Task: Universal truths

Oprah Winfrey says the best question she was ever asked is ‘What do you know for sure’.  I’m not sure I know anything for sure, but I’m pretty sure that…

Your first impression of a person, which you have apparently forged on a whim, will always be the right one.  You may change your mind, and think you’ve misjudged them, but you will always return to your first impression, even if it takes years.

The friend who knows you best is the one whose good and honest advice is the hardest to take.  As Oscar Wilde said, ‘The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on, it’s never any use to oneself’.  You have to find out everything for yourself.

The faults you dislike in others are the things that you dislike in yourself.  Not only that, as soon as you judge someone and remark ‘I would never...’ the universe helpfully conspires to send the same test to you, and yup, you will fail the test.

By the time you are asking yourself, ‘is this normal’ you already know that it’s not.

Never trust a man who says he ‘loves women’. He will never be faithful.

If you meet someone for the first time, and get on so well that you recount at least two of your ‘classic’ stories, you will never again recapture that first flush of bonding with them.

You will always refer to school friends by both first and surname.

It’s hugely pleasing to break small rules; walking on the grass, undoing your seatbelt before the captain has switched off the seatbelt sign, taking six items into the five items or less line, and staying put for a frankly unpleasant 15 minutes in the steam room, purely because a sign advises you to spend max 10 minutes in there.

Life’s great things – finding your true love, having a best friend, finding a job you love – only have to happen once.

The way to be popular is to be witty and a good dancer.  Failing that, be cheerful.

‘The way to love anything is to realise it may be lost’ (G K Chesterton).

‘Be kind, for everyone you met is fighting a hard battle’ (Plato).

‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken’ (Oscar Wilde).

‘Hard work pays off in the future.  Laziness pays off now’ (Stephen Wright).

‘When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do’ (quoted by Randy Pausch).

‘Don’t argue for the difficulties, the difficulties can argue for themselves’ (Winston Churchill).

‘Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem – first make sure you are not in fact just surrounded by assholes’ (William Gibson).

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