I just read David Richo’s book, The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them. The focus of the book are five “truths” one should attempt to accept in life:
1. Everything changes and ends.
2. Things do not always go according to plan.
3. Life is not always fair.
4. Pain is part of life.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time.
Richo’s list runs quite contrary to the messages many of us grew up with:
1. Someone who is strong does not let anything bother them.
2. You make your own destiny. All you have to do is work hard.
3. If you are a good person, good things happen to you and vice versa.
4. Pain and suffering are bad things. Being happy should be your goal.
5. Those who really love you will always stand by you and never hurt you.
The reality is that life can be complicated. Some of what happens to you is just plain luck and has nothing to do with how “good” you are (eg., tsunami in Japan, car accidents). You are fortunate if you are able to find a few truly loving, loyal people in your lifetime. Cherish them. Life is full of hard knocks. Some of the most difficult times in your life help you grow the most. The challenge for all of us is to embrace the reality of life, rather than run from it…