Read just the titles first— see if you can guess which are which. 🙂
I am unique
I hate when people quote Fight Club— really I do. It’s one of those movies that’s good, but that people consider a religion when it was really just meant as entertainment (think Star Wars). But it’s true that you aren’t a beautiful and unique snowflake– what you are is a piece of meat.
When you die, nothing will happen. No one will arrange a 21-gun salute, and even if they do, guess what? You’ll be dead. So it won’t matter.
So you aren’t unique. But should this deter you from believing that you are? No. Our brains are pattern machines that detect omens where there are none and make stories out of everyday, mundane events. And your right brain must believe these stories even if your left brain thinks they are bullshit.
So believe that you are unique if it helps.Â It will keep you going. It must.
We are meant for each other
No, no, and no. You probably would have been fine with at least 5 other people on the planet, maybe even 50 or 500. This one happens to be the one you’ve ended up with, in a combination of circumstance, determination, and will.
It’s sad that people end up believing “meant for each other” stories. Like many of the beliefs here, they are based on humans having an amazing capacity for standing outside of themselves to look for meaning. Yet this one in particular needs to be wiped out because it is juvenile and detracts from the real quality of the relationship.
That we choose to be in a relationship with our significant other is so much more important, and so much more valuable, than us being “fated to come together.” It implies will in a world of chaos. It implies coming together to build something and strength in the face of adversity. It impliesÂ choice.
I can do anything I set my mind to
A mixed bag that is partially true and partially not. For example, I am lifting more weight now in the gym than ever. I am also writing more than I ever have in my life. I am flexible and can recreate myself every day, and so can you if you choose.
But there is a limit to this. So of course you can’t literally do anything, but you must believe you can, or you will set limits on what you can do. Because you won’t try, or because you won’t try as hard, you won’t get where you could have. And that failure will discourage and keep you down.
So this is false. But for the benefit of your future, you must believe it anyway.
There is a higher force guiding me
God, should such an entity even exist, does not care whether Natalie Portman wins the Oscar. He or she doesn’t care, either, if you get a raise. In fact, even if you were a “part of God’s plan” or whatever, that plan may end up getting you killed in a car accident or dying on the toilet. Oops.
People use the will of God as an extension of themselves. Have you ever noticed how it’s only people that hate gay people whose God also hates gay people? This “oh I happen to agree with God on everything, what a coincidence”Â attitude is so moronic I barley know how to put it into words. People assume that if they are a part of God’s plan, then they must be a BIG part of it. Whatever.
Yet as we said before, people need to believe in their own stories. People that do epic shit, when young, believe they are meant for something. Not those who believe they are mediocre. This lie is necessary to keep your eyes on the bigger picture.
It’s too late
This one is a favourite of people who have never done anything with their lives and have given up on achieving anything great. It sounds like a call from a fellow soldier on the battlefield– go on without me!!!– except, excuse me, but it was up to you what you did with your life. It wasn’t too late for you then, and it still isn’t now.
Too late, once again, implies a preset path of fulfillment that you missed. Personally, I was in fine arts school in college, and I dropped out to get a job at a failing dot-com right before the crash. I consider that very stupid. Yet here I am, a bestselling author with a widely-read blog who basically travels the world for a living. Not too shabby.
The truth is that there are many paths we can take, and we’re coming across them all the time. Too late for the NBA? Fine. Go solve world hunger instead, idiot.