It Took Me 38 Years To Learn These 9 Basic Life Lessons

Don't wait as long as I did to heed these critical learnings.

Man smiling confident learning life lessons AaronAmat | Canva

I’ve been on this planet called Earth for an eye-blink — 38 years — in the grand scheme of things. But I’m not talking to an amoeba. I’m talking to you, friend. And there is much I have learned that may just help you.

It took me 38 years to learn 9 basic life lessons:

1. It’s okay not to always feel fantastic

We live in an age completely deluded by what it means to feel "normal." We strive for this magical concept of "happiness" and prize it above all else. In our striving, we inadvertently make ourselves miserable. It’s OK to feel off. Because in the acceptance of it, we’ll be quickly lifted anyway.


2. Being okay with hearing 'no' is a superpower

One of the common traits I see among those who seem to succeed at higher levels and rarely give up is this: They are ok with no. They don’t take a "no" personally. What do I mean by "no" here? Any form of rejection, a failed experiment, or loss can be seen as a no. People who go far know that a no is just data received on the journey to success. People who take nos seriously are more susceptible to quitting.



RELATED: People Who Bounce Back After Being Rejected Have One Psychological Trait In Common


3. There’s no better mentor than your own deeper intelligence

I’ve allowed people to pepper me with advice over the years and pull me from one direction to the next. Yes, learning from others who’ve made mistakes is helpful, but after a point, you need to follow your own felt instinct. Be careful here because you want to follow what you know is true, not a thought that emanates from a deluded, jaded, and/or selfish part of you. You’ll know it’s the right way when it feels right. 

4. There is no ideal path laid out for you

Stop thinking there is — it will only depress you. All you need to do is find something that intrigues you enough to stick with it for a decent length of time. Expect it to stink frequently. You’ll keep going because you know it can’t always be sunshine and unicorns. It’s the consistency and willingness to find enjoyment in the monotony of it that gives you an incredible edge. It’s here you will find your path.

RELATED: I Don't Know Where I'm Going In Life — And I'm OK With That

5. If in doubt, take on winning habits

If you’re looking for a definition of happiness, this is it: take on the habits of winners. What are they for you? You know that certain things make you feel worse overall. Life can be super simple in this way. Engage in bad habits and feel bad. Engage in winner habits every day and feel like a winner. When you feel like a winner, you will do better. It’s that simple.




6. Creativity makes you more creative

The secret to success lies in understanding the gentle beauty of momentum. But make sure it’s taking you in the right direction. You’ll know it’s right because it feels right in your gut. We get depressed for one reason: our body tells us we’re building momentum in the wrong thing. Don’t slip. Get moving with what is good for you.

7. You don’t need ‘fixing’

Society has programmed us to think we need to work on ourselves to become better people. This is nonsense. Beneath all your self-criticisms, you are already whole, happy, and real. It’s not on you to be better — only in skill and taking on new experiences. In the absence of self-berating thoughts, you are strong and you are well.

RELATED: I Don't Need To Be Fixed — I Just Need To Be Accepted


8. The more you try to control your thoughts, the more anxious you become

I’ve learned that stress and feelings of anxiety are directly related to how much I try and interfere with my thinking. It’s like scratching an itch. It’s tempting to overanalyze when we don’t feel safe. But the real trick is to leave it alone. Return to what you were doing instead.

9. Being light-hearted makes you luckier

It needn’t depend on the circumstances that you enjoy yourself. It needn’t be that the sun should be out for you to feel good. You bring the enjoyment. You choose happiness. It’s internally driven. And when you choose to take things with a light-heartedness, things will open up for you. Your mind clears. You see things others miss. People respond better to you. Opportunities present themselves when you’re light.

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Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient