“With every experience comes a life lesson” I’ve been saying that for as long as I can remember. I think if we really take time every day to stop and see what’s going on around us, we can learn so many lessons. Lessons about how to treat people, lessons about love and lessons about how to live.
A few recent experiences have taught me some major life lessons. Some things I didn’t know before, and some things I did, but just needed reminding.
The most important thing I learned this week is that if someone doesn’t appreciate you, show them the door. No matter who it is. Life is too short. Love, family, relationships, hard work, that is what life is. Too often I encounter people who run when things get tough. Don’t they know nothing worth having comes easy? If it were easy we’d all have everything we wanted and there would be nothing to look forward to. There is something beautiful about putting time and effort into something you really want. And there is beauty in the struggle of life. I look at struggles as part of the journey; the time when things weren’t handed to me. The time I took winding paths with lots of bumps and detours but somehow found my way. It goes for anything really, relationships, jobs, decision making. You’ve got to trust the struggle and where it is taking you. I truly believe hard times are necessary to fully appreciate the good ones.
One of the most attractive things to me is when someone knows what they want out of life and what they love and gives those things their utmost attention and care. Isn’t everything we have in life an extension of ourselves? Our friends, our families, our homes, our cars etc. Everything we choose is an extension of who we are in some way. So nurture those things, make sure they are taken care of and know how important they are, for they reflect and radiate parts of ourselves to the world.
Another difficult lesson learned is one I already knew: not everyone thinks like me. This is hard because I tend to do this thing where I think everyone does, or at least I wish they would. I wish everyone valued relationships as much as I do. I wish everyone had faith. I wish everyone believed in not giving up on things you really want and really love with all your soul. But people have breaking points and not everyone puts emphasis and value on the same things. There are certain people in my life I wish I could change to want the same things I do. But what I learned this week is that life isn’t about changing people, it’s about changing ourselves, making ourselves stronger so we can grow and progress and handle what life throws at us. This was a hard lesson, but it’s one I’m thankful for because I know that as much as I try to resist change, it always forces me in an unexpected direction that I hope will be the right one.
The next life lesson I learned came over talking with a friend who is also pursuing his dreams. We sat in a little pizza shop and thought about what we both wanted. Then we thought about what we were doing to get it. Our dreams are in New York so we moved here. Our dreams are to work for big television networks/production companies and we do. But our specific dreams haven’t been reached yet. We decided that every day we would do at least one thing, even if it was something small, that will help get us closer to our specific dreams.
Starting out is hard but I know how rewarding it will feel when we do make it. I’ll look back at our conversation at the pizza shop and remember how I felt at that moment, excited about the future, nervous about what might happen, but trusting that it would all work out.
The way success feels when you earn it is incomparable to taking a shortcut. That’s what I’m doing now, trying to earn my dreams, advance my career and stay connected with the good people in my life. The word struggle doesn’t have to be synonymous with something bad. I’m proud of where I am but I’m not satisfied. For now I’m still learning, everyday. I’m still struggling and still enjoying the ride.
To the people who treat me right, you are golden to me. To the ones who don’t, you are golden too (well maybe silver) because in every disheartening instance we’ve had, I’ve gotten that much stronger and wiser and that much more open minded. I can’t change anyone, but I do hope some of my messages help people change themselves. There is no shame in changing for someone else if it’s for the better. In fact I think it’s admirable when someone can recognize a positive influence in their life. Maybe one of my blog posts inspired you, or maybe you have a favorite quote that motivates you when you need it most. Maybe you have a friend you call who will be there to remind you to relax and breathe and take life as it comes. Whatever it is, thank the good people in your life. When someone reaches out to me to tell me they related to something I wrote, or that my encouragement helped them, it means everything to me. It brings me joy and it gives me purpose.
Everything that’s worth your while lies beyond your comfort zone. Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t do. Stay comfortable, and you may just miss the opportunities of a lifetime. Stay inspired, and you will soon realize that there is always a connection between your current circumstance and the purpose of your life.