There are many lessons in life that you learn over time. Some of them are more important than others, but all are hard earned from experience.
No one ever tells you these things, even those people in your life who teach you so much about other practicalities of life which could be either a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. I know quite a bit of what I have learned about life took hold because I had to go through it first hand.
Of course, I could go on forever about what these things are. As for those of you reading this, you will be sure to have your own lessons you think are the most crucial no one ever told you. But for now, I am just going to post the five that strike me the most at the moment.
1. People’s opinions don’t matter
This one sounds awful, but hear me out. All the years I was growing up, I was told that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and everyone is right in their own way. It is a pretty simplistic lesson that applies to many things, and I think is important to know as a kid.
Someone liking a different movie or band than you doesn’t matter, for example. But then you grow up, and something becomes very apparent: there are a lot of ignorant people out there. Suddenly, it becomes a lot harder to tolerate what everyone thinks, especially since so much is easily debunked or explained or countered. But they continue to say it is just what they believe, whether true or not. I eventually learned to adapt the adage: people are entitled to an informed opinion. Now we just need to start spreading that around, so the world (and the internet) becomes a much nicer place.
2. What you put online may remain there forever
People seem to be so excited to publish their pictures on the web, change their marital status, talk about their kids and relationships and give a crowd of strangers an access to their personal lives. It seems to have gone worse over the Covid lockdowns when people had nothing but digital lives.
Years pass, lives change but those parts of your life may threaten your online privacy and security. You don’t really own your social media accounts.
The more personal data you have online, the higher the risk that your passwords may be guessed and your financial accounts may be broken into.
There’s nothing to be done to revert the time but taking your digital security wisely is something to take seriously now. Tools like Aura will help you protect your online identity.
Social media accounts have their own privacy settings as well, so make sure to review those. If you also have a website, make sure it is secure.
3. There is a difference between being polite and being walked in
Once you hit adulthood, you won’t necessarily feel like you have made it there. You might notice that you feel just as uncertain as you did when you were in your teens. This is a feeling that won’t go away on its own, and you will probably find yourself giving a lot of ground you wish you wouldn’t, simply because you feel like you have to.
But there are plenty of people out there who will take advantage of that, and you can’t expect anyone to fight your battles for you. Assertiveness is an important trait in life. The only way you will get it is if you start forcing yourself to show it. Sure, it will be faked in the beginning. Over time, however, you will start to see your backbone becoming more genuine.
4. Life will inevitably improve, if you give it time
I look at how life was when I was first on my own. Then I compare it to a few years later, and a few years after that, and a few years after that. Clear to where I am today, and the way things have changed. The improvements are immense, and based on that pattern I know things will only get better.
Yes, there have been hardships. But focusing too much on those downs gets old and helps no one. It is much better to pay attention to the steps you have made, and always remember that ten years from now, you will be able to look back at things now and see the same positive leaps.
Any time you are feeling down, try this trick and I guarantee you will feel a lot less stressed about your current circumstances.
5. People aren’t looking at you
You know that nervous feeling you get when you aren’t feeling so good about yourself? Everyone is staring at you, judging you, thinking about how fat you look in those jeans, or that you are a loser who has accomplished nothing. Even the best of us have these days. But guess what? Chances are 99% of the people you encounter out in public aren’t paying the slightest bit of attention to you.
They don’t care about you, aren’t thinking anything about you, and won’t remember you in another minute. Which is just the way people work; they have their own lives, and unless you give them a real reason to focus on you, they won’t.
This was a relief for me when I finally came to realize it, and I can sit out in a crowd with much more ease than I could when I was a teenager and constantly worrying about what people thought. Besides, even if they are thinking something about you, who cares? Who are they to you?
Come on, people! I know you have your own lessons no one takes you. Share them in our comments.
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay