Cliches That Actually Mean Something?

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These 10 Cliches May Sum Up Everything You Need To Know About Life

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted:

Universally feared and loathed by any writer who's taken a Fiction 101 class, cliches are, by definition, phrases so overused that they've become virtually meaningless. We tend to dismiss these groan-inducing turns of phrase as hackneyed and outdated, and often for good reason.
But while the value of many of the most cliched proverbs and idioms is undeniably questionable ("Familiarity breeds contempt" and "No pain, no gain," for starters), others have stood the test of time because they do reveal certain universal truths about human nature.
Here are 10 pieces of time-worn folk wisdom that can still tell us something important about who we are.
"People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
We've all used (or at least heard) the "people in glass houses" idiom to describe someone who criticizes others for faults that they themselves possess. We may call it hypocrisy, but it's actually a common defense mechanism: What we reject in others is precisely what we reject in ourselves. It's what life coach Sharon Lamm calls "You spot it, you got it" syndrome.
The cliche is also supported by Freudian psychoanalysis. In 1890, Freud first outlined his theory of psychological projection, which suggests that we unconsciously reject our own "unacceptable" habits and behaviors by ascribing them to people and objects outside of ourselves.
"Look not to the faults of others, nor to their omissions and commissions," the Buddha once advised. "But rather look to your own acts, to what you have done and left undone."
"Laughter is the best medicine."
The healing powers of laughter are no joke. Small studies have linked laughter with lower stress levels, reduced blood sugar levels in those with diabetes and improved sleep quality.
Regularly cracking up can even help you to live longer. In a 2008 WebMD survey of 100 centenarians, laughter was the third-most important aspect of healthy aging: 88 percent of those who lived past the age of 100 said laughter and having a sense of humor were "very important" to aging well.
"The early bird catches the worm."
early bird worm
Although there are many cases of wildly successful night owls, research has linked rising early with success and positive personality traits. One study found that college students who identified as morning people had significantly higher average GPAs than those who liked to stay up late (3.5 vs. 2.5), and a Harvard biologist found that early risers are more likely to have proactive personality traits, Forbes reports. Many of the world's most influential CEOs say that they wake up by 6 a.m. (which we wouldn't necessarily recommend, unless you're hitting the hay by 10 p.m.), proving that, as Benjamin Franklin famously said, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." 
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