“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I turned 30 this year and only now have I started to make peace with this thought.
One third of my life is gone: 10 years have been spent sleeping, 7 years going to school, then to college, then to University, 2-3 years eating and about 4-5 full years working. Which leaves me anywhere from 5 to 7 years of actually experiencing life, discovering my potential, pursuing goals, and (hopefully) doing something worthy.
No wonder I feel as if my life path has just barely begun! Yet every time I have to fill the “date of birth” box on any official documents and surveys, I am reminded of how quickly time flies by and how much I still need to learn, understand, and experience.
Maybe you feel the same way too.
If this is the case, I thought that I would share with you the 50 Greatest Life Lessons that I wish I had known when I was younger. And I bet there are at least 500 more life lessons for me to learn.
So if I miss something, please help me out by listing your insights below this post.
In the meantime, here is my list of life lessons that are important to me:
1. You are braver than you think you are.
2. Kindness will take you further in life than intelligence.
3. Perception is reality.
4. Life is better enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
5. Time heals all wounds… regardless of how you feel right now.
6. There is only one question to ask yourself: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
7. It’s often hard to tell just how close you are to success.
8. Never let success get to your head, and never let failure get to your heart.
9. The biggest joys in life are usually free.
10. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
11. Life-long change does not happen overnight.
12. Do what you love, not what you think you’re supposed to do.
13. Laugh at yourself often.
14. You can press forward long after you think you can’t.
15. Support your children in pursuit of their dreams.
16. Good is often better than perfect.
17. Forgiving yourself is far more important than getting others to forgive you.
18. Be nice to yourself.
19. If you awake every morning with the thought that you are the luckiest person on Earth, you’ll often find that you’re right.
20. Don’t get too attached to your successes or your failures. Everything will pass.
21. No education is ever wasted. You never know when you will need a certain skill.
22. You are where you are right now because of the actions you have taken or haven’t taken.
23. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
24. Not trying is 100% failing.
25. Do small things with great amounts of love.
26. Money is just a means to achieve other things or to reach other people. It is never the ultimate goal.
27. Crying is not a sign of weakness. But it is not something that solves problems either.
28. Simple is not always easy.
29. Give up worrying about what others may think of you.
30. Accept that some things will never be yours, and learn to appreciate the things that are only yours.
31. Some of the best life opportunities will transpire only after you dare to lose.
32. Be vulnerable.
33. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
34. You only have this moment to change something about your life.
35. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak. Sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.
36. When angry, stop talking!
37. Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck.
38. Never say things about people that you would not say in their presence.
39. It is okay to be wrong.
40. One of the most important relationship skills to master is to learn to say “I’m sorry”.
41. People who aren’t the easiest to love are the ones who need it the most.
42. Giving is a lot more gratifying than getting.
43. What lies before us and behind us are tiny matters when compared to what lies within us.
44. It’s not about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance.
45. Don’t waste your time being upset about something you can’t change.
46. Rest is the key to being productive. Feeling guilty about not working is the biggest sign that you desperately need a break.
47. You are not alone.
48. Making one person smile can change the world.
49. If you love someone, tell them. Don’t take people for granted.
50. Everybody has a mission. You are not an exception!