6 Essential Lessons from the School of Life – In this article, 6 Essential Lessons from the School of Life, I share some of the things I wished I had known at age 17-40. Oh, I might have heard some of these pieces of advice along the way, but I certainly did not take many of them seriously, and I paid a major price for that. So this is my attempt to try to make sure my mistakes aren’t made by people of younger ages. If you are now thinking…” Oh, I don’t need to read this”….. I encourage you to think again. We are only given one life, and it is very short. So it’s wise to do what you can to make it easier and more enjoyable along the way. Right?
These aren’t in any particular order of importance as each reader will place their own value on what order ( if any) they think they should be ranked.
Value Your Friendships
Value the friendships you make along the way in life, and don’t take them for granted. Make it a point to STAY CONNECTED with important friends, classmates, co-workers, etc… I didn’t do this, and I lived to regret it. Fortunately, a classmate of mine found me on Facebook 30 years later, and I have been able to reconnect with some, but not all. Keep in mind that not everyone uses Facebook (or other platforms), and they will not know how to find you. I encourage YOU to be the point person and keep the addresses and phone numbers of these people. Believe me; you will thank yourself later.
Take Care of Your Body
Take care of your physical body. It’s the only one you’ve got, and you want it to be in good enough shape to last you your entire life span. You won’t ever be able to trade it in for another like you can with a car. This one is it. So don’t assume you can sit back, and it will take care of itself. Not so. You need to put the time in consistently to take care of it. The list of physical ailments you will experience by not doing this is endless.
Speaking of the body….take care of your teeth! Fortunately, this one I did pretty well on, except for the years I was addicted to bubble gum, plow pops, and gummy bears. I think I was able to get away with it because I had genetics on my side, and I always did brush my teeth. I didn’t get on the flossing train until my 40s. If it helps remind you to floss, remember to think of all the surface area of enamel that is in between your teeth! Teeth have five surfaces, and brushing only cleans 3 of them! Here’s what I wish someone had told me regarding dental care: there is no such thing as decent dental insurance, and dental care in your later years is extremely expensive. You’re going to be experiencing things like root canals and crowns, and IF you have saved enough money, you’ll want to have implants to avoid dentures. Believe me, all of this WILL be in your future. Don’t think you will be the exception.
Have a Savings Plan
And of course, speaking of money….this is the huge one. Don’t spend it all! Save. Do yourself a favor…open a few different savings accounts, and each time you get money coming in, have it automatically deposited in your savings. That way, it is easy and painless, as you won’t even see it happening.
Being a female raised in the 1950s, I wasn’t given adequate knowledge or instruction on money and was assumed to marry an Ivy League doctor or lawyer to provide for me. I purposely choose NOT to do that, which is all great as I’d definitely recommend never allowing yourself to rely on another person for money, no matter who it is!
Fortunately, in this day and age, women get to be informed with the advice of people like Suze Orman on becoming financially independent. Be sure to read or listen audibly to these resources. Being financially knowledgeable about everything that is going on (or not going on) with your money is paramount. Don’t keep your head in the clouds like I did. That was a major mistake. And one I hope you’ll avoid by taking this article to heart.
Learn to Listen
Learn to be a good listener. It is THE most important part of effective communication. Not talking but listening. Have you ever been in the presence of a good listener and know how wonderful it feels? Learn to listen more and talk a little less (that is, unless you are a total introvert!) Good listening is an art, and it requires being in the present instead of listening to the person while you’re half thinking of what YOU want to say next. Heartfelt listening is a lovely gift to give and receive, and the world would be a much better place if we all were taught how to really listen.
Life is a Gift
Lastly..cherish being alive. I had this “gift” given to me in my 40’s (due to a progressive neurological disorder), so I know firsthand the sacredness of life. Don’t wait until something befalls you to learn this. To the best of your ability, design your life and make sure you are spending enough time with the people you care about, the activities you enjoy, and perhaps doing some kind of volunteer work to give of yourself to a greater cause.
Know this: each one of us has the power to create our life by utilizing the power of choice. Choosing what we focus on, and choosing our daily actions. No, we can’t control everything, but the great news is….we don’t have to in order to have an absolutely outstanding life!
Virginia Oman (https://virginiaoman.com/ ) LCMHC is a Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Therapist, and Wellness Coach who devotes her life to helping individuals rise above obstacles and create the life of their dreams.
Connect with Virginia: https://linktr.ee/virginiaoman
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