A few life lessons
What have you learned over the past few months?
It’s a fair question. “What have you learned over the past several months?”
Seriously, what do you know now that you didn’t know six months ago? No rush. Take a deep breath, turn off your phone, close your eyes and think for a couple minutes.
Now, grab a paper and pencil and write down half a dozen things you did not know this time last year. Is it a long list, short list or is the paper still blank?
I asked myself the same question and below is what I came up with.
• Judgement and compassion. I learned to be less judgmental and more compassionate. There are few things more sobering than being in the hospital for six weeks without the assurance you will live or die. I’m fine now, thanks to the Lord and a lot of prayers from a lot of people. However, I’ve learned more fully the value of relationships and how to be more compassionate and less judgmental for those that may be in similar positions.
• Pay it forward. My wife and I recently were with a close friend who was sharing how she had invested significant amounts of time and money into someone else. That other person wanted to pay our friend back, but her reply was, “Don’t pay me back; pay it forward.”
The meaning was clear. Take what you have been given and pass it onto someone else when you have the opportunity. Great life lesson.
• No one can make you change. I was listening to an old Zig Ziglar presentation and he was talking about setting and reaching goals. He was in his 40s at the time and overweight by nearly 40 pounds. Many people, including his doctor, told him he had to lose weight but it never happened.
He shared, in a most entertaining way that only Zig Ziglar can, how he had to make the decision to lose weight. Until he decided to set a goal, and work toward that goal, it wasn’t going to happen. Life lesson: We are the only ones who can make us change. It’s our responsibility and no one else’s.
• Abandon a quarrel before it begins. This is a proverb I have read many times but it wasn’t until I read a book with the same title that it hit home. The book was about King Solomon and the proverbs he wrote in the Bible.
If you take a good look at what causes most arguments, they occur when we are trying to convince someone else we are right. Before long both parties are upset and there are no winners. There are times we need to stand our ground, but most of the time the argument was worthless. I’ve found abandoning a quarrel before it begins is a wise thing to do and it preserves relationships.
The things mentioned above were learned by observing others, reading books and listening to audio presentations. There is little learned living in a vacuum.
We all live busy lives and if you are a company owner, busy is an understatement. However, there is a lot of value in reading, listening and simply paying attention to the world around you.
If you’re interested in growing and changing then take time to expose yourself to what others have learned. It might just change your life.