41 Paradoxical Life Lessons

  1. Most of what you avoid for fear of embarrassment is actually really fun and worthwhile if you give yourself permission to not worry about what others think of you. For instance, not long ago, I let my daughter pick out the nail polish while I was getting a pedicure. She picked out dark green with sparkles (see photo). I can’t even begin to add up how many people smiled after seeing that color on my feet.
  2. People say you are only as old as you think you are. This is not true. At age 41 I have aches and pains, a muffin top, and wrinkles that I did not have at age 21. I also have hair growing in places that it did not grow back then. I do not feel 21. I feel 41. What’s true about aging is this: If you live a good life, you will not regret getting older and you will never want to exchange your old body for a younger brain that contains less wisdom and less life experience.
  3. Overeating is a form of denial as no food continues to taste divine much past the third bite.
  4. No matter how loudly or repeatedly you tell people that you are smart, funny or important, they won’t believe you. Don’t tell them. Show them.
  5. The more loudly you argue, the less likely it is that someone agree with you.
  6. If you are lonely and needy, people will keep their distance. If you are complete and independent, people will be drawn to you.
  7. The probability of you getting a Republican to turn Democrat is less than 1 percent – and vice versa. Still, there will times in your life when you are tempted to try.
  8. Most people believe statistics. This is despite the fact that most statistics are made up. For instance, in #7, I made up the “less than 1 percent.” But I believe it to be true.
  9. More than 90 percent of what you worry about will never take place. Yes, I made up that statistic, too. But it sounds about right, doesn’t it?
  10. Just when you think you are on top of technology, something new will be invented.
  11. The more money you make, the more you will worry about money.
  12. It doesn’t matter who you choose to give to. The act of giving still feels good.
  13. Nothing in life ever stays the same. This can be either a blessing or a curse depending on what is going on in your life at any given moment.
  14. If you attempt to slim down your email inbox, even more emails will flow into it.
  15. The moment you tell yourself that you will never eat a particular food ever again is the moment intense cravings for that food will surface.
  16. Most of us miss the most beautiful moments in life because we happen to be staring at the screens of our smart phones while these beautiful moments are going down.
  17. You won’t mind the smell of your own baby’s poop as much as you’ll mind the smell of another baby’s poop.
  18. Chances are that whatever you think your spouse is thinking, you are wrong.
  19. The problem is not that people don’t love you. The problem most likely is that you don’t love yourself.
  20. Free usually costs something.
  21. You are the only person who can live your life.
  22. You can enjoy nearly any life experience as long as you decide to find it enjoyable.
  23. A headache will usually get worse if you complain about it.
  24. If you tell yourself that sleeping in a 100-degree room is “no big deal,” you won’t feel so hot. I learned this over the summer when my air conditioning broke.
  25. You can always make a comeback. Short of death, no one life experience will ever ruin you.
  26. The best way to get over writer’s block is either to walk your dog or take a shower. The worst way to get over writer’s block is to sit down at your computer and try to write.
  27. You might think that you were meant to do something. Chances are that you could just as easily be meant to do something else. Detours are often blessings in disguise.
  28. No one has it better than you. Everyone suffers. You might not be able to see someone’s suffering, but it’s definitely there.
  29. You will never get tied up in a traffic jam on a day when you have no where you really have to be.
  30. Everyone else on the highway is in a hurry, too.
  31. Even though there are 6 billion people in the world, the chances of you crossing paths with the same person again later in life are actually higher than you might think. Therefore the old chestnut about never burning a bridge is actually a really good chestnut.
  32. Going to a huge state school could be just as beneficial as going to a tiny Ivy League school. That’s because you’ll have thousands more classmates to network with in the work world.
  33. The softer you speak, the more people will try to listen to what you have to say.
  34. If you want people to think you are the life of a party, stop talking and start listening.
  35. If you are riding a mountain bike and you think “OMG I don’t want to hit that tree” you will ride your bike right into the tree. Look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go.
  36. There is seemingly nothing you can grow and become attached to that a deer won’t eat just before it blooms.
  37. You don’t need to go to a zoo to see interesting beings. There are plenty of funny looking and interesting insects in your back yard.
  38. 99.9 percent of misery is self-inflicted. Yes, I made up that statistic, too.
  39. It’s a lot faster to park in the space that no one else wants than it is to drive through the lot looking for a space that is closer.
  40. Just when you give away your clothes and buy a new wardrobe in a larger size, you will finally lose the extra weight.
  41. There is no way to leave a permanent mark on the world. Even tombstones crumble and disappear eventually. The most lasting impression you can leave, however, is this: a legacy of kindness.
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