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A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
-George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1910)
No one is born with all knowledge, we all learn various things through out of life journey. Our first learning is through our parents, then teachers, our friends, our neighbors, co-workers, relatives, or some of even learn through other people’s success or failures from history.
Best way we learn thing is by doing; by practicing until we get it right. We learn from our own past behaviors and experience. Some times we make mistakes and keep correcting our ways until we get it right. Mistakes are not bad things, as long as we learn from it. It is human thing to make mistakes and I am very human, because I have made many mistakes and making some right now too. Only thing is I may not know it.
However, here are few lessons I wished I had learned it sooner. If I had, my life would have been more balanced sooner. I would be living much more zen life that much earlier. I know I still have a long ways to go and learn more lessons in the life. Life is a journey through living and learning.
1. Only person you can change is yourself.
I had tried in past to change behavior of my friends, or family members based on what I thought was proper ways to do things. However, in end it did not work. We are all ready to change when we want change ourselves. Need and desire for change has to come from within. Without it, no matter how good and convincing thought is, people will not change until they want to change themselves.
2. Try to be yourself. Do not compare yourself with others
When I was child, my aunt always compared me with her kids. I loved reading as a child so much that I rather be with my favorite book than to go and mingle with guests. It did not set well with my aunt that she labeled me lonely child. It had a huge effect on my childhood as my cousins were social with guests and no so much bookworm like me.
In the end it did not matter, I was and am very social person now. I still love my books but know how to balance both sides well enough. I do not want to compare Zenguy with other husbands nor I want to compare my kids with others as we all have our good and not so good sides and that is okay. It is okay to be unique.
3. Perfectionism is enemy of happiness
This is something I occasionally struggle with but I have loosen up quite a bit. I love cooking and it had to be perfect. My house was neatest and cleanest of everyone I knew. However I paid price for it, I was never content or happy with the result unless it was the best.
Having kids and being with Zenguy, I have learned it is okay to eat Mac and Cheese sometimes and it is okay if my laundry is not folded right away. We can not be perfect in everything we do. I strive to do my best at every task, however it may not be perfect and that is absolutely fine with me. You do not need to be productive always, it is okay to screw productivity once in a while .
I am not talking about doing a sloppy job, I am talking about giving the BEST you can, which may or may not be perfect. If you were like me in the past, stop looking for perfection in everything and give your best and you will have more time to be happier.
4. Health is wealth
When I was younger, I took my health for granted. I ate cold pizza for breakfast, slept late, woke up late, ate too much ice creams and chips at late night while studying. When past few years ago, I started to feel dizzy, and after blood tests I was told that I am anemic and I have low blood sugar. That meant I have to eat often and eat iron and b12 fortified food more to keep up with my life and 2 busy kids. I am now lot serious about my health as I realize that without me feeling better, no amount of friends, family or money will make my life better. Health is true wealth .
Little P has some health issues with his lungs so I want to make sure he grows up healthier. All we can do is take precautions and keep healthy eating habits, rest is destiny. Prevention is always better than cure.
5. Give more and you will be happy
When I was younger I wished everything best for myself. I wanted to hoard on best food, best clothes, best seat and so on for either for me or for someone I cared for. Over the years, I came to a realization that it did not make me happy even when I had best things, even when I was making six figure income, even when I was traveling in the world. I was temporarily happy when I got the best things and sad and resentful when I lost out on best thing. It was very childish behavior even when I was a teenager.
One day, I realize (through small steps) that giving away the best thing to someone else was making me gave more relief and I felt more freedom from maintaining stuff.
It may sound cliche like but it is true, at least for me. One time, I gave away some of my best professional and formal clothes, DVDs, books and other items to friends and family members and I felt so much relief after everything was gone. I made it a practice to give away stuff I was no longer interested in, even when I had spend so much money on it and it has been a win-win situation for me and others around me.
It gets rid of clutter (no matter how nice of expensive it might have been) but someone gets to use it, while it could be sitting in my closet gathering dust. I still have things and stuff but I make a practice to give away items that I no longer use it or have an interest in it. If it is emotional thing, I take a picture of it and keep it, it is lot easier to keep picture or piece of memory than stuff we no longer want to use it.
I still have more life lessons to share but article is getting to be over 2300 words so I am splitting in to a two parts. Check out part 2 10 life lessons that I wished I had learned earlier here.
What are you some of the life lessons that you wished you knew it sooner? Please share, we all have great wisdom and life stories to share.
Image Source: tickledbylife.com
This life lessons post is written as a part of series created by my new friend and personal development blogger Abubakar Jamil , who shares very unique and enlightening perspective on self improvement. If you like, you too can join this series by writing lessons that you wished you had learned earlier and email Abubakar about it.