Education is emphasized in today’s society as an empowering avenue one must take to advance their career, and consequently their life. Statistics equate education to income or career success, albeit less often to happiness.
Many influential experiences occur outside of the classroom. Compassion for others, resilience during difficult times, appreciation for varying opinions, and acceptance of change are but a few lessons that require living. Experiences of life instruct us, but to benefit we must be attuned to our behavior and the behavior of others. As with all lessons, awareness is the beginning of learning. Many important life lessons are typically absent from an academic syllabus. Jena E. Pincott in Psychology Today [LINK] sheds light on lessons that help us lead a healthy, more satisfying life:
Understanding that not everything that happens to you is about you. Our egocentric bias is necessary for our ability to remember past events, but we also need to be able to step back in order to be “less reactive, more directive.”
Focus on other people without dwelling on how they view you. Research shows other people do not notice us nearly as much as we think they do. When we take this into consideration, we open our lives to more genuine interactions.
Realize you don’t have to act the way you feel. Sometimes distancing ourselves from our own emotions can help us think more clearly.
Be able to re-frame (and manage) disappointment and diversity. Mistakes are an opportunity to grow!
Know how to solicit honest feedback. Gathering others’ truthful opinions keeps us in sync with the people around us.
Stay true to your own values despite what others expect of you. We need to balance internal and external self-awareness in order to realize what we really want for ourselves and why.
Be open to new information or revised thinking. We utilize our mental flexibility to adapt to an ever-changing world.
Master a fail-safe way to motivate yourself. Hard work is made easier when we find “there is pleasure in the process.”
Zone-in on your purpose in a zoned-out world. “Turning away from the small screen can reorient us to the big picture.”
Tolerate ambiguity. Some things in life will always be uncertain, and that’s okay.
Life is a perpetual learning experience! No one gains all the knowledge necessary for a successful life from a classroom alone.
“The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein