113 Powerful Life Lessons Every Person Should Learn
How do you view life?
Some people think that what happens in their lives are out of their control. These are the folks who wait passively for what life dishes out to them. They have minimal goals, and they are the ones who usually hope for the best — that life will be kind to them and that they will eventually be at the right place and at the right time.
Other people, meanwhile, realize that life is a great opportunity for learning and for realizing their fullest potentials. These people proactively try to understand how the world works. They set goals and learn all they can as they set out in the direction of their dreams.
People who belong to the second type are usually the ones who attain success because they pay attention to the lessons that life teaches them.
Some of these lessons are learned the hard way. However, by learning to cope with the challenges, one can come out of the experience wiser and stronger, more able to face whatever else lies ahead.
In this post, we feature 113 powerful life lessons that every person must learn. These lessons teach us about virtues, finances, work and career, about finding happiness and wisdom, friends and family, and about the self.
It is our hope that these lessons will serve as road map that you can use on your quest to live a life full of meaning and authenticity.
So, here are the lessons.
Let the class begin.
1. Cherish what you have in your life.
There will be times when you’ll envy what others possess or have achieved in their lives. This prevents you from seeing the good things in your own life and wastes energy that you could otherwise direct in working towards your success.
Don’t fall into this trap. Learn to appreciate all that you have now.
2. To be happy, be more generous.
Of all life lessons, generosity is the most gratifying. Generosity has been proven to have wonderful benefits on physical health and well-being. It allows us to see other people in a more positive way and enhances our interconnectedness with them.
3. Patience is a powerful tool for success.
No matter how much talent you have and the iron-clad work ethic you adhere to, if you don’t have patience, you will not go very far.
4. Choose kindness all the time.
Life is tough. Some people don’t get the breaks they want or deserve. Many would fight to insist that they are right. Insist on being kind instead.
5. Live an honorable life.
The view of “You Only Live Once” encourages people to make the most out of the present moment. Nevertheless, taken to extreme, this view leads to consequences that you’ll regret later in life. Live in a way that others respect will respect you.
6. You’ll be scared to do things, but do them anyway.
Being courageous isn’t the same as not feeling any fear. To develop courage, do things even if you feel afraid.
7. Always look for something to be grateful about.
Life might give lemons from time to time. However, there is always an opportunity to turn some misfortune into a gift. Always look for that.
8. Play well with others.
In the sandbox of life, it is important to know how to get along well with others. It does not mean that you don’t say “no” when you have to. It means pitching in and giving the team a helping hand when called for.
9. Only those who know how to adapt survive.
The US Marine Corps got it right with their mantra, “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome.” Knowing how to adapt in the fast-changing world we live in right now is very important to survive any situation.
10. Never give up.
Tenacity is the virtue of sticking it out and never throwing in the towel when things start to get tough. Many people who have regrets are those who quit when success was almost within reach because the way was too hard. Just keep going.
12. Embrace simplicity.
Practice the art and virtue in all aspects of your life. When you de-clutter and remove the excesses in your life, you will gain more peace and appreciate life more.
13. It takes a lot of mental willpower to succeed financially.
Financial success does not happen overnight. Sometimes, you experience financial setbacks that will be very difficult to overcome. Facing this reality will help you face challenges on your way to financial success.
14. Avoid impulse buying.
It is a common tendency for people to buy things they don’t need when they have extra income. Avoid this pitfall if you aspire for financial success.
15. Regardless of your age, you must have financial goals.
Having goals guide you in how to spend or invest your money. It gives you a clear view of your financial landscape.
16. Never underestimate the power of compound interest.
Start saving money now. You don’t have to wait until you have a better-paying job to start putting away some amount in your savings account. A few years hence, you’ll appreciate that you did.
17. Doing what’s easy and comfortable leads to unhappiness.
There is no shortcut to success, whether in your career or personal life.
18. Move out of your comfort zone.
Oftentimes, the most uncomfortable or painful experience that you’ll go through helps you grow as a person.
19. Waiting for others’ validation takes away your personal power.
If you constantly depend on other people’s approval and opinions about your decisions and actions, you will never find where your true strengths lie.
