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Life is an incredible roller coaster full of both highs and lows. Some days you are going to be on top of the world, celebrating your accomplishments with the people you love and wondering how you were so lucky to have it all.

Other days, you will find yourself struggling to even take a step forward, battling against the greatest challenges that life has ever thrown your way. People work SO hard trying to discover the secret to avoiding pain, but there is no magic recipe for a life of happiness and success.

The amount of time, energy, and money that people invest in their search for a quick fix is unsettling. Buying self-help books, attending webinars, searching the internet, all in the hope that the information you will find will shed a light on that elusive solution.

I’m not going to tell you that this article is going to solve all of life’s problems. It’s not going to make your tough times disappear, it won’t eliminate all heartache, and it certainly won’t make everyone fall head over heels in love with you. Instead, I am going to offer you some tough love… Hard to hear advice that will help you to open your eyes to the reality of the world that we live in and how to make the most of it.

Here are 9 truths about life that everyone must eventually learn:

#1 – Don’t Waste Your Life Being Busy, It Doesn’t Equal Productivity

As a society, we often equate being busy with success. When you see someone running around, their scheduled packed with no room to stop and breathe it can give off the impression that they are making things happen however many people overlook the important difference between being busy and being productive. Take the time to consider your priorities and make calculated decisions on where to best spend your time. Work smart, not hard.

#2 – You Are Going to Fail… A Lot

This is going to be a hard one to hear, but you are going to fail a lot in this life. The only way to move forward and succeed is to challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone and take risks. Unfortunately, these risks are not always going to play out the way you would like them to. Don’t fear failure, embrace it. Each failure is an opportunity to learn and grow.

#3 – Life Isn’t Fair

This is arguably one of the biggest misconceptions that people deal with as they make the leap from childhood into their adult lives. You can do everything right only to find that things go wrong, and you’re left to pick up the pieces. You aren’t alone. Everyone is faced with struggles and challenges, each battling our own demons in order to move ahead. There is no way to avoid this. All you can do is keep plugging forward, being the best ‘you’ that you can be.

#4 – Let Go of The Past, It’s Behind You

Many people spend far too much time and energy looking back on the mistakes that they have made in the past, focusing on their regrets and the things that they wish that they had changed. The reality is that your past is behind you, and there is nothing that you can do to change it now. Time spent worrying about these errors is time wasted. Instead, focus your attention on the things that you can change – the here and now.

#5 – Nobody Owes You Anything in Life

Far too often people fall into the trap of believing that the people around them owe them their attention, assistance or friendship. The truth is that you are the only person responsible for your life and where it is going, and only you are in charge of making the necessary changes to earn the things that you want. Do you feel as though your career is going nowhere or holding you back? Change careers. Do you miss a someone that you have lost touch with over the years? Pick up a phone and make a call. You control your future.

#6 – You Can Make the Time if You Want To

The biggest excuse that people have for not committing to anything in life is that they simply ‘don’t have time,’ but, to be blunt, this statement is nothing more than a lie. You will find time in your life for the things that you deem to be a priority, the real question is where do your priorities lie? This isn’t to say that you have to do everything, that you honestly don’t have time for. However, if you take the time to sort out the things that are most important in your life and drop those that don’t actually have a purpose, you’ll be surprised how much time you can free up. Don’t have time to work out? What about that hour you spent playing around on Facebook?

#7 – Not Everyone Will Like You

This may be hard to accept, but not everyone that you meet is going to like you, and this is okay because not everyone is obligated to. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. The world is made up of a wide assortment of individual personality traits, tastes, interests and life goals. While you may connect with some people as you are on a similar path or like similar things, there are always going to be those who have no interest in what you have to offer. Their journey is different from yours, and your paths simply weren’t meant to cross. Don’t focus on the negative, look instead to the many amazing people who have come into your life and shown that they love you for being ‘you.’

#8 – Nothing in Life is Perfect

Don’t fall into the trap of putting anyone or anything up on a pedestal. There is nothing in this life that is perfect, everything comes with its flaws, differences, and challenges. If you want to go after something but are holding back, waiting for that ‘perfect’ moment, then wait no longer! There is no perfect time, so go after what you want today. Take chances, chase your dreams and accept the mistakes and flaws that you will experience along the way.

#9 – No One is Guaranteed Tomorrow

Too often we shrug off the things that we want to do today in favor of the things we feel we ‘should’ or ‘must’ do, promising ourselves that we will get around to it tomorrow. Unfortunately, we have no way to predict when our time here is going to come to an end. You may promise yourself that you are going to reach out to that old friend from high school tomorrow, only to wait as days, weeks, months, even years pass. Suddenly the day comes that you hear they were killed in a tragic car accident, and you realize you never did pick up that phone. Don’t make that mistake. If you want to do something, reach out to someone or make a change in your life, do it today. Tomorrow may never come.