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Why You Should Learn a Daily Lesson

Why You Should Learn a Daily Lesson

    “There is divine beauty in learning… To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps.” – Elie Wiesel

    “What did you learn in school today?” is one of most common questions asked by parents to their children every day after school.

    Yet many people go through life without ever asking what they learned each day. Being mindful of learning daily lessons allows us to be open to change and growth.

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    We think of school as the place where people learn, but really life itself is the far more reaching school where we learn every day of our lives.

    In fact, life is the greatest teacher of all – it teaches us things that no one else could.

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    Yes, life has a way of teaching us lessons that we would never learn otherwise. Some of life’s lessons we would rather not have, some of what we learn we wish we did not have to, and that is exactly what makes life such an excellent teacher. Life has its own natural and logical consequences.  If life was predictable and always in our control, how would we learn? Things do not often go as planned, despite our best intentions. the solace is, we can learn and grow from what life teaches us, no matter what!

    So ask yourself everyday, “What have I learned?”

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    This simple question will help you:

    • Have a focus on growth and self-transformation rather than seeing  yourself as a finished product.
    • Allow you to keep evolving as we are all works in progress
    • Help you find lessons from everything you experience
    • Make the best out of things and grow from the most difficult of circumstances
    • Think of how you can make something positive come from a difficult lesson, even if this is one lesson you could do without learning!
    • Make peace with the fact that sometimes you are on the “fast track” and other times you might feel more in the “remedial class” of life.  We all learn at different rates. and the best part is – in the school of life there is no such thing as “staying back” even if you experience failure.
    • Will help you focus on moving on a in a positive direction instead of measuring how far you “should have” come already.
    • Make peace with the fact that sometimes lessons are learned the hard way.

    Suggested Activity

    Write down three things you learned today. For each item you write down, think of how you can use that lesson to improve yourself and your grip on your world. How can you use those lessons learned to improve your future? Think of one practical action you can take based on what you have learned.

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    Do you want to know how you can increase your odds that you will put your thought into action? Tell someone! Studies have shown that just by telling someone what you plan to do, you will be more likely to follow through!

    (Photo credit: Time to Learn via Shutterstock)

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    Judy Belmont

    Mental health author, motivational speaker and psychotherapist

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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