What lessons have you learnt in your life so far?

What have been your greatest life lessons so far? The purpose of asking this question is not to become lost in introspection. Rather, it is to prevent you making the same mistakes so that you can grow, evolve and continue to learn. 

Your greatest lessons help to shape you into the person you are, and although they can be painful, many lessons ultimately make life more enjoyable and rewarding. 

For instance, after suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome that was brought on by trying to achieve too much, I learnt that whenever I say yes to anything – a job, an opportunity, a favour or an invitation – there is a cost involved. So I need to be aware of that cost, whether it is to my health, family time or finances, before I say yes. 

Are your problems recurring ones from the past? They become habits and a pattern when we don’t stop to acknowledge them, address them and learn from them. Creating a strategy so they don’t happen again is critical. Why does the same thing keep happening to you? Do you really care enough to do something about it once and for all? How can you now make a difference? 

Emotionally intelligent leaders strive to learn from mistakes, because they know how valuable they are for growth – personal and professional – and your ability to move forward. 

Some popular lessons

  1. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 
  2. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No-one else does. 
  3. Pay off your credit cards each month. 
  4. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 
  5. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone. 
  6. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present and the future. 
  7. Don’t compare your life with the lives of others. You have no idea what their journey is about. 
  8. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write. 
  9. It is never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you. 
  10. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets. Don’t save them for a special occasion. Today is special. 
  11. Over-prepare and then go with the flow. 
  12. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to dye your hair pink and wear purple. 
  13. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘Will this matter in five years’ time?’ 
  14. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 
  15. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 
  17. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. 

(Extract taken from The Life Plan, by Shannah Kennedy. Head over to bookdepository.com to order your copy or get in touch with Shannah here to find out about executive coaching options.)

Shannah Kennedy – Coach, Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker

Specialising in executive strategy, transition, values, vision and life planning