A lesson is something that serves as a warning or encouragement. Life is generally full of lessons. Every day of your life is always full of lessons. Even by looking at other people’s lives, you are bound to learn a lot. There is something particular about looking back at your past. In your past, there are so many striking lessons. There is also something hard-hitting about realizing something much later in life. You wish you had known it much early on. Today I want us to discuss some life lessons that I wish I knew early on in life. These are timeless lessons all the same so they are applicable to anyone and at anytime.

Majoring In What You Can Control Is What Matters Most

We have probably all been there. That place where we waste so much time and energy majoring on things we cannot control. Yet at that same time, there will be things we can control that we deprive of attention. For example, the way people treat us or think of us is often out of our control. What we can control though is our reaction to their treatment and thoughts of us. For many years I used to be so bent on controlling things that clearly were beyond my control. I have come to realize that the moment you start majoring in what you can control what you cannot control becomes insignificant.

Fear Is Often An Illusion

I recall as a young kid I was super scared of thunder. I vividly remember that I could not even eat when there was thunder. Those were the early seeds of fear that I was cultivating. As I grew I realized that I was usually fearful of things going wrong or not working. Even when I had done something exceptionally well I would fear the worst. Countless times I would get comments like ‘you are too hard on yourself’. Negativity used to consume me so much over the years. It was all because of fear.

The ironic thing though is that fear is often an illusion. What you are scared of or scared might happen is usually an illusion i.e. it is not real. The sad part though is that if you entertain fear for too long it attracts that which is consistent with it. For instance, if you fear that your business will crumble it usually ends up happening that way. That is why you should endeavour to rise above fear. It may come but do not entertain it.

Failure Is Actually Part Of Success

Failure is inevitable at certain points in all our lives. There is no one who can say they have never failed at something some time. The fact that failure tends to happen to all of us speaks volumes. Surely it is good for us to work towards avoiding failure. When a failure does come we need to react to it the right way. Early in life, that is where I missed it and I am sure most of you did. I would beat myself up and feel dejected when I failed. Yet I was supposed to have grasped that failure is part of the process.

Failure is no doubt unpleasant but it can and should be a pedestal to better things. The late Kobe Bryant enunciated properly what I realized later on in life about failure. He was once asked, “What does losing feel like to you?” His answer was, “It’s exciting!” His rationale was that it means you have different ways to get better. You get to figure out certain things like weaknesses that you can work on. When failure comes do not let it go to waste; use it to do better and achieve more.

Getting Excited About Leaving Comfort Zones

We are all wired to operate in our comfort zones. Even our bodies inherently have reflexes that make us want to stay in our comfort zones. To a great degree, I still feel I still prefer to operate from a comfort zone. It is understandable to operate from a comfort zone but at times it causes us to not progress. When I look back on my life there are many times I strongly feel I was too attached to my comfort zone. Had I not been too attached I could have done more or better. I probably could have opened certain greater avenues. I am always reminded of how eagles teach their young ones to fly.

Initially, the eaglets would have been used to the nest – the comfort zone. Later on, the eagle begins to expose the eaglets to thorny branches or twigs in the nest. The eagle does that to make the eaglets uncomfortable in the nest. That way they are pushed to explore life outside the nest. That is a life that will inevitably force them to learn how to fly. Ultimately the eaglets will realize there is more to life than just being in a comfort zone. Eagles understand how important that is for their eaglets. What more us? This is a life lesson I wish I had grasped much earlier in life.

The other thing I struggled with for so many years is always taking things personally. It is so hard to not take things personally; many of us struggle with that. However, I feel there are things I compromised or missed out on because I took things personally many times. The last thing I am touching on today is that if you are to grow, change is inevitable. We often want things to remain the same but life is dynamic. One of the things we should learn to do is to let go of the past. An unhealthy attachment to the past makes it hard to embrace change. Jay Shetty once said, “Change is not something you can avoid or pretend is not there. We all need to embrace it and face it head-on”.