Everyone of us has a mentor, it could be our mother, our father, a teacher, a friend, a boss, a partner, or sometimes an experience. A mentor is the one that teaches us how to live life, helps us when we are in trouble, reminds us of the way when we are lost, reprimands us when we are wrong and gives us life lessons that we can use in our everyday life. They always say that experience is the best teacher and that we learn from our mistakes. But as a human being, it is inevitable for us to commit mistakes, sometimes the same mistakes we committed before, oftentimes, fatal mistakes that cause others’ sufferings and loneliness. They say life is a struggle, we get affected by the past, we are confused of the present, and we worry about our future.
Life lessons uttered by the wisest people ever lived are sometimes our guidelines on how to live our life meaningfully. We learn these lessons from school, from the movies we watch, from experiences of others, from the books we read or from the greatest speeches. Though, these lessons are everywhere, we are so carefree that we sometimes forget these things. We live our lives on how we wanted to live it but with these basic life lessons come wisdom that can surely help and guide us as we take this bumpy road called life.
- Life is short. This adage is true but we seem to take it for granted. What do we want in life? Do you want to travel the world? Do you want to start a family? Do you want to finish your school and take masters or doctoral? Do you want to be a philanthropist or a symbol of hope for some people? Whatever it is that you want, do it now. Stop procrastinating and stop doing futile things that would result to nothing but regret. In school, doing essays, projects, thesis, a simple assignment, we wait until it’s due before we start working, same with life, we don’t take action until it’s too late.
- Family comes first. Friends do come and go, but family stays forever. When we are younger we spend most of our time with friends, we share our problems with them, and as we grow older, we busied ourselves with work leaving less time with our family. In times of need we are not assured that some of our friends can help us, but we are guaranteed that we will never be alone because we have our family. We always forget that the best thing that happened to us is having a family, make them always our top priority.
- Do not do unto others what you do not want others do unto you. This golden rule from Confucius is one of the most revered sayings as it applies to anyone of any generation. The message is very simple, whatever makes you hurt, will surely hurt other people too.
- Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy. I first heard this saying from Dr. Kelso, a character from one of my most favorite TV shows, Scrubs. It reminds me to work hard for what I want and that for every time I am ready to give up and surrender, I just have to think that at the end of this hardship, it is all gonna be worth it.
- A good deed goes a long way. There are abundant of videos or news about crime, pride, vanity, war and selfishness that make you lose faith in humanity. Sometimes you’ll just desperately ask yourself “What’s wrong with world?”. But then you watch a video of an act of kindness, a video about selflessness or a simple video about love, and your faith in humanity has been restored. Do not underestimate the power of a simple deed, like a simple smile to a stranger or giving help to an unsuspected person without asking anything in return, these simple acts can brighten up their day and can inspire them to pass the kindness to other people, to pay it forward.
- Always keep your feet on the ground. For successful people, especially people who came from a humble beginning, should never ever forget where they came from. The earth is round, literally and figuratively, one moment you are on the top of the world then the next thing you know you are already in the bottom. Humility is a key to success, if you are humble and meek, people will love you during your best times and will love you more during your tough times.
- Patience is a virtue. One of the reasons for misunderstanding is lack of patience. We always wanted to be right than to have a peace of mind. It is true that if you are right, you fight for it, but I also believe that you have to choose your battle. Fighting with a loved one even if you know that you are right is futile, when you are angry you say things that might hurt the other person and would eventually make things worse that you can no longer repair it. Being patient is not a sign of cowardice it is in fact a sign of strength.
- Don’t judge the book by its cover. Atticus Finch, the father of Scout and Jem Finch, a fictional character from one of my most favorite books “To Kill a Mockingbird” has eloquently stated that “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…Until you climb into his skin and walk around it.”
- Nothing is impossible. This is very hard to believe, and that is precisely the point. If you don’t believe that you can do something even the most far-fetched idea then you really cannot do it. Nothing is impossible if you have faith, determination, maybe a little luck and perseverance.
- Be the change that you wish to see in the world. The great Mahatma Gandhi has not only uttered this wise saying but has also led an example for all. How can you ask someone to follow you and your advice if you yourself denied to do it? How can you effectively and credible preach if you do not “walk the talk?”
I know it is easier said than done, I am not in a position to teach and preach everyone about all these life lessons, because I also forget these lessons sometimes. Being a good person, a productive citizen or to live a meaningful life is always a work in progress, everyday we try harder. The purpose of these lessons is to guide us, to inspire us and to motivate us to be the person we always wanted to be.