Growing up, my dad had a lot of sayings that didn’t always make sense to me. For example, I still have no idea what, “Never leave your dinner” was supposed to teach me (besides bad food habits and a lack of self control). But over time, I’ve learned the importance of a few other ones
1. Someone will always be prettier than you, smarter than you, faster than you, stronger than you, better than you.
We know not to compare myself to other people, and yet we do it all the time. My dad taught me it’s okay though. You don’t always have to be the cleverest or the most creative, but you do get to be a whole bunch of different things. There will always be someone you can’t measure up to in some way, but that doesn’t mean that your own talents or qualities aren’t just as important and valuable.
2. Sound mind, sound body.
Take care of your body. Every day. Run, lift weights, play volleyball, dance. Get enough sleep. Eat vegetables and drink water. You are your best when your mind and body are both in a good state and it will do wonders for your mental health. You can stay up late working once in a while, but if you don’t take care of your body, your brain isn’t going to keep up either. Wish I had figured this one out my freshman year of college.
3. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me.
Now, I’m not pro-violence and neither was my dad, but the lesson of this old saying is important. Letting people walk all over you is not a virtue. Learn to stand up for yourself and demand respect.
4. Embarrass yourself.
Now, nobody likes this one but it has to happen at least once in a while. Some of my most valuable learning experiences have been from times I was humiliated. It is a part of life to fail and make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.
5. Never hold a grudge.
Don’t hold onto things and let them eat you alive. Learn to forgive people and move on with your life.
6. Imagine your enemies as the protagonist of their story.
That college student who stole your taxi this morning? Your boss who made you stay late on Saturday night? They have a story, too. And you will most likely never know all of it. You do not know a person’s motives for doing something, but they’re always there. Whenever I am particularly frustrated, I like to imagine that the person bothering me is going through a particularly dramatic part of their life and how I would empathize with them if I were the reader of his or her story.