These 15 Quotes actually mean the opposite of what people use them for!
This is a special piece we’re doing today, because there isn’t a worse feeling than being in the dark about something and if we can shed some light on the issue, we are happy to do so.
We’ve seen people share these quotes over and over again to prove a point without knowing the full story and making themselves look bad because of their ignorance.
That’s why we wanted to share with you, the Aluxers, the full versions and meaning of 15 common quotes which are regularly shared incompletely and actually mean the opposite of what people share them for.
Who knows, maybe the next time you’re planning on using any of these you’ll think twice. Context matters you know!
As always, there’s a video version of this article which you can watch here:
With that said, let’s get started!
Number 1: The Early Bird Gets The Worm,
..but the second mouse gets the cheese!
How’bout that?! People have been sharing this early bird gets the worm quote for decades, with the meaning that those who are first get to rip the best rewards.
In business, life and chess there are cases when being the first one to move has its advantages, but since the road ahead isn’t always clear, you might consider trailing behind someone, minimizing your own risk.
In this famous quote the second mouse gets to enjoy the rewards because he got to learn from the previous mouse. There’s a lot more depth to the full quote than just the first half.
We’ve seen this a lot in business, it’s not about who did it first, it’s about who did it right.
Google wasn’t the first search engine and facebook wasn’t the first social network. But in both cases, they were superior products which managed to overcome the mistakes first generations made. For example, facebook managed to get everyone to sign up using their real name, a mistake all previous social networks made, which was the main differentiator for their product.
The truth is, even speaking of birds, the mother is likely to feed all her offsprings equally no matter who’s waking up first, because she cares for them and wants all of them to succeed.
Number 2: Curiosity killed the cat
…but satisfaction brought it back.
It’s so crazy how the actual meaning of these phrases means the exact opposite of what people use them for.
You’ve heard this since you were little, with the point being that sometimes it’s better to not stick your nose where other people don’t think it should belong, but what if it was all worth it.
What if the reward is worth pursuing?! Sometimes what others stay away from, is exactly where you should be headed. Extraordinary lives are not lived through mediocrity, so be curious Aluxers!
Number 3: Rome wasn’t built in a day
..but it burned in one.
We actually love this quote, it’s simple and we love Rome. The extraordinary city, took patience, effort and resources to be put together and even today it’s still evolving. All that effort can be obliviated in an instance if you’re not careful.
This is an obvious reference to The Great Fire of Rome attributed to Nero himself.
If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this quote is that no matter how hard you’ve built a reputation it can go away in an instant if you don’t take it seriously. Same goes for marriages or relationships.
Many people, find the love of their lives, but throw it all away for a moment of fairly mediocre pleasure. Small actions can wipe out years of hard work.
Number 4: Jack of all trades, master of none
..though often times better than a master of one.
We’re big fans of specialization, especially since we’re living in such a crowded and fast moving space, where you need to be hyper focused so you maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
The full quote puts that idea in a different light and looks at the issue from a broader perspective. In everyday life, you will need a variety of skills if you are to navigate the complex nature of our society, you need to be sociable, you need to know how to present yourself, how to negotiate, how to maintain relationships, how to establish partnerships beyond just being really good at a particular task.
Your ability to interconnect different skills to your advantage could prove to yield better results than just being really good at one thing and ignoring everything else.
Number 5: Great minds think alike
..but fools rarely differ
We really love this one because it has just the right amount of sass to get the right point across.
Just because a mass of people agree on a situation it doesn’t mean that they have the right answer. Facts often differ from opinions, no matter how strongly you feel about it.
We’re living in this post-truth period where feelings have become more important than actual facts. We’ve seen this with the rise of boycotts just for the sake of boycotting and people anexing themselves to movements just for the sake of having an identity for themselves. You can easily see this with the male feminists or the people in the occupy wall street movement who lack a basic understanding of how societies work.
This is the part where people who identify themselves as Apache helicopters get offended and dislike our videos! We see you, getting all rattled with your social science degrees hanging on the wall, barely keeping yourselves from spilling your matcha!
