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Friday, April 7, 2017

What are some important, but uncomfortable truths that many people learn when transitioning into adulthood?

Compared to others, certain ethnicities and races (and genders, sexual orientations, and so on) are just plain royally f*cked from the day they’re born (also depending on locale and time period). ⁃ Bad things constantly happen to good people. Good things constantly happen to bad people. ⁃ People are constantly making enormous life decisions (marriage, children, etc) for all of the wrong reasons. ⁃ Often, the most important and consequential moments of our lives (chance encounter, fatal car accident, etc) happen completely at random and seemingly for no good reason. ⁃ Your sense of habitating a fully integrated reality is an illusion, and a privilege. Take the wrong drug, suffer a head injury, or somehow trigger a latent psychotic condition like schizophrenia — and your grip on reality can be severed in an instant. Forever.


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Answer by Patrick Mathieson:

  1. Every person is responsible for their own happiness — not their parents, not their boss, not their spouse, not their friends, not their government, not their deity.
  2. One day we will all die, and 999 out of 1,000 people will be remembered by nobody on earth within a hundred years of that date.
  3. Practically all of the best opportunities (in business, in romance, etc) are only offered to people who already have more than they need.
  4. The idea that you will be happy after you make X amount of dollars is almost certainly an illusion.
  5. The idea that you will be happy after you meet [some amazing person] is almost certainly an illusion.
  6. For most people, death is pretty messy and uncomfortable.
  7. When you don’t possess leverage (go look up “BATNA“), people will take advantage of you, whether they mean to or not.
  8. Almost everybody is making it up as they go along. Also, many (most?) people are incompetent at their jobs.
  9. When talking about their background and accomplishments, almost everybody is continually overstating their abilities, impact, relevance, and contributions.
  10. Physical beauty decays.
  11. Compared to others, certain ethnicities and races (and genders, and sexual orientations, and so on) are just plain royally f*cked from the day they’re born. [EDIT: depending on locale & time period]
  12. Bad things constantly happen to good people. Good things constantly happen to bad people.
  13. Very few people will ever give you 100% candid, honest feedback.
  14. People are constantly making enormous life decisions (marriage, children, etc) for all of the wrong reasons.
  15. Certain people — some of whom are in positions of enormous power — just do not give a damn about other human beings.
  16. Often, the most important and consequential moments of our lives (chance encounter, fatal car accident, etc) happen completely at random and seemingly for no good reason.
  17. Your sense of habitating a fully integrated reality is an illusion, and a privilege. Take the wrong drug, suffer a head injury, or somehow trigger a latent psychotic condition like schizophrenia — and your grip on reality can be severed in an instant. Forever.

Yet, despite all that not-so-good-ness, overall life is pretty damn rad. And we’re lucky to get to participate in it.

What are some important, but uncomfortable truths that many people learn when transitioning into adulthood?


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