Recently a friend forwarded me a list of catchy liners that are meant to be good lessons for life. While some are comical and others dismal, I found in the list some simple truths that are worth pondering on.
You don’t have to wait till midlife and learned these life lessons through own experiences. The advantage of youth is you have the time to apply these lessons early to reap the maximum benefits in your happiness and well-being.
Taking cue from other lists of life lessons out there, I have modified and compiled my own favourite list of 12 life lessons I want to live by. I hope you will find them relevant and beneficial too.
1 – Take care of your body
You might live a long life, or you might live a short one. Nobody knows. Either way, you’re going to wish you took better care of yourself in your youth. So eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke – so that you never actually become one.
2 – Treasure your family
The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them well for they are a part of you. And children grow up way too fast. Make the most of the time you have with them. What matters most are the people in our lives.
3 – Build real friendships
A true friend will come running if you call them at 2am; everyone else is just an acquaintance. Don’t let your friendships fade away. Friendships need time and attention. Nurture them well and they will pay you off well.
4 – Work your vocation
Conventional wisdom says that you should get a job doing what you love! But that isn’t the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Almost nobody has a job they love every day. So give your best work while you can.
5 – Work in moderation
Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritise work over family, friends, or even yourself. You can never finish your work and work will always be there.
6 – Worry changes nothing
Most of the things we worry never happen. No matter how much we worry, it won’t change anything. Even if what we worry happens, they are rarely as bad as we fear they will be. Worry is useless unless it leads us to a solution. So learn to manage your worries.
7 – Seek experiences over things
Stuff is just stuff and things gather dusts. Don’t hold onto material objects. The less stuff you have, the freer you are. Purchase mindfully. Hold onto time and experiences instead.
8 – See the world
Travel expands you. Go places. Do things. Be enlightened. It will make you more interesting and insightful. It is a pursuit well worth saving for. Pack a bag and go wherever you can afford to go. Don’t just buy stuff. Go discover our beautiful world.
9 – Keep on learning
There is so much to learn and so much to explore. Take time to learn every single day. Challenge yourself to acquire a new skill, read something different, or take a class. Learning keeps our minds engaged and sharp, even into old age.
10 – Take courage and overcome
You have more strength and resilience than you think you have. Whatever circumstances you are at or trial you are facing, it won’t last forever. You can handle it. The pain is temporary. Time heals. Things change. It will pass. You will get through it and survive.
11 – Appreciate small things
Be present in the moment and appreciate the small things. Little things matter. Don’t just look at the big wins or great accomplishments of others. Instead work to achieve and accumulate the little things that bring life’s joy and meaning. Think of the special time with your kids, the smile on your spouse’s face or the important tasks you managed to complete.
12 – Live your life
We have limited time on earth. Don’t wake up one day in your old age and realise you haven’t done the things you dreamed about. Life is short so enjoy it. Don’t make things more serious than they have to be. Create more fun in your life. Make every day count.