As we grow over time there are some lessons and wisdom we wish we had learned and gained early on in life. However, the thing about life lessons is that we learn them in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good thing nonetheless is others can learn from our experiences as well as we can learn from others’ experiences.
Below are 10 Important Life Lessons to Learn Early on in Life
1. Preparation is your springboard to success: As the saying goes failing to prepare means preparing to fail. Nothing is certain, but preparedness gives you a head start in the game of life. Many of the renowned personalities and athletes of our time have alluded their success to their constant preparations and training. An example is Mohammed Ali who said “the fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights”. Kobe Bryant also succinctly put it by saying “success is maths, just show up every day and put in the work.” Being prepared increases your chances of succeeding.
2. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset: I believe the COVID-19 pandemic has vividly driven this point home. Usually, most of us take our health for granted until we come face to face with a health challenge and then we wish we had done things differently. Diseases such as lung, kidney, heart diseases, and other cancers are actually preventable so we must endeavor to take care of our health while we can or we may regret later. We may have all the money in the world, but without good health, we can not enjoy it.
3. Don’t Take Anything for Granted: Nothing in our life is guaranteed to be there tomorrow including those we love. We may not like it, but it’s the truth that’s why we cannot afford to take things for granted. Our loved ones; family and friends, our job, health, and money are not guaranteed. I lost my mother last year and it was one of the difficult times of my life, I wished I could bring her back, but that was not possible. That was when I had the rude awakening that nothing is to be taken for granted. When we are young we think our parents will always be there, but they will not. We must not take our relationships lightly, and do to others only what we would like them to do to us.
4. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing: If you don’t know, don’t be shy to say so, because the truth is that no one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers and pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. We all commit blunders and mess up sometimes, and that’s okay as long as we learn from them enough not to commit them again.
5. It’s Not All About You: I have come to understand over the years that it is not all about us (me). And that no individual person is the epicenter of the universe, not even our most revered celebrities. Because we all matter, all lives matter even the baby that was just born today. Hence, in as much as we may be preoccupied with our lives, job, relationship, and what the future holds for us we must as well pay attention to those around us too and how our decisions affect them.
6. You Don’t Always Get What You Want: We all wish we could get whatever we want right, the dream job, the dream partner, and the dream house, but funnily that’s not how life works. Sometimes no matter how hard we work and how excellently we plan things just don’t go the way we plan and that’s okay. The most important thing is to make the most out of whatever you get or whichever situation you find yourself in.
7. You’ll be surprised by people: Yes you’ll be surprised by people. Some will do things that will restore your hope in humanity. And others will act to the contrary that will make you give up hope in humanity. That’s why it’s expedient we have an open mind about people and not judge them based on their appearance. If you stereotype people you are just giving up on opportunities to foster great friendships and unique learning experiences. We have to always remember that people seldomly fall in easy fit categories hence we cannot treat them with the one size fits all mentality. Treat all people with respect at your first encounter with them until they act otherwise.
8. Formal education is only a stepping stone to achieving your dream: Growing up we were made to believe that with a formal education you can get the dream job and leave that dream live. For some of us, formal education is an end, but I have realized and I believe most of us too, is that formal education is only a means to an end and not an end in itself. So while in school, acquire other skills like communication, negotiation, writing, and selling skills among others. Ensure to develop yourself as a person outside of the classroom.
Because you’ll not be taught in class for example on how to groom and foster relationships. Formal education is only to equip our thinking faculties so that we can be able to come up with creative ideas that when implemented would create jobs for ourselves and others. If not for anything at all a formal education is to equip us with problem-solving skills which will aid us to become useful members of society. But this is not possible without us developing other key social skills. There are so many people around the world today that have impeccable academic credentials yet are not really making much of a difference in society. So compliment your formal education with other social skills.
9. You Can’t Please Everyone: The need to belong, be accepted, be liked and respected is at the core of our human nature, but we must not achieve this at the expense of our integrity and values. Some people no matter how hard you try they will never be pleased, so you’ll rather stay true to yourself. For example, you don’t say yes just because a particular person also said yes so that they’ll be pleased. Instead, say yes because that is what you think and believe.
Some of us are not living our best lives because we are waiting and looking to others to validate us. You have to validate and believe in yourself because others cannot give you the validation you seek. Stand up and speak for yourself, and give and demand respect if the need be, and stay true to your values.
10. Appreciate your journey: Each and every one of us have very unique destinies, that even twins although born on the same day toe different paths in life. Usually, most of us have a picture of how our life should go, but what I have come to realize is that mostly, our lives don’t unfold the way we imagine them. However in the end we end up having all the things we desired to have just that they come in the manner which we did not expect them to. Be grateful for what you have and also for what you do not have because the most important thing is that you have life and as long as there is life there is hope.