“A wise person learns from their mistakes, a wiser person learns from the mistakes of others.” – Unknown
As a classic type A personality, I hate wasting time. When I want something I move forward at a million miles a minute. While this trait can be determined and laser focused, it does come with some major drawbacks. The greatest of these is hard-headedness.
I always wanted to accomplish great things in life but I also thought I knew best and everyone else was either an idiot or a killjoy. I had all the answers and no one could tell me otherwise. In hindsight, I was determined but not wise.
In fact, it took me most of my life to get out of my own way and learn from my mistakes, but once I did I never wanted to make those mistakes again. (Remember, I don’t like wasting time.) But it also opened my eyes more to trying to learn from the mistakes of others.
These are the six life lessons that I wish I had learned from others.
-Life lesson number one: Don’t waste money on things that won’t matter in five years. There are so many dreams that go unrealized simply because we wasted our resources on things that just don’t matter. Don’t be short-sighted into thinking that a pair of shoes is going to make you happy while you claim you don’t have money to follow your dreams in the very next breath.
-Life lesson number two: Don’t try to be something you’re not. It’s too much energy. You were created very unique, with unique talents and strengths. But when you are trying to be something you’re not simply to please others you are left feeling miserable and unaccomplished. Instead of focusing on what you can do good, focus on what you do BEST and you will shine.
-Life lesson number three: Listen to your limitations. They are designed to protect you, not stifle you. When your body says stop, listen. When your emotions are on overload, give yourself space to breathe. When you’ve stretched yourself too thin, take a step back. There’s a fine line between breaking past barriers and breaking yourself down.
-Life lesson number four: Learn to speak the truth in love. We all run into difficult people in our lives and confrontation is sometimes necessary. So whatever is on your heart, don’t hold it in. But you also don’t want to be the type to lash out at someone and justify it as, “I just say it as it is.” It takes a mature person to say what needs to be said in a way that is well received, even if it hurts.
-Life lesson number five: Focus on being something to someone, not everything to everyone. Instead of trying to please everyone (which, in case you haven’t noticed, is impossible) focus on being something to the people that have been placed in your life. Whether it’s your children or those in your sphere of influence, make a difference in their lives. You’ll make a great impact on the world when you focus. Even Jesus only had 12 disciples.
-Life lesson number six: Learn the take control of your thoughts. I used to believe that I had to follow whatever thoughts came into my head. But when you learn that you not only have control over your thoughts, but you are commanded to take control of them (2 Corinthians 10:5), your life becomes more positive and productive. As a (wo)man thinketh, so is (s)he.
I teach these life lessons to my clients so they don’t have to go through the same pain and frustration that I did in life. Learn these six lessons and you will be well on your way to achieving the life you’ve always wanted.