77 Life Lessons That Would Have Saved Me Lots of Tears In The Past

fake kids on bench

I’m a big fan of “life lessons” kind of articles. Obviously I wanted to create one that includes my own and my favorite ones from others:

1. Judging hurts yourself the most

Bonus: complaining, blaming, gossiping are all the same: you seeking validation for your negativity.

2. Being proactive is the key for everything

Waiting for something to happen, expecting others to do things for you, giving responsibility of your wellbeingness to others etc. Are reactive patterns.

Start focusing on what you can do instead of seeking the next thing to react to.

3. There’s only once chance to notice new clothes and hairstyle

Don’t miss it.

4. Being right is not important

I’m fully aware that it may feel irresistible to be right whatever it takes.

I’ve been like that, but at some point I had to choose between feeling good and being right. The former matters, the latter doesn’t.

5. Beliefs are limiting for the most part

Belief is the most easily recognized when you have a feeling of being right about something subjective. For example – generalizations, jumping to conclusions based on limited experience and the most dangerous of them all: believing that you know anything.

6. There’s no such thing as objective reality

There’s always another side to the story.

7. Your emotional state determines your reality

Our thinking and view of the world is strongly influenced by what we are feeling at any given moment. It’s not easy to change your state, but it’s good to be aware of this fact.

8. Forgive yourself first, then others

Forgiving both yourself and others often gives you the much-needed closure. Give forgiveness easily, not trust.

9. People don’t hate you, they hate their own image of you

Everyone is looking at the world through their own filter and their view of you will always be limited. Hatred arises because what they’ve seen of you (so far) doesn’t sit well to their view of the world.

10. Being bold with you words and actions makes life worthwhile

What can I say? Sometimes you  have to take the leap and do something that’s out of your character (if you are not a bold person).

You’ll be amazed – I know I was.

11. The most valuable thing you can buy with money is freedom

Buying luxury or other kind of ‘materia’ will only give a short feeling of excitement and often it isn’t worth the amount of money required to buy it.

For example, putting some money aside and accumulating it through investing gives you more choices (=freedom) in life. There’s infinite amount of value in that.

12. Apologize, but only when it’s appropriate

When I was younger I never wanted to apologize to anyone – I always felt that my ego would diminish or something like that. This changed only recently and it was like a new door opening for me.

In general, don’t be a “apologizing machine”, but don’t withhold your apologies either. Say sorry when you are certain that you’ve done something bad or wrong + when it feels right.

13. Overnight success requires years of hard work

“He got really lucky” – what we usually see as a big event, has always required years of hard work to get to.

14. Say “hi”

This is so simple, yet so important. I see people daily who don’t say “hi” even in appropriate places.

It isn’t about them, it’s about both of you: say hi will give you more momentum in your daily life + makes you and the other person feel better.

15. Be honest about being wrong / making a mistake

This particular lesson has done wonders to my degree of integrity. When I’m claiming or saying something and am proven wrong, I quickly admit being wrong.

Then I move on.

16. Be aware of not knowing

This is one of the best lessons I’ve learned lately. Everyone lives in a “bubble” of their own, where they can’t even comprehend how little they know. In other words, most people live in a illusion of knowing how things really are. This is obviously screwed up way to think.

Imagine yourself living in a bubble and inside that there’s all your knowledge, but then there are lots of doors. You can’t know what’s behind those doors and only by opening them you’ll either find something good or you don’t.

You can’t know what you don’t know, so your only choice is to go look for something you don’t know exists. Read about and get familiar with new things – you never know what you may find.

17. You keep getting what you keep doing

If I’d have to summarize my “previous life” full of depression and what made me finally get out of it in one lesson, this is it.

18. If you are in problem-oriented state of mind, more money won’t help

Money helps to an extent, but after certain point, you’ll have to take careful look inside to find out whether your problems will be solved with “more money”.

19. Listen to audiobooks instead of music

Little elaboration: In fact I’m listening to music now, but the reason for that is that I’m focusing on writing. When you are doing something that doesn’t necessarily require all your focus, listen to audiobooks.

20. No one is focusing on you

You aren’t the center of the world blah blah

21. People are for themselves, not against you

There are no conspiracies.

22. Being persistent and stubborn are two different things

Be willing to change when it’s the wise thing to do – life’s all about evolution of yourself and being stubborn is the opposite of that.

23. Never be ashamed of what you like to do

You don’t have to promote it either, but do what you enjoy and let others have their own definitions of fun.

24. The world doesn’t care about you (credit Mark Manson)

Such a depressing thought.. Or is it? Like Mark says, it’s ultimately a good, freeing thing.

25. Everyone is the sum of their experiences

This puts things into perspective: you could have the same skill as they have if you would put in the same amount of time to the same activities. Excluding things that require extraordinary physics etc. of course.

