Many people look back on their life at the lessons that they learned and wish that they had learned them much sooner; too many times, we learn life’s greatest lessons so late that we don’t really have time to implement them in our own lives; but, you don’t have lie there on your deathbed with regrets, you can make the most of each moment with this list of 10 inspiring lessons that many people learn too late in life. You have a lot of life left to live, so make the most of it.
See also: 5 Timeless Life Lessons From The Stoics
1. Life is Precious
Perhaps the most tragic life lesson that people learn too late is that life is precious. We often imagine we will live forever, that the people we love will be around for our whole lives, or we think that bad things can’t happen to us, but life is precious: it can end at any time or change forever at any moment. Cherish each second, because we never know when our day will come. You aren’t invincible, and you won’t live forever; someday you will die and pass on, and this life is all you have to hold onto. Cherish each and every moment you have and love those closest to you with all your heart; it can change your life.
2. Happiness is a Choice, Not a Destination
Many people spend their whole lives looking for what makes them happy; they spend years searching out some magic blue-bird that will bring them eternal joy and pleasure, but true happiness comes from the decision to experience happiness. Sure, we should always seek to improve and create a better life for ourselves, but true happiness comes from the decision to cherish life and to simply decide to be happy.
3. Regretting the Things you Didn’t Do a Lot More Than the Things That you Did
Unless you have done some seriously bad things in life (and most of us have done a few), rarely would we take back the bad things we did; instead, we regret the things that we didn’t do; we regret not turning those bright ideas into actions, and we are mournful for the opportunities we never took. We might make mistakes following our hearts, but it’s far better to live with the knowledge that you tried, rather than passing on knowing that you didn’t.
4. You Will Never Regret Being Kind
Sometimes we wish we were more aggressive, more assertive, more pushy in getting what we want, but in the long-run, we will almost never regret giving someone too much kindness. Even when people take advantage of us or betray our trust, rarely will we regret loving people more. Learn to forgive and just be kind to people, you won’t regret it.
5. Taking for Granted the Things That are Most Important to Us
The things that we hold most dear in our hearts are often the things that we look over most easily in our day to day lives. Important people, things, and places, we often take for granted because we have them so readily accessible in our lives. Be careful to remind yourself frequently of the things that you take for granted each day, because you never know when you might lose them. It shouldn’t take a traumatic event to start valuing the important things in life; you can choose to do it today.
6. Hurting the Ones You Love
We often have a tendency to hurt and criticize the people that we care most about. In an effort to help the people we love, we often criticize their behaviors, tell them they are wrong, and try to force them into the decisions that we see as being best for them: we do this out of love, but because we care so deeply about them we often coop them up in a bubble of safety. Let the people you love be free, shackles never felt good on anyone.
7. You Can Do Pretty Much Whatever You Put your Mind To
Life is pretty limitless, of course there are physical, financial, and time constraints, but most of the time, where there is a will there is a way. If you want something in life, you can most likely get it; it might be difficult, challenging, or seem impossible, but give it enough time and effort and you can likely make your dream into reality. Nothing hurts as much as looking back and realizing that you could have done something if only you would have tried: just do it.
8. Helping Others is One of the Greatest Joys That You Can Experience
One of the greatest joys of life is giving back to others and helping other people you care about live better lives. Even helping strangers can create awesome feelings of happiness and accomplishment for those brave enough to lend a hand. Most people on their deathbeds will regret not giving more to the other people in their life: don’t be one of those people, and make more of an effort to give back and make a difference in other’s lives.
9. Money Isn't Everything, it Isn't Even Really all That Important
Many of us spend our entire lives trying to earn money, spend money, save money, and yet we can’t take a dime with us when we die. While it can be rewarding to leave some financial stability behind for our families or children when we pass on, ultimately we can’t take money with us. Why spend your entire life chasing a bunch of paper that will rot and blow away, while we neglect the things most important to us? Friends, family, dreams, giving back to others: these are the types of things we will remember, money is just dust in the wind.
10. Seeking Comfort Will Rob Your Life of Joy and Excitement
We seek comfort as a means to an end, we take the cushy job because we don’t want to struggle with finances or look for another more challenging job. People will NEVER do more than they have to to get something done, and this tendency of people taking shortcuts and finding the easy way out often leads to the decay of our personal passions and dreams. When we accept the comfort of the sure things in life and give up the uncertainty of adventure and passion, we sell ourselves short. The life you want to live is on the other side of your suffering. Learn to push through it to find the life you really want to live.
See also: 7 Life Lessons From Dr Seuss
There are tons of lessons that people have pondered whilst lying on their deathbeds. Many people lay and wonder about the things that could have been, they regret the things they didn’t do, and they regret taking for granted the blessings of their everyday lives. We don’t have to be another casualty to a life on the road more traveled; we can get out there and run free on the road less traveled.
Take a breath, be brave, jump onto the road of excitement and blaze your own trail through the madness of life. Just like a machete through the jungle, hack through life one swing at a time, and never forget the value of each passing moment, for what is each moment but another opportunity lost or captured, invested, or squandered away?
Have any other lessons you would like to pass on to our readers, or have any personal experiences with death that you have gone through on your own? Feel free to leave a comment below and join the discussion!