They say that experience is the best teacher, but sometimes, it seems that lessons taught by experience come too late in life. Like when we have already made mistakes that we cannot undo. Ah, but I guess that’s how we learn. As we get older, we realize that there are many things we wish we knew or did differently when we were younger. Here are 20 lessons that you might have learned too late in life. Or is there still time? You decide.
Everything is Temporary
Nothing lasts forever, friendships come and go, relationships come and go, family members come and go. Sometimes, you may find yourself stuck in a situation or going through a phase that you can’t seem to get out of, but you will; things will pass. Your emotions will change, and your financial situation will fluctuate. One day, you will find yourself surrounded by a lot of material things, and the next day, you may be fulfilled living in a minimalistic space.
Life Isn’t Fair
Life isn’t fair because you expect it to be. Life is random. You think it is supposed to be fair, so you have expectations. There is no checklist or manual for life; you may think you are doing things right or wrong, and then life proves you wrong, and things go backward. Don’t cling to the idea of perfection or that if you do everything right, good things will always happen to you. When you’re facing something that seems unfair, ask yourself this: how can you shift your perspective?
Complaining is a Waste of Time
The time and effort you waste on complaining could be invested in fixing problems, finding solutions, and achieving results. Complaining creates a culture of negativity, which kills innovation & creativity. Negative people are quick to shoot down new ideas. Create a culture of positive energy. Repeated complaining results in cortisol being released at higher levels, putting us more at risk of developing heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and strokes.
Blood is Thicker Than Water
Familial bonds will always be stronger than other relationships. If you put family over everything, this means that they are the most essential and cherished slice of your life. Consequently, you will go above and beyond to make them happy. By the same token, they are the light of your life. Family means having someone to love you unconditionally in spite of you and your shortcomings. These bonds are important because family helps us get through the most disastrous times and the best times.
Family is important because they can offer support and security coupled with unconditional love; they will always look to see and bring out the best in you, even if you cannot see it for yourself.
Fear is a Waste of Time
Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Instead of focusing on what you are afraid of, try facing your fears by exposure. Exposure involves gradually and repeatedly going into feared situations until you feel less anxious. Exposure is not dangerous and will not make the fear worse. And after a while, your anxiety will naturally lessen.
Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
The saying means that true happiness comes from within, not from possessions that can be bought. Beyond the ability to pay your bills, happiness is a state of mind that is short-lived when you base it on physical objects and the numbers in an investment portfolio. Having more money might bring pleasure, but it does not bring intrinsic happiness that’s sticky to the soul. Personal growth, meaningful relationships, and states of our physical and mental health contribute to the intrinsic happiness that grounds us regardless of the unknowns that swirl around us.
You Can’t Change People
Making someone do something, even if it’s for their own good, requires either coercion or manipulation. It requires intervening in their life in a way that is a boundary violation, and it will, therefore, damage the relationship. People have to want to change by themselves for the change actually to happen and last. Before someone can make lasting changes to a specific behavior or trait, they need to want to make those changes. You can certainly offer encouragement and support or set an example of positive change, but you can’t control anyone else’s actions.
You Need Boundaries
Boundaries help determine what is and is not okay in a relationship, whether that be with friends, partners, co-workers, bosses, or family members. Ideally, we put them in place to protect our well-being. They help us to build trust, safety, and respect in relationships. Boundaries help us strengthen and manage our relationships with other people and within ourselves. Although you may be tempted to think of boundaries as keeping people out, it is more useful to think of them as building a fortified house.
People Pleasing Will Get You Nowhere
It becomes easy to focus the majority of your energy on pleasing other people rather than focusing on providing yourself with happiness. As a result, this kind of behavior inevitably causes low self-esteem, feeling like there are too many expectations on you, and the development of poor coping skills. If you are a people pleaser, you may devote very little time to taking care of your own health. Your efforts to take care of others prevent you from being able to take care of your own needs. Balance is needed.
Stop Saying No to Everything
Many times when we say no or ‘I can’t’, it is because we are afraid we aren’t up to a task or fear failure. However, when you start saying yes more often, it shows that you are confident in your abilities. Why you should say yes to things? Saying yes means that you’re open to moving past your comfort zone and embracing a new challenge. By saying yes, you naturally adopt a growth mindset, leading with your curiosity.
