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Last Updated on December 11, 2020

13 Inspirational Life Lessons For Success

13 Inspirational Life Lessons For Success

One of the greatest teachers around is life. Through life, we experience all kinds of things. But more importantly, these experiences come with very important, inspirational life lessons.

The beauty of these life lessons though is that you do not need to experience all of them first hand. Many people have already gone through various experiences and provided this information to the people of the world.

A good example is Bruce Lee and the life lessons he shared.

But Bruce Lee is one of the many people who have found success and have passed on valuable lessons. A lot of these lessons are lessons many people have also experienced before.

So no matter what, keep these inspirational life lessons in mind because they can lead to more success and growth in your life.

1. Never Stop Learning

Many quotes revolve around this theme. Benjamin Franklin once said that investing in knowledge pays the best interest.

There’s also Einstein’s famous quote:

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.”

These two brilliant minds aren’t wrong. Staying educated by whatever means necessary is important for many things. You do this by reading books or articles. You can also look into being a self-learner.

Learning is one of the greatest joys in life.

2. Take the Leap

Another lesson that has been said many times is “take action”.

That’s not to say you should be jumping in headfirst with no plan. However, you don’t want to be planning too much.

Many people spend a lot of time in the planning or decision phases. They make vision boards and have particular mantras while following a long list of things to do.

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I’m exaggerating a little, but people can drive themselves into a rut from too much planning. Sometimes the best thing to do is to jump in and enjoy the process.

3. You Get What You Put In

One thing people tend to forget is that you get what you put in in life.

To clarify, you get what you put in based on your effort. Effort and hard work are requirements for achieving anything in life.

Sometimes, people think that you can get what you want based solely on visualizing or changing your behavior a little bit. But that’s never been the case.

The only way for you to make any progress is through effort. I improved my posture by doing specific stretches and not simply by visualizing myself in better shape.

If you want to achieve what you want in life, you need to know how much effort you have to put in to get there. This is the case with anything in life, including the habits that you want to change.

4. Be There for Others

Success in life isn’t always a solo project. It’s actually something that requires a group effort. Looking over history, there is always someone who achieved their goal due to help from other people.

With this in mind, it’s important that we show our support for other people. We don’t need to go to the extent that we’re their personal doormat or anything, but occasionally reaching out our hand for someone is nice.

This can be for someone we know or a stranger. A nice and simple gesture makes us and those who we are helping more human. It also makes the world a better place.

5. Keep Going No Matter What

Failure is something we all experience, and the degree of failure can vary. Regardless of the circumstances and the setbacks, we must not lose face and keep moving forward instead.

Failure is a harsh reality. It is also the source of some of the deepest and most personal life lessons we can experience, provided that you see failure this way.

Seeing failure this way matters because it’s the difference between giving up and getting back up and trying something new. You should avoid using the same approach over and over. Instead, use failure as an opportunity to look at new approaches and try new things.

6. Stay True to Yourself

As children, we all had big dreams about what we wanted to do in life. However, those began to change as we grew older and experienced different things. These events shifted our reality and, in some cases, we let others steer our life.

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We lose ourselves and follow down a path that wasn’t our decision or something we are excited about.

You don’t want to be falling into this trap but if you have, you want to work to get out of it.

These days, it’s so important to your success and well-being that you are doing the things that make you happy and fulfilled whenever you achieve your goals.

7. Have an Open Mind

Having an open mind in today’s society is important.

Automation is rapidly taking over many industries and bringing forth more change. Various events around the world shake our realities as well, such as the coronavirus pandemic.

While events are grimmer in some cases, it’s important to have an open mind or, at least, to not fear change.

This is easier said than done as some changes in life are more drastic and are therefore harder to resist. What’s important though is that we take control of the present.

Learn to enjoy the achievements and the things that we have in our lives right now.

8. Have Big Goals

Goals are important cornerstones of our success. They are your compass, and they provide you with directions to pursue in life. However, these goals are often small.

While those goals are important, you want to make sure that you are dreaming bigger or are seeing the bigger picture.

For example, a small goal could be losing 10 pounds in a few months. The bigger goal is being able to run a marathon.

When we have bigger goals, we have better reasons for our actions. Going back to the example, this provides reasons for you to eat healthily, curb cravings, and take on endurance exercises.

Bigger goals add context and provide mental lessons as well.

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Many people laugh at new ideas or tell you it can’t be done because they look only at where you are right now or they think that it’s unlike you.

Prove them wrong.

9. Be Around the Right People

People often bring up the power of association for various reasons. The biggest one is that this is our reality.

The top five people you spend time with have the most influence on your life the most, regardless if you hate the person or love them.

The key to this lesson is to make sure that the people you are spending time with are worth your time and are contributing in some way. Emotionally or directly, these people should be lifting you and guiding you towards a happier life.

