Every year on Teachers’ Day, people take a moment to look back on all those who fruitfully shaped our lives and the lessons they taught us that continue to apply years later but let’s admit it – there isn’t any better teacher than life itself. Life throws curve balls at us through people, circumstances, situations and events and though we wonder why, we later turn appreciative of these valuable lessons that groom us into who we are.
They say that a child’s mind is like clay, it can be moulded in any direction but the truth is that no matter what guidelines you set or how many cautions and red flags you put out, one will commit their own set of mistakes and follies to learn their lessons at different stages in life. From throwing some difficult challenges our way to seeing us go and grow through them, life is the toughest teacher and as India marks another Teachers’ Day on September 5, here’s looking at five things that life teaches us.
Lesson #1: When will you succeed?
A major cause of misery in our growing up years is because we compare our achievements and acquiring of goals with the time frame of others. We set age limits to achieving certain goals by the time we are of a certain age and treat ourselves harshly if we fail. Truth is, what someone achieved at the age of 25 years turns out to be a cakewalk for you only by the time you turn 32 years old while something that you bagged or conquered at the age of eighteen is still a dream to accomplish for that 25-year-old and that is perfectly fine. This is true for educational degrees, marriages, careers or any other goal. We need to embrace our individual pace since no two people’s time graphs are the same.
Lesson #2: When is it okay to give up?
Everything good takes time and consistent effort to be an expert. Though our comparison should only be with our former selves, if we really do want to compare our journeys then take a look at the already established and successful people. They did not reach the summit of their dreams through money or procrastinations. Giving in to impatience or giving up before striking gold is just an excuse for those who are laid back and not really determined. If your eyes twinkle as you set your heart upon a goal, the only end result should be you carving a niche of your own but it takes perseverance and does not happen overnight.
Lesson #3: When does Cupid strike?
You can keep hunting for love in the most obvious or new places but Cupid strikes at its own sweet time. There is no same time for this romantic occurrence. Someone may find love at the age of 15 years, others at 50 while some right when they are filing for a divorce. Confusing habit or lust with the deep romantic notion of this beautiful emotion, love, only makes us restless in the long run and makes us that nip it in the bud even before it can nurture. When the initial chase wears off, what is left is the temporary shallowness, the gloss of which soon decays into ignorance, leaving us as slaves of our towering egos. Hence, love should be given time and those who do not hurry into it by giving into the temptation, will find love when they least expect it.
Lesson #4: Are we toxic?
It is safe to admit that we all have some toxic traits in us but growth comes to the person who acknowledges them and slowly but steadily works on changing them for the better. Just because we sin differently doesn’t make us better than the rest. We mature when we accept our follies and not only apologise but crush them in their nascent stage instead of flaunting a “take it or leave it” attitude. Life teaches us that the person who expects others to succumb to his or her negativities instead of addressing them inwardly and improving upon them, continues to suffer emotionally and in the society much longer.
Lesson #5: What is the right age/time to value something?
Everything is temporary but it is human nature to care for health, relationships, prized possessions and other things inclusive of us only when we have lost them. We take things and people for granted and especially if they are easy to get or always available, we do not care about them. Yet, all hell breaks loose when we lose them to a calamity. The heart breaks beyond damage and we are left only with regrets. Though ‘once bitten twice shy’ should be a motto in this case, many of us refuse to learn this life lesson, to always prioritise and value our health, relationships and things and pamper them with our presence and undivided attention, until it is finally taught to us harshly.
While everyone has their own set of challenges to face, there are some mistakes common to all and these 5 lessons have to be learnt by everyone irrespective of how or in which stage of life they faltered. Life is truly the toughest teacher of them all.
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