There’s no such thing as “talent”, at least in the conventional meaning.  In my experience, “talent” is simply a coincidence, when a persons previous experience helps them in that particular area of field.

Often I also hear others say that people who put in a lot of work to get good at something “have talent”. That’s obviously bullshit.

26. No one owes you anything

Yet another ultimately freeing concept. You’ll have to hustle for the things that you want and when you do that, you’ll find that sweet sense of fulfillment you’ve been missing.

27. Go to movies alone – it’s worth it

I guess more elaboration is needed: for me going to movies alone was a symbolical thing because I always had this thought that not having anyone to go to movies with would be pathetic and people would look down to me.

Bullshit.

Another good reason is that you might actually enjoy the movie more (at least I do)

28. Excess thinking will paralyze you

It’s also called “analysis paralysis“. Learn as you do.

29. Waiting to be happy in the future is a shitty plan

This is surprisingly common and I admit that I’ve been the victim of this same thing.

That thing you are thinking that will make you happy? Maybe it will, for a while.

Then comes the next thing you have to get to feel good again.

30. If you wait to be lucky, you deserve to be unlucky

For example, if you decide to be reactive instead of proactive and expect some external force (like the lottery) to give you prosperity.

31. Reading books daily pays the most dividends on cost

Not just any books, but books that have the ability to grow you as a human being. There’s nothing wrong with fiction though, if you enjoy them a lot.

32. After school, a lot of doors will become available for you

It’s the matter of opening them.

33. Learning to speak with more volume and clarity will make your social life better

I see rarely anyone who uses their voice well and they really stand out from other people. I’ve noticed people responding a lot better to me after I started focusing on this.

34. Get to know where you live

I thought I knew what my small town was really like, but after I started to bike around and explore different places, I realized that I didn’t. This was kind of similar experience to point 16: Be aware of not knowing.

Enhance this experience with a good audiobook.

35. Be willing to change your opinions

Only a fool would stick to an opinion when given contradictory evidence.

36. Solitude can be amazing

Emphasis on “can be” – I know that a lot of people will find solitude unbearable and it may be so when it’s excessive.

In my experience though, some of the best moments in my life have been exclusively in solitude even though I’ve been around people and friend a lot.

37. There will always be someone who doesn’t like you

The sooner you deal with this, the better. Sometimes you can’t do anything about it simply because it’s about them, not you.

38. You don’t have to go to the gym to be in shape (it’s recommended, though)

I’m not ripped nor do I want to be – the exercise itself is rewarding, though it’s indeed nice to be in decent shape.

39. Do at least one exercise daily, it will build up

I started doing only 1 push-up, pull-up and ab crunch daily and soon realized that I was doing 3-4 sets of each daily.

40. Don’t try to be funny

When I was younger, I sometimes had the feeling that “I have to be funny”, so I tried to come up with “funny stuff”.

The problem is that the best kind of fun is spontaneous in its essence. Don’t stress about being funny, but rather focus on feeling good and relaxed.

41. Say less, do more

42. Don’t listen, but rather watch what they do

Everyone can talk a good game, but what really matters is what gets done.

43. Read everything at least once before you posting. Preferably twice.

Emails, text messages, blog posts, everything. There’s always something to edit.

44. Get rid of your fear of making mistakes

The only reason why people are so afraid of mistakes is that their egos get in the way.

Maybe it’s because of the screwed up way to grow up, like when you easily get bullied for making mistakes or something like that, but that rarely applies to “adult world”.

Embrace the mistakes, because making them means that you grow as a person.

45. Don’t try to find yourself. Create yourself.

Don’t ask “Who am I?” – ask “What can I do next?”. The quest to find yourself is obviously impossible, because it’s just a made-up concept.

46. You can find excitement outside of yourself, not happiness and fulfillment

Don’t mix those things up.

Happiness and fulfillment in my experience are the underlying sense of security when you know that you are able to generate those feelings in your daily life yourself.

47. There are no failures, only lessons

Important shift of perspective. The only way to truly fail is to never try.

48. Know the rules before breaking them

I’m not saying you should exclusively break the law just for the heck of it, but to follow some common sense in your life.

49. Others are the mirror for our actions, not our self-image (credit The 50th Law)

In other words, creating your sense of self through others is stupid.

50. The destination is for creating a worthwhile journey

Having a goal is important, but looking back, you’ll often find the process the most satisfying thing.

51. Create something during your days

Draw, create music, some awesome 3D models, write, anything. Bring something new to the world.

You don’t have to devote yourself to it, but it may open up a whole new world for you.

52. The most effective way to change others is to change yourself

I experienced this the most strongly in my own life. If you try to change people, you will ultimately fail.

When people see you change, they are more likely to reflect on themselves and that way they are more inclined to change themselves.

53. Stop looking at others thinking they have it figured out

This may sound arrogant on my part, but the more I accumulate knowledge and become more aware of how things are, the more I’ve come to realize that most people are ultimately clueless.

