The Greatest Lessons I’ve Learned in Life…So Far
I don’t know everything or have all the answers, no one does. But one thing I do know, is that when I started to look at my life as a series of learning experiences, I was able to view the world from a clear, more positive perspective. Every day of my life I learn something new. I am observant on purpose. Some of the things that I learn really cause me to ponder...
During these 50 years of my life I have come to realize that many things I've been through were lessons I needed to learn in order to grow. These times in my life have contributed to the person that I am today, and honestly, I like who I have become. It has taken me a long time to realize that these things have helped to shape my life... in a positive way... even though some of the things I went through didn't seem so positive at the time.
These lessons I've learned over the years may seem like no-brainers to some people, and that's okay because we are all living our lives the best way we know how. Everyone has their list of life lessons that are a direct result of the situations and circumstances that have shaped who they've become. I know this is true for me.
Some of the Lessons I’ve Learned in Life
1. A good laugh or cry always makes you feel better.
I don’t know why it is, but letting go of emotions always makes me feel a sense of relief. There is nothing better than laughing out loud with friends or family, even if it is laughing at the most ridiculous things.
On the other hand, a good cry through whatever adverse situation you are going through also releases the built up emotions that have been bottled up inside. I always feel a sense of calm after facing situations and dealing with the emotions, good or bad, that go with them.
2. We are all going to fail at some point. Don't miss the lesson the failure is meant to teach you.
It’s inevitable, we all fail sometimes. What is important about the failure is how you deal with it. It takes a while to learn to take a step back from a failure and ask yourself: “What am I supposed to learn from this?”
Maybe the answer is as simple as learning to pick yourself up and start over. Maybe it's an opportunity to give you a reason to try harder. Whatever the lesson may be, it is there to help shape us and mold us into the person we are meant to be. When you view failure as a positive experience, you will decrease the negative feelings that failure can bring.
3. Not everyone will like you, and that's OK!
This was a hard lesson for me to learn because I have always looked at myself as a “likable” person. I always try to be friendly and welcoming, but that doesn't always equate to being liked. It’s hard to accept that there are just some people who do not like me, for whatever reason.
As I get older, I realize that whoever these people are, they have their reasons for the way they feel and they are free to feel that way. As long as I know that I do my best keep my integrity and treat others respectfully, they cannot affect who I am if I do not let them.
4. YOU are accountable for your actions and choices…and NO ONE else!
I have been trying to instill this fact in my children since they were old enough to understand. A lot of people are very quick to blame others for their misfortunes, bad choices, and situations when in reality, they need to take a good look in the mirror. For some people, it is always someone else’s fault.
The truth is, each of us is responsible for ourselves and need to accept the outcome of our actions and choices. Accountability for your own actions is an important part of maturity and understanding that each choice you make has a consequence is something you can never forget.
5. It’s best to take a deep breath and pause before you show your anger.
This has been a struggle for me. Sometimes I can be quick tempered and it is something I work on every day. I think that I have gotten better as I get older. Honestly, I know from experience that it is always best to take a step back and collect yourself and your thoughts before lashing out. I always try to remind myself that I cannot take back words or actions once I've let them out.
The same goes for sending a nasty email or text. Never send an email or text when you are angry. Write it if you must, but never hit send until you have time to cool down!
6. Having a victim mentality will always keep you a victim.
We are supposed to learn from the things that happen in our lives and move on. I'm not saying to forget the bad things, I'm saying don't let them define who you are.
Many people are stuck in the past and cannot see what greatness and potential lies ahead. You cannot move forward if you’re constantly looking backward. Create a future based on your past experiences and use the pain to make your life meaningful...like helping others through the same type of experience.
7. No one owes you anything.
Seriously, they don’t. I mean it, NO. ONE. OWES. YOU. ANYTHING. Having an "I'm entitled" mindset will not lead you anywhere. I tell my boys this over and over. Which brings me to #8....
8. If you want something…you have to work hard for it.
This is an extension of #7. If you want something bad enough, work hard to get it. Work until your fingers bleed. Work until you are tired and can’t see straight. Don’t wait for whatever it is you want to fall in your lap or for someone to give it to you. Go out and grab it.
Trust me, you will be much more protective of whatever it is if you earn it, rather than having it handed to you. Nothing can replace the feelings of success when you work with everything you have for whatever it is you desire.
9. Every decision you make or action you take has a consequence.
This is really an extension of #4 but needs to be reiterated. Every decision, choice and action you make really does have consequences; some good, some bad. You cannot go through life thinking that you can do anything you please without some kind of consequence.
It’s very simple…If you commit a crime, eventually you will get caught. If you work hard, you will eventually see the fruits of your labor. That is why I pray so hard when faced with decisions to make. If it is in the will of God, He will assist me to make the right choices. This is an important lesson that I have had to learn...more than once.
10. The people you love will hurt you sometimes.
People you love may not want to hurt you, but sometimes they do. This is a part of life and love and relationships. This is why unconditional love is so important. Unconditional love allows us to see beyond the hurt and into the heart of the person who hurt us and to know their true intentions. It also allows us to make a decision as to whether or not the person who hurt you even has a place in your life. Remember, God places people in your life, but He also removes them from your life.
11. Prayer works
This is actually the most important lesson that I have learned. Call it saving the best for last... it is the one I want to leave fresh in your mind.
I honestly don't know where I would be without God in my life. I have to pray. I have to seek God's Word. I have to know that I am doing what He has laid out for me. I have to pray for others.
God is there - always; in the darkest hours and on the brightest days. He answers - always. His answers may not be what I think they should be, but He knows best. Prayer is what gets me through everything and without it, without Jesus, I would be lost.
Related Post: Things I Know For Certain
Each of these lessons that I listed are a result of my own personal experiences. Perhaps you can relate to some of them. I'm sure that as I continue to experience new things, I will add to the list.
What are some life lessons that you have learned? Maybe you are stuck in an area of your life and are unsure of the lesson. If so, pray through it and ask God to reveal it to you... He will.
Don’t forget that every lesson is meant to build you up to become the best version of yourself. There are no bad lessons… each one serves a purpose in your life.
Count each lesson in your life as a blessing, even when it seems like an impossible thing to do.