My grand father always sat on a special chair in front of his small brick house. He would tell some wonderful stories to his children and grand children every now and then. But what always fascinated me most about the things he said was the powerful wisdom and important life lessons that came from him. Things that he had come to learn through study and experience for more than sixty years. It is amazing how one could just go through life and not really pay attention to certain things until it is too late for those lessons to make any real meaning for them.
The glory of youth is their strength but that of old men is their grey hair. Old men have all the natural wisdom that comes from experience, but sadly they do not always have enough time to put that wisdom to work and reap the fruits that come from being wise. Younger folks on the other hand may not know enough to maximize life and its experiences. But they have the time to learn. The sooner they do, the better their life time is going to be. Some lessons we learn in life can only be gotten through experiences. Other lessons we learn in life can be understood through the experiences and wisdom of others.
Hopefully you are young and have the time to learn from the following wisdom nuggets. So you can apply them to your life and avoid the risk that comes with experience. Experience is a great school for some of life’s lessons but sometimes the fees are too expensive to pay. There are a large number of lessons to learn as far as life is concerned. It is good, to learn early enough, whatever you can. So here are some important life lessons you should take to heart betimes.
Money and riches are not the ultimate goal of life
Money is a very important factor to life but it is not the reason for which we live. In other words, money is not an end in itself. It is only a means to an end in life. Knowing that getting money is not the pursuit of life is one of the most important life lessons anyone can learn, especially in an age when everyone is occupied by the desire to make more money than they actually need. Because of today’s economic system, the world is fashioned to run after money. But no one has ever gotten it in the real sense of the word. It is important to learn this lesson because those who do not will sooner or later regret that they did not pursue other things as they should have.
We are living for a purpose and money is only meant to foster the accomplishment of that purpose and help us stay here until we meet the target. Knowing the value of money and where to place it on your priority list is one of the best things to learn in life.
However, you will find that the main motivation behind the waking up early and sleeping late for many people is the amount of money they make. Ironically, the moment your earnings increase, your expenses and financial responsibilities too go up with it. And that circus of chasing money may never end. It is not wrong to work and do things that bring in money and increase your financial status. However, what I am addressing here is the idea that making money is the ultimate goal of life. It is not may not be the way many people say it, but it is how they act about it. The problem with that is, one could be so distracted by the need to make more money that they never actually live life. Never doing the things they really like to do even though they have the money to do those things simply because they are afraid of putting themselves in a financial wreck. It is also possible to be so distracted by money that you never really pursue the purpose for which you were born.
Failures and mistakes are part of the process of life
Along life’s road, there will be mistakes and failures. This is an important lesson to learn as early as possible. Sometimes, things would not go the way you planned or even expected them to go. It may be a long while before you see your plans come to pass and your goals achieved. You will have moments when you begin to wonder whether or not all your struggles and efforts are worth it. The road sometimes gets so tough you want to quite. At such times, you will do well to remember that all these challenges are part of the process. There are some lessons we learn in life that cannot be understood any other way except through the mistakes we make. It is a long journey and you want it to always be as light as possible. The way to do that is to go go easy on yourself when things go wrong. Take in a deep breath and tell yourself that everything is going to be just fine as you stay determined to go on to the very end.
So many businesses have been abandoned and many other important things left unfinished because people just don’t understand that meeting challenges when trying to accomplish anything worth it in life is part of the process. If everyone had to give up when they faced challenges and difficult times, I bet you would not see all the giant companies, wonderful inventions and great business ventures we are all enjoying today.
The famous JK Rowlings who wrote the much loved and widely read Harry Potter went through marital failure and a series of other episodes before her book finally made it to the international scene and became such a success. The book was initially rejected by 12 major publishers before she could find a publishing house for it. Then finally it began winning awards and that is how she became famous and successful. If you are a novel lover, you will also know the name Stephen King, one of the most popular names on novels. A good number of which have now even been acted out into movies. What many people Don’t know is that he once got into a place of despair after his first novel was rejected 30 times. He was broken by the rejection and tossed the manuscript into the thrash before his wife, who truly believed in his gift and abilities retrieved it and encouraged him to go on. There are others in different fields who went through more than a hundred failed attempts before succeeding at what they were working on.
If those life examples given above do not drive the point home, lets remember Thomas Edison who is noted to have failed more than ten thousand times in his attempts at creating an electrical light bulb that could easily be commercialized. I wonder how many times it was going to take before he gave up. But he never did. He was determined to succeed through all the challenges and failures. And he did. Most of the world enjoys using light bulbs today because a man understood that failures and mistakes pave the road to success and greatness. Who knows where the world would have been today if great men like Bill gates, Barack Obama and others had given up their dreams in the face of challenges and failure? The lesson to learn here is that failed attempts do not define us. They should also not stop us. It is indeed one of the best things to learn in life.
There isn’t enough time to do everything
No matter where you are in the world, a complete day is 24 hours long. That is enough to do many things but it is not sufficient time to do everything. One of the most important life lessons everyone should learn as early as possible is the fact that we have limited time on earth. It is amazing how many people spend the best part of their days without actually realizing the value of time. We have learned to manage our money and material possessions but several people are still lost to how well they mismanage their time.
The best way to make an impact in life is to spend your time and efforts on as few things as possible. This is one vital lesson to learn. It takes time to get better at something. It takes time to become an expert. It takes time to learn and grow. And we have a limited supply of it. You cannot waste time on things that do not really matter or else realizing your goals and becoming successful will be very difficult. The sooner a person realizes how important time is, the sooner they can begin to take every minute seriously. Knowing and appreciating the value of time is one of the best things to learn in life.
