As a psychotherapist and wellness speaker for 35 years, I have been fortunate to have learned many lessons about life from the many people who have shared their innermost thoughts with me. Certain lessons that I have learned time and time again, and they have helped shape my understanding of life. These insights have helped me tremendously both personally and professionally in helping others.
Life has a way of teaching us lessons that no one ever could.
Although of course there is a place for teaching others, all too often we want others in our lives to change so much that we end up trying to teach them insights that will help them change their minds and even their personalities! Often the root of arguments and conflicts are earnest attempts to try to teach unwilling “students.”
It is also important to note that you can not teach anybody anything that they are not ready to learn, although we might think they “should” be ready.
Our attitude determines how our life turns out.
We can’t expect to get the best from everything in life, but we have the power to make the best out of what we get! Those who have pre-conditions to happiness are often very disappointed when they find that happiness caused by possessions, achievements and even relationships did not turn their life around. No one or nothing can “make us happy”, although certainly they can help!
Instead of “having a good day”, we need to “make a good day!”
Proactivity was Covey’s #1 habit in his landmark 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. People who make things happen rather than wait for things to happen think more like “victors” rather than “victims”. Those who are reactive rather than proactive feel controlled by others. Don’t wait for someone to make your good day for you!
If we continually judge others and ourselves, there is no room for love and acceptance.
Giving love to those close to us, especially our children, is more important than anything you could ever teach them. Low self esteem and emotional distance results from relationships that are negatively tainted with critical judgments and unreasonable “shoulds”. As Mother Theresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
We all know that life is not fair, but we still expect it to be.
Releasing yourself from the chains of bitterness for life not going the way you wanted is the foundation of happiness. When we are bitter at life’s unfairness, our heart turns defensive and closed. Releasing yourself from bitterness at life for not giving you what you want, or even what you deserve, will allow you to be filled with peace and forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not mean condoning bad behavior – it means that regret and anger will not cripple you anymore. Don’t forget to forgive yourself while you are at it. Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what you now know in hindsight.
Don’t wish the holes in your life away, as that is what makes you distinctive and have character. That is what brings out your seeds of resilience! That is what makes you YOU!