The time where I, like many others, take time to reflect upon the past year has arrived. Reviewing my accomplishments and shortcomings gives me a moment to appreciate the gifts life has given me, and the things I would like to improve upon in the next year. During my refection this year, I thought about the life lessons that I have learned either through first hand experiences or from my family and dear friends. I also jotted down some that I have taught, or am trying to teach, my children.
Life lessons are called life lessons for a reason – they are precepts we learn through living life. The more we experience, the more lessons we learn. They help us become aware of what is important and meaningful to us, and can help us live a more intentional life.
I want to share some of the life lessons that have made my life better, happier and more fulfilled. Perhaps they will resonate with you, or will inspire you to reflect upon those that have come from your experiences.
LIFE LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED OR AM STILL LEARNING
Minimize and reduce stress. Stress is a part of living, and how we respond to the situations that cause it differs for each of us. Each of us needs to understand how to deal with our own stress in a positive way, for ourselves and for those we love.
Learn to say NO. It’s not personal, it’s protective.
Invest in yourself, in all aspects of life. That endeavor is never a waste of time.
Don’t wait until you are 50 to care less about what others think.
Don’t judge people or their circumstances. No one else knows another’s journey, their perspective or the lens through which they view life. Accept them at face value.
Confidence (a belief in oneself arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities) is the key to your definition of happiness and success. Find it and work hard to keep it.
LIFE LESSONS I HOPE TO TEACH TO MY CHILDREN
The most important decision you will ever make is the person you will marry. Marry for love, marry your friend, and marry someone with a beautiful smile and wonderful laugh. Marry someone that puts the cares and needs of you and your children before themselves.
Traveling the country and the world with your children is one of the greatest ways to share new cultures, provide perspective and enrich their lives.
Balance, Balance, Balance. Take care of it all – you, life, relationships, and work.
Surround yourself with good people.
Live out past the breakers. Taking risks expands our lenses and helps us grow.
Be humble and kind.
To whom much is given much is expected.
LIFE LESSONS SHARED BY DEAR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
To truly become the best version of what God created us to be takes effort, takes courage, and takes a commitment to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Give when you can give – take when you need to take.
Life is now; we can’t keep waiting for everything to happen in the future. Too often we miss enjoying life in the moment as we look to and plan for the future.
What matters most are the people in our lives. Put them first and treat them like they are everything, because they are.
Do not take advantage of other people’s time. It is not yours to take and it’s much too valuable to waste or take for granted.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Keep your promises.
Our kids are not us, so don’t try to make them be. We bring them into the world, care for, support and love them but we cannot change them. They are unique individuals and must live their own lives.
Finally, my life lesson to you is to live life and risk more. Taking in the wisdom from your own experiences and from those shared by others can enrich you. Use them to help you live more intentionally. Take the time to enjoy who you are, those around you and life itself.