1) It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that this quote originated from the Greek philosopher, Epictetus. I have nothing against this quote, and I actually agree with it to some degree. However, I do have a problem with people using this phrase when they give advice to others. The harsh reality about advice is that the ones who give it are almost always the ones who are not in the 'pressure cooker.'
Because many people are arrogant and think they have all the answers, receiving advice from someone else is often a painful and insulting process. However, it becomes even worse when the individuals giving the advice begin to quote sayings from famous dead people who were much smarter than they are.
As I'm going to mention again later in slightly different words, quoting famous dead people when you give advice to others does not make you intelligent or enlightened. It makes you a FUCKING ASSHOLE!
This particular quote gets abused in another way as well. If you work at a dead-end job with low pay, bad benefits, and an idiotic, power-hungry boss whose very presence almost gives you an ulcer on a daily basis, then chances are you've seen this quote on a poster hanging on the wall somewhere.
"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." (Yeah, that's exactly what they want you to think every single day so that you keep coming back to your stressful, worthless job where you have to deal with the rotten public while your rights as a worker and your economic benefits are slowly being taken away.)
Using famous quotes from historical authors in corrupt and pathetic ways is actually a form of necrophilia. In other words, you are 'raping the dead.'
2) There's only one way to learn...and that's by doing
Really? Is that what your mother said before she lost her virginity? Please hold on a second while I put down this book about the life and work of Isaac Newton so that I can take a moment to consider this baffling piece of fucking wisdom you've just spewed at me.
This is one of the most idiotic and insulting phrases out there, yet it is also one of the most commonly used. What makes this phrase so intolerable is that the person who says it to you is basically assuming that you are a complete and total moron. Apparently before this point in your life, you had absolutely no idea that you have to do something at least a few times in order to become better at it. Thank God this person came along to pull you out of the pit of ignorance that you had been dwelling in for so long.
In a half-way decent world, you would only have to tolerate hearing these words when you're a child, but unfortunately this phrase is alive and well in the adult world. Usually, you hear it when you are the new guy at some job you didn't really want, but had to take anyway just in order to pay the bills.
You're going to hear these words numerous times in your life, and sadly there is not really much you can do about it. This phrase is out there, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Like most other things in life, you're just going to have to bend over and take it.
3) When things get hard...just put one foot in front of the other
Well thank you very fucking much, Mr. Einstein. That really helps a lot. You have truly provided the light of all understanding. I have finally received the 'lamp of truth' that will guide my footsteps through every dark and confusing path that comes along as I navigate my way through life.
"Putting one foot in front of the other"....WOW! I thought I had this figured out before I reached kindergarten, but apparently I must have forgotten somewhere along the way.
I should probably inform you that I did actually follow this advice word for word when I fucked your sister last weekend. “Something got hard”...so I kept “putting one foot in front of the other”...until I finally reached her apartment building.
How do you like that? You arrogant Fuck!
4) You have to go through Hell to get to Heaven
Now that I've had to sit here and listen to your advice, where the Fuck is Heaven?
Although this phrase isn't used as often as some of the others, it still deserves negative attention. The main problem with this statement is that it offers false hope. It assumes that horrible suffering will eventually lead to some type of reward....whether it be a new perspective on life, a changed attitude, spiritual enlightenment, a higher appreciation for things you previously took for granted, or some good karma that will come along and bless you for all the pain and unfairness that you had to endure.
This idea sounds great in theory, but it often fails to deliver in the real world. If you really want false hope, then all you have to do is stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself that you are a beautiful person who deserves wonderful things.
But if you don't want to bullshit yourself, then there are plenty of reliable sources out there who will confirm that this statement is not exactly accurate. In fact, these same sources will actually inform you of the truth...which is that 'Hell' only leads to 'More Hell,' and the only reward for 'horrible suffering' is 'more suffering.' You probably don't even need to ask who these reliable sources are because the answer should be pretty obvious by now....
PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR A LIVING!
5) Things always get worse before they get better
The phrase, "You have to go through Hell to get to Heaven" actually has an older, uglier, more abusive, and extremely violent half-brother... and this is it!
While the previous expression actually gives you enough false hope to get through the day, this one simply spits in your face and insults you.
