foundation of a fulfilling life. Neglecting them for a long time stunts your progress and limits your ability to pursue your dreams. 

If you haven’t yet, prioritize self-care and well-being. Take the time to relax. Implement a work-life balance as much as possible. 

If it means saying “no” to others, so be it. But know this:

5) Change is uncomfortable

Transformation often means leaving behind the familiar and stepping into the unknown. For some, it’s thrilling. For others, terrifying. 

Embrace discomfort as a sign of progress and growth. It’s in these challenging moments that you discover your true potential.

For example, parenthood. I could write a book on it. It’s such a significant life change that brings joy but also (a lot of) discomfort. 

Sleepless nights, adjusting to a new routine, and the emotional challenges of caring for a child are overwhelming for almost everyone.

6) Change takes time

Change also typically takes a lot of time because real, lasting change is a gradual process. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Be patient with yourself and stay committed to your goals.

Some of the most blatant examples are physical fitness, learning a new language, career advancement or change, etc.

In the last year alone, I’ve been tackling all three, plus moving to a different country. It was a really humbling journey that I’m still very much on. 

It will take me another couple of years to fulfill at least some of the goals I’ve set for myself because easy it is not. No siree! 

7) Failure is part of success

Another hard but important truth is that failure is not the end. It’s simply just one stepping stone on your journey to success. 

Each failure teaches you valuable lessons, helping you refine your approach and ultimately achieve your goals.

Earlier in my life, I’d be devastated by even the smallest setbacks. Now, I simply say: Bring it on!

8) Money isn’t everything

Money isn’t everything, but it sure makes life easier. But while financial stability is essential, it shouldn’t be your sole source of happiness. 

Pursue your passions and purpose in life alongside financial success to find true fulfillment.

Some of life’s most treasured moments are experiences such as traveling, exploring new cultures, or venturing on adventures. 

These experiences aren’t solely dependent on wealth but on how willing you are to explore and embrace life.

Other things that don’t depend on money are:

  • Enjoying nature
  • Personal values
  • Family
  • Artistic talent and creativity
  • A sense of purpose
  • Genuine friendships or love
  • Appreciating what you have
  • Self-respect
  • Community

9) You can’t control everything

Life is filled with uncertainties, and not everything is within your control. Focus on adapting to change gracefully.

People come and go. Relationships evolve over time. You can influence and guide others, but you can’t control their actions or decisions. People will act based on their own beliefs, motivations, and circumstances.

Economic decline, recessions, inflation, or market fluctuations can affect your financial stability and investments, even if you’ve made careful plans.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters can strike without warning, causing significant disruption and damage.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is the same. 

10) Success requires consistency

“It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.”

– Eddie Cantor

Sustainable success is the result of consistent effort and dedication over time. Sports, business, academics, wealth, health and fitness, art, languages, and so on all require a consistent effort to succeed.

There aren’t that many overnight success stories. Most of them only look like that on the surface, but there were years of blood, sweat, and tears behind the scenes. 

Be prepared for the long haul and understand there are no shortcuts to achieving your goals.

Sometimes, you’ll have to work hard, but most of the time, you should work smart!

11) Self-doubt is normal

Everyone experiences self-doubt at some point in their journey. For even the most successful people out there, self-doubt is still almost a daily occurrence

Abraham Lincoln, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Jackson Pollack, John F. Kennedy, and many others had notable bouts of self-doubt. 

It’s a natural part of growth and can motivate you to improve and prove yourself wrong. Use it as a driving force to push forward.

12) No one owes you anything

I should have probably placed this at the very top of this list. It’s something many people still don’t understand. They think they’re entitled to certain things. 

I’m not talking about social security, health care, or similar things that should be, and are in many countries, safety nets available to EVERYONE in need. 

I’m talking about this:

Just because you have a degree or qualifications doesn’t mean you’re entitled to a job. Employers hire based on merit, skills, and fit for the role, not because you expect a job due to your education.

And this:

When you do something kind for someone, you shouldn’t do it expecting gratitude in return. While appreciation is nice, expecting it will only disappoint you.

Ultimately, your happiness is your own responsibility. No one is obligated to make you happy or meet all your emotional needs. 

Entitlement is a roadblock to personal growth. Understand that you must work diligently for what you want in life. 

Success and rewards come to those who put in the effort.

13) You can’t please everyone

Trying to make everyone happy is impossible, leading to burnout and frustration. Focus on your values and what brings you joy, and surround yourself with those who support your journey.

If I listened to my parents, I’d never even leave the family home. I’d have a 9 to 5 job and watch Turkish soap operas with them every evening. 


Did I make a mistake? Maybe I should have listened to them?

Final thoughts

Constantly comparing yourself to others is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Your journey is unique, with its own challenges and successes. 

Focus on your personal growth, suck it up when needed, and enjoy the present moment as much as you can.

Because, before you know it, it will be gone!

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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