No matter who tries to teach us about lessons learned through their own experiences, we won’t truly understand the depth of those lessons until we experience the teachings ourselves. It is however possible (and possibly quite helpful) to borrow the perspective of a fellow human being, and to share in their teachings for a short while, so that we too can broaden our beliefs about, well, possibly everything.
“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
A few weeks ago, I shared 7 of my most powerful life lessons to date. These included:
- Wealth is a mindset.
- You are given what you need.
- In every moment, you are teaching.
- You may not always see something, but you can feel it there.
- A happiness-inducing, life-changing gift may not be wrapped in pretty paper.
- We express either what we fear or what we love.
- Small things matter.
Life is inclined to teach us all so much more than we could ever imagine. Perhaps the lessons learned through my own life experiences are relative to yours, or maybe you’d just like to borrow a fellow human being’s perspective for a moment. In any case, I hope this list does serve you in some way.
7 Lessons Learned That Changed My Perspective
There are no small things.
Which reminds me of this quote from Bruce Barton: “Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.”
I think that so much of life is about choosing love in the often overlooked moments, the smallest moments that don’t look like much until you add them all up together and they create your life. Those moments aren’t so small, because they’re exactly where happiness is discovered. This little moment you’re standing in right now? It matters.
Fantasizing about stresses that have yet to come accomplishes nothing.
We mistake our worries for reality, and if you’re anything like me, it happens a lot. We predict disappointment and then let the outcomes shape our emotional state. There’s a lot that we miss when we forget that this moment is our life.
Our best bet for living a happy life is to make the best and most positive use of the present, intentionally focusing on it and attending to it with care. The more we do this, little by little, every chance we can, the more joy we can find here.
Things don’t go back to the way they used to be.
This is a difficult truth, but it can also be an enlightening one. It’s good to savor the sweet moments of the past, yet life isn’t meant to be lived backwards. Experience certainly is a hard teacher (as Vernon Law said: “She gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”).
Instead of wishing for a different past or waiting for a better future, it’s much more fruitful to make this place our new starting point. We learn, we try to let go of the dark spots, and we take the bright spots of our past with us, letting them illuminate our journey ahead. We keep moving forward.
Darkness has its teachings.
We don’t need to know deep pain in order to make beautiful transformations in our lives, but it certainly can become a powerful catalyst for positive growth. Darkness does reveal the stars, though they’ve been shining on us the whole time. Pain may persist, but one of my greatest lessons learned (that I’m still learning) is that it need not prevail.
Let people be, and let yourself be happy.
We can wish the best for someone without needing to change them. When we choose peace instead of conflict and love instead of judgment, we can set a new goal: to understand people. Let people be exactly who they are, and whether we love who they are or not, lots of things can improve. Your peace of mind pieces itself together, for instance. Your inner sense of joy and fulfillment is not totally ruled by the behavior of others, either.
It’s easy to be unkind, for kindness is strength.
It doesn’t take a strong person to put others down. To torment is not to triumph. Wickedness is not a show a strength, but a sign of unhappiness. Kindness, especially when it is unexpected and unconcerned with receiving praise, reveals a deeper quality of the human spirit. It’s not always easy or comfortable to be kind, in other words, and it therefore takes courage to show compassion where it’s most needed.
Being happy is better than being right.
Oh, my, it’s so much better. The best way to stay stuck is to stay firmly planted in a problem believing you are right, or focusing on a problem without the willingness to envision another solution.
If someone else is wrong, does that make you right? If you are wrong in their eyes, are they right in their own? Either way, I’ve found it doesn’t really matter. At some point, it doesn’t matter anymore whether I’m right or they’re wrong; what does matter is my peace. We don’t all see things the same way, and that’s okay, it’s beautiful, it can cause conflict, and it can also trigger a decision to go back to joy.
Ask yourself: “Do I want to be right because I really believe I’m right, or do I want to be at peace?”
- Which of these lessons are relevant to your own life experiences?
- What has been your most revealing, humbling, even life-changing lesson so far?
- What teachings can you open up to in your life right now?
Please share your thoughts, insights, and your own lessons learned in the comments.
Share this post with someone you care about.
You can keep going, and you can keep choosing love through it all…