6 Invaluable Life Lessons I Wish They Taught In School
While writing, reading and maths are the building blocks of a basic education, I have come to learn that some of the most important lessons will happen outside of the classroom. Classroom education is of course invaluable, however, you need lessons inside and outside the classroom to truly understand how you want to live your life.
Some of these life lessons maybe what’s standing between you and your dream job. Most of which you may have to learn the hard way. Others will come easier, “with a little luck”. Today I’m going to share with you my Top 6 Invaluable Life Lessons, I’ve learned in the real world.
1. Never Under Estimate The Importance of a Good Hand Shake
“I have a good, hearty laugh and an energetic handshake, and those are trump cards.”
Albert Camus, French Nobel Prize Winning Author
Having a good handshake and a trustworthy smile will be one of your greatest professional assets. The way you shake hands speaks volumes about who you are as a person. For some people a handshake is just a useless formality but to others it is a massive indication of a person’s depth of character, trustworthiness and strength. When you shake hands with a person you are doing much more than saying “hello”. You are saying “this is who I am“.
It is extremely important for everyone to learn how to shake hands with meaning. In fact, all of your years of experience and the hard work you put into preparing for an interview can disappear if you extend your hand and offer a impassive shake. Everything from your appearance to your body language sends signals to interviewers about you and your fit in the company. They’re looking for anything to distinguish you from the pack, so they will let the handshake set the tone for the rest of your meeting.
2. Don’t waste valuable energy worrying about things that are out of your control
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
Throughout your entire life there will be situations that you want to control but the outcome is 100% out of your hands. This is for a reason. If we could control everything, life would be one pre-written story. It wouldn’t be exciting, and you wouldn’t learn a single thing.
If for a moment you considered the things you have control over, you’ll not be surprised to discover that the list is short. In relation to your work or desired future, you’ve actually got very little control over a number of things.
Think about it. You’re powerless to determine whether your creative efforts, proposals, or ideas (regardless of how great or mediocre) will, in fact, be appreciated by their recipients.
The truth is, some will love them, some will hate them. Few may value them, and many may appreciate them. It’s all relative, and more importantly, out of your control. But rather than allowing this to be a cause of unnecessary stress, use this reality to help fine tune your priorities.
Instead of worrying about what you can’t control, give your best energy to the things where you have the greatest influence over. Your attitude, disciplines, willingness to accept responsibility for mistakes, and your over all personal growth.
All of which will significantly impact your long-term success.
3. Learn to value diversity
“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.”
We’d all like to think that we don’t have flaws, but we do. It’s what makes us human.
Every individual is unique in their talents, abilities, likes and dislikes. We should respect them, and learn to value diversity. The world is as diverse and multicultural today because people aren’t the same. They are all different and that’s what makes it so great.
Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.
If we can’t change something about someone then embrace it. Accepting people for who they are really shows that we are able to look beyond their faults. This then enables us to forget that they exist because we are so focused on their outstanding qualities.
Tolerance is a significant trait that helps us in becoming more accepting of others and their differences. We use this tolerance in dealing with people. Whether it’s a partner, a sibling, a friend, co-worker, neighbour or parent learn to love them for who they are.
4. Be a realist, there is no such thing as a perfect life.
“Nothing is permanently perfect. But there are perfect moments and the will to choose what will bring about more perfect moments.”
Mary Balogh, Simply Perfect
The overall goal in many people’s lives seems to find the perfect partner, reach the perfect weight, have the perfect job, or wear the perfect wardrobe. The problem is, none of these things exist.
Everything has its flaws, and most of those flaws are what makes your life exciting, challenging, and, in fact, pretty perfect if you look at it the right way.
Your career will have similar down days. Take these moments as positive opportunities to make exciting changes instead of dwelling on the negative aspects. And, enjoy the next chapter that awaits you after these changes do happen.
5. Don’t Be A Sheep
“A tiger never loses sleep over the opinion of sheep.”
Ziad K. Abdelnour
You’ll waste the first 17 years of your life desperately trying to follow the herd and fit in, then the rest of forever trying to stand out. The will to change how others perceive you and how you interact with them is vital. If you’re tired of being a doormat, a people pleaser, intimidated, and pushed around, then here are some tips to get you on track.
- Believe in yourself: If you don’t have confidence in yourself, it will be difficult to succeed in anything; people don’t look up to or respect a person who is incapable of exuding self-confidence.
- Set goals: Goals give you a sense of purpose, a sense of control over your own destiny and help you to know what you want.
- Change your attitude: Your attitude is everything and will impact how other people perceive you, right through to the signals you’re unconsciously sending out. Your attitude sets the tone of your voice, the quality of your thoughts, and is reflected in your facial expressions and body language.
- Be assertive: Being assertive enables you to express your wants, needs, and preferences in a way that shows you’re prepared to stand up for yourself while still respecting the other person.
- Don’t just settle: Never settle in relationships, friendships, your career, or your dreams. Never accept less than what you think you deserve. Aim for bigger and better (because you will probably get it!).
- Find hard work you love doing: Don’t base your career choice on other people’s ideas, goals and recommendations. Finding hard work you love doing, while remaining true to yourself, interests and values, is the key to your success.
6. Failures are only lessons
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”
We love to watch little kids, learn new things. They will try something they’ve never done before and even if they don’t succeed at first, they keep trying, failing, trying, failing, trying until they succeed.
As you get older you stop trying as much because you calculate your chances of succeeding or failing. Other people’s experiences as well as your own get in the way. Then you stop being proactive and start being reactive. This can be detrimental to your future as mistakes and failures are critical to success.
Don’t wait for someone else to make an effort. Don’t let the fear of failure hold back your creativity and your aspirations. The chances you take today will pay dividends in the future, in one form or another.
Failures are crucial, “if nobody ever failed, nobody would ever learn”.
To sum it all up, “Everyday’s a school day”. Enjoy the ride!
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