Top 12 Life Lessons to replace struggle with ease
Ahhh, hindsight – it’s a beautiful thing! One of the best parts of growing older is the wisdom that comes with life experience. Like many wide-eyed 18 year olds, I launched into my adult life full of expectation, enthusiasm, energy and more than a little naivety.
10 major career and countless life changes later, only the naivety has gone and curiously, I learn much more quickly these days!
Whenever I gain a blinding new insight or learn a new skill, I find myself thinking, ‘if only I’d known that back when I was …[insert life struggle]’.
So here are my Top 12 Life Lessons shared to make your life easier:
Every question has an answer and every problem a solution
Once you believe this, you’ll never be stuck again! Even ‘do nothing’ or ‘do it later’ are solutions. If you don’t know, someone else will – it’s just a matter of reaching out and asking.
You can’t hang your star of happiness on someone else’s tree
In the same way we hang decorations on a Christmas Tree, we often abdicate the responsibility for our happiness to someone else. If you’re waiting for someone else to make you happy, you could be waiting a long time. Be happy with and for people, not because of them.
The best lessons come from the toughest stuff
While I’d not have chosen some of the challenges life has sent my way, I am grateful for what I learnt from them. We never really know what we’re capable of until we’re tested. Remember, when you’re going through a rough patch, you’re quietly building courage, resilience and confidence – inner resources you can call on anytime.
This too will pass
The best thing about tough times is that they don’t last forever. When the clouds part to let the sunshine in, leave the pain behind and take the lessons with you. The greatest of times are often momentary too so embrace them for all they give you and cherish the memories.
You always have a choice
Wow! This is so simple and yet I only figured it out a few years back. Once you adopt this one, you can wipe out self doubt. We may not be able to control the events in our lives but we always have a choice about what meaning to put on them.
Other people aren’t right or wrong – they’re just different
When someone annoys or disappoints us, chances are they’re pressing one of our core value buttons. Even though they may claim to hold the same values as you (eg integrity, respect, loyalty or achievement), their actions and words may appear to be incongruent. All that’s happening is they’re putting a different meaning on that value. Neither right or wrong, it just is.
Respecting others beliefs and values doesn’t mean you have to compromise your own so there’s nothing to fear or protect.
Everyone’s doing the best they can with what they’ve got – save judgement for something that needs it
No one sets out to do the wrong thing intentionally. The action or words may not be right by your personal principles but judgement won’t change them. It merely leaves you frustrated, angry, drained and helpless.
Focusing on the behaviour rather than the person (play the ball, rather than the man) fosters acceptance, maintains perspective and keeps your emotional energy and powder dry for something that really does matter.
Do something good for someone else every day, expecting nothing in return
The world and everyone in it owe you nothing! Doing something selfless feels great because you know you’ve made a difference without expecting it to be reciprocated. Being generous in all you say and do costs very little and has the potential to be profound.
It costs nothing to smile, appreciate and deliver a random act of kindness. Life is karmic and one day someone will do something incredibly generous for you.
History never repeats and the past is never the future
Thank goodness! Historical scars and baggage can hold us back from trying something new. Circumstances and you have changed. As you attempt something you’ve failed at in the past, remember you are now wiser and better prepared.
Regret, guilt and self-doubt are futile
Seriously, if I had a dollar for all the time, head space and energy I’ve invested in negative emotions in the past, I’d be rich! There is nothing to be gained for anyone, least of all you, by rehashing the past and beating yourself up.
Accept that you did the best you could under the circumstances and let it go.
Every day is a brand new sheet of paper – write on it whatever you like!
No matter how bad yesterday was or how uncertain tomorrow looks, today is a brand new one. Only take with you that which is useful and decide how you want to live this one day.
Isn’t it great that we get to start over every 24 hours?
Be the best version of yourself you can be, always.
Trying to be someone you’re not to live up to others’ expectations, is exhausting! Living your best life means being you to the best of your ability. You know when you’re being truly authentic when there’s no internal conflict going on, no matter what. Rather than wrestling your demons, make peace with them and accept yourself for who you are.
After all, there’s only one amazing, talented, beautiful, wonderful you!
PS. The Great Life Redesign has more Pearls of Wisdom to help you replace struggle with ease.