“Learning to see life as full of possibilities instead of obstacles”.
That pretty much sums up the last 3+ decades of my life!
Here’s 23 things I have learned about life;
1. This life is not a rehearsal. Live it to the full.
Life’s sweetness and innocence can ebb as we get older. We can become cautious, develop a “been there done that” (and got burnt) kind of attitude.
This “growing up” has a way of making us risk-averse, stops us from living life with full-blown sails.
2. You are actually better and smarter than you think you are.
Most of us underestimate ourselves, even go as far as calling it humility.
If you take time to know and understand yourself, you will be pretty amazed at the kind of person you are and the kind of things you are capable of doing.
3. It is okay to want to learn from someone but it is not okay to want to be them.
You are unique and valuable, with skills, gifts and passions that are unique to you.
If you never realize that, you will not be useful to yourself, let alone to someone else.
4. Real wealth is not about money.
It’s about living a life of purpose, where all areas of your life (not just financial) are thriving.
Its being healthy, enjoying life, having great relationships, doing your part in making your world a better.
Money does not buy happiness. You can be joyful without a coin in your pocket.
You get to meet the real you when your account balance reads zero.
5. Life will be tough sometimes.
I will admit that I do not like adversity. I like being in control, having plenty, being secure in all areas of my life.
But I continue to learn how not to run from tough situations. To wait it out,to go through it.
6. You can be of help to someone else, no matter who you are.
You don’t need to be an expert, you only need to care enough and offer what you have.
It’s not about what you can give on the outside, but how much you can give of yourself.
A kind word, practical help. There are days when you feel like you have nothing, but a smile from you can make the day better for someone else.
7. Opportunities come dressed real funny.
This has been a great discovery.
Many things in my life have been “accidental” (I call them divine set-ups). Like meeting my husband, going into business, to name a few.
Opportunity, when it shows us does not always look, smell or taste like it. You can miss it entirely.
The answer is to cautiously step into it and begin to explore it, see where it leads. Even if it goes nowhere, atleast you tried it.
8. It is okay to fail.
But it’s not okay to stay down. Especially mentally.
9. Tears are fine and dandy.
It’s a girls thing I hear, but guys cry too, though sometimes their tears fall inward.
I never really like to cry.
But I was broke for long. I struggled to align my life to my purpose. I got married. My husband lost his job (our only source of income). My dad passed away. And a close friend too. Plenty of reasons to cry. It is okay to express emotion.
10. There is something like too much TV.
And other excesses. Live a fasted life. (It is not as hard as you think)
11. Enjoy the small things and moments of life.
Make conscious effort to live life slow. Be sensitive to the not-too-obvious. See the small things, the beautifull things.
12. You cannot please everyone.
No matter what you do, how you do it, when you did it, somebody, at some point, will have a problem with it.
So just be tenacious, stay focused.
Have a big wonderful heart that learns to love people, regardless of how they come packaged.
13. The best way to correct is to appreciate first.
I am the kind that likes to go straight to the point..especially when offering correction.
But I am discovering that there are more palatable ways to do it.
For example instead of hammering out what someone has done wrong and how they can do it right, I am learning to affirm what they have done right and then suggest they do more of it.
(I am signed up to this lesson for life!)
14. Singleness rocks.
I was hopeless in the kitchen, awful in housekeeping, survived on bread, tea and peanuts and the only advice I headed to (on a regular basis) was mine.
I pursued career, ministry, fun, short courses, purpose e.t.c full throttle.
15. Marriage will reveal who you really are.
I hear that being a parent brings you face to face with you. I am not there yet. But marriage has been my ultimate teacher.
16. Not being in charge is freeing.
I have been in leadership most of my life. But I recently relocated to a new country, I am enjoying a little hiatus from leadership responsibilities.
It’s a beautiful thing; to breath, to do some personal development of my own without followers/members peeking in. To enjoy a peaceful, nameless, blissful existence, reveling in “who you are” without “what you do” crowding in.
Sabbaticals are good. Learn not to fight it when time comes.
17. I am not an island
I need anchors – in form of mentors. I need friends. I need my family.
18. Having money is really great.
If you want to know the value of money, go try to borrow some – Benjamin Franklin.
Money makes a great servant. It can bring financial security.
19. Working on my strengths beats focusing on my weakness.
Acknowledge your weaknesses but work on your strengths. That is what gives you a powerful life.
20. Life is really about giving, not receiving.
There is a a joy and fulfillment that comes from giving – it’s deep and transforming and cannot be experienced any other way but through giving.
You don’t need to be an expert, the little you have often suffices.
21. Don’t judge people because you really don’t know what they are going through.
You don’t know how you would react if you were walking in their shoes.
I have discovered that people receive the fieriest trials in their area of calling/purpose.
If you have been called to strengthen and build up business people, your own business will probably go through hard times.
So don’t judge someone who is struggling in an area which you do not struggle in. You are probably being tested elsewhere.
22. Sometimes the devil is not to blame for the woes in your life.
Sometimes its the choices we make.
Other times the result of living in an imperfect world.
I contracted chickenpox three days to my wedding. My whole body (including my face) broke out in painful sores, trembled in pain, fever and weakness.
About a day to the wedding and with tears running down my face, I thought to myself, “So if this chickenpox didn’t happen to me, on which other bride would I wish it for?” It was my burden to carry.
It helps to look at things in perspective. And carry your lot in life. Makes you stronger and gives you something to encourage others with.
23. You will not always feel powerful.
But that doesn’t mean you aren’t.
It can be in your career, your business, your relationships – those times when are going through hard times and you wonder if all the dreams you had were just loony illusions. It is quite okay to take life one day at a time.
So, there is my list!
I encourage you to take some time and write some of your life lessons/discoveries. Even if they are only two. Or fifty.
The effort will be well worth it! You will be simply amazed at some of the things you know, the lessons you have learnt and how these lessons have shaped your life.
Like, today was one of those days when I needed to hear #2, #19 and #23 all over again! (told you I was preaching to myself).
Please feel free to share some of your lessons in the Comments!