Have you ever experienced moments of clarity in your life that make you go “shit, I wish I had thought of that sooner”? Moments when you arrive at some profound truth about yourself or your life that is so amazingly helpful you almost want to print posters and plaster them all over town. Or hand out pamphlets. Or go all crazy shouting at people on the street corner.
Except you are way too introverted for that, so you just decide to write an article about it. 🙂
Here are five important life lessons I wish I had learned sooner.
1.BEING DIFFERENT DOESN’T MAKE YOU WRONG
I’m going to veer toward the cheesy here and admit that I sometimes like to think of my life as a story. A long novel with a worn cover and brittle pages filled with row after row of tiny text.
But for much of my life, I have felt like I somehow landed in the wrong book. I’m the green alien in a book about Normalville.
So for much of my life, I have felt like there must be something fundamentally wrong with me. Most of the other characters in this book seem to like living in Normalville and going along with “the way it’s always been”. Wtf is the matter with me?
I’ve tried acting more like the other characters. I’ve tried being angry at the other characters. I’ve tried ignoring the other characters.
And I can tell you all of it was exhausting.
Until I decided that this was my story to write. If I wanted a different setting, a different plot, and different dialogue, that was up to me to create.
It’s not wrong to be different.
It’s not wrong to want something different.
That’s all it is – just different.
2.FINDING AND ACCEPTING WHO YOU ARE WILL HELP YOU CREATE A LIFE YOU TRULY ENJOY
Sometimes when we are young we fall in love with ideas of who we think we want to be. And sometimes people around us, or even the society at large, send us subtle messages of what kind of people we should aspire to be.
When I was younger, I thought I wanted my story to be an action adventure. Until I tried it and ended up exhausted and overstimulated.
More recently, I convinced myself that I needed to tick every single box in the Ideal Mother check-list as specified in Hallmark cards. Until I tried it and ended up so miserable, it was causing my kids more harm than good.
The more you figure out what ACTUALLY brings you joy, the more you can arrange your life to bring you those things. The more you figure out what your natural strengths and weaknesses are, the more you will be able to give the gift of your greatest strengths to others.
3. COURSE CORRECTING IS NOT THE SAME AS QUITTING
I often find it hard to let go of a vision I had even when my intuition insists I’m headed down the wrong highway 90 miles an hour.
It sucks to admit to myself that I’ve made the wrong choice or that the choice that worked for a while no longer does.
What about all the time and effort I put into that career or that relationship? Will I be a quitter? Should I just throw some more effort at it and hope it’ll feel good again?
I have learned that when my gut tells me it’s time to move on, the sooner I do it the better. The sooner I’ll be able to apply the lessons to another venture.
So when a chapter in your book is not going where you wanted it to, close it with the lessons you learned and move on to the next one.
4. IF YOU CAN’T ADAPT TO A CRAZY SITUATION, YOU ARE NOT THE ONE WHO IS CRAZY
I’m a pretty sensitive person. Put me in the wrong setting and I just kind of crumble. Settings with high drama and constant conflict. Settings where this or that agenda is more important than people’s well-being. Settings where it’s all about louder, brighter, and more. I crumble into tiny particles that someone has to sweep off the floor.
Some would say I should just grow thicker skin.
I would say I’m not the one with the biggest problem.
Which brings us to the last lesson…
5. LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION ABOUT PEOPLE
Since I’m the author of my story, it’s up to me to decide who the main characters are.
In the past, I’ve given some people chance after chance, even though my intuition was telling me early on that these people were only going to create uncalled for dramatic twists.
It’s sad but true that some people, for whatever reason, don’t have your best interests at heart. These days, I’m much quicker to go for “delete” on the villains and focus my energies on friendly characters.
Do any of these life lessons resonate with you? What has been the most important lesson you have learned in your life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂
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