I learned some time ago that the main difference between people, no matter what field of life or part of the world they find themselves in is the way they use their time. That is practically what makes a difference between one person and the next. One person could have been born with more opportunities and privileges but if he or she messes up with their time he can loose everything withing a few months or years. Another person could have been born with nothing more than the breath in their nostrils. But if he or she will take advantage of the time they have and make every minute count, he can make a difference and change his situation for the best. Time is the common denominator for all of mankind.
If you decide to do everything you admire in life, you may end up succeeding at none of them. It’s like they say; jack of all trade, master of none. Decide what you want to spend your time doing and invest effort to make it work. Time is a resource just like money, although far more valuable. This means you can choose to either spend it, invest it or waste it. However your life and what you are able to accomplish will be a testament of what you choose to do with your time. If you waste time, it will not be long before you finally get to the last days of your life and look back with a lot of regrets at how you should have used your time more profitably.
On the other hand if you choose to appreciate the value of time and invest it in your future and the things that really matter, you will find at some point in time that there are no regrets, only an appreciation of the fact that you invested time instead of wasting it. If you have kids, maybe you should buy them watches and start teaching them to value their time.
It is important to live in preparation for when you die
No one can argue with the fact that they will one day have to leave this world. From generation to generation this one fact has managed to sink deep into the very core of humanity, defeating logic and reason. The day of death is coming, sooner or later, one has to go. But what many people still find very difficult to believe is the fact that when the immortal part of them which is the spirit finally leaves their bodies, they are going to another world, to a place which will be determined by how they lived on this part of the universe. Anyone could argue with this until they are blue in the face, but the fact of it is not going to change. It is something bigger than humanity.
Consequently, it is important for us to live with the consciousness of the fact that the time we spend on earth and our deeds are seeds we are sowing into eternity. When we slip over into the great beyond, it will be time to reap the fruits and receive the rewards for our deeds. I have heard about people when they get to that edge between this life and the next. Those who know they are not ready to go usually have a certain degree of fear that torments their soul. Those who know they are ready to depart usually have an inner peace and joy that despises death. It is important for us to all live our lives knowing that a day will come when we have to leave this scene. Will the things you choose to do now bring you fulfillment when that time comes?
Being Happy is a choice
Many people have attached their happiness to people and things. So much so that these things and people actually determine whether or not they are happy. When they have money, material possessions and friends, they feel happy. When those things are not there, they feel terrible. It is a terrible thing to have your happiness controlled in this way. Being happy is a choice and that is one of the most important life lessons anyone can learn. If you don’t choose to be happy at all times, things are not going to make you happy. Neither are people. And your ability to be happy really has a great deal to do with your health and success in life. No matter how things turn out, choose to be happy. Learn to smile at life and it will smile back at you. This is one of the lessons we learn in life. Sooner or later, we come to the realization that happiness resides in us.
Love is the most powerful force on earth, use it
There is absolutely nothing as powerful as love. As a matter of fact, understanding love is one of the best things to learn in life. Too many times we find ourselves wondering about how to influence people or even bring out the best in them. There are parents with wayward children, trying all they can to straighten them up but nothing seems to work. People who can see their friends are making wrong choices in life and really want to help out but don’t know how to. There is absolutely no situation or person love cannot change.
The problem is, the word LOVE is so common these days that for most people it is no more than a feeling or a cliché to be thrown around at will. But love is actually a choice. It is a choice to act and respond positively to people in spite of situations or even their reactions. This is a vital lesson to learn, especially while one is still young. Feelings do not change people. Most times, they only lead to people getting hurt. But that decision to love is what makes a difference. I once read of a dad whose son had gone wayward as he grew up. The old man had tried everything possible to get his boy on track but nothing seemed to be working. As a matter of fact the young man only drifted further into crime and reckless living. Then one day, as his father had a meeting with some friends who had come over to his house to visit, his son bashed in on them, evidently under the influence of alcohol and drugs. His dad, with so much love in his heart for his boy, called him over, put his arm around his shoulder and declared his love and trust to His son. At this unexpected act of love, the boy broke down into tears and was changed from that time on. Love is the strongest force for friendship and the most formidable weapon against our enemies.
Having people is more important than having things
In an effort to have and achieve different things and heights in life, many are trampling on others. However, one important lesson to learn early in life is the fact that there is nothing more valuable than people on the earth. And people are not instruments we are supposed to us as we try to get to where we are going in life. People are part of the reason why we are alive, not the other way round. Amongst the best things to learn in life is how you can have a genuine value for people. It will be easier for you to influence them and make an impact on the world around you when you sincerely love people.
There is nothing earthly worth risking family for
Success usually comes with great responsibility and sacrifice. In the course of becoming successful, some people go as far as ignoring or cutting off from their families, failing to realize that their families are the only people who are really obligated by natural connections to stand by them and help them out when things get tough. When the whole world seems to be against you (and sometimes it happens) you can have your family to run back to. But not if you have abandoned them. They are the once most likely to understand and accept you for who you truly are or when you have gone wrong in life. Never give up family for money or anything material.
Worry and anxiety have never solved any problem and never will
As you go through life, you are going to have a good number of reasons and countless opportunities to worry and be anxious. It could be about provisions, about love, about family, career or any other thing that is of value to you. It is very easy to fret and be anxious. But no one ever changed their situation by worrying or being anxious about it. Lets assume that you have a problem. Do you have solution? If yes, why worry about it? If No, why worry about it? Either ways, worry isn’t going to change a thing. It is only going to steal your joy and energy.
There are a large number of lessons we learn in life. Some of them early enough, others, only when we have been seasoned by experiences. Bottom line is, the earlier we learn them, the better.