Thought Catalog
March 15, 2017

These Are The Lessons People Most Often Learn Only Too Late In Life

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God&Man
  1. Success is fleeting.

You may work years to build a successful career, to afford your own home, car or to attend to the popularity you may crave in life. You may as well lose everything you had overnight and need to start over again. Life is unpredictable, and so is everything we build. The only thing we truly own is ourselves.

2. Life is short.

There are no excuses or special occasions. You’re not getting any younger than you are now. Live each day like you might get hit by a truck tomorrow.

3. Time heals everything.

The first therapist I saw 10 years ago explained to me how forgetting is one of the greatest gifts we are born with – without the ability to forget, our lives would be completely unbearable.

4. Regrets can be replaced with deeds.

Regrets only happen when you don’t do the things you want, not when you actually do them.

5. Health is the only thing that actually matters.

Don’t ruin it for your career. You’ll end up having to pay for healthcare more than you actually struggled to earn.

6. It’s never too late to be the parent your child needs.

My parents finally leaned towards me with affection and appreciation in my late twenties. It must’ve been especially hard for them, as it was for me, but hearing them say “I love you” for the first time was something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

7. Sleep is not for the weak.

As we age we need so much more sleep than we did as teenagers. Not being a morning person is okay, same as getting the exact amount of rest your body needs. Don’t try to compete with anyone who glamorizes a 3h/night sleep schedule. They won’t live longer, you know.

8. Anger needs to be released.

Unreleased anger remains the root of all psychosomatic problems, psychological issues and unhealthy behaviours. It can take years or decades, but it grows easier with age.

9. Procrastination is a terrible way of making excuses for losing precious time.

Whenever you feel like you’ll be better off working on your scholarship application tomorrow, think of the myriad of activities Michelangelo used to fit into his work day and close that Facebook window. Now.

10. Competition doesn’t bring completion.

We tend to struggle to compete with everybody else, but the truth is, the end of a tough project or mission rather feels like relief, not celebration.

11. Postponing everything you love will make you miserable

Have I mentioned Michelangelo?

12. Time is time, and money is money. Two different concepts.

In reality, the only thing we can’t buy is time.

13. You can love multiple people at a time.

Yes, you can, and it’s not because you’re an awful deviant person, but simply because we were designed that way as humans. We have the intellectual and emotional capacity to love at great lengths and sometimes not unidirectional.

14. Life is fragile.

And life can be blown off just like a candle. Nothing prepares us for death, sorrow or disease.

15. Happiness is a state of mind, not a race or a destination.

It’s rather a timeline, not a time frame.

16. Food is one of life’s most affordable luxuries.

And one of the things in life that has the greatest potential to make us happy, content and functional. Before you say nay to dessert, consider what your tummy has to say. Give it credit.

17. Most good things hurt before getting better.

Every life changing experience has the potential to remove us from our comfort zone and help us grow. If it doesn’t hurt at all, you’re not doing it right.

18. Anxiety is disaster experienced in advance.

I like to think of anxiety as a profound allergy to life. But anxiety can be trained, same as our brains, and can become a little less compelling with age.

19. Courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear.

It means navigating through fear, sometimes without a compass, and relying on your resources, intuition and heart to reach the shore.

20. Sex gets better with practise.

You can’t just sit there and expect your sex life to be magnificent when you’re not even trying. It takes effort, interest, curiosity and ultimately love to make sensational intimacy happen, and usually the things that connect two people best are the things you try together for the first time.

21. Waiting for the perfect moment is pointless.

The perfect moment to do anything you’ve ever wanted is now. Show the Michelangelo in you to the world. TC mark