10. Be Positive to a Degree

When people think of the phrase “be positive”, most jump to being positive all of the time. While it’s important for you to be positive, you need to have some sense of reality.

There are bad things happening, and it’s unfortunate. That’s part of life. But it’s not something for us to be overly negative about either.

There should be a balance between positivity and accepting reality. What this lesson entails is that you should accept this reality and start looking at your situations in a more positive light.

11. Connect With Others

Life is about what you know, but also who you know.

You already know that people have some influence on our lives, so it makes sense that the more people you know, the more people can change and help you grow.

It’s important for you to reach out to people and connect with them. Studies show strong bonds with people increase our life expectancy.[1]

Moreover, having people to turn to means more people can help you during stress.

12. Remove Your Regrets

Regrets in life are one of the hardest things in life. It’s something that can linger in our lives for decades if we allow it.

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My perspective is that you can always look back at your life and ask: “what if?”

But doing that isn’t going to change anything. You’ve already played your hand, and you’re being dealt a new set of cards to play, figuratively speaking.

What’s important is to look at what you got from that – the experiences and the people that you met through those opportunities. And, of course, the lessons you learned from it.

Reflect on that, and you probably wouldn’t want to change those things. Who knows what would happen if you went a different route? But you and I both know that you would have drastically different experiences whether better or worse.

So, instead of thinking about “what if’s”, look ahead and strive to live your life with no regrets.

13. Stand Firm On Your Beliefs

This inspirational life lesson goes hand in hand with the previous lesson of staying your ground and sticking to what you believe in.

Yes, it’s important to have an open mind and be willing to change and adapt, but not to the extent of flip-flopping and easily changing our ideals.

It’s important that you develop your core values and continue to stay firm on those ideals.

Final Thoughts

There are all kinds of inspirational life lessons out there. Achieving success is not something that has to be done in one particular direction.

So take these lessons to heart and apply them every single day and at every opportunity you can.

More Inspirational Life Lessons

Featured photo credit: Garrett Anderson via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The Harvard Gazette: Good genes are nice, but joy is better

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on April 15, 2021

How To Be an Optimistic Person When the Odds Are Against You

How To Be an Optimistic Person When the Odds Are Against You

When life gets tough and you are facing big obstacles, it is so hard to be an optimistic person. As we try to deal with these challenges, our feelings tend to be consumed by fear, frustration, and disillusionment. Inertia and indecisiveness overwhelm us, and being optimistic is the last thing we feel like being.

“I think I am going to have to supercharge my optimism to arm myself for the battle ahead.”—Rebecca Bloom

Why Is It Important to Be an Optimist?

Being optimistic is one of the best ways in which you can deal with the hard knocks in life. Having an optimistic outlook on life also has amazing health benefits as well.

Scientific research shows us that staying in a place where we feel fearful and disillusioned—where we have no energy and no hope—is not good for our overall wellbeing.

“Optimism helps people cope with disease[s] and recover from surgery. Even more impressive is the impact of a positive outlook on overall health and longevity. Research tells us that an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and a lower rate of death during follow-up periods of 15 to 40 years.”[1]

Your Power of Choice Is Key to Living an Optimistic Life

Although you may not be born a natural optimist, using your power of choice wisely can help you develop an optimistic attitude that will enable you to defy any odds that are against you. You are the only person who has control over whether you want to be optimistic or not! As the Dalai Lama has said, “choose to be optimistic it feels better!”

I love this quote from Neale Donald Walsch as he explains very clearly how the power of choice can be used by you to get the results you want:

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“Therefore, be honest with yourself as to why you are choosing to do a particular thing. Then, do it gladly, knowing that you are always getting to do what you want. The statement “I have no choice” is a lie. You can choose. You simply do not prefer the alternatives available to you, for whatever reason. So you select the outcome that you most prefer.”—Neale Donald Walsch

Being an optimist opens you up to exploring new ideas, new experiences, and new possibilities. It frees you up to consider new options for how you can live your life for the better. It helps you look to the future with hope and positivity.

What Is Optimism?

The definition of optimism, according to Elizabeth Scott MS, is that it is “a mental attitude characterized by hope and confidence in success and a positive future. Optimists are those who expect good things to happen, where pessimists instead predict unfavorable outcomes.”[2]

However, being an optimist does not necessarily mean that you will be able to successfully deal with the challenges of life. Having a positive mindset along with an optimistic outlook enhances your chances to defy the odds and challenges you face in life.

What Is Positive Mindset?

The Oxford dictionary definition of optimism is “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something” while positivity is defined as “the practice of being, or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.”

Positive thinking looks for solutions, whereas negative thinking dwells on the problems and obstacles. Positive thinking is an emotional and mental attitude that focuses on the good and expects results that will benefit you. It’s about anticipating happiness, health, and success—essentially, training yourself to adopt an abundance mindset and cultivate gratitude for your own successes and those of others

Optimism and positive thinking go hand in hand. You can’t be an optimist and not have a positive mindset.

