6 Powerful Life Lessons I’ve Learned

6 powerful life lessons I've learned.

As a writer, I often think about the things that happen in our lives on such a deep level. 

Over time, I’ve learned to look at situations for what they are, rather than how I want to perceive them to be—because the truth always reveals itself when we look beyond the surface level.

Lately, I’ve specifically been thinking about some of those hard life lessons I’ve learned through the times I’ve struggled, the life lessons that shaped me into who I am today. Life isn’t defined by the trivial things we put emphasis on or worry about, but by how we choose to live, where we invest our time, and how we love and treat ourselves and others. 

We are who we are because of the life experiences that become deeply rooted in us, shaping our lives around what we prioritize. It isn’t necessarily about the “things” in our lives that truly matter, but rather who we are and what we stand for.

Happiness isn’t a circumstance, it’s a choice we have to continually make, regardless of what we’re going through. Through the ups and the downs of life, here are 6 of the most powerful life lessons I’ve learned that improved my life:

1. Other People’s Opinions Of You Are None Of Your Business

This was one of the hardest life lessons I’ve learned, but one that’s had the most profound impact. 

To put it lightly, what other people think of you is none of your business. It doesn’t matter what other people think of you or how they perceive you, what matters the most is what you think of yourself

We put so much emphasis on the wrong things when we’re focused on how other people perceive us, rather than directing our energy towards how we feel about ourselves. I can’t even express how many times people would try to tell me what they think I should do with my life when it came to my career path. Which never made any sense to me, considering I was the only person who had to live with my every day choices. 

It didn’t take me long to learn that people are always going to have an opinion no matter what. Regardless of what you choose to do. So why let that dictate your thoughts or your life? Your inner peace is way too important to sacrifice, and is more important than always trying to make everybody else happy.

2. You Don’t Always Have To Explain Yourself 

While this ties hand-in-hand with the first one, another important life lesson is that you don’t owe anybody an explanation for the choices you make or how you choose to live your life. 

As a (mostly) former people pleaser, I always felt like I had to attach a lengthy reasoning to why I was making the choices I was. When I finally realized over time that not everything needs an explanation. 

Just as I mentioned how people often tried to tell me what to do with my career, I specifically remember about 10 different people suggesting various jobs that I should apply for after I graduated college, yet none of them were even in the realm of journalism. At the time, I felt like I needed to explain the reason I made the choices that I did, or why I was or wasn’t pursuing something that was suggested to me. 

But only we know what’s best for us. It might’ve been easy for somebody on the outside of my situation to look in, but I knew how much time I invested and how hard I worked to get to where I was. I realized it didn’t have to make sense to anybody else, and I didn’t always have to explain the reasoning for my choices. 

We make the choices and the decisions we do based on our own life experiences. It’s what shapes our every day and how we choose to live our lives. Your decisions don’t have to make sense to anyone else; they only need to make sense to you because it’s your life. Even if a choice leads you down an unexpected path, you can always change your mind or take a different route. Never feel like you have to explain yourself, especially to those who aren’t and will never be walking in your shoes.

3. Letting Go Of Anything Toxic Will Free Your Mind

I’ve sacrificed and wasted so much happiness on toxic people, situations, and even habits. 

When you continually put yourself in a situation that is toxic or unhealthy for you, all it ends up doing is bringing you down rather than lifting you up. 

Continuing a relationship or staying in a toxic situation that isn’t healthy for you simply isn’t worth it at the end of the day. The problem with staying somewhere that isn’t right for us, is that we convince ourselves that things will change. Or we hold onto the hope that the situation will go back to the way it once was or better than it was before. 

But the reality is usually the quite opposite. Patterns always repeat themselves. When a situation or a person keeps showing you who they are, it’s important that we pay attention to what they’re showing us. Through the situations I’ve been in, I’ve learned to no longer rely on words alone. If people try to tell us what they think we want to hear, we can always confirm if what they say is true by looking at their actions.

Letting go of toxic people, situations, or habits is such an important life lesson because doing so will free your mind. It’s way less exhausting when you make space for the people who truly care about you and love you, rather than always trying to fix a situation that isn’t meant to be fixed. 