You know this phrase is full of shit, but there's nothing you can do about it. Once again, you're just going to have to bend over and 'take it in the ass' when someone says this to you.
6) Live in the moment
This amazing, thought-provoking, and extremely profound form of advice is very close friends with its ugly, freckled, buck-toothed, cross-eyed cousin, "Forget about the past."
In fact, the two of them are often caught in bed together despite the fact that they are cousins.
As a result of their constant fucking, we also have expressions out there such as:
Life Is Short, Live It Up
Follow Your Dreams
Wherever You Are, Be There
…and numerous other immature, short-sighted, and childish sayings that completely ignore the fact that life can be complicated and that people often have to make difficult choices.
A reasonable person would assume that these sayings are only used by immature, spoiled teenagers and sports drink commercials; however, grown adults actually use them, too.
People who go around telling others to "Live In The Moment" and "Forget About The Past" are generally those who have never experienced tragedy or hardship. Either that, or they are in complete denial. Perhaps they are even trying to run away from their problems. Any person who is foolish and self-righteous enough to use these phrases (or to offer them as a form of advice to others) should actually try to live by them after something bad happens.
Let's say you accidentally catch your husband while he's fucking one of his co-workers. Your entire world is about to fall apart completely, you will go through a horrible divorce, your heart is in pieces, and life is going to be nothing but agony and stress while you keep going to a job that you probably hate.
Now would be an excellent opportunity for you to "Live In The Moment."
7) We all make mistakes...you live and you learn
So, that's how it works? Really? Well, that finally clears up all of my confusion. In fact, I find it rather interesting that you should tell me this because your mother actually said the same thing last night.
She must have been referring to your birth.
8) You never know until you try
Wow! This is baffling! All this time I thought I could just sit here and make things happen through telekinesis. Thank God you have come along to show me the error of my ways. Now that I have finally figured out what I've been doing wrong all these years, I'm going to put this advice to practical use when I try walking away from this conversation.
9) I'm sure you will meet someone special someday
Well thanks! What the fuck is this supposed to mean, anyway? That I should start riding the short bus?
This statement is usually something a woman says to a man when she is turning him down. Of all the 'turn-down' lines that women use on men, this one is the worst of all time.
This statement has several different 'real' meanings:
#1) You have made a significant error in believing that you are intelligent, good-looking, or charming enough to date me.
#2) You should look for women that you have a better chance with...namely women who are love-starved, extremely desperate, and not as attractive and awesome as I am.
#3) You need to lower your standards in your search for love and affection. After looking in the mirror, you will understand why.
#4) I want somebody who is more manly and exciting than you are.
#5) I'm flattered that you are attracted to me, and I cherish the painful rejection that you are experiencing right now because it confirms that I am a beautiful princess. I will take your broken heart and place it on the mantel above my fireplace right before I receive the best fucking of my life from somebody who is far more desirable than you are.
This statement is basically a death sentence. If a woman tells you this, then the hammer has dropped, and you are going to the electric chair. GAME OVER!
10) Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all
You probably want nothing more than to meet the person of your dreams, fall deeply in love, and spend the rest of your life in a relationship that is defined by warmth, affection, passion, and endless romance. Well, that's not going to happen. You have a better chance of being demonically possessed by a 2-headed Leprechaun with an upside-down dick.
(At this point, you may be asking yourself why the author of this article is so bitter and full of uncontrollable, thinly-veiled rage. I have a good answer for that. "Fuck You!".....that's why.)
You will never find true happiness. You will, however, get the opportunity to be rejected by someone you sincerely desire. They will fall in love with someone else, and you'll end up watching them walk away happily together toward the sunset as grueling pain, excruciating torment, and horrible agony crush what remains of your dying, bleeding heart.
People often like to quote the famous saying, "It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." I don't agree with this statement, and I have an extremely well-constructed, thoroughly defined, highly-advanced, logic-based, and undeniably persuasive reason why:
BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING STUPID!
In conclusion, people like to quote famous sayings because they think it makes them intelligent. It doesn't. It makes them unoriginal, and it makes them more annoying than the vomit stains you had to clean off your floor last weekend after consuming Mike's Hard Lemonade, Old Milwaukee Beer, and Canadian Whiskey.
If you find your life 'more than frustrating' at any point in time, then you will probably hear one or more of these statements.