4 Facts Of Life That I Learned The Hard Way

the hard wayI am not always the sharpest knife in the drawer and many things that I had to figure out and learn in life came the hard way. This often involved the same lesson being repeated many, many times.

Stubbornness has always been my approach and that has led me to insist more often than not to always do things my way. Not that I ever believed my way was right, or better but more like I always wanted (or felt the need) to follow my own process, even knowing that it was at my own peril. Maybe it is because I like to follow the process of elimination when it comes to problem solving and I enjoyed (somewhat masochistically) working through all of the wrong answers first to know that they were not valid before finally coming up with the right or optimal solution for something – eventually.

4 Facts Of Life That I Learned The Hard Way

We are all here to learn and grow, and many of the lessons we each must learn we all have in common. So maybe to provide you with a shortcut or two… here are four of the hard facts of life that I insisted on learning the hard way:

  1. Throw away your rigid expectations about life. – I used to joke that I was the most flexible and go with the flow person that you would ever meet – this is as long as things were going my way and the way I expected things to be. It is good to have a vision and goals for your life but it is also important to understand the need to be flexible and be okay with altering your course when the winds of life dictate that you do so. Change is really the only constant in life and to fight that will only serve to make you miserable or at the very least, very tired. Learn to accept and welcome the unexpected in life, as one of my friends once told me, “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”
  2. You can never run away from your problems. – There have been plenty of times for many different reasons that I have wanted to chuck it all and just run away. The problem is that wherever you go you end up taking yourself with you and eventually, the problems that you ran away from, you will recreate in your new environment as well. There is no such thing as a “geographic solution” in life. Sometimes though, you do have to run in life, but the question you have to ask yourself is this… Are you running away from something or are you running towards something? The former never works out but the latter is always a favorable option. Running away from your problems is a race you’ll never win.
  3. There will be easy times and there will be hard times. – Just as there will be easy times in life, there will also be times that are challenging, difficult, and there will be hardships. Some say that it is a zero-sum world where you win some and you lose some. The lesson that I have learned is that when  you are looking back at the hard times, the times when you were struggling the most, more often than not, they were not that bad. When you can look back and see how you have grown and what you have learned through those trying times, you actually become grateful for them.
  4. The people you lose in this life are still a part of you. – As quickly as people come into our lives, people also leave, sometimes abruptly, without notice or warning. Death, the loss of a friendship, or a marriage ending in divorce can and will remove people from your life permanently. I used to believe that after such a loss, that we tend to forgot or erase these people from our minds, our memories, or our psyches forever but that is not the case. After the pain or hurt of a loss passes, the people we lose are still a part of us and depending on how large or small of an impact they had on our lives will dictate just how much they will still influence us long after they are gone. Just as you might have a certain hair color or eye color, the people you lose in life also become a defining characteristic that you will carry with you for the rest of your days.

Trust Me, There Is More…

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discussing the things that I more often than not fought to “not learn” in life. But these are four of the biggies…

Are there any lessons or facts of life that you insisted on learning the hard way? What would you add to this list?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten Circa February 1989 Paris

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