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16 Life Lessons I Want My Kids to Know

16 Life Lessons I Want My Kids to Know

As I struggled to hold on to the arm of my one-year-old to keep her from getting lost in the busy galleria, she defiantly pulled it away, taking her first independent steps into a world she wanted to explore on her own. Her brazen sprint mirrored glimpses of my young rebel spirit and I shredded at the thought of how fast she was growing up. I wanted be a part of her growing up process and hold her from taking the wrong turns. I didn’t wanted her to learn the most important life lessons the hard way—through her mistakes—so I sat down to write all that I wished her to know the day she sets out on her own journey to explore this world on her own, I hope to read it out to her one day sitting by her side, caressing her hair: this is what I want you to know, my little princess.

Life lessons for kids
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    1. If you have to win, don’t try to run ahead of others, try to outrun yourself.

    Compete against who you are today so that tomorrow you emerge as a better person—even if it is just slightly better than who you were yesterday. In the long run it will all add up.

    2. If you want to succeed, follow your interests and whatever you truly care for.

     Think about what makes your day, what motivates you even in the darkest of your moments, what excites you and drives you. Once you know what it is, follow it with all your heart.

    3.  If you want to be loved and give love to others, fall in love with yourself first.

     Approve of who you are, instead of seeking others to approve of you and your actions. Be comfortable with your physical appearance and make peace with your inner being. Don’t try to fit in, stand out and make a mark for yourself!

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    4.  If you want to be happy, don’t chase after happiness.

    Happiness cannot be achieved by running after it because it does not exist outside you; true happiness is within you in the form of compassion, love, gratitude, creativity and goodness. Practice these virtues every day to find true, everlasting happiness in each and every moment of your life.

    5.  If you need companionship, try to be your own best friend first.

    Try to know yourself better by spending some introspective time every day, read a lot, write a bit, explore your dreams, travel unknown trails and the day you get lost is the day you will truly find yourself, and the day you find yourself, success, rewards, friends and joy will follow.

    6.  If you want to rise in life, throw away the baggage that’s holding you down.

    Liberate your true self by letting go of painful memories, fears, doubts, worries of the future, regrets and grudges. This will create space in your life for the important and the meaningful.

    7. If you want to make each day your best day, practice gratitude.

    Life is beautiful and each moment brings with it something we can be grateful about, appreciate it and end your day by being thankful for all the good things that happened to you today.

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    8.If you wish to be strong, practice forgiveness.

    If someone lets you down, forgive them but make sure not to allow them to hurt you again. Forgive yourself too of your wrongdoings but don’t stop trusting yourself or trying new things; learn from your mistakes, be thankful for the experience and move ahead.

    9. If you want good things to happen to you, practice goodness yourself:

    The world will not always be good to you and people will hurt you and situations will work against you, believe in goodness and the power of compassion anyway. Believe that in this circle of life, the good that you do today will come back to you tomorrow.

    10. If you want to make good decisions, take responsibility.

    Keep your commitments, take responsibility for your actions, stick to your words and the promises you make to others and when you make a choice, stand by it till the end.

    11. If you want to avoid anger and frustration, accept change.

    No matter how much structure you build around and how many regimes you follow, life will still throw a lot of surprises at you and routines will go haywire. Accept it because it is the only way to allow better things in life.

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    12. If you want others to think high of you, look up to yourself first.

    Develop your own standards, value your principles, hone your personality and appreciate your talents. Your self-worth will dictate what others think of you.

    13. If you want to live long, practice good habits.

    Take the best care of your body: Exercise daily, be active, get out of your comfort zone, eat healthy, get some sun, feel the fresh morning air on your face, connect with nature and the beautiful world outside.

    14. If you want to keep growing, keep learning.

     Life is a continuous process of learning, enlightening and improving yourself and demands you to be in a constant state of evolution. Knowing that you are each and every day becoming a better person is the only way to keep growing.

    15. If you are going through a rough patch in life, help yourself.

    When you are going through difficult times, don’t look to others for help, because your best savior is nobody but yourself. Keep a positive mind frame, stop asking “why me?”, believe that you can, make an exit plan and take action.

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    16. When in doubt, ask yourself a question.

    Life will keep demanding you to take decisions: some simple, some complex, and some life-changing. When unsure, ask yourself the question, “will it still matter five years down the line?” You will find your solution in the answer.

    And above all , know that I will always be there right by your side whenever you would need me. I love you!

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

    “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

    Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

    You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

    Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

    1. Take a step back and evaluate

    When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

    1. What is the problem?
    2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
    3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
    4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
    5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

    Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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    2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

    If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

    At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

    Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

    3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

    Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

    4. Process your thoughts/emotions

    Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

    1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
    2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
    3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
    4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

    5. Acknowledge your thoughts

    Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

    By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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    Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

    6. Give yourself a break

    If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

    7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

    A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

    Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

    After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

    8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

    As Helen Keller once said,

    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

    Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

    9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

    In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

    1. What’s the situation?
    2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
    3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
    4. Take action on your next steps!

    After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

    10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

    A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

    Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

    For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

    11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

    No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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    12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

    No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

    13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

    There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

    After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

    Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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