I’ve learned a lot of things in my life. Some things I learned from reading or hearing them. Other things I learned the hard way — by experiencing their lessons. Some of those lessons came from loss; others came from risks that paid off.
It can be hard to tell which things you learn in life are the most valuable. Which lessons are the most important probably depends a lot on your particular circumstances and personality. So much of life is the process of sifting through the dirt of your experience to find the gems worth keeping.
But there are some gems of hard-earned wisdom that are worth sharing no matter who might read them. I consider these 10 to be among the most valuable I’ve learned.
- Above all else, be kind and patient with yourself. You deserve it. You are the only sure thing you have in this life, so don’t beat yourself up. Value yourself, regardless of your accomplishments, traits, or anything else. Be honest with yourself about your feelings and motives. Correct yourself gently when those motives aren’t in line with your values.
- Remember: no matter how thoughtless or terrible a thing someone has done, they’re simply doing it to make themselves happy. Con-artists, thieves, murders, rapists, and dictators are all on a journey to find happiness. It’s just very easy for some to lose their way on that journey. But we’re all looking for the same destination.
- Nobody is really self-made. Everyone had help to get where they are. People — whether mentors, investors, customers, constituents, friends, or whoever — helped along the way. If someone goes out of their way to tell you they’re self-made, be skeptical. They’re giving too much credit to themselves, and overshadowing others. Stay grateful and humble for all the help you’ve received.
- When you’re feeling stuck or not sure what to do, reach out to someone and ask what they think. You don’t need to ask them to do anything but give their opinion. You’ll be surprised how helpful that can be. And people are usually happy to give their thoughts on something. Take…