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10 Life Lessons We All Need To Learn To Be Successful in Life

Dr. Nikki Martinez, Lead Contributor
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10 Life Lessons We All Need To Learn To Be Successful in Life

There are many life lessons that are presented to us each and every day, but there are some that 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 who you ask.

We all have lessons to learn, and we all have lessons to teach.

If we take the time to learn from these lessons, they can chart a positive course for us in our lives.

Here are a few of the lessons I have learned so far in my life.

Life Lessons We All Need To Learn To Be Successful in Life

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 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 going on right in front of us can cause regret and prevent us from the contentment that the present can provide us.

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 are going to 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.

There may be one day when we 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 down into small and manageable steps, we are more likely to stick with them and achieve them.

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They will seem simpler, and we are able to see the constant progress we are making towards them.

Life lesson #4) Overcome any obstacles that are in your way.

While life might hand us set-backs or changes, we are capable of overcoming anything if we set our minds to it.

We all have obstacles happen to us, but we have to decide whether we let them stop us completely, or if we chart a new course.

Obstacles can easily become new opportunities.

We just have to make some minor tweaks, and sometimes slightly change our goals. 

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 them, and about them, and stick to them, no matter what!

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, as well as 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 get more accomplished in less time than you once did.

There really is something to the saying, “work smarter, not harder.”

Life lesson #7) Eat well and exercise.

This seems fairly self-explanatory.

When we eat a diet that is largely based on lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, and we drink 8-10 glasses of water each day, we feel better.

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Our system simply functions well than if we are eating fried foods, a diet heavy in carbohydrates, and a diet high in sugar intake.

Also, getting up and moving several times per week, even for a brisk walk, can prove largely beneficial.

Life lesson #8) Get up when we fail.

Thomas Edison once said that, “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 on when the end feels so far away.

Pushing through it to the end, no matter how unsure you may be, might be what makes all the difference.

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 that maybe it will be your chance the next time.

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 are unable to let go of the past.

If you made mistakes you regret and cannot seem to let go of, learn from them and move on.

If 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 choices for relationships.

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If you make a mistake in your career that significantly impacted it, I can almost guarantee that you are not likely to make that same mistake again.

Everyday Power

If you can take the time to learn from these lessons, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and unpleasantness in your future. Imagine the time and opportunities you could open up in your life by living in the present, by living a balanced life, and by seeing every situation as an opportunity to learn.

You can create a life full of great successes and immeasurable happiness.

Mark Bezos: A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter

Life Lesson Quotes

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ― Maya Angelou

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.

You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over.

But one thing is certain.

When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.

That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami

“If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it.” ― C.S. Lewis

“Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.” ― Paulo Coelho

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” ― Steve Jobs

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew because nobody looks attractive spitting it back out.” ― Carroll Bryant

“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it” ― Edward Albee

“Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.” ― Denis Waitley

“Do not dwell upon the sins and mistakes of yesterday so exclusively as to have no energy and mind left for living rightly today, and do not think that the sins of yesterday can prevent you from living purely today.” ― James Allen

What other life lessons would you add to the list?

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  1. JRE

    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.

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