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To defy the odds and sustain an optimistic and positive outlook Gabriele Oettingen, a motivation researcher at New York University and author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, believes that it is not just about having happy thoughts—but it is actually planning for and anticipating those positive outcomes that get us results.

She describes optimism as having positive expectations about the future based on past experiences and positive thinking as wishful dreaming, which is not a bad thing if applied correctly!

She believes that if we apply optimism (which is a personality trait), we inherit with positive thinking (which is a choice we make) what Oettingen calls “mental contrasting,” which is important for motivation and setting in motion unconscious cognitive processes that are important in goal attainment.[3]

3 Strategies on How to Be an Optimistic Person

Applying these 3 strategies will help you to defy the odds you face in life while still being an optimistic person with a positive mindset.

1. Use the WOOP Model

Gabriele Oettingen combined her ideas with those of fellow researcher Peter Gollwitzer, and they came up with a motivation exercise called WOOP.

Using the WOOP Model, you work on goal attainment by applying these 4 steps:[4]

  1. Wishing for something you’d like to achieve.
  2. Imagining a good outcome.
  3. Examining the obstacles that might get in your way.
  4. Coming up with a plan for overcoming those obstacles.

Research results conducted by Gabriele Oettingen have shown that employing WOOP is more successful than positive thinking alone in helping people to fulfill their desired goals.[5]

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Knowing how to activate your positive and optimistic outlook on life to get the results you want is key to you building your resilience to manage the hard knocks and challenges that life throws at you. Having a positive outlook on life takes work and the WOOP model is a framework that you can use to put your goals into action so that you can start to feel good about achieving the goals you set in life.

2. Cultivate a Positive and Optimistic Mindset

Adopting a positive mindset can help us get through difficult times. However, if we are not careful, we can tend to focus on thinking positive thoughts and banishing all negative ones. This can be exhausting and not a realistic way to deal with life’s challenges

I believe that the combination of a positive mindset and an optimistic view of life that is realistic is the secret weapon to successfully dealing with the obstacles and pitfalls we face in life.

Here are 4 things that you could do now that would enable you to grow and sustain a positive and optimistic mindset:

  1. Once a day, share positive feedback with a minimum of three people—work colleague, partner, children, friend, or anyone that you meet on the day. Making other people feel positive has lasting effects on your own life.
  2. Every morning when you wake up and at night just before you go to bed, praise yourself and reflect on all the positive things that happened to you during the day. Keep a journal and note down at least three positive things that you did today or are grateful for.
  3. Imagine a positive future for you – get a journal, and for seven days, write down all the great things you want to happen—tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year! This is the first step to dreaming big with an optimistic outlook on life!
  4. Consider a serious challenge or obstacle you are facing in your life right now and write down at least five possible positive outcomes. This exercise allows you to look at your challenges with an optimistic and positive mindset.

3. Recognize Negative Thinking

When you are dealing with challenging times and it feels like the odds are against you, it is hard to maintain an optimistic outlook on your life. You can’t push away or bury your negative feelings—what you resist will persist.

The best way to be optimistic despite the challenges you are facing is to acknowledge that bad things happen. Ignoring your reality isn’t helpful. Being realistic about your situation is important to you working out how to best work with the difficult situation you are facing. A healthy and realistic outlook of your life is a great way to accept that all you can do is your best and that you will be okay, regardless of the outcome.

When you are thinking negatively, take a moment to assess how realistic your thoughts are. Reframe your negative thoughts into more realistic statements that can help you maintain an optimistic view of the future and potential solutions.

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Final Thoughts

As an optimist, you believe in hope, opportunities, and a brighter future. Choosing to be an optimist is a choice that comes with surprising benefits. Scientific research has shown that an optimistic and positive view of life allows you to live a healthier and happy life, despite the odds that are against you![6] When you are trying to be optimistic, especially when the odds are against you, having a positive thinking mindset is a secret ingredient to you successfully riding that rollercoaster of life!

Optimism and positive thinking go hand in hand. Positive thinking looks for solutions, whereas negative thinking dwells on the problems and obstacles. There is no doubt that the more optimistic you are about life the happier you will be.

Applying the three strategies above will help you to remain an optimist while successfully navigating your way through the challenges and tough times in your life.

“True hopefulness and optimism are what leads one to dare. It is also what lifts one back up to dare again after a failed attempt.”—Bibi Bourelly

More Tips on Being More Positive

Featured photo credit: Hudson Hintze via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Health Publishing: Optimism and your health
[2] VeryWellMind: What Is Optimism?
[3] Positive Psychology: What Is Mental Contrasting and How to Benefit From It?
[4] WOOP: What is WOOP?
[5] Greater Good Magazine: Can Positive Thinking Really Make Dreams Come True?
[6] Harvard Health Publishing: Optimism and your health

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