As an educator, seasoned traveler, and devourer of books, I genuinely love learning. I will fill my mind with whatever knowledge I can get my hands on. Anything to occupy my brain, make me think, or strengthen my understanding of life. However, despite countries travelled, books read, and schooling completed, some lessons can only be learned though experience. And typically, the knowledge we remember the most, is that which we learn through our own lives. Which begs the question: what is life trying to teach us?
Obviously the answer to this question will be different for everyone, but it is something that has occupied my mind for years. So much so, that I used to keep track of my life lessons while traveling. I wanted to make sure I was being an avid student, so I journaled everything. For decades. Every new country I visited, or lived in, I would write down what I learned. The people I was hanging out with, the things I was doing, and the specific lessons that life was trying to teach me. This went on for years, until recently, I threw that book away………
I know, why? Why would I get rid of something so personal and valuable? Something full of mementos and memories? Well, first of all, I am a very simplistic, and minimalist person, I don’t like to be surrounded by a lot of stuff. Secondly, despite bringing that journal through Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Colombia, California, and even Japan, I hardly ever read it.The past was behind me, and I’ve learned over time to not get stuck in it. So, I recently read my journal for the last time. And I learned that life was really just teaching me the same lessons, over and over and over again. With so many countries, languages, opportunities, and changes, why did it seem like I was learning the same few lessons, just in slightly different ways?
I could blame it on a boring life. Maybe I wasn’t living life fully enough to learn the more complicated lessons? But I don’t think that was the case. I’ve travelled to endless countries, gone zip lining, scuba diving, camel riding, cage diving, bungee jumping. My life has typically been anything but boring.
Perhaps, I’m learning the same life lessons because I actually suck at learning. Maybe I don’t grasp things as deeply as I need to. Or to the level that is required. So, I end up repeating, and repeating the lessons, until I can actually prove that I know them. Inside and out.
Otherwise, I could blame it on the fact that I rarely ever looked at my journal. I didn’t take the time to read, reread, memorize, or internalize those life lessons. So now I am stuck here, still learning the same things.
But in reality, the real reason I am learning the same lessons over and over again, is because I am human. Imperfect and flawed. So, as I learn the lessons I need to learn, I will get better at them. But I will never learn a lesson completely. Fully. To perfection. There will always be more for me to learn.
Since part of me believed that my life lessons would remain fairly similar in context, I decided to simplify them. I took my journal, and was able to take everything I wrote down, and condense it into 9 life lessons. 9 things that life has, and will continue to teach me. And probably everyone else on Earth as well. Have a look at my life lessons, and see if any relate to you. Start to think about your own life lessons, and what life is trying to teach you!
FOCUS ON THE GOOD
See the positive in each person, place, situation, or event. There is always good and always bad, the difference is that we get to choose what we focus on. Life is like the story of the 2 wolves, our experience depends on which wolf we feed.
Life is extremely short, and passes by even quicker. So enjoy it. Have fun with everything you do, everyone you meet, and everywhere you go.
Joke around. Laugh at yourself, laugh at others, and laugh at life. Add humor into everything, because nothing feels as good, as getting in some giggles.
Don’t take life too seriously. Loosen up, get into trouble, and make as many mistakes as possible. This is how you learn, and find out who you really are. Besides, a looser grip actually allows you to hold more.
No one likes people that are fake. And you were created to be you. So, be you! As the saying goes:
Learn to slow down. Stop rushing. Really pay attention to what you are feeling, and what you are doing. Life is not a race, it is meant to be savored. There is no need for constant speed.
Focus only on right now, the present moment. No need to stress about what happened in the past, or what will happen in the future. The only time you really have is now. So enjoy it. Fully immerse yourself in it.
Everything really does work out, exactly as it should. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Have faith, and don’t give up hope.
Although we all know the importance and value of love. Are we really giving it? Unconditional, wide-open, vulnerable, and wholehearted love? Start showing and sharing love. To others, ourselves, and this Earth we live on.
Remember, the challenge this month is reading!
Every. Single. Day. Would love for you to join in!