If you’re in the mood for some harsh truth, we made a video called 15 Brutal Truths People Don’t want to hear which you can check out below:
Number 6: Blood is thicker than water
… when the quote actually is: “blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”
This is another quote that’s being pushed out with the aim of saying that family is the closest type of bond one can have.
The original phrase pushes the exact opposite agenda, originating during times of war with the purpose of motivating soldiers to create a brotherhood that’s stronger than the one formed at birth.
The phrase actually means that the blood spilled during battle, going through hard times together, connects people in a deeper way than anything else. Those who are willing to die together for their common goals and values are beyond brothers.
Number 7: Money is the root of all evil
.. when the Quote is actually: “The love of money.. Is the root of all evil”
On our channel we talk about money.. A lot.. And believe it or not we actually go through your comments to get a sense of how you guys are digesting the information we’re putting out. One of the most frequent comments we get is that “money is the root of all evil” which we completely disagree with.
Money is amazing! It’s a tool without which we wouldn’t have been able to build the complex societies we live in today.
The real quote has a subtle but really important difference in what is seen as negative, that being the Love of Money. Apostle Paul gets misquoted a lot and by pushing this false agenda you’re not doing anyone any favors. If you go back to the original text, you’ll realize that the entire stance of the story is focused around SIN as the source of evil with the love of money being one of the sins.
Having money should be something we encourage since it allows us to push society further, to build and grow. Being obsessed with material things in the detriment of our values is what will lead us to living an unfulfilled life and regret it in the end. Very important difference.
Number 8: Carpe Diem
Is an incomplete quote, it’s actually Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero which means “Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)”
While the youths use the Carpe Diem as an excuse to go YOLO – is yolo still a thing?!; the meaning of the phrase relates more to getting as much done today, for you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
There’s a subtle difference in nuance there, that’s often ignored. Our generations see it as a call to ignore responsibilities for you might not know what the future holds and enjoy yourself; while the original meaning being: get as many of your chores done today because maybe tomorrow you won’t get a chance to and your entire life will fall apart because of your momentary neglect. Carpe Diem is a call to getting shit done; not to throwing away your future for immediate pleasures.
Number 9: An Eye for an Eye
..only makes the world go blind!
In order to move forward you need to forgive but not forget! The act of revenge can only spark a chain of events which leads to such great losses on both sides that nobody wins.
In war terminology, this is called a Pyrrhic victory, when although you won, the damage you’ve taken is so great that it doesn’t even matter anymore.
Instead of repaying someone with the same coin, we recommend you take the necessary measures so it never happens again.
As a last resort, if someone takes an eye from you, make sure that the next move puts an end to everything. Some people choose to elevate themselves above the issue and make the world a better place with a single eye, while others choose to behead everyone connected to the one who inflicted the damage in the first place so there isn’t anyone left to come for revenge. Both set great examples for everyone else watching.
Number 10: Winning isn’t everything
.. it’s the only thing.
Have you noticed how losers only share the first part of this famous quote by Vince Lombardi?!
In the age of participation trophies we feel that the world has gone mad, trying to make everyone feel like a winner and taking away the pride of those who busted their asses off in order to get on the podium.
Nature rewards the best performers and up to this point we tried to model our society based on that, those who have the biggest positive impact get rewarded the most.
The idea that in order not to have the losers feel bad for losing we should make them winners as well comes against the very core of how the world has evolved. Your emotional system is telling you that if you want to have a better shot at fulfillment you need to work harder in order to prove yourself worthy of achievements. It’s your biology keeping you accountable for your lack of dedication. This type of behaviour not only doesn’t result in positive gain for the losing team, because deep down they understand they lost, but has negative effects on the victors who are questioning why in the world do they work so hard if the other team gets the same rewards.
In the recent years, the mediocre class has become more and more vocal, trying to enforce rules instead of treating the core issues. That’s why we see schools trying to ban the idea of bullying, thus resulting in young adults who have no idea how to stand up for themselves in the real world once they leave their safe spaces. Bullying is bad, but sometimes you need the bad in order to develop the skill set necessary to thrive.
