Life is a continuous learning experience. Throughout our lives we keep rising and falling, picking up important life lessons along the way. Some of these lessons come from experience, yet there are some that we learn from others. It is often said that some lessons only come too late, catching us off-guard and unprepared. This post includes 7 essential life lessons that we believe everyone should know.
Our List for the 7 Life Lessons We Should All Live By
Here’s our list of the most important life lessons we believe everyone should live by. Click on any of the links to jump to any of the lessons below:
The Small Things Matter Your Value is not Solely Based on Whether You Succeed or Not There will be Times When Things are Outside of Your Control Focus on the Things you Can Control Use Feedback to Improve, But Don't Let Negative Feedback Consume You Do not be Afraid to Fail Determine Your Why in Life
The Small Things Matter
We live in a time where people believe that only through a drastic change can we make a difference. We are told through social media that to be successful one has to wake up at 5 am, go for a 20 kilometer run every morning, and eat only proteins and vegetables. We’re told that we must save all the money we make and continuously work 24/7 without respite. It’s even come to a point where people have started feeling bad when they aren’t working or when the work they have done is not successful.
This “All or Nothing” mentality, where we have to be doing these huge awe-inspiring actions in order to get anywhere in life, gives us an incorrect mindset for life. It makes us believe that if we don’t already know what we want and aren’t already sprinting toward that goal, then it’s not worth jogging or walking. We have been made to believe that progress is made from bold action taken once or twice instead of consistent small actions taken many times over a long and consistent time period.
In reality, most people have made progress in their lives by putting in small consistent efforts. These acts may not feel like they’re significant at the moment yet they are actually significant over time. Doing something small doesn’t need to feel significant to be significant.
Your Value is not Solely Based on Whether You Succeed or Not
Another mistake we have made is creating a society that only has one view of success, winning. You can’t get super choked up on winning nor can you get super jumped up on losing, you have to treat them both as an opportunity to improve. If you can’t focus on the reason why you’re doing what you did during failures you won’t get back up from defeat. Likewise, when you’re too focused on your success you won’t be prepared to handle the next time you inevitably fail.
Just because you have succeeded once does not mean you are a genius who will be permanently triumphant. Just because you have failed before does not make you permanently a victim. This isn’t meant to discount the different life challenges that each and every person faces, but rather say that one doesn’t have to value their success on whether or not they faced victory or defeat.
Instead of thinking about the triumphs and defeats think about your commitment to the process and your growth mindset.
There will be Times When Things are Outside of Your Control
In life, there will be a lot of things that you just won’t have control over. For example, we don’t have control over where we are born, we don’t have control over who our parents are, we don’t have control over our socioeconomic status, and we don’t have control over many health problems we will face.
Having the serenity and humility to accept the things you cannot change is extremely valuable. This is known as Amor Fati. It stops us from beating ourselves up over things out of our control. It is also important in being able to empathize with the perspectives of others.
Focus on the Things you Can Control
Just because we don’t have complete control over our environment doesn’t mean we should fool ourselves into thinking that we have control over nothing. If we believe that we can’t control anything we become helpless, which leads us to make huge mistakes and bad decisions.
Yes, life can be extremely unfair and we each have our own starting points that can give one person a huge edge over another. Those with that starting edge can put in the same amount of effort at that stage and achieve much higher results than someone at a much lower starting point. Similarly, if you’re experiencing a hardship you may have to work so much harder for the things that everyone else takes for granted every day.
While we do not have control over everything that comes our way, we do still have the ability to make the best decision given any situation that we were handed. There are very few situations in life where choosing to work hard and smart isn’t going to improve your outcome in life. Use what you are given to the best of your ability and make your own version of success.
Use Feedback to Improve, But Don’t Let Negative Feedback Consume You
Throughout your entire life, you will constantly be receiving feedback from family, friends, bosses, employees, and children. Constructive criticism is a powerful tool that we must use to be able to improve, but we must be careful to not let negative feedback consume us.
We are our own worst critics who amplify the thoughts of others and allow our emotions to beat us down. Often times the things other people say to us pale in comparison to the things we say to ourselves.
Each and every person is playing their own unique game of life. Use the feedback of others to implement new ideas and try to help others when they require it. But at the end of the day don’t solely allow the opinions of others to dictate your own life. We are all on our own journeys.
Do not be Afraid to Fail
Many people are so scared of losing, in an attempt to try and protect their egos and prevent setbacks, that we never stretch outside our comfort zones. We are afraid to ask a person out because we’re worried about being rejected or afraid to try something new because we run the risk of failure. It is true that there are big risks in stepping outside of your comfort zone. We can lose money, get a bad grade, or get our egos bruised.
Oftentimes, we tell ourselves that we will try something new only when the perfect opportunity awaits us. But there will never be a perfect time to try something new. You will never know with certainty what the economy will look like, the state of your health will be in, or anything else that the future has in store for you. There will never be a better time to try something new than right now.
Part of not being afraid to fail means surrounding yourself with people who will pick you back up when you fail. So find like-minded individuals who are willing to help you succeed in life and make mistakes together.
Determine Your Why in Life
There may come a point in life where we chase success solely because we think it will make us feel more fulfilled. Yet when we reach that milestone, when we taste that success, we are shocked to find that we aren’t happy. This doesn’t mean that everyone’s situations are the same or that getting out of an extremely bad situation, such as poverty, won’t make you feel a lot better. However, once you have met your basic needs in life (food, clothing, shelter, education, etc) everything else in life becomes an added extra.
Working hard to achieve one’s goals, given all the tools you started with, should not be discounted. But that feeling of achievement will be short-lived if we do not know the why behind what we do. Along your own individual journey, you need to focus on building a lifestyle for yourself where you are spending your time on things that you actually care about that you believe are worthwhile. By doing what you love, and loving what you do, no matter what level of success you face, no matter what challenges you will struggle with you’re still winning.
At the end of the day, your journey in life will be made from the meaning that you can create on that path and the meaning that you create in other people’s lives.
Closing Thoughts on Life Lessons
Regardless of your age or where you are in life, learning is the biggest lesson. It’s essential for anyone who wants to be successful in life and continue reaching new levels of success. Aim to keep on growing, evolving, and living your best life. At the end of the day, it’s your choice whether to implement these lessons or not. Walk your own path and adopt the life lessons that you believe best suit your situation.