They say life is what we make of it. By the end of this post, I hope to have helped you decide whether that statement is true or not.
There is no doubt that life has its ups and downs. However, how we deal with them can sometimes make all the difference.
Today I want to share eight harsh truths that I’ve come to learn from life. There’s also a message in each that I think we can all learn from, and when applied, will improve our lives infinitely.
Some of these lessons may be old-hat for you. If so, look for ways to refine the idea to ensure your getting the most out of it. On the other hand, you may completely disagree with an idea or two and that’s great! Let us know your thoughts so we can all learn from each other.
- Friends Come and Go
When I was in high school, I always imagined spending most of my life with the same people. Then when I realized I had to move to college, that all changed. Once again, I made some close college friends but left them all behind when I moved from the UK to South Africa.
Friends will always come and go in your life; even though I’m back in the UK now, all my friends are in university around the country and not exactly in meeting distance. It can be a hard thing to accept, but many of the friends you spend time with now, might not be around in the next few years.
Important Lesson:There are an abundance of amazing people out there for you to meet and build relationships with. If you don’t have many friends, don’t stress, there are literally billions of friendship possibilities.
- You Won’t Always Get What You Want
I remember one Christmas when the only thing I had asked for was some second hand turntables for DJ’ing. I didn’t ask for anything else so I was pretty sure I would get them. However, they didn’t come and I ended up having to save for 10 months on my own in order to purchase them.
You won’t always get what you want in life: people are going to be late, people will let you down, items you want won’t always be available.
Important Lesson: Don’t look for happiness in material possessions and if things don’t go your way, learn to accept them. Life’s too short to stay miserable.
- Many People Will Love You, but Many Will Not
Whether you are a celebrity, a charity worker or just a normal guy, there are going to be people that love you and what you do, but there’s also going to be plenty people that don’t like you. There are many possible reasons such as jealousy, similarities to them, or just not being someone’s ‘type’.
Important Lesson: Not everyone is always going to like you, and that’s fine. If people want to spend time talking about you then that is their problem. You are perfect as you are. You shouldn’t need everyone to like you to have some form of self-esteem.
- Nobody Can Transform Your Life Like You Can
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we didn’t have to go up on stage, but we could just read a paragraph of a blog post and become a perfect public speaker? Or, wouldn’t it be nice if our friends could do daring things, and we would benefit from them as well?
The support and help of others can only take you so far, you’re going to have to do your own thing to make big changes in your life situation.
Important Lesson: Do things for yourself and learn to stand on your own two feet. People you rely on won’t be around forever, and you don’t want to have to use others as a crutch to get anywhere in life.
- You Are Going to Fail
I built more than 7 websites before I created one that actually started making me any money. I even put hundreds of hours into my own company that I actually closed down last month. Whether it is exams, projects, companies, or even the odd pub quiz, there are times when you will fail to meet your goals.
As the saying goes – “Only those who are asleep make no mistakes”.
Important Lesson: You can learn a lot from others, but it is your own failures that are going to teach you the most valuable lessons in life. Learn from your failures, embrace them, and use them to drive you on to success.
- Rain Will Sometimes Cancel Play
On some occasions when you have your shorts on and you’re ready for the beach, it’s going to rain. Or, when you get to that first hole and you’re ready to tee off – the clouds will open. Things aren’t always going to go how you would like them to.
Important Lesson:Don’t stress about the things that you can’t control. Learn to live with things that happen. You can’t change the past, but you can change how you react to things.
- There May Be No Tomorrow
At least, not for you anyway. We never know what is around the corner, a car crash, a heart attack; heck…even the end of the world is possible. Let’s face it, although we would all like to live till we are 70 years old, that’s certainly not always the case. There will be one day that is our last.
Important Lesson:Make the most of each day. Make sure the people you care about actually know it, don’t worry about little matters, just make sure you spend time doing the things you love.
- Someone Else Will Always Have More
Whether it is money, partners, friends or even blog subscribers, there will always be areas where other people have more than you. That isn’t to say you can’t become abundant in whatever you want (i.e. someone always had more money than Warren Buffett until 2008 when he was noted to be the richest man in the world).
The wanting of more actually holds a very important lesson…
Important Lesson:Just because someone has ‘more’, that doesn’t mean they are happy. Read the biography of any celebrity and they will tell you they enjoy their process of earning money, rather than what money can do to make them happy. In other words, focus on what you love, not what the thing you love can get you.
BONUS: Linking all the lessons here together is actually quite simple, and I can share the majority of what you need to know to enjoy life in a few simple bullet points:
- Live life for the moment
- Accept what is, even if things don’t go your way
- Happiness is here, right now if you stop resisting and start accepting
I hope you all enjoyed my slightly unique take on the topic of improving your life. I would love to hear some harsh (but necessary) truths in the comments below!