I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while now, in response to Abubakar Jamil’s invitation to join other self-improvement bloggers on a great initiative – Life Lessons Series.

I was reading early but didn’t learn the lessons soon enough !
I guess at the start of life, each of us is handed a blank slate on which to write the lessons that life wants to teach us. Sometimes we pay attention and learn the lesson the first time, and sometimes we just don’t get it. I believe life keeps bringing us similar situations until we learn the lesson.
We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome. – Richard Bach from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

Learning Life’s Lessons

The lessons I’ve learned in the 45 years that I’ve inhabited this planet are based on experience and not on what someone told me. Even if someone did tell me, I decided to learn them the hard way! Here are just some of the lessons I’ve learned:

Love Yourself First

I had read about this and bought the idea. I even suggested it to other people. But putting it in to practice was a completely different journey. I took the long road – through relationships that didn’t work out, and from allowing myself to lose self-respect – I learnt that I was doing things all wrong. Not until I learned to love myself and put me ‘first’, did I begin to find happiness.
Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams 
There was a time when I seriously considered getting in to journalism – I do think that I would have been a good journalist too. But I made the mistake of not pursuing this enough, because someone I looked up to discouraged me and told me how hard it was! Thereafter, when I dreamed of achieving something, I would second guess myself. I had to re-write the script. I learnt that with a dream, comes the means to make it true, if you’re willing to put in the work it takes.

Happiness is a choice

I thought that happiness was a result of getting what you want. It took many hard lessons to realize that I’d never be happy until I chose to be. I also learnt that it’s not a one time choice, but a daily decision to be happy no matter what.

Gratitude is the best attitude

There’s nothing that beats a grateful heart. I’ve learnt that it’s true that your blessings multiply in direct proportion to your gratitude – the more you are grateful, the more you have to be grateful for! A lesson a little late in the learning, but I’m glad that I learnt it – it makes life infinitely easier to live.
‘No’ is not a bad word
This is another lesson I learnt a bit too late, but then it was related to my low self-esteem. I was a huge magnet for anyone with a sob story. I would invest a lot of time, money and emotion in trying to ‘help’ other people. I just didn’t know how to say ‘No’, when someone asked for help. I wish I had read (and acted on) Mike Dooley’s advice: Sometimes, the most helpful thing you can do for another is to let them learn stuff for themselves, at their own pace. It’s also one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself.
So, these are just some of Life’s Lessons that I wish I had learnt a lot earlier. But at least I’ve learnt them! I have by no means ‘arrived’ – I know that I still have loads of things to learn. But I feel that having learned the big ones, the ones to come will be easier to pick up. At least that’s what Alice’s Gryphon seems to suggest

Alice: And how many hours a day did you do lessons?
The Mock Turtle: Ten hours the first day, nine the next, and so on.
Alice: What a curious plan!
The Gryphon: That’s the reason they’re called lessons, because they lessen from day to day.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Gryphon was right!

May you be inspired – everyday!

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