I really like the story of the little girl who just started school. It was her first day. She came home and mum asked, “How did you go today?” “What did you learn?” “Not enough, mum. I’ve got to go back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…” It’s a cute story, with a great lesson!
Life is a never-ending experience of learning. I feel that each thing we learn in life, and each person or thing that comes into our lives, is a journey of learning. We learn about all types of people in our life; we learn about all kinds of things, and it’s very interesting as well. We learn to get through certain situations in our lives. Everything in life is an experience. The more experience we have in life, the better educated we are about it.
A lot of people have the gift of always wanting to learn, always asking questions, doing research, trying new things, doing new things, changing who they associate with if they don’t end up who they say they are in the beginning. Know anyone like that? Learning and being educated, not only through school, but through real-life lessons is something so important. The more we go out in society and the more we get to know different people, is so beneficial for one’s self.
That will give someone a better understanding of people—people can start to be great judges of character on the spot. Some people don’t get to know others and cannot read people very well. And usually it’s because they don’t have enough people skills and interpersonal skills to know the difference between the right and wrong person. That can be a painful experience.
But I feel that life is full of discoveries. Life is full of things that are there to learn, to try to absorb as much information in our minds as possible. And that makes our minds more active, ourselves more vibrant, and when we are out with people, you can have so many conversations about so many things in life. You can take any subject and make it into such an interesting one that people will listen in—and they will be educated too.
The more you read, the more you know about the world and current events. You become very interested in what’s going on. Of course, everyone is different and everyone has different perspectives in life. You can talk to people and you can broaden your own horizons. It makes life very interesting.
Sometimes the only way to learn is the hard way. I saw an email recently containing a list of significant things children have learned about life. Here are just a few of them:
- You can’t trust dogs to watch your food for you.
- Don’t sneeze when somebody is cutting your hair.
- You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
- When your mum is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
- No matter how hard you try you cannot baptise a cat.
These are the kinds of accelerated learning experiences we call learning the hard way. And we never stop learning—God has made us that way. I recently came across a list that was so practical and down-to-earth that I thought I would share it. This list of 50 life lessons was written by New York Times bestseller Regina Brett to celebrate growing older. She wrote it just prior to turning 50.
50 Timeless Life Lessons
- Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good
- When in doubt, just take the next small step
- Life is too short to waste time hating anyone
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does
- Pay off your credit cards every month
- You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree
- Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone
- It’s not OK to get angry with God even if he can take it
- Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck
- When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile
- Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present
- It’s OK to let your children see you cry
- Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is about
- If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it
- Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks
- Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying
- You can get through anything if you stay put in today
- A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write
- When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer
- It is never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you
- Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special
occasion. Today is special
- Over-prepare and then go with the flow
- Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple
- No one is in charge of your happiness except you
- Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?
- Always choose life
- Forgive everyone everything
- What other people think of you is none of your business
- Time heals almost everything. Give time time
- However good or bad a situation is, it will change
- Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch
- Believe in miracles
- God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do
- Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger
- Growing old beats the alternative—dying young
- Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable
- Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion
- Get outside every day
- Miracles are waiting everywhere
- If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back
- Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now
- Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful
- All that truly matters, in the end, is that you loved
- Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need
- The best is yet to come
- No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
- Take a deep breath. It calms the mind
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get
- Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
Our Own Life Lessons
What would you add to Regina’s list of life lessons? Could you come up with a list of life lessons to match your age? How important is it that we learn from our life lessons? One of the most important rules of life comes from God’s Word, the Bible. Romans 8:28 says, “God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves Him. They are the ones God has chosen for His purpose”.
- How do you view your life today?
- Are you unhappy and complaining about everything?
- Maybe you’re angry at God for allowing difficulties to come to your life?
- Have you found a good mentor or friend who can help you? There is no shame in doing this – we all need people around us to support and help us get through the trials of life. No-one is exempt.
Ways to Make the Most of Life’s Lessons
Other useful practices for learning and growing in life include:
Journaling—writing down in a diary your thoughts and your prayers as you talk to God—is a powerful way to combat stress in life, get through tough periods and clear your mind in general. Sometimes it is difficult to start this exercise because you might not know what to write about—but it’s worth a try. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Simplify your life. The life of material riches and possessions is empty. The joy that we get from new purchases doesn’t last but a few minutes (okay, maybe a few days at the most.) Things that clutter our houses create the same clutter in our mind. They leave no space for spirituality, for genuine emotions and priceless memories. Simplifying is the only way to true life balance: financially, emotionally, and physically. King Solomon wrote: “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
Persevere and work towards your goals. How easy is it to give up in life? Very easy. However, you cannot grow if you do not persevere or if you do not work towards your goals. The Apostle Paul also wrote: “…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Develop your spirituality. Each one of us can have their own definition of spirituality. While spirituality is a key element of any religion it is still possible to develop it apart from religious beliefs—it’s not my way, but it is still a way. Spirituality and strong beliefs give you a sense of purpose in this world; they help you fight your fears and work in line with your passion; they help you discover who you are and grow towards who you want to be. Spirituality gives you the core belief that you can always go back to and find your strength in it.
And remember from the Bible: “But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)