People Don’t Care About You as Much as You Think
This doesn’t mean that people around you don’t support you or care about you as a loved one or a friend. This means that people can’t always be on top of everything. If you do care about everyone around you, you can become blind to your own needs. If you give so much to others, it harms your own health, relationships, or finances. Other people may feel diminished energy or lose their ability to concentrate if they are always paying attention to the folks that surround them.
When a Door Closes, Another One Will Open
This means that if one thing you do fails, you will soon have an opportunity to try to succeed at something else. This expression is often used to encourage someone to keep trying after they have had a disappointment or failure. It serves as a reminder of the continual possibilities and opportunities that life presents, even in the face of setbacks or disappointments. It’s an optimistic perspective on dealing with change and adversity, encouraging resilience and adaptability.
Not Everyone Who Comes Into Your Life is Here to Stay
People come and go. Sometimes, they are only there long enough to teach you the lesson that you need to learn. Not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever. They may temporarily be in your life to love you, to hurt you, or to simply experience life with you. You cannot hold on to people. You cannot force them to be there always. Destiny puts many people in your life, but only the best ones remain.
Karma is Real
Life is Karma. As life unfolds day after day, we are confronted with circumstances, good and bad, and we wonder why things are happening the way they are. Karma is basically the cycle of cause and effect. Like causes produce similar effects. For instance, right actions produce good results, while wrong actions produce bad ones. Try to keep this in mind when you continue on your daily life. Bad thoughts and actions will bring the same back to you and vice-versa.
You Are Responsible For Your Happiness
This means that you need to figure out ways in which you can be happy despite others’ behaviors and external circumstances. Happiness is an individual responsibility because we may feel that the other was giving too much of what we didn’t want, like advice, criticism, control, judgment, resentment, disappointment, or distance. It isn’t until we are well into ourselves and our thoughts and feelings that it becomes clear to us that our individual happiness is up to each of us.
Your Health is the Most Important Thing in Your Life
Physical health is a vital part of supporting our overall health and well-being. If we spend our lives rushing around and forgetting to take care of ourselves physically, this can also have an impact not only on our physical health but also on our overall well-being as well as our mental health. Having nowhere to turn while your health may not be up to par can make it hard for someone to live.
Expectations Lead to Disappointment
Expectations are the strong belief that something will happen or be the case. More than anything else, our expectations determine our reality. And our expectations also impact those around us. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, people may rise or fall depending on their expectations and beliefs. You need to try to only focus on the things you can control and know yourself and what you’re capable of, and also, don’t compare yourself to others when setting personal expectations.
Stuff Doesn’t Matter
The ordinary little things: the sharing of stories, of food, of smiles, of small comforts. These are the key to survival. True gratitude is about the ordinary. Friendships, relationships, time, memories, and experiences are what truly matter in life. It’s those people and things that can never be replaced, even if you try. Purpose is another important aspect of life because, without purpose, you’d feel empty and void of everything. Material stuff doesn’t matter.
Everything Always Works Out in the End
Everything works out in the end since there’s a natural order to life, regardless of your fears and doubts. The most you can do is to embrace your current experience. Acceptance means to acknowledge life happens through you, not to you. Collective wisdom and our own experiences tell us that, often, this is a better place than what we set out for. Worrying about anything never resolves problems. Sometimes, we just have to do our best and let the rest resolve itself in time. And that is when life kicks in and smoothens out the wrinkles.
The act that hurt or offended you might always be with you. But working on forgiveness can lessen that act’s grip on you. It can help free you from the control of the person who harmed you. Sometimes, forgiveness might even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who hurt you. Letting go is important. It allows you to take your power back. The energy and emotion you have so deeply invested in a certain person/situation is now free to be moved to someone/something that is positive for your growth and emotional, psychological, and physical health.
Life is a journey, and we are constantly learning and growing. While it is inevitable that we will make mistakes and learn lessons too late, we can still take what we have learned and use it to enrich our lives going forward. Remember that it is never too late to make positive changes in your life and that every experience, good or bad, is an opportunity to learn and grow. Focusing only on the final destination can be discouraging if we don’t have a clear path to get there; it’s best to focus on the journey itself and enjoy it as much as possible.
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