By adopting just a few key life lessons, you can put yourself ahead of the curve and stand out from the crowd in all aspects of life. From developing a growth mindset to taking responsibility for your own happiness, these insights can transform the way you approach challenges and opportunities.
Take Care of Your Health
With so much stress and distraction in our lives, it’s easier than ever to succumb to the alluring trap of “tomorrow.” Tomorrow, you’ll start eating healthier. Tomorrow, you’ll go to the gym. Tomorrow, you’ll set work aside and have a much-needed mental health break.
Eating right and exercising regularly are crucial to longevity. Unfortunately, delaying taking care of your health makes things much harder in the long run. Metabolism slows down as you age, so those extra pounds that would be easy to lose in your 20s and 30s might be far more stubborn in middle age.
There’s a Season for Everything
Life can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you’re young and there’s so much to figure out. Slow down and take things one at a time.
Focus on what’s most important now, and don’t hold yourself to an impossible and arbitrary standard. Don’t beat yourself up for not getting to travel as much as you wanted before having children or not yet owning your own home, even though your best friend just closed on their first home. Those opportunities will come again, and you’ll be ready when they do.
Comparison is the Enemy of Joy
It’s practically human nature to think that the grass is always greener on the other side. With the ubiquitous presence of social media, it’s almost impossible to steel yourself against the temptation to compare yourself to others. Worse yet, you can become complacent and discontent in your closest relationships when you compare your life to others.
Don’t let constant comparisons blind you to what’s right in front of you. There will always be someone who’s better looking than you, richer than you, more intelligent than you, and has a better house or car.
Love is a Verb
Relationships require hard work to last. This can be hard to believe in the beginning when everything is sunshine and roses, and the rose-colored glasses are firmly in place.
But even the most loving and compatible relationships are susceptible to complacency, selfishness, and neglect. Problems arise when nurturing the relationship regularly is no longer a priority. The hectic pace of life can push the relationship to the back burner if a couple isn’t careful.
Life Isn’t Fair
This is a painful fact that we must all learn sooner or later. Once most of us reach adulthood, the shiny egalitarianism of elementary school wears off, and we learn that life isn’t fair.
When we look at the news, this sad truth becomes even more apparent. Good people fall victim to senseless acts of violence every day, and bad people get away with hurting people just because they can.
Strength has Many Forms
Popular culture would have you think that a strong person is one with confidence, power, and charisma, but strength is much more nuanced and expressed in ways we don’t often consider.
Sacrificing your own needs for those of someone you love is one of the purest forms of strength. Kindness is strength. Gentleness is strength. Bridling your temper is strength. Taking care of those you love – like your children, spouse, parents, and yourself – is strength.
Let it Go
Forgiveness really does set you free. As the old proverb goes, holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Holding onto anger and hate only affects you and your health. In fact, studies have proven that holding onto anger has been linked to chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches, and digestive problems, and it can even lead to heart disease.
The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You
Ideally, this painful lesson is first introduced in early childhood. As we get older, we understand the importance of perspective and how our problems will always seem like luxuries to someone else.
It’s easy to sit at home and wallow in our problems.
What builds character, however, is to get outside of yourself and serve others. Volunteering at a homeless shelter, picking up litter, or putting together care packages for the needy can help you set aside selfishness and focus on helping others.
Money Can’t Buy Happiness
As Francis Bacon once said, “Money is a great servant but a bad master.”
Money is designed to be a tool, not a motivation, and certainly not a means to obtain status and admiration. Some people have little money and are happy, loving people, while others seem to have all the money in the world but are somehow miserable.
Everything has Consequences
This is why learning to pause before reacting is so important. Every word and every action has consequences.
Not thinking about the consequences of your actions can lead to great unhappiness and life-changing mistakes and affect personal relationships. An unkind comment can live on for years and damage what could otherwise have been a great relationship.