We learn by experience, and the purpose of learning is to grow. Therefore, life presents us with situations, some good, others bad. And the goal of these situations is to learn by living through them!
However, not all lessons need to be gained purely by experience. Hence, we are expected to learn also from the experience of others.
Fortunately, many have come before us, and many who have gone ahead of us, whose stories of conquer and defeat we can learn from. Through my lived experience, I can impact a few lessons on others, as much as I have learned from others.
In this expose, I will share 5 things that can help improve your life. These are lessons that I have come to learn from my own journey as well as from following the stories of others.
Because these are real-life lessons, you will find them reasonably practical. For each lesson, I tell a personal story or experience to help bring home whatever point I am trying to pass. I hope you find the lessons helpful.
1. You Have All It Takes To Make It In You!
This might sound like a cliche, but it is true; you have all it takes to succeed within you. This does not discredit the need for external resources. But, you will agree that a lion with the heart of a puppy cannot lead its pride. It is always about the heart.
The truth is we all are born with endless potential. The anatomy of the human body itself is a wonder. However, you must first believe you are a creature of infinite capabilities. You might not look like it, but looks can be deceiving.
You might even seem to lack wit and courage or be prone to consistent failure, but these do not negate the truth about who you are. Believing in yourself pushes you forward despite all odds to manifest your peculiar gifts.
I run for fun, but more as a form of exercise. I often set distances to cover, and more often, I find myself wanting to give up before getting to the finish line. Sometimes, I am certain I am gassed out and wouldn't finish a race. However, I have had to motivate myself more than once to pull through.
It is the same with everybody who ever succeeded. They almost always assume they are done with a goal and take the momentary fatigue or exhaustion as a failure. However, with just the right motivation, they bounce back and accomplish their goal.
2. There Are Sacrifices To Be Paid
In his rather unique book, Agnus Dunnington uses the game of chess to explain the importance of sacrificing one thing to get another.
We all have one thing in common: the desire for a life of comfort. However, the term comfort is relative. And, the sacrifices we are ready to pay often determine the type of comfort each one has.
Using people's health choices to illustrate: some prefer the comfort of sitting on their couch all day, munching anything that comes their way. And completely ignoring any form of physical exertion. This is their comfort level, and it is what they want.
Unfortunately, these people have sacrificed health to eat whatever they like and not exercise. On the other hand, some get up and put in the required work to be fit, buff up, and maintain a healthy weight. These often sacrifice particular food and the comfort of a sedentary lifestyle. However, they enjoy the convenience of good health and a fantastic body,
So, for every action you choose to take or not take, you sacrifice something for a specific type of comfort. We all have to make up our minds and decide what we are ready to offer.
3. Make Other's Life Beautiful
There is a lot of study on the joy of giving, and the fulfillment of living life for others. You might roll your eyes at the concept and tag it another cliche, but trust me, it works. Meaningful relationships where you live for others can even help you live longer.
According to Harvard, a lack of meaningful relationships is said to increase the mortality rate from all causes by 50%. Are you not shocked by this revelation?
I have found this to be true. Writing my own way of living for others. Each article I write is carefully researched and requires subject matters studied to ensure my readers get value from reading them. I do this because I genuinely care for you, my audience.
Now despite writing not being my primary source of income (atleast not till sometime), it gives me great joy. It is one of the most important aspects of my life after my family. I have gone through rough patches, encouraged by feedback from some of my articles.
4. There Is No Perfect Time To Do What Is Right
The concept of perfect timing has ruined the possibility of the world seeing great inventions and innovations. The blunt truth is that there is no perfect timing. There will always be a reason not to do what is right!
I have always had a passion for writing. However, my life was different from what I thought anybody could learn a thing or two from. This is a conclusion that I came to, based on comparing my presumed boring life with that of global authors!
However, I quickly realized that the fact that I am alive is enough testament from the universe that perhaps I, too, can have a voice. This simple epiphany is the fuel that has moved me to write as much as I have written to date- and it's a lot of writing.
Had I waited for when I felt it was the perfect time for the world to hear me, I would be far from where I am today.
This same principle applies to ideas. If you have an idea, run with it. Again the proof of many concepts is in their execution. Most inventions seen today are born from ideas that many thought stupid, but through execution and refining, they became gold!
The most remarkable testimony to the need to take action in uncertainty is how mankind beat the Covid 19 era. No one could imagine that vaccines could be made as quickly as they were, nor would the world adapt and thrive in the face of lockdown! Imagine if we all waited for things to become perfect before we made a move; I am confident we would still be under lockdown.
5. Observe And Act Rather Than React To Events
We often hear that we should not make any permanent decision when angry. But it doesn't mean we don't. Most of us must learn how to control our minds when angry. Yes, it is a learnable skill.
Many studies have been done on the effect of anger on decision-making, and it is a fact that anger clouds the mind and inhibits our ability to honestly assess the consequences of our actions. Hence we need to make better decisions.
Is anger bad? Of course not. It is a normal human reaction. However, like every human thing, it must be controlled and used correctly. In fact, you can learn to use anger to make proper decisions.
The key is to learn to observe. The ability to introspect as well as extrospection is required. When in anger, study yourself, how you feel. Then review the environment and the situations at hand and use the information to your benefit.
I can do the above by being silent. It took time to master, but the older I get, the easier it becomes. In silence, by not talking or responding when angry and, if possible going somewhere quiet to reason, I can both introspect and retrospect, which helps me act right instead of reacting.
Seneca has briefly put it right
"Silence is a lesson learned through life's many sufferings."
If you put to practice the five lessons shared in this article, you will begin to see positive changes in your life. You will be much happier, more productive, and more fulfilled.
Do you have any life lessons to share? Leave your thoughts below.