What lessons life has taught me.

Life is a journey filled with lessons, hardships, heartaches, joys, celebrations and special moments that will ultimately lead us to our destination, our purpose in life.

The road will not always be smooth; in fact, throughout our travels, we will encounter many challenges.

Along the way, you learn some lessons. This are some of the lessons that have changed the way I live:

I have learnt to appreciate small things in life.

We all want bigger things in life, bigger houses; expensive cars; expensive clothes; high paying jobs and all, but rarely accept the small things in life. I am not advocating to accept mediocrity, rather celebrating small achievements that come along the way. Celebrate waking up every morning knowing that you can still breath. Appreciate your family as other have none and no support structure to help them navigate this journey of life.

If someone do something to you, it is not always personal. It rarely ever is.

The person who cuts you in line does not want to cut you. They just want to get to the front. If someone gossips or attacks you unjustly, it is the reflection of themselves not you.

When you stop taking things personally, you will feel better and your relationships will improve dramatically. Even in cases when it is personal, your life will be better if you treat it as if it was not.

Do unto others what you would like them do unto you.

If you want to be treated like a king or queen, treat others as such. Never treat others, or yourself, in a way to make them feel small. Respect yourself so that you learn to respect others.

In order to succeed, sometimes you need to fail.

We have heard this many times, but how many of us are proactive about it? What were your last five projects and how successful were you? If you achieved most of them, you are not stepping enough out of your comfort zone. Go bigger so you can fail…and learn.

Action, not words, is the only thing that counts.

It simply means: “Do no tell me, show me”. I have found in my life that the best and only way to achieve my dreams is by taking action. Planning and talking about it has its place, but they are a complete waste of time if you do not take action.

You are who you spend your time with, whether you like it or not.

You may think you have the will power and discipline to rise above the influence of your friends. You do not. If you spend time with people who are in shape, you will be in shape. If you spend time with lazy people, you will be lazy.

We all want to belong to a group and we do so by appearing similar to the group we want to belong to. Choose wisely who you spend your time with because it’s who you’ll become. Eagles fly with eagles, not sparrows.

Stop keeping count and comparing your life to others.

Life is much better when you stop keeping track of all the favours you have done for other people. The only reason to keep track is if you expect something in return. If you do keep track and your favour is not returned, it is hard not to feel a sense of injustice.

I would feel the same way and that is why I decided stop counting. Never worry or stress yourself about achievements of others. Admire and congratulate them but do not compare yourself to them.

You are where you are for a reason and your time will come. Remember, life is not a sprint or 100 metres race but rather a marathon. There is still a long way to go.

I have learnt forgiveness, temptations, failures, disappointments, success, setbacks and all, and through all this I have learnt to embrace everything. Lessons make us who we are and after every storm comes a clear sky.

Yes, I can go on the whole day about what life has taught me, but the list is endless and I am sure yours is long as well. I learn and discover new lessons every day. Through all this, I learn by applying or taking action because the value of experience is not in seeing much but in seeing wisely; this is called experience.

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Until next week Tuesday, bye-bye for now.

Yours Truly
Tshepo Ishmael Phetoane