7 Life Lessons We Learned, So You Don’t Have To

Learn from our mistakes.

By Megan Bailey

While experience is the best teacher, if you can take in a life lesson without putting yourself through the difficulty you’ll be in a much better place. We don’t typically learn well from the struggles of others, because without the experience the issue doesn’t seem as riveting. When you do really accept the wisdom of others, though, the benefits can be huge. Here is some important life lessons that you do not want to put yourself through, so it’s important to try and soak in the knowledge early.

Your parents were probably right, about most everything.

Growing up as a teen you fought the adults in your life with tooth and nail. There was no way that they could know more than you did, so you rebelled against their choices and beliefs. As you get older, you start to realize your parents were right. They weren’t just smart to whom you should have and shouldn’t hang out with, or what activities could have gotten you in trouble. They were trying to teach you the real lessons about what really matters in life, what could bring serious negative consequences, and instill values and morals in you. Take a step back and think about what your parents were trying to teach you, and how you can start implementing those beliefs in your life today to make you a better person.

Start taking care of your health now.

We all know it’s important to take care of our health. We need better sleep, to eat healthier, and to exercise more if we want our bodies to stay strong during our later years. The older folks in your life will tell you though, to stop ignoring these suggestions, and start putting things into action immediately. Your body doesn’t suddenly break down after one year, but rather consistently crumbles down with each passing day. It’s a cumulative effect of all your bad behaviors. Safeguard yourself from the heartbreak of cancer or struggles with diabetes by treating your body correctly before there is no turning back.

Failure can be used as motivation.

Many are taught that failure means the end of something, but for you it can be just the beginning. Failure is something we often feel ashamed of and try to hide from others, but the truth is that everyone fails at some point. You might be struggling to reach a personal or professional goal and run into speed bumps along the way. You can pause during these instances of failure and learn about what work and what didn’t. Console with friends, family, or other trusted professionals to get advice on what to do next. Then, use what you learn from that failure to catapult you to your next benchmark.

Money won’t make you happy, but start saving early.

With a busy and growing career comes a greater salary increase, but it also can mean more stress. It’s important not to get so wrapped up in your job that you forget to just enjoy life. When you make more money, you adapt to the lifestyle of spending more money, too. In the long run, this only means you’ll be missing out from important savings that you will need later on in life. Trying to climb out of overwhelming debt will only put a strain on your joy as well. So don’t wait to start making a budget each month and saving for retirement, or else the stress of finances will only drown you down the line.

You are a reflection of the people you surround yourself with.

This is one of the most difficult life lessons to swallow, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. If you spend time with people who mirror your own insecurities, fears, and judgments, then you’re going to see those traits. They will be reinforced in you to the point where you decide that is “who you are.” On the other side, if you spend time with people who challenge you to be better, help you work on your issues, and display traits you want to have then you will start to become a better version of yourself. Deliberately choosing the people around you is how you can sculpt yourself. So let that old relationship go that is no longer serving you in a positive way, and seek out people who want only the best for you.

Learn to apologize for yourself, not just others.

Apologies should be an important part of your personal growth, and not just about the person you are apologizing too. Living life where you don’t ever take responsibilities for your own actions or do the right thing will only come back to bite you in the end. There are times when apologies will not suffice for the other person, but they are important to still give so that you can grow from the experience and learn to forgive yourself. Accept that you’ve done what you can to right your wrong and move forward with your life.

Be realistic about your expectations.

When we put too many expectations to our dreams and they don’t turn out the way we planned or imagined, we get disappointed. We have to accept that things don’t always go the way we plan and we should be open to new roads, because plan B that might head us to an even better result. This is truthful of day to day things, too. For example if you expect your husband to cook dinner for you every night and to always tuck your children in bed, you might get disappointed when he’s not able to. Unrealistic expectations cause us to hurt ourselves, so it’s important to have some wiggle room and to be able to go with the flow.

Life can be one giant mess and a rocky roller coaster. Taking it in stride and learning from the bumps in the road will make the journey a little bit easier. Take these lessons and start applying them to your life today so that you can avoid some of the most-known pitfalls that can cause stress and unhappiness.Megan Bailey is the Social Media Specialist and Content Producer for Beliefnet. She attended James Madison University where she received a degree in psychology.

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