Everything I Ever Needed to Know, But No One Had the Guts to Tell Me!

I am not a stupid person. I am by no means brilliant, but I feel confident, based on a fairly high level of education and life experience, that I am not a complete moron. And yet, despite this, I have managed to do A LOT of VERY dumb things in my relatively short lifetime.

In my effort to figure out exactly why I have made so many obvious mistakes I have done what any self-respecting, post-WWII generation member would do: I looked for someone else to blame. What I have concluded is that when I was learning about the nature of the world around us I was the victim of a massive conspiracy of self interest which led me to believe things that turned out to be untrue and that prevented me FROM accumulating all the information necessary to formulate an accurate ?worldview? FROM which I could make sound decisions. In other words, I was very na?ve.

What I have come up with during this painful process of ?relearning? the way things really are, are some of the many, seemingly undeniable, but usually unstated, realities of American life that I have gleaned through the unique and often trying experiences of my first thirty-three years on earth. The knowledge of these ?truths,? though apparently readily available, was never actually passed on to me and I was left to find them out the hard way: by making poor decisions based on false assumptions about the nature of living. Had someone had the courtesy of ?letting me in? on these ?dirty little secrets? of our existence, I am quite sure that my first third of a century would have been far less painful and much more productive. Wouldn?t YOUR life have been a lot easier had someone bothered to let you know that, contrary to ?popular? opinion??

-- This may very well be all that there is to life. While it sure is nice to hope, there is absolutely no solid evidence of an afterlife. While Augusta National, Southern California/Florida, and the Playboy mansion do exist, ?Heaven? very well may not. And while there are such things as the DMV, PMS, and the SAT, there may not really be a ?Hell,? either.

-- Whether there really is an afterlife or not, the majority of American people ACT as if there is NOT. This seems to be especially true among those who reside in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

-- There may very well not be a ?God.? And if there is, there is little doubt that he (probably she) is a confused, insecure, manic-depressive with a very sick sense of humor.

-- Many of those Americans who believe most fervently in ?organized religion? also tend live in areas that have the greatest deficiencies when it comes to education, dental care, and indoor plumbing.

-- There is no Santa Claus, Tooth fairy, or Easter bunny. No matter how hard the Democratic Party tries to make it so, the world is NOT a ?magical? place where you get great gifts simply for living.

-- There is no reliable indication that that ghosts, aliens, or fairies actually exist. Though it does seem that Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Richard Simmons appear to have been at least partially real.

-- If real life were a ?game,? it would have inconsistent rules, arbitrary enforcement, ambiguous goals, and inaccurate scoring. It would also lose in the ratings to ?Survivor? and ?Temptation Island.?

-- Things DON?T always turn out ?for the best? (whomever said that must have been the one in charge).

-- Everything probably does NOT happen for a reason/purpose. This is simply a rationalization to help people deal with disappointment. However, there IS an explanation/reason for everything that happens, and it is usually the simplest one possible (except when it comes to figuring out the behavior of women).

-- Those who complain the most in life usually get what they want. Those who don?t usually end up paying retail (especially if they grew up as a Catholic).

-- Any correlation between what you deserve out of life and what you get is almost purely coincidental (unless you happen to be named Kennedy).

-- Good things happen quite often to a lot of bad people (especially if they happen to be rich, famous, powerful, or very good looking).

-- Almost NOTHING happens exactly as you see, hear or read about it (especially if what you see comes FROM MSNBC/CNN, what you hear is FROM NPR, and what you read is in the Washington Post).

-- The REAL truth of a story will usually not come out until well after the fact and after most people have long stopped caring. Therefore, when it comes to getting away with stuff, the successful delay of the disclosure of wrongdoing is almost as effective as actually being innocent. Bill Clinton apparently did his thesis at Georgetown on this principle.

-- Perception is almost ALWAYS more important than reality. The way things APPEAR to be is FAR more significant than the way things REALLY are. This is the basis for most of the female beauty industry.

