7 Counter-Intuitive Life Lessons That You Need to Know

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The process of maturity allows us to look life as it really is.

The truth and nothing but.

Through that process, we learn that common sense really isn’t so common. We learn that no, you probably won’t be the greatest basketball/football/baseball player ever. We even learn that our parents are humans and they make mistakes just like us.


7 Counter-Intuitive Life Lessons That You Need to Know

As they say the truth sets you free. Here are 7 counter-intuitive life lessons that you need to know.


1. Fame. Money. Looks. Has nothing to do with confidence.

If it did we’d all be all be in trouble. Confidence isn’t a privilege and it’s never guaranteed. Winning the lottery and becoming a millionaire the next day isn’t going to make you any more confident than you are now.

Some might say I’m wrong, that winning the lottery will indeed make them more confident. Okay. What about when you lose all the money?

Tying your confidence levels to the a dollar amount, looks that can fade, or likes on social media isn’t healthy. Those are wells that can run empty at any time. True confidence is based internally, on things nobody can take from you.


2. It’s not worth trying to get people who don’t like you to like you.

It’s too much time and effort that might not even lead to any payoff.

Not to mention the mental and emotional stress and chasing somebody who doesn’t like you. With the time and energy you spend on trying to get people who don’t like you to like you, you can get at least 3 other people to like you.

Be positive, be kind, and leave it at that.


3. It’s better to be really good at two things than the best at one thing.

Neil Degrasse Tyson, for example. Fluent in the field of advanced astrophysics, but not quite at the top. Yet he has had considerable success in spite of it. All due to the fact that he has the ability to break down such a complicated topic and make it entertaining to the average person.

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. Great marketer and a fantastic public speaker. His main discipline was in digital marketing, but he branched off into public speaking. This allowed him to grow his brand into the multi-million dollar business it is today.

This is because once you get to a certain level, your growth starts to level out. It becomes harder and harder to get to that next level. So differentiate yourself. Develop another skill.


4. The less you need something, the more it’ll present itself to you.

Startups with strong sales without any venture capital will have venture capitalists throwing money at them.

The prospect with recruiters hounding them for an interview will only continue to see that number of recruiters grow. When you don’t need your chap-stick, you see it all over the place. When you need it, however, it’s nowhere to be found.

People who need rarely get what they want.


5. It’s better to be selfish now so you can be selfless later.

“…first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:5

On air-planes they instruct parents, in case of an emergency, to first put on oxygen masks on themselves before attending to their children.

This is for the children’s benefit.

If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others?

There’s only so much you can do as a broke college student. You might be able to go to South America and help build a house or a school for underprivileged children, but it’s far more effective for you to selfish first.

Once you’ve established your reputation and your wealth, you can do far more for those underprivileged children than you ever could have had you neglected your “selfish” goals.


6. The day you accept the fact everything will end is the day you stop taking everything for granted.

Stoics such as Marcus Aurelius pondered their own mortality frequently. They were attuned to the limited amount of the time they and everybody and everything else had on this earth. This evolved into a deep appreciation for the each breathe gifted to them.

Worrying or complaining about circumstances fades into the backdrop of inevitable mortality. So smile as you tackle on your challenges.


7. Help people that can’t help you today.

Guy Kawasaki used to give stories to journalists coming from small time newspapers and magazines when he was with Apple. He could’ve easily gone to the big dogs such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal.

Instead he built those relationships up so when those journalists did work at The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, he had an inside contact.

Those contacts came in handy when Apple wasn’t doing so well, and journalists weren’t waiting hand and foot for a story.

Not everybody you help will be kind enough to repay the favor. So do it because you’re a good person and don’t expect much out of it. Only then will you be pleasantly surprised.



Some of these truths present themselves to us too late in life and we could’ve avoided a mistake or two had we been aware of them. I made the mistake many years ago of basing my confidence on silly things such as clothes and looks.

Maybe you can relate.

Maybe you can also relate how you’re in a much better spot now now that you’ve learned to base your confidence on what can’t be taken away from you.

There are going to be many more truths that’ll reveal themselves to you later on in life.

To recap here are 7 of those:

  • Fame. Money. Looks. Has nothing to do with confidence.
  • It’s not worth trying to get people who don’t like you to like you
  • It’s better to be really good at two things than the best at one thing
  • The less you need something, the more it’ll present itself to you
  • It’s better to be selfish now so you can be selfless later
  • The day you accept the fact everything will end is the day you stop taking everything for granted
  • Help people that can’t help you today

Oh, and one more. Santa Claus isn’t real.

What are some counter-intuitive life lesson you’ve learned? I would love to hear from you.

Dan Western
Dan Westernhttps://wealthygorilla.com/
Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. Dan has been running Wealthy Gorilla and studying self-development, personal finance, and investment for the last 7 years. To this day, Wealthy Gorilla has become one of the fastest growing wealth infotainment sites in the world; with over 300 million views worldwide. Dan doesn't use personal social media anymore, so you won't be able to find him on Instagram, or Twitter.


  1. Hi thanks for the article. At first when I saw “Better be good at 2 things that the best at 1” I thought: He’s so wrong.

    But after reading your explanation, I must say you’re right but I would add the following: It’s better focusing on one thing at the time.

    Work your way up, focusing on one thing and then focus on being good at something else that will help you improve the first one.

  2. Confidence is such an interesting topic. Society teach us to measure our confidence in everything you said plus goals. An underachiever rarely have confidence. Growing up I had a lot of trouble with confidence, and sometimes, I still do. But knowing that confidence, as well as happiness, is an inner game.

    For the rest, I agree with them all. Thanks Alex.


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