20. Confidence is not being well-dressed but expressing who you truly are.
There is no price tag on confidence. The only way to have it is to unapologetically be you.
21. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to reach your potentials.
Choose to be with people who are supportive of you and encourage you to be your best. Thi
22. You should never be in a relationship if someone insists that it has to be a secret.
Nothing good ever comes out from anything that is founded on deceit. Healthy relationships have the bedrock of honesty and openness.
23. Open communication leads to deeper relationships.
Sharing your emotions and staying vulnerable helps strengthen your bond.
24. Practice good self-care habits.
Caring for yourself is not self-indulgent, but a necessary action for you to remain in good health — both physically and mentally.
With all the negativity, stress, and trials you encounter daily, you must give yourself time to recharge.
25. Sometimes you will not be OK, and that is OK.
No matter how much we want to be strong, there will be times when the challenges in our lives are a bit too much. Be compassionate with yourself. Get professional help if you need it.
26. Never stop learning.
Learning does not stop after you graduate from school. Never stop being interested to learn something new or to further enhance a skill you already have.
27. Stay curious.
Approaching each experience with a sense of interest and wonder can sustain your success.
28. True happiness cannot be bought.
Nor can it be found expensive possessions or the achievements you’ve had. You must have the wisdom to discern the difference between fleeting happiness and true joy.
29. Time is your ally. Use it wisely.
Our time is short. We could die any time.
30. Beware of excesses.
There is the line that goes, “Too much of a good thing is bad.” Focus on quality instead of quantity, be it in about the things you own or the activities you do.
31. You will not always get what you wish for.
But you will always be given what you need at the right moment. Sometimes, you don’t even you realize you need it, whether it’s a life lesson, a material thing, a person, or an animal.
32. You’ll be surprised by people.
Some will restore your belief in humanity while others make you think that we are the worst species on the planet. Never judge people by their appearance. Always remain open about what you can learn from other people.
33. Stand by your principles.
Although it is easier to go along with the majority, stand firm in your beliefs. Do not allow others to make a doormat out of you. Learn to assert yourself.
34. You alone have the power to create the life you want.
Other people can only go as far as supporting you. In the end, it is your decision as to the direction which your life will take.
35. You can learn a lot from children.
Compared to adults, kids have an unbiased and open view of the world. They have this ability to put things in perspective in a way that many adults do not have or have forgotten.
36. Nature heals.
Spend as much time as you can in nature. Open the windows when it’s raining. While jogging or when walking the dog, appreciate the beauty that nature presents through the flowers that bloom or the amazing sunrise. It can do wonders for your health and well-being.
37. Practice adding tiny sparks of joy in your life.
It can be wearing a bright-colored shirt to work, adding flavor to your usual coffee, or listening to children’s laughter. Through the years, these tiny acts of happiness, even when you’re alone, nourish your soul and help you live longer.
38. There is grace in apologizing.
Learning to say sorry when you are at fault is liberating as well as empowering.
39. But don’t let words of apology make up the most of your vocabulary.
Make sure to live in a way that you do not hurt people, and at the same time learn to recognize which things you have to reason for which to apologize.
40. Love with all your might.
To love and be loved in return makes everything worthwhile. So love your family and your friends. Do not take them for granted.
41. You need a loving relationship — with yourself.
Accepting who you are and appreciating yourself is the greatest challenge you will face in life. Start early. Develop self-awareness and learn how to love yourself more. Being at peace with yourself will be the most rewarding achievement you’ll have.
42. Give it time and you’ll get it right eventually.
Regardless of setbacks, try something at least three times before calling it quits. Chances are, you will have gotten it right before you give up.
43. Failure is the greatest source of wisdom.
When you fail at something, take a look at what you’ve been doing. Adjust or change your approach until you achieved your objectives.
44. You don’t need that much sugar in your life.
Too much sugar in the diet has been attributed to numerous ailments. We’re practically consuming it even without being aware that it’s part of the ingredients of the food we eat. To achieve health and longevity, cut back on sugar.
