7 Life Lessons to Learn that Will Pay Dividends Forever

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No matter where life takes you, we can promise you this: you’ll learn along the way. It’s inevitable. However, if you learn a few life lessons now, life will become just a little better — more manageable when it’s hard and more joyful when it’s good.

Here are 7 life lessons to learn that will bring you joy forever.

1. Listen to Those Around You — Including Yourself

Listen to Yourself

Listening is at the top of our list of important life lessons. When you listen, you’re learning — about others, about yourself, and about your environment.

Listening to others creates productive work environments, healthy personal relationships, and easeful conflict. By listening, you’re showing a willingness to hear advice and critiques, as well as an interest in the people that surround you. It’s the key to successful communication in all environments.

Don’t forget to listen to yourself! Giving yourself time to process what your mind and heart are telling you is as important as acknowledging what others have to say.

2. Grow Something Good

No matter what it is, grow something good. You’ll discover that there is nothing like the joy of growing — whether you’re growing gardens, kids, or businesses. Fill your time with things that are important to you and that are giving back in some way, no matter how big or small.

Growing is a fulfilling and exciting part of life. It teaches you that hard work pays off. More importantly, it teaches you to love the process of life. You don’t have to wait until the end of life to enjoy it! The planting or the harvest isn’t the best part of a garden — the growing is.

3. Say Thank You

Life Lesson say thank you

We talk about gratitude all the time, and it’s because we really believe in the power of saying thank you. Psychologists have discovered that happiness comes largely from developing an attitude of gratitude in your life.

So, say thank you! It’s quite simple. By saying thank you, you’ll encourage a true spirit of gratitude within yourself, and you’ll make the people around you feel loved and appreciated. Plus, you’ll begin to cherish the world around you so much more.

Our personal favorite way to grow gratitude is by gardening. Here’s how and why it works.

4. Learn to Say No

As exciting as it is to say yes, it’s equally important to know when to say no. It can be hard to set boundaries, but they’re integral to creating a happy life balance. When you have unease in your schedule, personal relationships, or career, examine when you say yes and when you say no — to commitments, people, or opportunities.

Too much ‘yes’ creates as many issues as never saying yes at all. Ask yourself: Are the things I say yes to the most important to me? Are the amount of yeses I give infringing on the things I really want or my emotional well being? Try to figure out when you need to say no for yourself and for the people you love.

5. Anticipate What’s Next (& Be Ready to Be Wrong)

Being prepared for what’s to come is the quickest route to less stress and more success. Do your research and prepare for the best (and the worst), so you’re ready when it comes — whether that’s a job promotion, a financial mishap, or the love of your life. When you anticipate what’s to come, you de-stress the moment of its arrival and you’ll be able to celebrate or cope accordingly.

That being said, while you’re preparing, know that you might be absolutely wrong about what’s coming. In fact, you’re likely to be wrong! Too deep of an attachment to specific outcomes can be detrimental. Let part of your preparation be the preparation to pivot.

6. Persist Through It All

No matter how prepared you are — no matter how many life lessons you learn — life can be extremely challenging. You’re guaranteed to encounter road bumps and storms. When they come, persist! No matter what you think, you have the strength and stamina to endure it all. Ask for help when you need it, grit your teeth, and keep on chugging.

We promise you’ll come out the other end of it, and you’ll be better for it.

7. Laugh at Yourself (& Life)

life lesson laugh at yourself

We think this is the most important lesson (which is good because it’s the easiest). Laugh! At yourself and at life. You’re imperfect, you’re bound to do some stupid things, and you’re guaranteed plenty of “whoops” moments. When it happens, laugh.

You don’t have to dismiss it. In fact, learn from your mistakes but do so with a spirit of joy. In the same way, life will bring you aaaalll sorts of challenges. The best way to approach them is with loads of determination, your heart on your sleeve, and a laugh on your lips.