-- Don?t believe anything you hear about a dead person because they always get the benefit of the doubt, especially if they died ?tragically? and were royalty or a Kennedy.

-- The nicest things anyone will ever say to you or do for you will likely come at your funeral (unless you are rich, famous, powerful, or very good looking).

-- EVERYONE is going to die. If we are lucky, we begin ?dying? in our thirties. And how/when we die appears to be ?determined? completely at random and could happen at any moment (unless you happen to be a Kennedy).

-- If they think that it suits their purposes, humans are ALWAYS more likely to remember events (even traumatic ones) in a more positive light than they way they really happened. This seems to be especially true of family vacations.

-- It is perfectly ?normal? for your family to completely ?screwed up? (or at least to think that it is). People tend to take out their frustrations on family members because, no mater what, they will always be family. Consequently, if you are on speaking terms with, and don?t despise, everyone in your family you are either very lucky or an orphan.

-- There are a LOT (far more than we will ever know or want to admit) REALLY weird people in the world. We will never know the full truth of this because the fundamental mode of behavior is to hide what it is that others won?t like/understand. Some groups of people are particularly good at this (politicians, actors, clergy, talk SHOW hosts).

-- What women want in a man drives most ?adult? behavior. This may be why much of the world seems to be driving around in circles, confused and in desperate need of directions for which they are too afraid to ask.

-- If good-looking women were attracted to ?good? men, there would be more ?good? men (or they would at least ACT that way). Fortunately for Bill Clinton, Tommy Lee, Puffy Combs, O.J. Simpson, and many of the Kennedys, this is most certainly NOT the case.

-- There is VERY little correlation between how much a woman likes/respects you and how much she wants to sleep with you (unless you happen to be rich, famous, powerful, or very good looking).

-- When you screw up in life do so with such magnitude that people won?t believe that you actually did it, or it will be too painful for anyone to remember/bring up and everyone will pretend that it never really happened. This appears to be particularly effective with regard to Presidential scandals, crimes by celebrities, horrible marriages, abortions, large debts, and really bad sex.

-- Very few people really have ANY interest in determining why something went wrong and finding a solution. Ideally, any disasters will be forgotten before blame can be assessed and someone can be held accountable. This seems especially true for issues related to co-workers and, again, really bad sex (sometimes they are related).

-- Even though it appears that men do indeed want sex more than women do, good sex is actually usually more enjoyable for the woman (unless she happened to grow up as a strict Catholic).

-- Most men will have sex with any woman to whom he is attracted and who wants to have sex with him without requiring much effort or risk. Most women will only have sex with a man to whom she is very attracted, who she can sleep with and not feel like or be perceived as a ?slut? for doing so, who is willing/able to jump through her required hoops first, and then only if her legs are shaven, it is not ?that time of the month,? she doesn?t feel fat, she doesn?t have a headache or the sniffles, she is wearing the right type of outfit/underwear, and she doesn?t have to get up early the next day.

-- No matter how great the sex is for the man, it is RARELY worth all the crap that he has to put up with to get it FROM a good looking woman (unless he happens to be rich, famous, powerful, very good looking, or staring in a porno movie. Or that woman happens to be Charlize Theron).

-- The more you want something the less chance there is that you will get it, and the less chance that you have of getting something the more you will tend to want it. This is especially true when it comes to sex, jobs, and HAVING a flight be on time.

-- You will never get more than you ask for/demand FROM another person (unless you are rich, famous, powerful, or very good-looking) and you will probably get much less.

-- While it is indeed advisable to try to live by the ?Golden Rule,? it is important to also realize that whatever someone is capable of doing onto others they are likely to be able to do on to you as well (especially once they stop sleeping with you). This is why second marriages are a bad idea and have an even higher divorce rate than first marriages.

-- The most natural human state is to be completely NAKED. There is NO logical reason to think of nudity or a human body part as being ?bad? (ugly maybe, bad no). Despite this, in a nation built on free speech, it is still considered punishable by law to even refer to certain body parts/functions in a public arena. Yet it is still somehow far more acceptable for a woman to be seen in public dripping wet in a skimpy bikini than to be seen in large, baggy underwear.

