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Healthy Minds Healthy College

Life Lessons

April 25, 2012

 We all have our share of lessons learned.  We live, we try something, it works. Other times, we try and it doesn’t work.  I will never forget a quote by Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  I absolutely love it! It is okay to make mistakes, it is fine to learn our lessons, but it is not as okay to keep doing the same mistakes when life already showed us we should do something different or initiate some changes.

I read somwhere that “Our natural state of being is joy.”  I agree with that, I believe in that.  I think that each one of us is born to make the best of life and to enjoy our time here.  When we were kids, we knew it.  Kids are happy, in the moment, smelling the roses, and they find everything amazing and fascinating. Then something happens on the way to adulhood.  We become more serious, less cheerful, more stressed, and anxious.   It almost seems to me that we forgot who we really are and the fact that our natural state of being is joy.

Well, I am sharing with you some of the lessons that I have learned in life:

1.  Friends can be your family: Boy, do I ever know this.  I left Bulgaria 16 years ago and being away from my family, I made my friends my family by connecting with them on a human level.  I learned by befriending people from different cultures that in the heart me are all the same.  I have no idea what I would have done without my friends.  Here is a quote by Edna Buchanan that confirms my experience: ” Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.”

2. My happiness depends on ME: No one can make me happy.  It is my own creation, decision, thinking, etc. that makes me happy.  If I wait for people to make me happy, this might never happen. Plus, I wouldn’t want my happiness to be dependent on something outside of myself.  How about I take responsibility and I make it happen? Then I am stronger and empowered.

3. Appreciating and loving the little things in life: I learned that it is the small things that count: a friendly smile, a hug from my son, a call from a friend who cares, a driver letting me go to the left lane, and simply a warm sunny day.  We learn to value life and everything in it when a major event happens in our life.  We don’t have to wait for an event to take place in order to be happy for another day of being alive, seeing, walking, hearing, etc.

4. School never ends: So we spend years in school and in college, but I think the real learing starts when we start living our lives.  We experiment, try different things, we make different choices, we face challenges, and have bonding moments with people close to us.  As a parent, I never stop learning from my interactions with my son.  When I think I figured something out, another challenge comes up.  The main lesson I am learning every day is how to be human.

Oprah visited Canada for the first time just recently.  She shared with the Chatelaine magazine some of her best lessons:

1. Change is good:  No wonder nature goes through different seasons. There is an opprotunity for a different experience, different energy, different opportunity when we make different choices or consiously try to do something else.  Sometimes we procrastinate to make a decision or just go with the flow, but it might not be the best and healtiest choice in the long run.

2. Decisions, not conditions, determine your destiny: Life consistes of choices.  At the end of the day, our life is the way it is because of the choices we have made.  Oprah’s says that we have 100 percent control over every action and we are 100 percent respnosible for every emotional we feel.  Basically, how we live our lives is our choice.

3. Everybody has a story: Yes, we all have ownership of our own lives.  Our stories are our lives, the events, the laughs, the tears, realizations, lessons learned, etc.  We become what we believe.  I recently read about Self-talk and how important is to believe in ourselves: “All is well”, “It is all good”, “I am safe”, “I can do it.”

4. Trade expectation for appreciation: Nobody likes when we expect from them to be a certain way or act in a certain way.  Humans feel pressure when expectations are expressed.  We resist expectations and we feel not accepted for what we are.  A good point Oprah made is that when we expect, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. It is true because expecting is wanting someone to do something for us.  When we appreciate what other do or do not do for us, the experience is more positive and people feel that they matter.

5. Happiness is contagious: Oprah mentions that when we surround ourselves with positive, happy people, our happiness increases as well.  The opposite is valid as well–Misery loves company.  The idea is to make an effort to stay away from people and situations that bring out the worst in us.

6. Failure is the result of a lack of resourcefulness: According to Oprah, failure happens when ther’s a lack of creativity, passion, determination or commitment.  If wereally want someting or if we are motivated, we will figure out to make it happen.

You can read the full article here Oprah’s Life Class: 10 Life-changing lessons I learned.