8 Overlooked Lessons Most People Wished They’d Learned Sooner

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Are you ready to learn some of the most important lessons of your life?

Good, because what follows will act as a wake-up call to take a long, hard look at your life and re-evaluate your priorities.

When doctors tell patients that their time here on earth is nearing an end, a whole string of regrets immediately start flooding into their minds.

The life that they had taken for granted is coming to a close, and most people immediately wish they had learned a few key lessons earlier on.

Time is fleeting. It is the one resource which we can never recover. Sadly, most people only realize this once it is too late.

If you are reading this right now, take advantage of these common lessons that all too often take a lifetime to learn.

Apply them to your life today and enjoy a more fulfilling existence. Don’t wait until you are lying on your deathbed.

1. It’s okay to live for yourself.

When people realize that their life is almost over, they look back with a kind of clarity they never before had. It becomes apparent that the dreams they had been chasing all those years were the wrong ones.

They were living a life based on external pressure. Their goals were based on what they thought they should do, what they believed they were expected to do, or what someone else told them to do.

We only get one life to live. Why live it for someone else? Have the courage to be true to your deepest desires. Ask yourself what it is that you really want out of your life, and then go for it.

2. Work hard, but don’t work too hard.

Chase your dreams and work hard to make them come true. Work your backside off all day long, but go home to your family and be with them when the clock strikes five.

One of the biggest regrets that dying people have is that they didn’t spend enough time with those who meant the most.

They missed their child’s soccer game. They failed to go out on dates with their spouse. They never visited their parents while they were alive.

While it is so important to pursue your dreams and work feverishly to accomplish your goals, strive to keep a balance in your life. Make time for your family, friends, and yourself.

3. Failures are lessons in disguise.

Some of the toughest lessons we learn in life are from our failures. While making big mistakes doesn’t feel like an awesome learning opportunity at the time, that is exactly what they are.

Learn to embrace them instead of letting them weigh you down.

In fact, take risks and leave your comfort zone as often as you can, even if it means that you risk failure.

Our failures are gifts. They teach us to accept ourselves as we are. They teach us to face our fear. And they teach us integrity.

Our failures are the reasons we are able to grow into great people. Learn to love them.

4. Actions speak louder than words.

Even though most of us have probably heard this popular phrase, it can take a lifetime to fully understand it.

We believe the lies of the world, of other people, and from ourselves. We allow people to continually mistreat us and we choose to believe the words that promise it won’t happen again.

We tell ourselves that we are going to change our lives (get healthier, finish our education, make more money), but we never take action towards our goals.

The words provide temporary comfort, but action is what truly defines who we are and who others are.

If you can talk the talk, you should walk the walk. Be true to the words that leave your mouth, but trust others based on their actions rather than their words.

5. Kindness is so very important.

Smile at strangers who appear to be having a bad day. Give ten dollars to the woman who forgot her purse at home and is now embarrassed standing in line at the fast food restaurant with three screaming kids. Tell a joke to a friend who is hurting.

Learn to give more than you receive.

There are opportunities for kindness everywhere you look, and not a single one is too small.

Not only does kindness make a world of difference to those around you, it will also change your life. When you focus on being kind, you will bring so much positivity into each and every day. By helping others, you help yourself.

6. It’s best to live in the moment.

All too often we get caught up obsessing about the past or worrying about the future. When your time runs out in this life, you’ll realize that it is only the present that matters.

The past is gone, and the future isn’t a guarantee. The only thing you have control over is how you act and what you do with your time right now.

Close the door on the past. Process the things you learned, apply the lessons to your current life and then never look back. Have a plan for your future, but don’t overthink it.

Live in the present tense. Get out there and live today. Tomorrow is not a done deal.

7. Showing gratitude is good for you.

The older we get, the more we appreciate all the things we have in life. Yet we still tend to focus on all of the things that we do not have.

Of course, there are a million things we don’t have. But there are so many things we do have.

For example, because you are reading this article right now, it means that you have the education to be able to read, an internet connection, and a device enabling you to utilize that connection. There are many people in this world without any of those luxuries.

Establishing the habit of gratitude is the true key to happiness. With true appreciation, you will be enlightened in life. You will be able to live in the current moment and be thankful for all of the amazing things that make your life worth living.

So start taking the time today to appreciate everything you have. From the warm shower you are able to take each morning and the food in your pantry to the job you have and your family who you love.

8. Procrastination turns you into a slave.

Time is a precious resource and, unfortunately, it is easier than ever to waste it in today’s world.

When you procrastinate and waste your valuable time, you become a slave to the past. You’ll have to work harder to play catch up, but you’ll just keep spinning your wheels. You’ll keep looking backwards instead of forwards.

If, instead of letting laziness win, you can be proactive and take care of what needs to be done now, you can confidently move into tomorrow without the shackles of yesterday holding you back.

Resist the urge to procrastinate, even though the temptation is everywhere.

Our lives should never be filled with regret, yet there is a remorse epidemic that plagues many people as they are dying.

These people realize that their lives would have been much fuller had they only learned these lessons earlier.

Don’t let these mistakes take away the beauty in your life. Take a moment to learn these life lessons today.

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About The Author

Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship.