Cliches. They drove your 10th English teacher crazy. But I would say they have lasted as long as they have for a reason— lots of them are true! Wisdom can actually be very simple. Below are some cliches that have stood the test of time and are actually great life advice in disguise. I feel cheesy even writing some of this stuff, but bear with me: they’re worth remembering sometimes!
1. Count your blessings. We almost always have more going for us than we think.
2. The grass is always greener on the other side. When it comes to people we envy or any situation that seems better than our own, it’s important to remember that we’re only seeing the highlights reel. It’s impossible to ever know what that woman who makes you jealous is struggling with inside or whether your life actually would’ve been better had you taken that job offer you passed up. If a situation seems so good that you feel like it will rescue you from your current life, it’s probably “grass is greener” syndrome.
3. Cover your ass. Get things in writing, leave paper trails, keep a savings account, don’t blatantly badmouth people, and text your roommate the address of that OKCupid date you’re going on just in case the guy pulls out a machete. Oh, and use condoms. You’ll thank me later.
4. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. When you really, truly want something, there is almost always a way to try to make it happen. When things seem impossible is exactly when there’s a solution out there if you’re willing to think outside the box. As the fabulous Marie Forleo always says, “everything is figureoutable.” This one never seems believable until a time comes when you put it into practice.
5. It’s always darkest just before dawn. When things are at their absolute worst is usually when they’re just about to turn around. Think about all the times you almost threw up your arms and gave up on something. Things got a little brighter shortly after, didn’t they? (Like, maybe you fell in love with Mark Darcy?) This is some kind of mysterious law of reality. When we hit rock bottom, we can only go up.
6. There are plenty of other fish in the sea. It’s not just applicable to jobs. You can apply it to apartments, cars, dream schools and anything else you want. If that apartment you put in an application for doesn’t work out or if you don’t get what you thought was your dream job, there are plenty more opportunities around the corner. It’s simply a matter of being able to spot them and being open to unexpected paths. Life is a revolving door of new chances that is constantly changing based on the choices you make. There are far fewer “all or nothing” moments in life than you’d think. If you screw up one thing and hit a wall, it doesn’t mean everything is over. It just means it’s time to open another door.
7. Treat others how you want to be treated. There’s nothing better than feeling like you’re making our cranky world just a little more cheerful by treating others with respect. This sounds idealistic, but people are so used to jerks that they might be really surprised when you’re kind to them out of nowhere and will be more than happy to pay it forward. Don’t be a doormat, just be the kind of friend you’d want to have.
8. Never judge a book by its cover. This applies to all of life. Give new people and new things a chance, they’re rarely what they appear to be at first.
9. Cross that bridge when you come to it. Planning ahead is great, but it’s important to appreciate the now instead of drowning in hypothetical problems that might never even happen.
10. Actions speak louder than words. People show you who they are through their behavior, not lip service. It seems obvious but it can be a tough one to learn the hard way. Once it clicks in your mind, it suddenly becomes much easier to vet out disingenuous friends and partners.
11. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. So many of our worries are blown out of proportion in our minds and keep us paralyzed. The next time you’re afraid to try something, imagine the very worst thing that could happen if you gave it a shot. If that worst-case scenario were to happen, would you still be alive? Cool, then your feelings are scarier than the situation itself. Go for it.
[Image of a fortune cookie via Shutterstock]