The importance of learning life lessons can not be understated. It is my experience that if you do not learn from the lessons that life is trying to teach you, then they will be taught to you again and again until you do. A fundamental cause of much suffering and unhappiness is people’s unwillingness to learn from mistakes, either their own or the mistakes of others. History is full of examples of people that kept making the same mistakes because they failed to learn from the lessons that life was teaching them. There are two main reasons for why this happens over and over again, ego and fear.
Control Your Ego or It Will Control You
Excessive pride and arrogance caused by an out of control ego has been the downfall of many great people. The strong sense of self confidence and tenacious determination gained from having a big ego can certainly help in life, but it is the negatives that will inevitably cause self destruction.
Once your ego grows large you lose perspective, the ability to see different sides of arguments. You think that you can do no wrong and always have to be right. You will go to almost any length to prove that you are right and ignore any facts to the contrary. You will develop a superiority complex and treat others badly. It is at this point you will drive others away and begin to lose everything you worked so hard to accomplish.
You must always keep an open mind so you can see all sides of an issue. Some of the hardest and best life lessons are learned when you are thoroughly convinced about something but then see it in a different light and change your mind.
Fear Is A Powerful Master
Perhaps the most common reason that people do not learn from life lessons is fear. This is because applying what you learn from life lessons is really about change, and change scares the hell out of people. They are so afraid of leaving the familiar that as each new opportunity presents itself they let it pass by, no matter how much it would improve their life.
People become so wrapped up in their personalities and who they think they are; they think that change is impossible. “That’s just who I am”, is what you will hear often. This is said out of fear, because the person who said it does not want things to change. They want everything to stay the same because it is comfortable and known. The truth of the matter is that change is the only constant in life. That is why being flexible and having the ability to roll with the punches are such important life skills to have.
The Foolish, The Smart, and The Wise
The foolish are those who never learn from their mistakes. They are best avoided until they accept personal responsibility for their actions.
Smart people learn from their own mistakes, not always the first time but sooner or later they see the error of their ways.
Wise people learn not only from their own mistakes, but also from the mistakes of others. While the old proverb that experience is the best teacher is certainly true in some areas, learning from other people’s mistakes can save you a lot of time, pain and disappointment.
The more lessons you learn, the more traps and pitfalls you can avoid as you make your way through life. With wisdom comes better life choices, and by making better life choices you will have a more positive outcome for your life.