After closing a difficult chapter in your life, have you ever sat down to examine what the events in that chapter have taught you? True, you may not have wanted, or even appreciated, the experiences in that chapter of life, but it is good to look at what those experiences have taught you – what lessons you have learned.
As I worked my way through January 2024, I took some solid time to reflect and evaluate my life journey of the last 5 years. I took time to identify the lessons life has taken time to teach me.
LESSON 1 – If not now, when?
When an opportunity offers itself to you, take time to carefully evaluate your decision to engage with the opportunity or pass it up.
- “When, if ever, will I get this opportunity again?”
- “If I get this opportunity again, will I be young enough to enjoy it or even participate?”
- “Will I have regrets if I don’t take this opportunity?”
In evaluating an opportunity with “If not now, when?” can help you validate your decision.
I have more precious memories than regrets from the past 5 – 10 years because I jumped at opportunities: ziplining with my late husband in the Smokies, the 90-day camping freedom trip I took with my late husband three months before he lost his fight with COVID, or the close relationship I developed with my mother, my two sons and their spouses, my two stepdaughters and their spouses, and all my grandchildren.
Living with “If not now, when?” has allowed me to live without regret.
LESSON 2 – Never let the sun set on arguments with your spouse or kids.
Far too often, arguments occur because we are not listening and comprehending the other person’s message. Instead of listening, we try to multi-task. We watch television or play on our phones and nod without catching a word of what is being said to us.
We argue with our children who are struggling to find their way in the world because we, as parents, don’t think our children can’t see the big picture.
We argue with a spouse because we let the chaos and busyness of our lives interfere with taking time to listen, understand, and comprehend.
LESSON 3 – Consistency and persistence are key to getting things done.
Procrastination and self-doubt lead to unfinished projects and incomplete goals. My procrastination has come from my self-doubts, but learning persistence and consistency has helped me get back on track with my goals – working to complete as many items on my life list as I can.
LESSON 4 – Not everyone will understand your story, nor will they care.
Your story is your story. Most people don’t care. Even when you are trying to use your story to explain why a bill is late or you need to borrow money, most people will not be able to comprehend or understand your story. If you must try to explain, be brief, but remember, the person you are talking to will probably not understand or care.
LESSON 5 – Reframing concepts that feel negative to me gives the concept new energy.
In studying for my Health and Life Coaching Certification, I have learned to reframe ideas. Reframing changes things. Exercise now becomes movement. Movement can be as varied as I want it to be rather than going to the gym every day and working out on the same machines. Diet becomes healthy eating.
Life hands us lessons if only we take time to reflect on our experiences.