This is the blog’s first post in 2019 and so, I wanted it to be full of good advice, straight from the heart and intensely focused on helping my readers one way or another.
So, I ended up writing about the lessons I have learned from experience and experts. It’s life advice I have received from people I admire and respect.
I enjoyed writing it and hopefully, what I have shared will someday come to your rescue when you find yourself confused, lost, and unable to make the right choice.
15 life lessons I have learned from experience and experts
1. Your greatest power is in your ability to find joy in your own self
My mother often complains that I have become too self-contained and self-sufficient and yet, I feel as if I have never found more comfort in the presence of my loved ones than I do now.
I feel that it’s down to the fact that I no longer carry any insecurities or doubts about my own worth. There is no desperation to be prioritised over everyone else. All of this happened gradually after I learned to find joy in my own company.
When I am with people, I don’t use them as a means to escape boredom. It’s because I truly want them around and they all know it.
This ability has also taken away the fear from most of my decisions. I know that if I fall, I’ll pick myself up without help and maybe I’ll be winded and a little broken, but I’ll still find the strength to move forward.
2. Mind and Body- You can't nurture one while neglecting the other
A healthy mind can’t exist in a perpetually exhausted body or one that’s riddled with sickness, and a healthy body will be fairly useless without a healthy mind to steer it.
So, if you think you can create a healthy, happy life with a healthy diet and exercise while your mind is clinging to old resentment and bitterness, you cannot be more wrong. You may create a beautifully fit body but you’ll never have the strength that comes from having a truly resilient mind free to love and forgive.
It has been said before that when you forgive others, you let go of a lot of physical aches and pains. It’s all connected.
Louise Hay’s book, You can heal your life talks about how physical healing can be found in positive affirmations and self-love.
Related: How to use affirmations effectively?
Create Effective Affirmations
3. God/Universe doesn't give us more than we can handle
We are often put through times of trial when it feels as if everything is against us and we will surely break. In my experience, things will always turn around before you reach your breaking point. God will only give you pain you can endure, but he will push you far enough for you to be surprised by your own strength.
Don’t ever be afraid of the difficult times. Fight with grace and believe in your heart that your creator is taking care of you.
The same goes for the rewards in our life. We pour our heart and soul into something but it still doesn’t turn out the way we want it to. More often than not, it’s because we’re not yet ready to handle the reward with grace. We may want it but the achievement of our desire may do us more harm than good.
4. Don't ever let the learning stop
If you don’t want to stagnate, learn a little every day. No matter how good you are at what you do unless you’re adding to your skills, you run the risk of getting left behind.
Dedicate an hour to reading every day. Make it a habit, and you will find your mind growing in knowledge and strength.
Believe it or not, books really do make the best companions.
5. Denying access to toxic people is an act of kindness towards your own mind and soul
There are moments in our life that determine the very course of our existence. For me, one such moment was when I decided to deny access to certain family members and friends. As I looked back over my interactions with these people, I realised that I had put up with so much emotional abuse at their hands that it was honestly nothing short of cruelty. One that I had, unknowingly, condoned.
It was a very hard decision to make and it was followed by a painful period of self-recrimination, doubt, and finally, a whole lot of crying that ended with me reaching a place of utter certainty that I was making the right choice. I didn’t care what I had to go through after that, I stuck to my decision.
I am happy to share that I have never had cause to regret it. In the following weeks, I noticed the change in myself and so did others. It was like freeing myself of a heavy chain that was slowly cutting into my flesh.
So, this is a piece of wisdom acquired through bitter experience.
Get rid of those who bring you more pain than joy. Shut out those who push you into doubt and don’t cheer for you in your moments of triumph. If someone leaves you hurt, aching, and exhausted, show yourself a little kindness and let go of them. What you allow is what will continue, and at the end of the day, the state of your life is your own responsibility.
6. Gratitude is the key to happiness
Start and end your day with a heartfelt ‘thank you’, and no matter the state of your life, you’ll never have a reason to be sad or angry. Actively practising gratitude allows us to stay calm and find moments of joy even in the midst of overwhelming chaos and stress. You can achieve every desire you’ve ever had, but if you’ve not learned to be actively grateful, you’ll never be truly happy.
7. Always listen to your instincts
Freud tried to make the world see just how influential and important our unconscious is. He believed that the unconscious holds the answer to every question that plagues us, and now, we have so much research that substantiates the claim.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have openly declared that it was the connection they established with their subconscious and the guidance they received from it that helped them achieve their success.
When it comes to people, job offers, travel decisions, my gut instincts have never steered me wrong. So, I advise you to listen to that voice within.
8. Make meditation an integral part of your daily life
If we’re to believe that our subconscious has all the answers then, meditation is the instrument that can help us hear our subconscious without external noise interfering with the experience.