45. Your intuition keeps you safe.
It is also known as your perception, your hunch, your gut, or discernment. There is actually a science about the power of our subconscious in steering us away from harm. Learn to listen to its message.
46. There is power in silence.
In conversations, you gain so much by listening more and allowing others to speak their turn.
47. Life is happening as you read this.
If you’re putting life “on hold” until you get that promotion or after retirement, then you’re missing the whole point of it. Your life is what you’re making of it right now. Make it count.
48. Regardless of what you’ve achieved, there will always be someone better than you are.
The earlier you learn to accept it, the happier your life will be. Your objective in this life is not be in competition with others. It’s about reaching your own potentials and walking your own path.
49. Express your feelings.
Tell the people you care about how much you love them. If things upset you, learn to assert yourself without being aggressive. There is no positive benefit from bottling up your emotions. On the contrary, it can create health problems in the long run.
50. It will be challenging to live according to your values.
It will not be easy. You will always be tempted to take the easy way. Have courage to stand by your beliefs and principles.
51. Friendships have to be cultivated and nurtured.
Loneliness has been identified as one of the major causes of health problems. Meaningful friendships offset loneliness. Invest time and attention to friendships. Nurture the old friendships you have.
52. Travel is the best education you’ll get.
You will learn so much – about a culture, a place, and yourself – when you travel. Do it as often as you can. It is the best education you’ll have in the University of Life.
53. Things become clutter.
Things you have accumulated today might be cause for annoyance later. Learn how to make mindful purchases and avoid impulse buying.
54. Living a life free from debt is worth it.
It is not worth it to be in debt. Begin learning how to live within your means and save up and wait until you can afford to buy something if making a big purchase.
55. Your relationships should be your priority.
Show people you care about that they matter to you. Spend more time with them. Value them over your work or hobbies. Never fail to let them know how much they mean to you. At the end of the day, the relationship you have with them is all that matters.
56. Life is too short to leave out the fun.
We often force ourselves to be more serious in life in order to get ahead. However, life is short and laughter is often scarce. Carve out more opportunities for fun in your life. Forget about what others will think. Learn to enjoy your life.
57. Exercise should be included in your priorities.
A sensible workout that fits your needs help keep you healthy and strong. It also improves your sense of well-being and can help you live longer.
58. Having a mask on will keep people away.
If you have a habit of posturing and pretending to be someone else, you’ll driving people away. Express your true self is an effortless way of attracting people.
59. Letting go of the past helps release the pain.
Let go of the things that hurt you. Forgiving others has been proven to be highly beneficial to your health.
60. All of these are temporary.
Whatever challenges you’re experiencing now are all temporary. They, too, will pass. The same goes for the good times. Prepare your mind to accept change.
61. You need to work hard to achieve your dreams.
When it comes to making your dreams into a reality, there will always be those people who will be naysayers. There will be those who mean well by saying you’re better off choosing a different path. They add to the challenge of keeping to your path.
Don’t listen to them. Keep working hard to achieve your goals.
62. Physical touch can heal.
Aches and pains will be familiar companions as you get older. But you never have to endure them. Studies have shown that physical touch has healing benefits, ranging from improving the immune system to lowering sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Essential oils enhance the healing. How about scheduling a massage today?
63. Being of service to others give meaning to life.
Making a difference in the lives of other people can give you a sense of purpose. Even in small ways, being of service can give your life meaning.
64. Your words have power.
Always strive to mean what you say. Use your words sparingly and wisely.
65. Aging gracefully is not something all people can master.
Knowing this, you can choose to bear the marks of the passage of time on your body with dignity and grace.
66. You cannot force anyone to love you.
It could be that the timing was not right or you were simply not the one that someone wants in their life.
67. By being yourself, the right person will love you.
It’s one of life’s mysteries. When you’re busy going after someone who doesn’t want you, the person who is right for you will arrive.
68. Give others a second chance; everyone deserves it.
Think back on your own life. Other people may have also given you breaks — twice, thrice, or even four times — that got you to where you are now. Do not deny others of the chance to prove themselves to you after failing the first time.
