Most people find this hard to believe, coming from a journalist/writer but I usually avoid the morning news. It’s hard to start the morning on a high note when you are constantly reminded of the heartache, and shortcomings of the world. However, for the past month I found myself succumbing to morning news and becoming overwhelmed with emotion as I listened to stories surrounding the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Judy Arias trial, the Texas fertilizer plant explosion and more.
Oddly enough, rather than falling into a moment of depression and sadness, I found myself being thankful for all that I have and all that I’ve become thus far. Though fairly young, I’ve learned monumental lessons that carried me farther than I ever imagined. Yet, there is still so much more for me to learn in such a short amount of time. We only have so much time on this earth and the lessons instilled in it are always evolving. However, there are some life lessons that will always stand the test of time. So in attempt to assist others doing what they can to understand all of life’s uncertainties, I’ve compiled a list of 10 life lessons to learn now rather than later.
1. The only way to fail is by not trying.
Mistakes and let-downs aren’t what hold you back. It’s the refusal to try. Until you begin trying to reach that goal you will always fail. Lack of trying is not only the fastest and easiest way to failure, it’s the quickest route to a life of uncertainty and lack of growth. What hurts you most are the opportunities missed by giving in without trying. Regardless of the outcome, trying will always lead to success in the form of a goal reached or lesson learned. The willingness to try will take you everywhere and anywhere. The refusal will get you no where.
2. You are your most important relationship.
Loving your spouse, being the support system to your kids, and the shoulder to cry on for your friends are all instrumental. However, none of them trump the relationship, love, and support you provide for yourself. Never walk in anyone’s shadow, be your own hero and learn to depend on yourself. Once the relationship you have with yourself is a strong one, nothing can stop you.
3. You are your own best advocate.
Though your loved ones, the government, and others may do their best to represent you, only you know what is best for you. Welcome assistance and the added voices, but never be afraid to use your own. Your voice will always be amongst the strongest and loudest when it comes to your wellbeing.
4. Sometimes a sure thing is not the best thing.
It may be guaranteed and the recipe to a happy life, but it may also be the straight route to a mediocre life. Be willing to challenge the “sure thing” and take advantage of the better thing should it be lurking in the shadows. Sure, it’s a risk, but it might be a risk worth taking.
5. Being patient does not mean doing nothing.
While people like to say you need to be patient and wait for your time to come, it doesn’t mean sit back and relax while you wait for something to happen. Things don’t happen until you make things happen. Patience requires productivity while having faith it will pay off in the long run.
6. It’s ok to be selfish.
From the time we are little kids, we’ve been taught to believe that “selfish” is a bad word. We live in a society that points fingers at those who put themselves before others in any given situation. However, I’m here to tell you it’s about time we remove “selfish” from the “bad word” category and accept it as a necessity of life. Yes, it is good to be generous and help others when the time calls for it. However, we must not forget that you can’t help others until you help yourself. You can’t be all things to all people until, you are everything you need to be for yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being selfish, putting yourself first and being your own savior if it means the chance to be all that and more to someone else in the future.
7. The things you hate the most just might be the things that mean the most.
It’s true when they say there’s a thin line between love and hate. It’s often the things you complain most about it and spend the most time thinking about that mean the most for your life. Unfortunately, it takes some people a lifetime to recognize it. Take a moment to analyze the reason why your strong feelings result in displeasure and complaints. Perhaps that festering hate it conjures up is a sign of something much bigger.
8. Deferring happiness to the future is a bad idea.
There is no sense in waiting for that perfect moment to start being happy. That moment will never come. Instead, vow to be happy now. Otherwise, you will always find something better to do and your happiness will remain a dream for the future that is yet to come.
9. Nobody has it all figured out.
They may seem to have it all together and they may put on a brave face, but not one person on this planet has it all figured out. Everyone has problems whether they are health related, finance related, family related, or all of the above. However, you may never know it because you are never allowed to see it. Despite the pretty picture they paint, you may never know what demons and uncertainties hide within each brush stroke. Though they may make it seem easy, you will never know what the person who seems “put together” is really going through.
We live in a crazy, chaotic world. It’s a pretty big challenge to always make perfect sense of it all. The best thing you can do is have faith in yourself, put on a brave face, and ride it out.
10. Money will never be the solution to your problems.
I think we are all guilty of wishing we had more money to make ends meet, purchase some arbitrary item, or just be happier at some point. But the truth is, unless you are living on the sidewalk in a cardboard box, money will never be the answer to all your problems. Once we realize that we have all we need, the bliss we desire will soon follow. It’s about time people recognize that all the things that make life wonderful do not cost a thing. The rest are much cheaper than we think.
What life lessons have you stumbled upon and applied? What was the outcome?
TERRIfic Quip: Always walk through life as you have something new to learn and you will.
What a wonderful list. One of my biggest lessons is that being merciful to others (in thought, word and action) enhances your own life and can make a big difference in theirs. That person who dresses differently? Maybe they’re trying to compensate for an insecurity? That mistake someone made on your dinner order? Maybe they’re having a bad day or just started the job. Being angry or judgmental does no one any favor. Showing mercy and kindness? That’s where it’s at.