Apart from that, no matter how great your life is, the world moves at a pace that necessitates an internal calm. In an attempt to keep up with the madness, sometimes we give in to the chaos. This is why a simple meditation practice can be of great help to you. It will allow you to focus your thoughts and energy. Whenever you need to, you’ll be able to retreat within yourself to a place of calm.
9. Win the morning, win the day
If you are one of those people who like to complain about never having enough time, the issue is with how you plan your mornings. The situation probably isn’t that simple but I bet, most of it can be resolved by a more productive start to the day.
I don’t mean getting most things done in the morning, but giving your day the kind of start that positively impacts the entire day.
This could mean different things to different people. I like to start my morning at 5 am with a long walk, exercise, meditation, journaling, shower, prayer. Then, I go over the tasks for the day. I arrange them in the order of priority, and after breakfast, I start going through them one after the other. The first three hours of my morning have nothing to do with my to-do list and yet, it’s these hours that help me achieve my daily goals.
So, give yourself an early start. Don’t laze around and do something that corrects the energy balance in your body, pumps you up with positivity and helps bring the day’s plan in focus.
Download our FREE Guide to creating an Effective Morning Routine
10. Caring about the opinions of others is the most spectacular waste of time
Live your truth!
I have said that so many times, I feel like it should be emblazoned across my face. I implore you to NEVER do ANYTHING to look good or impress someone. Don’t ever emulate anyone’s idea of perfection if it means denying your own truth.
It could be something as simple as the car you drive and as complicated as your religious beliefs. So, if you like driving a pink car with peacock feathers stuck to the bonnet then, by all means, do that!
If you’re an atheist living in the most god-fearing community known to man then, brace yourself, gather your strength, declare your truth, and get ready for a fight. It won’t be easy but this is THE ONLY way to live a life of true joy and contentment.
The day you stop giving a f*ck about what anyone thinks of you is the day you’ll experience true freedom and the world really will be your oyster.
Also, in case you haven’t already noticed, it’s impossible to please everyone. As Dita Von Teese said, if someone is so inclined, they’ll somehow find you lacking in some way.
11. No decision should ever be made out of fear
There are plenty of reasons not to do something, fear should never be one of them. You may not see it in the moment but every time you kill a dream because you are too afraid to bet on yourself, it takes a little bit away from your character.
Someday, when you’re done with the push & shove of life, you’ll look back and realise just how little you actually lived. You’ll end your days struggling with regret over all the lost opportunities knowing you’ve become a caricature of the man/woman you used to be. I don’t mean to be so gloomy but it’s the biggest fear of my life. I am intent on being a cantankerous old woman sitting smug and happy with a life well-lived.
12. Be careful of the company you keep
It doesn’t matter how strong minded you are, if you spend most of your time surrounded by people interested in little more than the coming Friday fun, you’ll eventually lose your drive and settle for what you can get with minimum effort. Spend your time with the doers and the dreamers of this world and people who push you to be better every day.
13. Vague goals lead to vague results
It makes so much sense that I am surprised it has to be said at all.
Except, a lot of us miss this rather obvious truth. I used to be one of those people.
If you can’t clearly visualise your goal, describe it to others, and plan it with complete mental clarity, your chances of success are fairly slim.
Get clear on your goals. Get down to specifics, and the very nitty-gritty of your plans.
14. You can't negotiate love. People love differently and to their own capacity
It happens to all of us. People in our life love us, just not the way we want to be loved. So, we bargain and plead. There’s crying and yelling and sometimes, things change. Everything is as we want it to be but the change never lasts. Because a love that has to be negotiated will never survive the bumps.
Here’s a solution-
When you find yourself actively wanting someone in your life, instead of focusing on your own needs, try to understand them better. Find out who this person really is, their past experience with relationships, and their own capacity and inclination to love.
Sometimes, it’s not that the other person isn’t doing their best. It’s just that their best is not good enough for us.
If a person that loves intensely falls for someone incapable of deep emotions, one of two things will happen. Either this person will settle for being the lover in the relationship or s/he’ll walk away.
Related: 3 Keys To A Healthy Relationship
15. When nothing makes sense, focus on someone else's pain
If you ever find yourself grappling with your place and purpose, shift your entire focus to someone less fortunate.
There are times when life takes turns that leave you winded, confused and scared. In those moments, go to the nearest orphanage. Plan a trip to a country in dire need of volunteers. Pour your heart and soul into bringing laughter to someone who has known nothing but pain.
As you do that, you’ll either find the answers you are looking for or you’ll be so grateful that every breath will be an answer in itself.
I really hope that this post helps you in moments of darkness. We are all a work in progress, and it’s okay to lean on each other’s strength. I am not very wise but what I do know, I happily share on this blog.
I would like for you to do the same. So, if you’ve any advice for me, let me hear it. Use the comment section below or drop me a message.