Thought Catalog

15 Powerful Lessons You Can Only Learn Through Experience

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 Instagram Jati Putra
Instagram Jati Putra

No matter how many degrees we have or what kind of education we received, there are some thing that only life can teach us-lessons that we only learn in the school of life.

1. The meaning of purpose. 

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”~Friedrich Nietzsche.

We may graduate with honors and pick a great career, but it can still make us feel unfulfilled, this is when we learn the importance of finding meaning and purpose in our lives that goes beyond the realm of a secure job and a good education.

2. How to be independent.

“To find yourself, think for yourself.”~Socrates

We learn that we have to stand on our own and take care of ourselves. Our parents and teachers won’t guide us anymore, so it’s just us against the world and we have to be prepared for it, because no one is better equipped to answer our own questions but ourselves.

3. We can’t control time.

“You can have it all. Just not all at once.”~Oprah Winfrey

Life teaches us that we won’t always get what we want right away, it teaches us that we still don’t have control over time no matter how good our time management skills are and no matter how good we are at predicting our future. If it’s not our time yet, we can do nothing about it.

4. How to move on from failure.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”~ Winston S. Churchill

In school when we failed a class, it was easy to make up for it or study harder for the next one, but in life, failure can scar us or even change our whole perspective on the meaning of life. Life teaches us that failure is a part of it, and that success can only come after so many failures. We learn how to move on from failure and accept it as part of our journey.

5. How to be patient.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”~Aristotle

If we can’t control time, then we must be patient enough to wait for what we want. Life doesn’t have a specific timeline set for us by our teachers, we now have to be patient and have faith that the things we want will come when we are ready for it rather than when we want it.

6. We all need love.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”~Lao Tzu

Not the puppy love or the high school love; we need the real kind of love, the love that is reflected in the support of others, the kindness of others and the love that elevates our lives. We never studied how to find love or how to be loved, so we keep learning as we go, even if it means that we won’t find it right away.

7. Life is difficult.

“Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”~M. Scott Peck

As we grow up, we learn that life is not going to be easy, it is not like a hard semester that will pass and we will never have to worry about it again. We learn that it can actually get harder as your responsibilities grow. Life teaches us how to roll with the punches to survive and that it is not always smooth sailing.

8. We will scatter our hearts in the wrong places.

“Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing.”~Mark Z. Danielewski

We will pick wrong careers and wrong partners that will not be very kind with our hearts. We may not always understand why we wasted our deepest emotions over something that introduced us to misery but life will let us know the reason eventually-in time-or maybe we will never know.

9. We have a choice.

“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.”~Cassandra Clare

While many things will be out of our control, we still have a choice. A choice in the way we see things, a choice in the way we react to things, a choice in the way we become more cautious in the future, a choice in the way we let our circumstances define who we are.

10. We all need help.

“God gave us crying so other folks could see when we needed help, and help us.”~Joshilyn Jackson

No matter how independent we are, we will need some sort of help along the way. We are not immune to disappointment and heartbreak and sometimes we just can’t find the strength to pick ourselves up. Life will teach us that we can’t make it alone even if we try.

11. Everything is temporary.

“Everything in life is temporary. So if things are going good, enjoy it because it won’t last forever. And if things are going bad, don’t worry. It can’t last forever either.”~Unknown

Pain is temporary. Feelings are temporary, even our time on earth is temporary, which is why we have to make the best out of this temporary time and try not to give power to temporary emotions to ruin our lives.

12. Nothing is impossible.

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”~Shel Silverstein

Life is difficult but it’s also fascinating. In the blink of an eye it can present us with a wonderful opportunity that can change our life around. It can bring us closer to our dream job or our dream partner. Life can make our dreams come true.

13. Never get attached to plans.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”~ Woody Allen

It’s good to have a blueprint of how we want our lives to look like in 5 or 10 years but we must not get too attached to it because we change and our plans surely change too. Life teaches us that we need to have plan b, and c and d.

14. We have to face our fears.

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”~ C. JoyBell C.

Life teaches us that at some point we will be faced with things that absolutely terrify us. Losing someone we loved, losing our job, moving away from home,…etc. We can’t escape fear so we have to learn how to face it and walk with it.

15. We have to love who we are.

“If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”~Unknown

If we want to make our lives a bit easier than we have to love ourselves- not in a narcissistic way- but in a compassionate way. We have to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and failures, we have to believe in ourselves even if those around us aren’t believing in us, we have to learn when to walk away from people who are not good for us, and we have to love ourselves even if we are not who we wanted to be or where we wanted to end up. TC mark

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  • http://sharoncavill.com/ Awakening Angels

    Brilliant and wise list. I’ve always preferred to learn by experience and therefore school was not my favourite place, but it also means that I live a fulfilling and happy life, one I’ve been refining over the years.

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    V nice

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