Richard Dama, LPC, Counseling & Clinical Hypnotherapy

The 5 Basic Truths of Life

Last year about this time I had a new client who asked me one of the most profound questions I have ever heard; it’s a question I now ask myself at least once a day and sometimes more. But, first some background.

I have a ground floor office with windows behind some tall hedges. This gives me a shielded view of the parking lot, so I can see people come and go, but they can’t see into my office.

On this particular day I saw a brand new, sporty car pull into a spot and a young, fit, well dressed and well-groomed young man get out of the can and come toward the building. Sure enough, it was my new client.

After showing him into my office and chatting with him for a few minutes, my initial observations were that his hands were manicured; he wore a large, authentic and very expensive watch; his vocabulary and diction indicated that he was well educated. This guy, at least on the surface seemed to have it all.

Then I asked him my standard first session question, “What brings you here today and how can I help?” I have to hand it to him, he grabbed the ball and ran with it…for nearly an hour. He proceeded to tell me everything that’s wrong with his life; he barely came up for air.

When he finally did pause, I (being the master of the obvious that I am) said, “You just don’t sound happy. I’m wondering why you’re so unhappy.” He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Have you heard a word I’ve said?” “Yes,” I replied, “I heard what you said, but I’m still not sure why you’re so unhappy.”

I went on to point out that he seemed to have all of his basic needs met and actually seemed to have a comfortable lifestyle. “So, I’m still having a hard time understanding why you’re so unhappy.”

He thought about it for a moment then said, “Well, maybe I just don’t know what happy feels like.” Then he turned the tables on me and asked, “Are you happy and if so, how do you know?” WOW, great question!

As I said earlier, that has become a question I ask myself, literally at least once a day. It’s become my ‘Take stock of yourself and count your blessings’ meditation. It helps me stay connected to what I call my, “5 Basic Truths.” It helps keep me humble, thankful and grounded.

So imagine my surprise when this weekend I was doing research for this week’s blogs and I came across a post by Steven Bancarz (posted on Spirit Science), titled “5 Basic Truths Even The Smartest People Forget.” I read though the blog yelling, “Oh Hell Yes!” and nodding like a bobble-head doll. I would like to share Steven’s thoughts with you this morning:

It’s so easy to get caught up in the business and demand of life that we can often for the most simple of truths. Even some of the truths that hold together the foundation of our experience, that give life meaning, and that bring us joy often get buried beneath a concoction of thoughts, obligations, and responsibilities.

While it can be excited to experience life and go with the flow, a life without reflection is not worth living. There has to be some time set aside each day to examine yourself and see if there is something you can improve on. The funny thing is, it’s usually the case that the solution to our problems is so obvious that we failed to see it.

If you find yourself feeling stuck, upset, or unfulfilled, the solution may be as simple as remembering some of the basic truths that we may have taken for granted. Here are 5 of the most basic truths that even the smartest people forget.

1) Success and failure go hand-in-hand

Every single “successful” person you can think of has failed many times in their life. They’ve lost money, friends, relationships, jobs, and hope. In the same way that you can’t have light without darkness, you can’t really talk about success until you have a concept of what it means to be unsuccessful. In fact “success” and “failure” are really just states of mind. One state of mind is grateful and inspired, and the other is doubtful and fear-based. Both of these are a part of the circle of life, and there is not coming to success without a few bumps and bruises along the way.

2) “Success” does not mean happiness

A basic truth that often gets forgotten is that having money and financial freedom will not make you happy. Neither will your relationships, your job, or your social life. Only YOU can make you happy through your own self-realization and personal development. You can be happy without money and your dream job, but you can’t be happy without a relationship with yourself and the Universe.

3) Life is short

Life is too short to hate people, hold grudges, and worry about things you can’t change. It’s also too short to spend time in a place you aren’t happy, spend your daily hours doing something you detest, or make “safe” decisions your whole life. Take some risks once in a while, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and go on adventures.

4) Everyone suffers

Nobody in the history of planet earth has lived a life free of suffering, pain, depression, anger, of anxiety. Everybody is experiences these things on a daily basis. Even the people you look up to in your life the most are fighting their own battles. Just because the people around you are smiling and talking does not mean they aren’t suffering deep down.

It’s important to remember that suffering is a natural part of the human experience. There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not “messed up” just because you are sad or confused often. Everyone you have ever met in your life has, at some point, experienced the same kind of emotion you are dealing with right now. You are not alone in your struggles.

5) What we see in others exists in us

Life is a mirror. Everything wrong we see in others exists, at least in part, within us as well. Everything that irritates us about others shows us what we need to work on. Everything area we need to improve in is mirrored back to us in our relationships, circumstances, and life events. When you find yourself frustrated with the world around you, don’t be afraid to stop and ask yourself “How much of this is a reflection of myself?”

By remembering these 5 things, it can take a massive weight off of our shoulders. Sometimes, life is not so mysterious. Sometimes the answer to our dilemmas is as simple as stopping, reflecting, and remember some of the most basic truths that seem to get lost in the chaos of life.

It’s like this guy is living in a closet in my mind.

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even have a fraction of the questions, but I do have a peaceful mind and a thankful spirit. Remembering those and reflecting on the “5 Basic Truths” have gone a long way to helping me heal myself and to help others find their own answers.

Here’s hoping you have an intentionally great and self-reflecting day.


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