Life Lessons We Need to Learn to be Successful
May 23, 2023 9:00 AM EST | 8 min read
Many life lessons for success are presented to us each and every day, but some have a more profound impact on our lives than others.
Learning which traffic route to avoid might be a little less life-affirming than learning how to achieve your goals, but I suppose that depends on who you ask.
We all have lessons to learn, and we all have lessons to teach.
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Life Lessons We All Need To Learn To Be Successful in Life
If we take the time to learn from these life lessons for success, they can chart a positive course for us in our lives.
Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things holds a treasure trove of valuable life lessons for success that resonate with viewers of all ages.
From friendship and bravery to resilience and the power of love, the Upside Down is a metaphorical landscape where our favorite characters learn profound truths about growing up and facing the unknown.
Here are some lessons I have learned in my life that will help you successfully overcome challenges, much like the kids and adults on Stranger Things!
Life lesson #1) Live in the present.
As a psychologist, I will often tell patients that depression is living in the past and that anxiety is living in the future.
Focusing too much on the wrongs that have been done to us in the past, or trying to plan for every possible outcome in the future, can cause us to miss out on the present.
Missing what is happening right in front of us can cause regret and prevent us from the contentment that the present can provide us.
Focus on the positive despite the turmoil around you, much like how the kids from Stranger Things prepared for the Snow Ball… and Dustin danced with Nancy!
Life lesson #2) Be nice to everyone.
Understanding the idea that we are all equal, that none of us is any better than anyone else, is an important concept to learn.
There is the concept of being nice to people on the way up because you will see them on the way down.
We never know what life has in store for us.
We never know what anyone is dealing with.
A little kindness can go a long way.
Just like how Steve, despite his own thoughts or confusion, handles the scene where Robin comes out with compassion and empathy.
One day, we may need some kindness given to us, nothing like building that karmic reserve now.
Life lesson #3) Make small and manageable goals.
A reason that people tell me that they do not achieve their goals is that they become overwhelmed.
However, if you take a breath, slow down, and break bigger goals into small and manageable steps, you are more likely to stick to and achieve them.
They will seem simpler, and we can see our constant progress toward them.
The Stranger Things kids are no strangers to this life lesson, will all that Dungeons and Dragons campaigning going on!
Life lesson #4) Overcome any obstacles that are in your way.
While life might bring us setbacks or changes, we can overcome anything if we set our minds to it.
We all have obstacles that happen to us, but we must decide whether to let them stop us completely or if we chart a new course.
Obstacles can easily become new opportunities.
We just have to make minor tweaks and sometimes slightly change our goals.
Sometimes, it might be a normal setback like a bad school day… or you know it could be a monster from another dimension.
No matter what kind of crazy thing these characters get thrown, they overcome… even Russian imprisonment!
Life lesson #5) Set healthy boundaries.
One of the most important lessons we can learn in our lives is to set healthy boundaries with toxic people.
It does not matter if they are family or a co-worker.
If being around them raises your blood pressure, ends in an argument every time, or makes you feel worse about yourself, you may want to consider if this is someone you want in your life.
If you have no choice about them being in your life, make sure it is in a limited capacity.
Set healthy boundaries with and about them, and stick to them, no matter what!
Sometimes, when people can’t respect those boundaries, you might have to “dump their ass” and cut them loose!
Life lesson #6) Have a healthy work-life balance.
I am still learning this lesson, but I am getting better!
There are many reasons that people have poor work-life balance.
Finances, hoping for a promotion, or fear of losing a job if you don’t.
However, when you allow things to become tilted too far one way, you neglect important people in your life and self-care that is essential to your well-being.
With the development of some good organizational and time management systems, you will find that you can accomplish more in less time than you once did.
There really is something to the saying, “work smarter, not harder.”
The characters from Stranger Things haven’t quite mastered this yet, either, but this one is hard!
Life lesson #7) Eat well and exercise.
This seems fairly self-explanatory.
When we eat a diet largely based on lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, and we drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, we feel better.
Our system functions better than if we eat fried foods, a diet heavy in carbohydrates, and a diet high in sugar intake.
Also, getting up and moving several times weekly, even for a brisk walk, can prove largely beneficial.
We can not just live on Eggo waffles!
Life lesson #8) Get up when we fail.
Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who do not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Sometimes it is the act of getting up when we fall that helps us cross the finish line.
It could be rethinking a piece of the puzzle, integrating feedback, or simply continuing when the end feels so far away.
Pushing through it to the end might make all the difference, no matter how unsure you may be.
Despite being pretty sure they were screwed, Eddie ‘buys more time’ and doesn’t run away.
Granted, this was a sacrifice to save his friends, and it broke all our hearts… but he didn’t give up.
Life lesson #9) Find the Lesson.
I believe there is truth in the saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
All three serve a purpose and a lesson.
We just have to be open to finding it.
Perhaps the heartache we just suffered was so that we define what we will and will not tolerate in future relationships.
Maybe we did not get the promotion, or the job we were interviewing for, because we were not ready.
Do not be afraid to ask for feedback on why you were not chosen, and be open to it.
This is a chance for you to learn and grow, so maybe it will be your chance the next time.
There are too many examples of how the kids learn life lessons for success to count here because they are everywhere!
Life lesson #10) Let go of the past and learn from your mistakes.
We cannot be truly present or make plans for the future if we cannot let go of the past.
If you made mistakes you regret and cannot seem to let go of, learn from them and move on.
When you hurt someone, make your amends by promising yourself you will never hurt someone like that again.
If someone hurt you, learn what you will and will not tolerate from others, and let that guide you in your future relationship choices.
When you make a mistake in your career that significantly impacted it, I can almost guarantee you will not likely make that same mistake again.
Eleven’s past constantly comes back to mess with her present and future.
She has to remember and make peace with it before she can tap into her potential.
Every day is a chance to learn and grow
If you can take the time to learn from these life lessons for success, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and unpleasantness.
Imagine the time and opportunities you could open up in your life by living in the present, having a balanced life, and seeing every situation as a learning opportunity.
You can create a life full of great successes and immeasurable happiness.
Mark Bezos: A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter
What will you learn today?
What will be the source of learning a life lesson today?
Will it be your favorite show?
Or maybe an incident at work or with a friend?
Life lessons can come from unexpected sources, so be ready to learn always!
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
December 2, 2022 at 1:53 AM
we are so used to hearing and being urged to forgive others, that we forget to forgive ourselves. for many of us, we have grown up without a support system, or broken families, that has made life harder, and perhaps we have made more mistakes as a result- but we must forgive ourselves. We are worth it. And like I now tell my own kids, the way to think about others: everyone is doing the best they can, with what they have, at the moment they have it and in the way they understand… and that is it. Why and how could we judge someone for that? love to all-JRE
Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
December 2, 2022 at 12:48 PM
Thank you for sharing these wise words with us! Forgiving ourselves is the only way to move forward.