The truth is a powerful force, but a half-truth is more dangerous than a lie. What we say, think, and believe about the world ends up shaping our actions and our reality, so to help things along, we take a closer look at all the little slogans, sayings, and mottos that could be tripping you up on your way to accomplishing your goals.
Truth: You’re special.
The Deeper Truth: So is everyone else.
We often misinterpret the word “special” to mean our being better, worthier, and well, special-er than everyone else. But being special really means that we are blessed with our own distinct “you-ness,” and our special sheen shines through when we share our personal talents, traits, and characteristics with everyone else. As author L.M. Montgomery once wrote, “It’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it.” So focus on being your best self and reaching out instead of comparing yourself with others and feeling discouraged when they shine in their own right.
Truth: You can make the world a better place.
The Deeper Truth: Idealism will only get you so far.
Wanting to change things for the better is truly honorable, but you need a lot of stamina and resilience to achieve your goal. As the saying goes, “don’t let emotion lead the motion.” Leading with your emotions only works if you’re on a high and feeling pumped, but what happens when it wears off and disillusionment sets in? When the going gets rough, pause and remind yourself of your motivations. If you build a habit of working towards your goal, your motion will get you through the tough days, and back into the better ones.
Truth: If you work hard, you will be rewarded.
The Deeper Truth: You might have to work harder and longer than you expected.
You’ve done the hard work. Your legs are sore, your heart has gone into overdrive, and your lungs are bursting—and you begin to wonder why the crowd isn’t chanting your name as you stand on the podium, ready to receive your medal. It’s probably because their eyes are fixed on a finish line that’s 42.145 kilometers away. If real life were a sprint, you’d be a champion by now. But life is more like a series of marathons. If things don’t pan out as quickly as you’d hoped, perhaps you’re running the wrong race. So warm up, train, and go the distance. Hopefully, you will start to enjoy the journey instead of fixating on the destination—and whether or not you’ve reached it.