Wouldn't it be nice if you could live your life in retrospect or hindsight? You'd always know all the things you need to know. Learning life lessons, however, comes the hard way: through firsthand experience. Still, sometimes you can get a gimme – like by checking out these 10 life lessons everyone needs to know.
1. Do What You Love
There's an old adage that says, “if you do what you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life.” That may be a slight exaggeration, but at the heart it's true. It's far better to do something you're passionate about, than to choose a path that makes someone else happy. I know that's not always possible at all times, for a variety of reasons – but at some point in your life it will be, and you should take that chance.
2. Don't Try to Please Everybody
Similarly, although the instinct to please the people you love is understandable, it's not always practical – or good for you. And, of course, some people spend their time trying to please people whose opinions ultimately don't matter – ahem, ahem! This is a hard life lesson to learn, especially if your first instinct is to make everyone happy. That can be a good trait, but only in moderation – you can't please people to the detriment of your own happiness.
3. Do Unto Others
However, that doesn't mean you have to be a mean and nasty person. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” is another cliché, but it makes for a good life lesson. You can't make someone be nice to you or respect you or treat you politely – but you can treat them that way, regardless, and come out the bigger person.
4. Do Your Best
Your best is good enough. There may be times in your life where you're convinced that it's not, but it really is. Even if your best doesn't get you exactly where you want to be, as long as you've tried your hardest, it is good enough.
5. Don't Quit
Many times in life, it's tempting to quit. You might get frustrated, embarrassed, convinced you can't succeed, but nine times out of ten, that's simply not true. If you just keep trying, if you are determined, you can at least finish. You might not finish in first place, as it were, but that doesn't matter. Completing the task will provide you with a sense of accomplishment regardless.
6. Go after Your Dreams
Another cliché states that the only things you'll ever regret are those things you did not try. I think this is especially true for following your dreams. Whether it's small or monumental, your dream is yours. If you want to be a singer, you may not ever make it out to Hollywood or onto American Idol, but that doesn't mean you can't get up in front of a group of people and sing your heart out – even if it's just at a karaoke bar!
7. Don't Accept Limitations
No one has the power to limit you, not forever. When you're younger, you may feel otherwise, but trust me: as you grow, you are the only person who can put limitations on yourself – and you shouldn't. Never accept anyone else's limitations. You know what you're capable of; you know what you can do.
8. Be like Scarlett O'Hara
This is a little silly, but it's nevertheless true: tomorrow really is another day. If today feels like it's defeating you, just remember that you've got all day tomorrow. You'll get twenty four hours' worth of new opportunities and experiences.
9. Live an Extraordinary Life
Everyone has a different definition of what is extraordinary. What is extraordinary for you might not be for someone else – but that doesn't matter. Whatever you do, wherever you go, however you are, make sure it's all extraordinary – on your terms.
10. Do It Big
Whatever you do in your life, do it as big as you can. If you want to be a teacher, a social worker, a doctor, a homemaker, a chef – do it big, do it up, make it yours.
I know there are a lot of cliches in this post, but they are considered cliches for a reason: most times, they're 100 percent true. What life lessons are you thankful for learning?
Top Photo Credit: Ms. Natty