We recommend you watch our 15 Rules to Win at Life video below, because it touches upon several shifts which can lead to a more successful existence.
Number 11: Birds of a feather flock together
..until the cat comes.
The second part of the quote exposes the fakeness of the reality we live in today, while the first part gives way to segregation based on “the same feathers”.
This is a very interesting quote which outlines the idea that those who are similar in nature gravitate towards one-another because they can better relate between themselves, that is until an external crippling force poses a threat to each member as an individual.
The nature of the situation quickly shifts for a group mentality to a self-preservation mindset. The moment that threat shows up, the color of your feathers no longer matter and all that gets overwritten by selfish interests.
The interesting thing, is that you can observe the same type of behavior even if the opposite of the situation presents itself. The birds will fights each other for a piece of bread since personal gain often times trumps the group values.
Number 12: Ignorance is Bliss
..it is folly to be wise
We’ve heard this shared many times, saying it is better not to know something, because it doesn’t hurt you until it gets confirmed.
We’ve even heard it in the context of affairs, where “if only she didn’t find out that he cheated, all would be well.” People are weird..
Where do we even begin with this one?!
The phrase is from a poem by English writer Thomas Gray, who was reflecting on the notion that the more you age, you learn about the world and the pressures of adulthood fall on your shoulders. He is not speaking of ignorance, yet he is referencing the early days of his existence when he was a child. That’s what the entire quote means. “It was great being young and not having to stress about the world the way I do now as an adult who is wise”
The last thing you want to do in life is be ignorant; no matter how brutal the truth is you want to know it, because only after you are aware of the truth, you can proceed to fixing it or moving forward.
…and about the affair “explanation”, you felt the need to betray the trust of your partner and cheat, the foundation of how that relationship is built is already crippled, so it is bound to crumble in time anyway.
Number 13: The meek shall inherit the earth
..was actually lost in translation of the word Meek which doesn’t mean poor or humble. The original meaning is: something along the lines: Those who have the strongest weapons yet keep them shackled, shall inherit the earth.
This is once again another example, where the poor and weak try to elevate themselves on an imaginary stage of moral superiority in order to make sense of their less than average lives.
They keep lying to themselves that poverty caused by their inability to add value to the world is some sort of virtue and villainize those who are out there making sacrifices and building the earth they speak of.
While they’re busy patting themselves on the back, the Earth is LITERALLY inherited by the children of Tycoons and change makers.
The translation for the phrase was provided to us by Dr. Jordan Peterson who this year published a very interesting book which we strongly recommend you pick up, called 12 Rules for Life – an antidote to chaos, which tackles many of the issues this generation is dealing with. The book is fairy expensive, around $20, but if you go to alux.com/freebook and sign up you can get the audiobook for free.
Number 14: You can’t have your cake and eat it too
It’s actually You can’t eat the cake and then still have it too
The only problem with this quote is that the original makes a lot more sense linguistically and logically than the one that’s being shared around like crazy. It pretty much boils down to a choice you have to make. You’re either gonna enjoy the cake or keep it.
If you eat your cake, then you no longer have it!
Personally, the only reason you should ever buy a cake is if you plan to eat it, otherwise go buy yourself something else.
Number 15: Life is short
..it’s actually the longest thing you’ll ever do.
It’s all about perspective, yes, life will pass you by quickly, but compared to everything else in your life, it’s the longest thing you’ll ever get to experience. The idea that life is short transpires the notion that you don’t get enough time to do all the things you want to do.
The reality is that there’s more than enough time to do almost all the things you want to do, you’re just choosing to waste it on things which don’t make a difference. Life is short if you spend it in front of the tv and in the office. We’ve met people who in just a few months lived more than some people do in their entire lives.It’s all a matter of choice, so you don’t get the excuse to complain that life is short, because even if you lived twice as long, you would still waste the bulk of it.
We’re curious to know Aluxers, what quotes do people share that are annoying you the most? Let us know in the comments!