10 Important Lessons from Life

Following the recent post by 11 year old Amanda Koh, I thought I would set out a few life lessons that I have learned.

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So here we go; here are 10 life lessons I have learned …

1. Be Gracious in Your Dealing with Others

Be kind to people especially when they annoy, irritate or upset you. Learn to be gracious in your dealings with them. It is probably the last thing you feel like doing but try to work at finding the good in what they say and do. If you can’t agree, remember that you do not need to say anything at all. In the long run, this approach will always bring about the best possible outcome for you.

2. There is Always Another Point of View

Whenever people want to tell you about their experiences, whether they are talking about a new movie, a great restaurant or – especially – their view of other people, remember that you are hearing an opinion. It will rarely be a well formed opinion and even when it is, remember that you have only heard one side of the story.

3. Do Your Own Thinking

Nearly all of the breakthroughs you experience during the course of your life will come about as the product of your own, original thinking. So allow yourself the time and space to do your own thinking. Find some time to regularly walk somewhere quiet and inspiring and allow those original ideas to come to you from within.

4. Dump Your Prejudices

We all have them and they can take all kinds of different forms, but if you want to deal in the truth, you must not only learn how to put your own prejudices to one side, but also work on the business of permanently dumping them.

5. Learn to Forgive People

When you forgive someone, you are not absolving them from the consequences of their actions; you are not saying that they should not face justice. But harbouring feelings of resentment hurts only one person – the person who holds the grudge. For the sake of your own health, forgive people when they wrong you.

6. Give People the Benefit of the Doubt

There are many situations in life in which you may intuitively feel you know what must have happened. But you are not a mind reader and you do not have a time machine and so you are entirely unable to check. In the absence of supporting evidence for your hunches, at least give the other person the benefit of the doubt.

7. Not Much Really Matters

In the long run, you will forget the substance of disagreements and you will change your mind about issues you felt were important at the time. But you will remember who you disagreed with and you will probably come to regret it. It is therefore wise to remember that, of all the things that you will have to handle during your life, there is not much that really matters.

8. Help People When You Can

When you encounter people who you can help out a bit or offer a little encouragement, just do it. Sometimes, all that is needed is a smile or a bit of understanding or perhaps a few kind words. You can never tell what effect you have on the lives of other people just by showing them that there are people who care about them. Small things can sometimes have big effects.

9. Become an Expert

Pick something you love to do that is worthy of your time, attention and life-long effort, learn everything you possibly can about that subject and never stop learning. In addition to having a lot of fun doing what you love to do, eventually, you will be well rewarded for the accumulation of all of that knowledge.

10. Commit to Working on Yourself

Don’t worry about what other people think about you; be much more concerned with who you really are. Whatever you eventually achieve in life, your legacy will ultimately be a product of the person you become, so commit yourself to the process of continually working on your basic character.

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