The truth is that there are actually more pieces of advice that mislead us without our knowledge. However, for the sake of brevity, I will only be dealing with five of them in this article.
Disclaimer: I am not advising anything to anyone here.
“The people sensible enough to give good advice are usually sensible enough to give none.” ― Eden Phillpotts (English Novelist).
1. Good Things Come To Those Who Wait
My friend, there is nothing worse than the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.”
Nothing waits for you, though you are willing to wait.
If it is not for you, it goes to someone else.
You just cannot be waiting indefinitely.
You are sure to complete your lifespan before good things happen (And, by that time, those things would have made no difference to you).
“What are you waiting for? How long will you keep waiting? Don’t sit back and wait for life to happen to you. Have a plan and take the needed steps to create what you want.” ― Steve Maraboli
My sincere advice is not to wait indefinitely.
If things are not working in your favour, just move on with plan B.
There is so much more your life is willing to offer you.
“Don’t wait too long. Life takes unexpected turns and we don’t always have the time we think we have.” ― Sylvain Reynard
2. Live Like Every Day Was Your Last
This statement is credited to Marcus Aurelius (It is another depressing piece of advice).
How are you going to lead a peaceful family life if with a loving spouse and beautiful children when you possess that mindset?
Can you concentrate on your work?
How do you fulfil your long-term projects?
Can you be productive in society with that type of mindset?
You may not be aware of the existence of death cafes.
So far, there has been a huge amount of death cafes in 77 countries.
At death cafes, people gather with the intention of discussing death while they drink tea and eat cake (The whole logic behind this type of behaviour is to bring awareness of death as well as to make good use of their life).
Would it be nice if we lived without the fear of the day being our last?
“People should live every day like they’re going to be alive for the remainder of their natural lifespan.” ― Mary Fisher
Why don’t you see each day as a God-given opportunity?
3. Don’t Take Things Personally
“Don’t take things personally,” is another one of those silly pieces of advice.
What happens if you happen to be a hypersensitive person?
My dear friend, we are human beings. We are made up of blood, sweat and tears.
Ego is our inborn trait.
Our mindset confirms that we can never go wrong.
If someone uses inappropriate language against you, your siblings, your parents, your family, how can you not take the insults personally?
How can you remain quiet when your feelings are hurt?
Yes, you are an individual with individuality and the personalization of things is part and parcel of who you are.
You have every right to take it personally and get offended.
You can’t be the Buddha.
You are at no fault because the things that are happening to you are beyond your control and are fast-paced.
So, why should you not take it personally and give a befitting reply to the events?
No one will dare to repeat their mistake the next time around.
“If you are testing my waters, you better know how to swim.” ― Unknown
4. Don’t Talk To Strangers
Hello, my friend, don’t you remember that we are social animals?
A lot of us chat with strangers via social media. Don’t you agree?
Yet we tell our children not to talk with strangers and mentally train them to be careful.
Of course, It’s every parent’s nightmare, if a child talks to a stranger.
This is because every parent feels that their child may be harmed, molested, etcetera.
This advice has a good intention and is good for childhood, but sadly, the child carries the same attitude in adulthood; which becomes problematic; especially if they wish to become successful in their lives.
Many turn into introverts and they fail to appreciate the beautiful world waiting for them.
How can you not be talking to strangers and getting things done?
Talking to a stranger is the only way to build up a friendship and bonding with a person takes you to another level ― one that sustains mutual benefits.
Please keep in mind, that you must start a conversation in order to create a dialogue.
Just smile and say, “Hi,” to a stranger; that is enough to start the ball rolling!
You might find something in common and end up enjoying each other’s company.
Here are two quotes that are worth mentioning:
Typical Indian Parents Behaviour
“‘Don’t talk to strangers,’ she was advised all her childhood.
“A few years later,
“Her entire family sat around watching her and expecting her to discuss her marriage and her life with a complete stranger.” ― Nikilesh Muralidhar
This is a regular pattern that happens during arranged marriages in Indian families.
Are you familiar with the concept of known strangers?
They are none other than our best buddies.
What would you say if familiar faces became strangers in matters of friendship due to an ego problem?
“It is amazing how fast someone can become a stranger.” ― Unknown
5. Everything Happens For A Reason
That saying is absolute BS.
Can you tell this to someone who was raped or molested or to someone who has lost a child or is in mourning?
Don’t you believe that this statement is merely a belief system and has nothing to do with our lives?
My dear friend, nothing happens for a reason; mark my word, it just happens!
Thousands dying around the world in conflicts, famines, war or calamities, are not dying for a reason.
They are just unfortunate.
Did they deserve to die this way?
Frankly speaking, we can never know if things happen for a reason, though we try to pinpoint a cause with the intention of getting satisfaction and inner peace.
Why is this so?
Are you familiar with the concept known as, “Cognitive dissonance”?
Cognitive dissonance is defined as psychological stress experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas or values.
Examples include: a person eating meat and at the same time being an animal-lover or developing a smoking habit in spite of being fully aware of its harmful effects.
Our level of stress is reduced whenever we try to provide reasons for particular situations (This is because we tend to see a pattern in everything that happens to us).
My friend, failure or loss is inevitable and trying to rationalize them is unpardonable.
“The hardest thing about, ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ is waiting for that reason to show up.” ― Karen Salmansohn
The Take-Home Message
“Don’t mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everything and everyone for yourself.” ― Henry James (American Author)
Please feel free to share your opinion.
About the guest author:
Dr. Sridhar is the man behind Philosophy Through Photography.
This deep thinker from India wears many hats; he is a physician, a blogger, a philosopher and an amateur photographer.