I never understood why toxic people keep holding on when they know they’d be better off letting go. Until I learned that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. We wait and want things to change, but sometimes it’ll never change. Accepting that will help us let go and make room for the healthy people, situations, and even habits that are meant to be in our lives. Letting go of anything toxic will not only help free your mind, but help you experience more happiness than you did before. It’s not always easy letting go, but it’s always worth it. 

Sometimes what feels like the worst thing to happen to us in the moment, ends up being the best thing that ever happen to us in the end.

4. Your Time Is Too Valuable To Waste 

Through the many life lessons I learned, one that still repeats itself is learning that time is honestly all we have. Investing your time in what feels meaningful and is important to you will help you be aware of what drains your energy, and what you should pursue instead.

When we step outside our situation and feelings, we’ll see where we should direct our energy and time. Spend your days how you want to live. Your happiness isn’t dependent on the things you don’t do, it’s dependent on what you choose to spend your time on.

Some helpful questions to ask yourself:

  • What makes me feel whole?
  • When do I feel like the best version of myself?
  • How can I actively work towards that? What steps can I take today that would make my circumstances better for me tomorrow?
  • How can I intentionally spend more time in the things that are for me, rather than against me?

In the end, it matters where you put your energy, what fulfills you and makes you feel whole. I believe we have different people in our lives for various reasons, and they each fulfill us for what we need when we need it.  

Rather it’s choosing who you spend your time with, or simply putting yourself first, know that your time is too valuable to waste. Once I learned this important but hard life lesson, I stopped prioritizing things and people that weren’t bringing me true happiness and fulfillment. 

5. You Can Always Find Joy Where You Are 

Depending on what we’re going through in life, sometimes things won’t feel okay, and that’s okay

It’s okay to feel disappointment or sadness when things in your life don’t turn out how you once envisioned them. I’ve felt the weight of grief when life took me down different paths than I expected. But I always found that as long as I was following what I knew to do, then it always turned out better than I initially pictured it would. 

We can’t always change or control what happens to us. When I was at the end of the toxic relationship I was in, I knew there was nothing I could do to make that situation change for the better. It was time for me to let go and learn how to move on with my life, even though I had to continually learn how to let go because nothing felt okay.

I started learning how to find joy where I was, so that my happiness wasn’t dependent on my circumstances. I could never express how happy I am that I didn’t keep trying to open a door that needed to remain shut, because my life wouldn’t be what it is today, and I wouldn’t have met my husband in the timing I did. Sometimes, what feels like the worst thing to happen to us at the moment, ends up being the best thing that ever happens to us in the end. 

All it takes is a single moment for things to change. But sometimes we have to be willing to take that step of faith and trust that even when something feels like it’s falling apart, it’ll eventually come back together. Even if it’s not in the way we originally pictured it.

Investing your time into the people and things that bring you happiness can help you find joy exactly where you are. Everything happens how it’s supposed to, especially when you’re willing to let go and wait for the things that you truly deserve in life.

6. Staying True To Yourself Will Always Bring You Happiness and Fulfillment

Never compromise on your values, morals, or anything that makes you, you. When we compromise on something that makes us feel less like ourselves, we’re cutting ourselves short for the life we’re meant to live. 

Our life isn’t meant to be one where we’re always chasing for approval, or one where we’re always letting people walk all over us. I spent many years feeling like a doormat because I had no sense of boundaries. I allowed people to treat me poorly because I never wanted conflict, and honestly, a part of me didn’t want to deal with some of the repercussions or face the reality of learning how to let people go who weren’t meant for me. 

Easily one of the best life lessons I’ve learned is that we can’t fix people. Because more often than not, people usually aren’t willing to change the core of who they are unless they want to change. You can’t always sacrifice who you are to make somebody else happy, because in the end you’ll never truly be happy. And what’s the point if you’re always sacrificing how you feel just to try and please somebody else?

Staying true to yourself will always bring you happiness and fulfillment, regardless of what’s taking place around you.

6 powerful life lessons I've learned.

The more we endure the hard times, the more we learn about ourselves and the important life lessons that make us who we are. It’s all about learning how to find happiness in our journey, and finding gratitude in the tough moments, even when our light feels dim. There’s a season for everything, and usually, it’s the hardest yet most important life lessons that teach us everything we need to know.

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