Throughout our lives, we’re given some good advice, but we’re also given some really poor advice. Below is a list of the bad and how to change your thinking about them.
1. You can have it all in life.
No, you can’t. Billions have tried. Zero have succeeded. Since there are a finite number of hours in the day, to accomplish one thing, you must forgo another.
You must pick and choose by prioritizing what’s most important to you, rather than prescribing to the false idea that you should have everything a fictional and archetypal American should have. Life is a simple mathematical equation. One side must equal the other. You must balance it. Or reality will do it for you.
2. If something sounds too good to be true, you’re probably just lucky.
I suspect this is the phrase gullible people tell themselves when hearing a sales pitch that sounds too good to be true.
So, if you find yourself believing in things that are sold with little to no downsides or risk, please remember that age-old wisdom is against your instincts.
Play the odds in your favor by doing what Aristotle said: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
3. Staying busy will get you where you want to be
Not true; Formulating a plan and sticking to it will.
This is a truth I’m still trying to understand. And I’m lousy at planning. Uninspired, I perform menial and mundane tasks, all while telling myself: “It’s better than nothing.” It’s not.
This leads to procrastination. It leads to dead ends. It smolders fire. It festers fear. Do not let this happen. If caught in this trap, take a break. Entertain every thought that comes to mind, including worst-case scenarios. Then wait for even the tiniest bit of inspiration to strike before returning to work.
Obviously, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes things just need to be done. But the idea of “keep moving” is a short-term motive, never a long-term one.
Over extended periods of time, if you’re only moving to be moving, you’re directionless. So don’t let mundane maneuvers blind you from seeing the big picture, the forest through the trees, and other cliches. Never mistake activity for achievement.
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