They say life is the best teacher. Well, it is true if you are willing to be a lifelong student. There are many lessons that life can teach you and a lifetime will never be enough to learn them all.
Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.– Frank Sonnenberg
Since not all students learn the same way, life has an incredible style of teaching the necessary lesson to best suit each.
Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience.– Otto Von Bismarck
This is the main reason why we read books (at least the self-improvement ones). Books are the experiences had or the lessons learnt by the writer which are beautifully penned down for you. And Yes, they are very helpful because like I said, the writer may have had the luxury of learning a lesson from his/her life-changing experience which you can learn just by being wise.
Likewise, My life has taught me many wonderful lessons which I would love to share with you. They are not unique or anything you may not already know but as they say, Gaining knowledge is the first step to wisdom, sharing it is the first step to humanity.
Here are some of the important life lessons I have learnt and which I keep reminding myself of from time to time.
1.) Listen to your mother, It’s a scary world out there, Mother knows best
This one is a cliché and we all know this. But somehow we seem to always ignore it and end up looking like the fool.
My mother is one of those strong opinionated ones who would make sure their children listen to what they have to say. For a long time, I fought those opinions and I must say, I lost miserably.
Once you realized that mothers are the kind of teachers who would not only tell you what to look at but also point out what you should see, you’d stop fighting them. Just like I did. And let me tell you, I have never been happier.
2.) Be the best version of yourself, for yourself
People always say – ‘It is important to be yourself and that will make you standout / unique from the crowd. This is when people will notice you for who you are. ‘
But I would tell you, this is a piece of good advice but do this for yourself. Not to be unique. Not so people like you. And not so people see you for who you really are. Do it for YOU and only YOU. This will bring a breathtaking change. Try it!!!
3.) Try it and you will succeed
Yes, I took it out from the last point and I stand by it.
You want to be a writer, start writing.
You want to be a musician, play music.
You want to be a Youtuber, start making videos and uploading them.
You want to be a blogger, start blogging.
Not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow and not months from now. Try it NOW, right this moment and with time, what you truly desire to be, will never be too far from achieving it.
4.) No matter how much you give, It will never be enough
And this I say with damn good experience.
Working for a startup company, we had limited resources to work with. So I gave my best in everything I did. I even handled the things which in any other company would have been managed by a completely separate department. Let me just say, I don’t regret doing so because it taught me a lot of things that my formal education could not.
But as the company progressed, I was assured my workload would subside and I would have the time I so dearly wanted.
But with time, I realized that it was the exact opposite. They expected me to do more, and blamed me for being “very much capable of it”. When questioned, I was told, with the increase in salary, the expectations would also increase, which kind of sounds fair. So there was no point fighting it.
I realized, I made a terrible mistake. Not by asking for space but back then when I gave in everything without knowing what I was getting into.
I should have known – IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH.
I quit the job and I am now working for myself. This did leave a scar that I would proudly wear. I learnt my lesson and have now saved it for any future reference.
If you haven’t learnt it yet on your own, I assure you this is one of those lessons life enjoys teaching all her students. But as I mentioned before, In a way which best suits each.
5.) Never feel bad for putting yourself first
When you start loving yourself and respecting your time and energy, things will change. Get to know your worth, and your value will go up.– Germany Kent
I do realize there are a lot of blogs emphasizing this lesson alone. This makes me think, this is also one of those lessons that life takes pleasure in teaching all her students. I would say, damn right coz we need it.
Making people follow you is not very hard. Disrespect or pity yourself enough and people around will reciprocate the same. You cannot expect someone to love you or respect you when you, yourself are unable to do so.
If you haven’t seen the movie ‘I Feel Pretty‘, I would suggest you do so. It may not have received the best of reviews but it delivers a very important message – Everything starts with YOU. You should not feel obliged to apologize for who you are or how you feel.
Value yourself first and only then you can learn to value others.– Charlyn Khater
6.) Be Kind, Not Stupid
Paulo Coelho said ‘Be kind, not Blind’. I took the liberty of rephrasing it and I have a very good reason to do so.
Sometimes when we are in the middle of a situation, we know exactly what’s going on. We can see it. But then we decide to take the higher road and ignore it.
Just know, It is okay for the first time. The second time, you are just weak. The third, you are plain and simple – STUPID. There is absolutely no excuse for being kind at your own cost.
Being kind is a good thing. But there is a big difference between being kind and letting people take advantage of you for it. People often get confused between the two. It is high time to remind yourself and others about the difference.
7.) You don’t owe anyone
We all have come across those people who would help you out when you need it. But as soon as they need something from you, they will immediately bring up – ‘remember the time when I helped you’. They need to understand, they cannot play the good card in the past and later call out on it.
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1)
"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:3-4)
You want to do good, do it with the goodness of your heart and expect nothing in return. The moment you ask for something in return, you have defeated the whole purpose of doing good for others.
But this goes both ways. Something that you need to remember, you never need a reason to help people.
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.– John Bunyan
Also, Gratitude is the best attitude. You should always remember the people who have helped you and if you ever get a chance to help them in return, you very well should. All I am saying is that don’t do it with a gun pointed to your head. You don’t OWE them anything.
8.) Always remember the people who have been with you through the long run
People are guests in our story, the same way we are guests in theirs. But we all meet each other for a reason because every person is a personal lesson waiting to be told.– Lauren Klarfeld
Some people come into your life like blessings and others came in as lessons. And it doesn’t take too long to know the difference. You know it immediately when you meet them. Some touch your heart and you know you should hold on to them.
You may have a hundred friends but when you are in need you don’t find enough. Some stay and they will end up meaning a lot to you. Treat them well. Keep in touch. Be there for them and value them.
Learn to value the people around you, because once you lose someone, its never exactly the same person who comes back.
Here again, gratitude goes a long way. It’s a form of making someone feel important and valued and you need to show it. They need to feel it.
Remember all the people in your life who helped guide you on your road to success. Thank them sincerely and often.– Robert Cheeke
9.) Never stop learning
The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher. Make sure when you wake up in the morning, you go to school.– T. D. Jakes
You need to know that every situation you’re in, every person you meet, every book you read, every experience you have – teaches you important lessons. But as I mentioned before, only to the ones who never stop being a student. Who never stops learning.
The best part is – this applies both personally and professionally.
If you have read – Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, you may have come across the interview with Derek Sivers. He says –
How to thrive in an unknowable future? Choose the plan with the most options. The best plan is the one that lets you change your plans.
This will only happen if you keep learning, broaden your horizon and increase your options.
10.) Do not be afraid to Fail
Everyone fails at something or the other. Your struggles may not be the same as any other person you meet. But the lessons are as important for your own journey. Not even trying just because you are afraid to fail, will destroy your chances to succeed.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress– Frederick Douglass
11.) Happiness is not a destination
Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions. It is governed by our mental attitudeDale Carnegie, How to win friends and influence people
We often describe happiness to where we want to end up without realizing that it in the journey. It is how you make the journey. It can never be the destination (unless there is a place called Happiness and that’s where you want to go).
12.) READ more
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.Dr. Seuss
All I want to say – if you haven’t tried it, start now and if you already have, do not stop.
To read a book, you need patience and self-discipline and if you have it, you are blessed. Make the most of it.
Learning life’s lessons is not about making your life perfect, but about seeing life as it was meant to be.– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
I hope this article helps you revisit your life’s lesson and have the opportunity of learning some more from mine.