69. Life will hit you hard.
But the important thing is regardless of how hard you’re hit you keep moving on. Having the ability to endure no matter what challenges are thrown your way is the key to winning in life.
70. What you were in the past does not determine who you will be in the future.
Things in your life are not static. You will grow and mature as the years go by. Do not believe in labels assigned to you by people when you were younger.
71. The kind of people you surround yourself with can influence your view on life.
By being around people who support and encourage you can help you reach the success you’re aiming for.
72. Getting up early helps you become more productive.
Harness the positive energy of the day by waking up early. You’ll be amazed at how productive you will be.
73. When you choose your career, select something that gives you a sense of purpose and ignites your passion.
Many people are drawn to a career path only because of the financial gains. They are the ones who are usually miserable in their jobs. Something that you’re passionate about and gives you a sense of purpose beats a fat paycheck in the long run.
74. Striving for perfection makes you a boring person.
There is no such thing as a perfect person. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can get rid of the notion that you have to be perfect in every way.
Being real makes you more human and a more interesting person.
75. Overthinking can immobilize you.
Whether you do it by procrastinating, blame-shifting, or by being anxious, thinking too much can cost you precious opportunities for changing your circumstances in life. Become proactive instead.
76. Pour your heart into everything that you do.
Misery results from a half-hearted commitment to anything because you are searching for something better or more worthwhile onto which to channel your energy. Instead, love what you’re doing and reap the positive benefits.
77. Acceptance is the first step to freedom.
If you are in denial about your present circumstance, you will be locked in a cycle of misery. Once you accept things as they are and you find that you don’t like what you see, you can take the next step to change things for the better.
78. Problems should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming unmanageable.
If you dismiss a tiny problem because you perceive it as harmless, you’ll most likely regret it later when the problem has morphed into one giant mess.
79. Keep an open mind.
An open mind makes for a smooth-sailing life. It removes your need to control the outcome of any conversation or situation. In short, you will gain inner peace.
80. Challenge yourself.
Each day, try to do something you’ve never done before. View life as an adventure.
81. Complaining will not fix things.
You waste a lot of energy when you complain about how life sucks. It would be better to channel that energy into a definitive action that addresses what you are unsatisfied or uncomfortable about in life.
82. You must teach your mind to think your own thoughts.
So many things in this world vie for your attention. Media, for example, use sensationalism to evoke a reaction from you.
Regain the value of having an opinion by writing down at least 5 ideas you have every day.
83. Expectations and biases will stifle your gifts if you allow them.
Many people live their lives waiting according to what society expects of them. This prevents them from expressing their true selves. Avoid falling into this trap. Embrace your quirks and uniqueness. It’s your gift to the world.
84. Develop a healthy relationship with money.
In the first place, money is a tool with which you can acquire what you need or want. Money shouldn’t govern your life. Learn how to be financially literate.
85. Learn how to handle rejection gracefully.
It will happen at least once in your life. And it will sting. Learn how to accept it and handle it with grace.
86. Your habits will shape who you are in the future.
Whatever action you do repeatedly or thoughts you frequently entertain will become part of your nature. Small habits will become part of you over time, so have a care to cultivate positive habits only.
87. It is possible to mix fun and hard work.
There are people who think that laughing means you’re not taking things seriously and that you will never get things done while you’re having fun.
Actually, it’s quite the opposite. You’d be pleased at how much you can accomplish when you incorporate the element of fun into what you do.
88. Regardless of how old you are, people close to you are going to die.
It’s best to nurture the relationships you have with people you care about. Tell them how much you appreciate them while you still can.
89. Do not wait for retirement to do something for yourself.
Do it now. Start crossing items off your bucket list now. Do not wait until a specific age (say, retirement) to do the things you’re dreaming of. If you continue to delay, you’ll most likely regret that you haven’t done it sooner.
90. Believe in your capabilities.
Most of us are conditioned to undermine our own capacities. However, there will be numerous circumstances in your life that will prove – over and over – that you are stronger, more resilient than you realize.
91. Read a lot.
Aside from helping you gain more knowledge, reading helps keep your brain limber and less prone to memory problems.
