A few years ago I completed an assignment for a psychology class entitled, “What I Learned.” This exercise allowed me to reflect on important lessons I’ve learned in my life that was worth sharing. Check them out:
1. First impression aren’t always lasting impressions. We never know if a person is having a bad day or season in their life, and often impressions are loaded with our assumptions.
2. Life isn’t to be lived, it’s to be made. We can accomplish so much in life; it’s up to us to make the effort, make it count, and not let things just happen to us.
3. We often let fear become too big of an obstacle. If we allow fear to control us or dominate our lives, it will only prevent us from living an abundant life.
4. Failure is an option. With any task we can fail. It can be a great lesson. It doesn’t mean that we are failures; it means that we can try again or try anew.
5. Focus on the similarities, not the differences. Our differences are valid, worth noting and even preserving. However, when we focus on them solely, they only create more distance and disconnects than relationships.
6. Be yourself. It takes more time and effort to be someone we’re not and in the end we’ll only live with regret and missed opportunity if we do.
7. Be open and honest. We’ll experience and learn a lot by opening up to people and the world around us. Honesty just makes for a better relationship, and it’s a good way to weed people out (and to be weeded out).
8. Unfortunately you will often attract and unknowingly seek out those who reflect the parts of yourself that you don’t like. If we really analyze our relationships with others, as well as with ourselves, we might find some similarities to the “negative us” and negative things we’ve been exposed to.
9. Follow your inner knowing. That feeling we get when we “just know” something without having all the information (or even when we do) can guide us into love, a great career or away from harm.
10. Life will surprise you, especially people. We never know what is to come no matter how much we plan. We also never know the extent of joy and pain those we know and love will create for us.
Now that you’ve read what I learned, what have you learned in your own life that you might pass on to others?