-- The vast majority of America?s population is MUCH uglier than those who are allowed on television. Consequently (unless you are rich, famous, powerful, or very good-looking) your expectations for a mate, through no real fault of your own, will likely FAR exceed reality. This is why there are so many unmarried 35-40 year olds.

-- The basis of all romantic relationships is an ?equality of power? that is based on both parties perception of their partner?s ?value? in the ?market place? being equal to or greater than their perception of their own ?value? in the market place. When something happens to disrupt the ?balance of power? the relationship will usually spiral downward and eventually fail. This is a major reason why Hollywood marriages are more fragile than most.

-- ALL relationships will end in at least one of four ways: 1. slowly fading away without reason, climax, or fanfare 2. a painful farewell 3. both parties hating each other 4. death. So make sure the rise is worth the inevitable fall!

-- It is HIGHLY unlikely that the friends you have in your youth will even have your phone number (or use it if they do) when you are older. But don?t worry about it because most of your friends were total jerks anyway.

-- If you REALLY like/admire someone, you probably either don?t know them very well, you are ignoring important information about them, or they are currently HAVING sex with you (or at least you want them to).

-- Very few people have any idea who THEY themselves REALLY are, so the chances that you know the TRUE essence of someone else are VERY slim. Any even if you do find out what a person is REALLY like, they will likely HATE you for HAVING ?figured? them out and ruined their scam.

-- Most people are full of shit. Even most so-called ?experts? don?t REALLY know what they are talking about. The goal of most people is to just make you THINK that they know what they are talking about. This is especially true among business consultants, news-media pundits, and weathercasters.

-- In a world of six BILLION people, being REALLY ?special? is HIGHLY unlikely. After all, if you are a ?one-in-a-million? individual, there are exactly 6,000 other living humans just like you. Sadly, there appears to be only one of Tiger Woods and Charlize Theron.

-- Despite what they tell you in commencement speeches, you CAN?T really be whatever you want to be. The only people who actually believe that are those to whom it has already happened and they probably had very low expectations (such as being asked to give a commencement address).

-- The smartest and most beautiful woman in the entire world consistently urinates, menstruates, defecates, and has probably faked an orgasm.

-- The smartest and most handsome man in the world consistently urinates, defecates, masturbates, farts, burps, and goes completely limp almost immediately following orgasm.

-- 50% of all marriages end in total failure, while the other 50% finally do end in divorce. The failure of marriage is the ultimate example of the ?Peter Principle? at work. Sexual attraction is the basis for almost every couple coming together and yet it has almost NOTHING to do with marriage. Getting married to someone because you are attracted to him or her physically is kind of like becoming a teller in a bank because you really like money.

-- You will likely find out FAR more about the person you dated/married during the breakup process than you EVER could have while the relationship was on going (interestingly statistics SHOW that marriages between people who have broken up are more successful than those that haven?t). However, it is HIGHLY unlikely that you will like what you find out, that the two of you will ever have a significant conversation about all that you have learned, or that either of you will attempt to truly grow FROM the experience.

-- It is COMPLETELY illogical for there to be ?The One? person that is meant for everyone to find and spend their lives with (if this is really was the case, who ever is in charge of ?fate? is doing a REALLY lousy job). Almost ALL of our relationships (especially the romantic ones) will be dictated FAR more by timing and circumstance than by any other factor (like choice or fate). However, a man is still FAR more likely to get laid if he can somehow convince the woman that ?fate? is somehow at work on them.

-- While our hormones have a PROFOUND self-interest to convince us otherwise (and often do a damn good job of it), there is probably no such thing as ?true love.? If there is it is extremely rare. As rare as the person who is STILL ?in love? with someone after they are NO LONGER rich, famous, powerful, or very good-looking.

-- The mating/dating process is inherently one of almost total deceit. If we knew EVERYTHING about a potential mate the moment we first met, no one would EVER get married or maybe even have sex (unless maybe it was with Tiger Woods or Charlize Theron).

