Life lessons from unexpected sources play a large role in our growth and development.
Many of you have heard the quote, “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
I have always loved this quote, as it highlights the concept that even the most short-lived encounters or relationships have something to teach us and something for us to learn from.
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Even situations that seem wholly negative and upset us actually have a lesson in them if we allow ourselves to step back and think about what that might be.
These lessons often come from unexpected sources or sources we were unaware of.
If we stop and think about why something happened, why someone hurt us, or why something someone did in passing made us feel uneasy, we can often find that message buried underneath.
Life Lessons from Unexpected Sources
1. Remember the person you dated who treated you terribly and made you feel bad about yourself?
While it may sound like there is nothing about that situation to learn from, there is actually a great deal.
You can learn to count on your own view of yourself over anyone else.
You can also use this as an opportunity to further define what you will and will not tolerate in a relationship, what you are worth, and what you are looking for in the future.
2. Failure is one of the most important lessons we can learn from.
None of us will always succeed, but what we choose to do with failing differentiates the successful from the unsuccessful.
If you choose to use the failure as a lesson in where you went wrong and are open to hearing why you did not do well, you can use this to readjust and rework your project or idea until you are prosperous at it.
3. Suffering personal embarrassment or humiliation
How you handle yourself in these moments is a wonderful lesson in strength and character.
It might remind you what you are made of and even serve as an example to others.
Everyone is going through something, and this is true of the people who also made you feel this way.
If we remember everyone is going through something and that we know the truth about ourselves, we may learn that we have more strength and integrity than we knew.
4. Listen to the words of children.
Children speak the truth, the whole unfiltered truth.
The life lessons we learn from these unexpected sources is invaluable.
While sometimes the things they say are funny, and other times the things they say might sting, consider the message.
Is there something to be learned from what they have blurted out or are saying?
If so, take it to heart and learn from it.
It’s easy to be hurt by things that are said in innocence.
Keep in mind that this was their intention, not to hurt you.
5. Working on something that does not inspire you
This may seem strange or confusing what lesson we could take from it.
We will all have projects and jobs that do not inspire us or align with our interests and goals.
Use this experience to further define what you want to do.
What creates a passion within you?
What should you be doing?
The lesson here is that you may not have asked yourself these tough questions or been motivated to explore them had it not been for work you did not want to do.
6. Starting your day on a negative note
This can be because of rushing around, doing work in the morning, or doing something that is not relaxing.
Remember that feeling and be conscious of its impact on the rest of your day.
Once you make the connection that how you start your day influences the rest of your day, you will be motivated and inclined to change your morning routine to start the day off right.
The calmer and better you start your day, the more this tone will be carried throughout it.
7. Having self-doubts and negative thinking
While this may seem like a strange thing to say in terms of lessons to be learned and an even stranger place to learn them, it can be valuable.
If we can take a step back and look at our own negative ways of thinking, at our lack of belief in ourselves, we can ask what evidence we have or if there is anything to support it.
Most often, the answer is that there is no concrete proof to support it, often just the opposite.
We can learn to stop and ask ourselves what the reality is when these negative thoughts creep in.
8. Settling for less than you deserve
This can refer to relationships, jobs, salary, or friendships.
We all are guilty of settling for less than we deserve in one of these areas in our lives.
The great lesson here is the gifts of introspection and motivation.
We can use these negative experiences to define what we do has merit and motivate us to look for situations that meet those ideals.
It can be looking for a relationship with an equal or searching for a job with pay and responsibilities that align with our capabilities.
9. Calvin and Hobbes once said, ”If good things lasted forever, would we appreciate how precious they are?”
This might sound like a silly source, but the thought and the lesson are undeniable.
If everything went our way all the time, if all good things lasted forever, we would likely never learn to deeply appreciate what we have or had.
So we learn to appreciate the good things while we have them and hope for new things to come our way, as we know they are possible.
10. Remember that it could be worse when something terrible befalls you.
I am not saying we must compare ourselves to others or invalidate how we feel or hurt.
However, if we can take even the worst situation that has happened to us and ask ourselves, “could this be worse?,” the answer is usually “yes.”
If it could be worse, we have room to grow from and the ability to pull our way up and out of this situation in search of a better one.
Keep searching for lessons in everything
Life lessons happen in everything around us, even from some of the most unexpected sources.
We just need to be open to receiving them.
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