I have quite the page of mindsets now, and it really didn’t take that long to create.
When I observe general truths, especially surprising truths, I like to find a pithy way to summarize them. And then I promptly add them to my list.
For example, “influence is affect” – if you want to influence someone, yourself included, impact how they feel.
This can be applied in so many different situations. It’s like a key that will open many doors, to reliably solve many problems.
For example, if someone is grumpy, offer them something to eat. Especially if you know they haven’t eaten in a while. Why? Because when one is hungry, they feel sluggish, lethargic, perhaps they have stomach pains, and they are definitely grouchy, that’s expected behavior when hungry. Their body is screaming out to them to put food in. Once the food is in, their body will stop screaming and they’ll feel better and they’ll be nice to you once again.
Contrast this with telling the person they’re being a jerk. That they should know better and not be so unprofessional (if it’s at work) or so rude (if it’s at home). Logic doesn’t fill their stomach, at best it will only make them suffer more.
So, build up your own list of aphorisms. And then don’t be afraid to refer to it definitively when you’re confronted with a difficult situation. Chances are one of your aphorisms will apply in some way and help because it is a general truth.
Now if your aphorisms prove counter-productive then perhaps they aren’t general truths and need revision or deletion.