-- In the vast majority of cases jealousy and envy are silly and unwarranted because NO ONE has it as good as it may seem (except for Tiger Woods and most male porn stars). However, that WILL NOT stop you FROM wrongly being absolutely CONVINCED that the person who left you for another was the greatest thing that ever happened to you and that all your problems would be solved if they just returned.

-- Getting exactly what you THINK that you want is very unlikely to make you happy and just because everyone seems to want something doesn?t mean that it is ?good? for you. This is why really rich/famous/successful people are so often ?unhappy.? Once again, Tiger Woods appears to be a rare exception.

-- Your level of happiness seems to be determined more by your level of expectation of what you SHOULD have rather than what your life ACTUALLY has. This is why mentally handicapped people usually seem pretty happy and Hollywood Stars often seem so miserable (interestingly, there seems to be little difference between the two groups when it comes to IQ).

-- A large number of people are ?happier? when they DON?T get what they think they want because they would rather have the ?bitching rights? that go with HAVING someone disappoint them. This aliment seems to be particularly prevalent among women in serious relationships.

-- Even if you are rich, famous, powerful, or very good-looking, the only person who REALLY cares about you is your mother. The REALLY sad part is that it is probably not even her choice to care, and that she will likely do/say things to you that your worst enemy would not.

-- While the vast majority of people don?t care AT ALL about what happens to you, most of those who DO at least somewhat care actually secretly hope that you FAIL so that can feel better about themselves. This seems to be especially true among siblings and between female ?best friends.?

-- Very few things in life REALLY matter. It is HIGHLY unlikely that your grades in school, your first romantic heartbreak, or anything that happens to your hometown athletic team or on your favorite soap opera will come close to qualifying.

-- Since very few things really make a big difference in the end, being nervous is almost ALWAYS irrational and counterproductive. And yet, if you aren?t at least a little nervous about an endeavor before you do it, it hardly seems worth doing.

-- People tend to determine whether or not to do a ?questionable? act based on whether they think that they will get caught and whether the risk is worth the potential reward, far more than if the act is actually ?right? or ?wrong.? This is another potential Bill Clinton thesis topic.

-- A person?s ability to get away with breaking the rules is directly proportional to how rich, famous, powerful, or good looking they are. There is no such thing as a ?common standard.? Life is not fair and was never intended to be.

-- To most people (especially those under the age of 60) ?loyalty? to another is defined not by what that person has done for them in the past, but rather by what they think that person might be willing and able to do for them in the future. So don?t count on someone being loyal to you unless you have profound, well-established, leverage over them.

-- House pets are usually far more loyal/trustworthy than humans. And usually humans treat them much better than they do other humans. Because cats are able to pull this off while providing almost nothing in return, they seem most likely to take over the universe when humans are finally erased.

-- While you can argue over the definition, there is NO such thing as a truly selfless act. There are acts that are more/less selfish than others, but even Mother Teresa did what she did partly because it made her feel good to do the ?right? thing and because she thought that it would help get her INTO heaven. However, there is still no plausible explanation for some of the things that Michael Jackson has done.

-- We are ALL ?whores? to some extent. Everyone on earth would do something/anything for money, fame, power, sex that they would NEVER think of doing otherwise. All that really separates us is our price and our preferred method of payment. Those whose behavior seems most dramatically affected by this principle include politicians, entertainers, criminal defense attorneys, and very good-looking women.

-- Because it is usually perceived as a sign of weakness (especially by people that you want to date), the nicer you are to people, the GREATER the chance that they will want nothing to do with you (unless, of course, you are rich, famous, powerful, or very good looking).

-- Humans are the only animal species that is afraid to admit that it is an animal (and is embarrassed by its naked body/bodily functions). We are also the only animals that lie, cheat, steal, and kill our own when not needed for survival (even outside of Hollywood).