54. We are monkeys flying on a rock through space (credit to Joe Rogan)

If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.- Joe Rogan

Life doesn’t make sense – embrace it. I lately watched a great video about The Philosophy of the Absurd, highly recommended.

55. Good influence comes in many forms

I don’t know about you, but when I previously thought about “good influence” in my life, I almost exclusively thought about people who I see regularly.

Good influence can be found all over the internet, books, anything. Just don’t limit it to the people in your life.

56. Past is a tunnel without branches

“If only I had chosen otherwise”

I see the past as a tunnel and that we have made every decision based on all the available information that our brain had at that time.

In other words, we couldn’t have decided otherwise.

In addition to that, past isn’t even real as it’s just a thought.

57. Be aware of momentum

Before I started reading books on how to understand motivation, emotion, daily life in general, I never really understood the concept of momentum.

When you have to get something moving, it requires the most force because of friction. However, when you have momentum, it’s easier to keep moving.

This is perfectly applicable to ones life: when you are staying active, it’s easier to stay active. When you are lazing around all the time, it’s so much harder to start moving.

58. Explore more instead of going by the book

There are lots of reasons for this: by trial and error there’s a possibility of a) having more fun b) finding something else c) more effective learning.

Nothing wrong with going by the book, but exploring by trial and error makes everything so much more interesting.

59. You can learn almost any skill

Hands up if you know anyone who has said “I wish I could do that” about something. I see this practically everywhere that involves some sort of skill.

The problem is that a lot of people have this inherent belief that they can’t learn to do those things. This belief itself limits them to not bother learning and trying.

60. Before spending, think how many hours you had to work for that money

This puts things into perspective.

61. Don’t give out your trust too easily

In this world, those who trust easily get exploited the most. After some time, you’ll learn who you can really trust. (See point 42: Don’t listen, but watch what they do.)

62.You will do better without TV

There are two kinds of entertainment, “I want” kind and the kind that you use to fill your days with because you don’t have anything to do.

If there’s something on TV that you really, really want to see, go see it. Enjoying yourself after all is the point of life after all.

However, if there’s something on TV that you use to kill time, stop. Go find something that you actually enjoy doing.

64. You define your success

The traditional view of success: money, fame, basically anything superficial that isn’t available to the “commoner”.

Define what it means by yourself instead of watching where others are steering their attention to. My take on success is that I enjoy myself on daily basis – I am already successful, though a little bit of wealth never hurts.

65. You will never have enough

There will always be the next level and someone else will always have more.

It’s ok to strive for more, but it’s not ok to expect more to make you fulfilled.

66. There are no secrets to anything

This is another lesson that has been huge for me. When it comes to creating a successful business, getting good with people, or even feeling great constantly, there are no “secrets” that people use.

The environment conditions a lot of people to those ‘roles’, but for me and many others they have been self-learned by using applicable knowledge. “Conditioning” is the keyword here.

67. Everyone’s having it hard

It’s easy to think that you are having it hard in a unique way, but I believe it’s closer to truth to assume that everyone has their lows.

68. Sometimes you feel bad for no reason

Yet another important realization for me. As I’m writing this, I’ve been feeling good straight for at least a week or so, but I remember there being periods of time when I’m feeling bad for no reason whatsoever.

The hard part is to know the difference between this kind of feeling and the kind where something really is bothering you.

69. There’s no past and future

These two concepts are so deeply engrained to our lives, that it’s hard to realize this.

70. Learn more about investing

I’m kind of reluctant to say this, but I think it’s the right thing to do. The fact is that people have their own huge misconceptions of investing – they are simply lacking information related to it.

71. Don’t take stupid risks

For example, gambling is fucking stupid, unless you enjoy the process so much that you can bear to play against the odds.

Take calculated risks with good return while minimizing the risk of loss.

72. Have fun instead of trying to please

Because people don’t need someone who pleases them. They want someone who focuses on fun.

73. Ready is always better than perfect

Because perfect will never be ready. Keep your focus on simply “doing” rather than “completing”

74. There will always be highs and lows

Yes, even for the “happiest people”. What really matters is how you deal with them.

75. Negative emotions towards others is lack of understanding

It’s too easy to hate someone or something. I’m sure everyone has experienced how they first had a limited perspective on something and they felt hate, but as soon as you got more information and the misconceptions were cleared, the “hate” turns to “understanding”.

Hard to explain. Things are rarely as they look.

76. Life is fucking hard

This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that by being aware of hardships and tackling them, you’ll create a great sense of fulfillment and joy through it.

The bad thing is obvious: it’s going to be journey full of ups and downs (though that’s the beauty of it in a way)

77. Reading these lessons won’t do shit for you unless you experience them

I hope you at least enjoyed some of them.

Simp

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