92. Don’t be afraid to be different.
Society will insist that you conform to the norm. Don’t give in to the pressure. Embrace your uniqueness and let it shine. Those hidden qualities are your assets.
93. It takes wisdom to discern what things don’t work for you.
But when you learn to recognize the toxic influences in your life, you steer clear of them. Allow yourself to flourish and thrive in an environment of positivity.
94. You matter.
You have a purpose, a personal mission. Although things may be unclear to you for now, your presence here has a significance.
95. There is no such thing as a self-made person.
If you think that success is achieved solely by your effort, then it could be your pride that’s preventing you from acknowledging other people’s contributions.
96. So it follows that you should always acknowledge those who helped you.
Remember to express gratitude and acknowledge those who gave you a hand, a timely piece of advice, a referral, an encouraging word that led you to the success that you have right now.
97. Stay humble.
Because of the two preceding life lessons, you really don’t have any reason to brag. Humility is another virtue that you must learn to master on your way to success.
98. Appreciate the joy of missing out.
These days, there is a lot of pressure to keep up to date with the latest happenings. We develop a fear of missing out (or FOMO). It causes unhappiness and limits your success.
Learn to accept that you are not required to know or have everything. It’s where true freedom lies.
99. Write down your thoughts.
Writing down what you are thinking helps clarify things. It is also a way of arriving at a solution for a dilemma that you have and you’re unsure of the solution.
100. Ask for what you want.
Sometimes you will be required to define what it is that you want before you get something. At other times, you need to think of ways how you can get what you want.
However, the easiest and yet rarely used way to achieve something is to ask. You’ll be surprised to know that the answer will usually be yes.
101. Actual conversations are precious.
These days, most of our interaction comes in the form of chats in different messaging apps. We rarely spend time with others and have an actual conversation. Bring back the habit of face-to-face interaction.
102. Do not be a snob.
It’s good to know what you want and not settle for less. However, it’s a turn off if you’re someone who looks down on a cup of instant coffee, a non-gourmet meal, or off-brand clothing.
103. Sentimental items are not as important as memories.
We may hold on to things because we’ve associated them with special memories. Realize that the memories you have with people are within you.
104. Not everyone will like you, and that’s OK.
It’s the same with you can’t please everybody. Yet, the world does not end there. Keep being awesome anyway.
105. As much as possible, stay away from alcohol.
This could be the greatest life lesson you’ll have to learn. Do not let alcohol take a hold on your life. Avoiding it, especially in social situations, keep you sane, healthy, and happy.
106. Create something.
Your two hands are the most amazing set of equipment you’ll ever need. Having a hobby is proven to be beneficial in increasing your happiness levels.
Make something — an herb garden, a hand-made card, crafts with your kids, or a meal. It helps keep your brain sharp.
107. Pay attention to your thoughts and actions whenever you’re alone.
The things you think about whenever you’re all alone can reveal many things about you. The thoughts you have during these times are your guide as to where your true interest lies.
108. You cannot know your place in history.
Yet your moment will come. Have faith.
109. People tend to overshare information.
People you know will talk about how drunk they were, what’s keeping them busy, or how they spend their weekends. Avoid doing the same.
110. Walk as much as you can.
Walking can become a form of meditation. They have great benefits for your mind and body. Do it as much as you can and whenever the opportunity presents itself.
111. Never get discouraged.
Things are challenging now, but it does not mean that this will be the norm. Take heart. Carry your enthusiasm in all the work that you do.
112. Most of the world is mediocre.
Many things in this world — experiences, products, work ethics — are mediocre. It has been the norm. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into mediocrity. Rise above it.
113. Do your best.
In anything you do, make sure to pour your heart and soul in it. Give everything your best shot.
Live the Life You Want
There you have it. Powerful stuff you need to learn in the University called Life.
Remember, it is within your power to live the life that you want. The people who are with you can only support you and encourage you as you reach for your goals.
Determined to ace life’s exam?
As a fun and rewarding challenge, how about picking two or three life lessons and applying it in your life for a month?
One good way to start is by developing healthy habits to replace the negative ones you currently have. Check out this post for more details.
See the changes that happen.
All the best!