-- Despite what Walt Disney animated films have taught us, someone is NOT more likely to be a ?good? person if they are beautiful (or at least cuddly) or more likely to be ?bad? if they are ugly. In fact, it is probably the OPPOSITE of reality. Ironically, the best proof of this comes FROM the behavior of the residents of Hollywood themselves.

-- Beauty is so important to us that those who tell us the NEWS are chosen almost completely by their appearance and when they read a news story on the health hazards of being overweight they will purposely NOT SHOW the faces of those in question for fear of identifying a ?fat? person. This is often done right after they have revealed the names, faces, and hometowns of ALLEDGED criminals.

-- The vast majority of the population is made up of people who are NOT very intelligent, fervently believe many things that have long ago been proven to be false, and don?t have a clue about the way the world really works. And this is even after discounting those who work for the Government.

-- Despite what the liberal media tries to make us think, just because more than 50% of people believe something, does NOT make that belief true/valid. Likewise, just because less than 50% believe something does not make that position false/invalid. In fact, (much like beauty) it is often exactly the opposite. After all, to this day, over 50% of Americans claim to believe in Creationism, a government conspiracy to cover up of the JFK assassination, that Bill Clinton was (not) impeached for HAVING sex with an intern, and that Barbara Walters is a journalist.

-- Ignorance is TRULY blissful and most often self-induced. The vast majority people will always tend to believe what ever it is that they WANTED to believe in the first place and have almost no interest in what the ?truth? actually is. This is one of the many reasons that a pure Democracy will never work and why O.J. Simpson was acquitted.

-- The vast majority of the American people have a tiny attention span and don?t care at all about ?important issues.? Even a scandal involving the President getting oral sex FROM an intern and using a cigar as a sexual tool couldn?t hold their interest for more than a few months. Reruns of Baywatch, Pro Wrestling, and ?Jerry Springer? get FAR better television ratings than a Presidential press conference.

-- People will be FAR more likely to ?hate? you (especially if you are already friendly with them) than to ?thank? you for proving that something they believe is incorrect/invalid.

-- Popularity is FAR greater predictor of ?success? than intelligence, hard work, and integrity. In other words, real life is pretty much just like grade school.

-- Luck is a FAR greater predictor of ?success? than talent. This explains Larry King, Kathy Lee Gifford, Diane Sawyer, Susan Lucci, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

-- Extreme confidence/cockiness (even when irrational) is not always detrimental to ?success,? and extreme humility (even when justified/healthy) often IS such an obstacle to ?success.? This seems to be especially true when it comes to romance, job interviews, and getting past security to someplace you don?t really belong.

-- Fear of success is usually FAR more debilitating and destructive than a fear of failure. This seems to be especially true (at least for men) on the golf course or in the bedroom.

-- IF you know someone long enough (usually it doesn?t take that long), they WILL lie to you. The more important the person is to you, the better chance there is that this has/will happen. This is especially true if you have had sex with that person.

-- Most people not only lie regularly, but also seem to expect you to UNDERSTAND (if you catch them) that they were lying and to not be upset by this or hold it against them. Lying has not only become accepted, it is now often preferred.

-- Those who DO tell the truth the majority of the time do so probably because they are lousy liars. Even to those who are sincere, telling the truth is rarely beneficial because even when it REALLY matters and you NEED to be trusted, those determining your truthfulness will likely be liars themselves and assume that YOU are lying because THEY would lie under the same circumstances.

-- Life appears to be far easier to endure (and even prosper in) when you don?t really give a damn about the outcome. Life often favors those who don?t care very much and punishes those who do. But, in the end, if you DON?T care, it hardly seems worth all of the fuss.

-- No matter how bad things get (or may seem) you will have difficulty even remembering 98% of the things that seem SO horrible at time (even if you have a great memory and are trying to remember) and almost ALL of those things won?t make a damn bit of difference in the end.

-- Even though we are in a constant state of denial about the true nature of man and our existence, life still somehow manages to be well worth living if you let it be. This seems especially true if you keep in mind the realities of the previous pages and set your expectations accordingly.

Search JohnZiegler.com