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Five Cliches That Are Great Life Advice

April Fool's! We're not turning our backs on investing -- though we did fool some of you.

I hate cliches. When I hear people speak in cliches, I just assume they have nothing original to add to the conversation. Of course, the creator of each cliche often spoke some real truth that we've since tuned out, because of overuse and misuse. The first athlete to say "I'm just taking it one game at a time" had a point. In that spirit, I give you five cliches (and lines that are so good they should be cliches) worth repeating:

Do what you love, and the money will follow
I've heard this line from countless people who have been deemed successful enough to speak in front of organizations to which I've belonged. They invariably followed circuitous paths to greatness, jumping from career path to career path, often going sideways or backwards but eventually ending up with money, power, and a job they love.

The career paths always seemed too convoluted to me, but the older I get, the more I agree with everything I've heard. The secret to their success is that their love for their work translated into increased effort and increased risk-taking. They were willing to put in the work for its own sake, regardless of result. Most of us refuse to put forth the effort without the instant gratification, only to look back at some point, envious of those who have.

He's just not that into you
Do we really need a book to tell us this? Probably. This cliche (and the "She's just not that into you" variant) is great because it softens the blow of telling someone that the object of his or her affection isn't reciprocating. It reminds us that universal truths actually do apply to our particular cases no matter how much we think we're a unique case. See also: The Rolling Stones, "You Can't Always Get What You Want." See also: Stop calling. Put. Down. The. Phone.  

I will always remember you
Translation: I'm not going to interact with you ever again. It's equivalent to RMA (remember me always) and BFF (best friends forever) in high school yearbooks.

There should be an equivalent line for certain wedding invitations. Something that says: "I'm inviting you because we're friends for the time being and, frankly, I want a big wedding, but this may be the last time that I see you. I'll always remember you, though."  

Happiness is a Swedish sunset -- it is there for all, but most of us look the other way and lose it.
Great line from the master, Mark Twain.

Give two people the same lives, and one will be happier than the other. The only difference is perspective. Do you look at a failure as a temporary problem that will help you in the long run or a foreshadowing of the long run?

It also tangentially reminds me of a line I'll credit to college buddy Ed Chen, though he may have gotten it from somewhere else: "Life is subjective. Don't let anyone make it objective."  

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.
I believe Plato is telling me to shut up now.

The Motley Fool is taking a break from investing. Find out why here.

Anand Chokkavelu is so yesterday. He owns no shares in any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Anand Chokkavelu
TMFBomb

Anand is the Editorial Director of Fool.com. He loves pithiness, clever turns of phrase, and analyzing the banking sector.

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