100 Life lessons I wish I learned sooner


Kevin Mangelschots

During our life, we acquire an incredibly large amount of life lessons.

Unfortunately, life teaches a lot of those instructions to us the hard way. The lockdown that was induced due to COVID-19 has taught me additional life lessons that were vital to my development as well.

There are some life lessons that I learned along the way. These teachings were often learned in a hard and painful way.

Image of the quote, “some of life's best lessons are learned at the worst times.”

Some of these are hard life lessons to learn, but were vital for my personal development, and to get closer to the objective truth.

  1. You will die one day. So change the world for the better. Don’t make it worse.

    This was one of the hardest life lessons to learn, despite being one of the most obvious ones since humans have an inherent fear of death. That’s probably a survival mechanism to be capable of persevering in life.

  2. If something bothers you, change it. If it is beyond your control, learn to live with it. Accept it.

    Change yourself. That is the only thing you can influence.

  3. You will regret the things you didn’t do and say much more than the ones you did. So don’t waste chances.

  4. Prioritize your health, rest, and feelings of fulfillment.

    Fit dark skinned woman cutting healthy vegetables and fruits.

    Because without these, the rest is meaningless.

  5. Don’t ruin your health to earn money.

    You will end up spending your hard-earned money trying to recover your lost health. Health>wealth.

  6. The biggest time and energy wasters are TV, people pleasing, perfectionism, envy, regret, obsessive dieting, and house cleaning. Focus your energy on something positive.

  7. Small things can seem meaningless, but they add up fast over time.

  8. If you waste money, you can earn it again. If you miss a moment, it can never be returned.

  9. Never make excuses. They are a waste of time and will amount to nothing good.

  10. It’s hard to live a happy life in our society if you don’t have enough money to pay for food, a roof above your head, and clothes.

    However, having too much money is a trap as well, seeing as being spoiled doesn’t lead to happiness.

    Image of the quote, “don't let it beak you. No matter how hard it gets, life goes on.”

  11. Words don’t mean much. Actions do.

  12. If you want to know if someone’s honest, listen to what they say, and then pay attention to what they do. If it’s not in union, then there’s a big chance they’re lying or being dishonest.

  13. People will tell you what you want to hear. Or what they want you to hear.

    This is because the truth often hurts, and a lot of people don’t value it, even though they say they want to hear the truth.

  14. What is true today, might not be tomorrow.

    Illustration of different perspectives, and how the truth lies in the middle most of the time.

    People change, knowledge changes, and the world changes. Often our belief systems are shattered and rebuilt into something new, and better.

  15. The best things in life are typically the simplest.

    Enjoy the things that are real, not fake. For example, friends and genuine laughter are real, money is not.

  16. People wear masks for different reasons. Afraid of reactions, afraid of getting hurt, and/or afraid of not being good enough.

  17. Life is not fair, so don’t ever expect it to be.

  18. A lot of us live in the past or the future. The present is unknown to many.

  19. Put yourself out there.

    Meet people, reach out and talk to people, and never be afraid to ask for advice. Never let somebody’s reputation scare you into submission.

  20. Travel.

    Broaden your horizons, open your mind, and deepen your well of exposure. Understand the distinctions between cultures and experiencing living.

    Image of the quote, “is it the journey, or the goal? What do you think matters more?”

  21. Constantly evolve.

    Make at least one improvement that makes you better at something every single day.

  22. Never wait for good things to come.

    You need to fight to improve. Good things come to those who go out there and get them. Nobody achieved greatness waiting for it to find them.

  23. Don’t trust the wrong people.

    Aligning yourself with the wrong groups of people can set your career and personal life back by years.

  24. Our eyes may see one thing, but our mind sees something else.

    Everything we see has a filter over it that we have the power to change.

  25. Your greatest enemy is someone else his closest friend.

  26. Karma exists.

    Those who give the most in life end up receiving the most.

  27. Luck exists, however, if it keeps happening then it’s probably skill.

    Image of the sentence, “make your own luck” written in white letters on a blue background

    Remember lightning doesn’t often strike the same place twice.

  28. Every successful person I’ve met believes they’re in charge of their future.

    If not, then why bother trying to change and shape it?

  29. If the world is giving you pain, then don’t pass it on to other people.

    Don’t get vengeful as this makes the world a worse place.

  30. Don’t let your past relationships determine future kinships.

    This is one of the best lessons to learn in life. All relationships are different. Learn from them, so you don’t make the same mistakes.

  31. Always try to be the best version of yourself.

    Self-improvement is key.

  32. The less you associate with certain people, the better your life will become.

    Tolerating mediocrity in others will make you the same. Successful people can filter out this sort of negative thinking. Keep in mind that there are more mediocre people than excellent ones out there.

  33. Life doesn’t give you what you want if you don’t work for it.

  34. If you never ask, the answer will always be no.

  35. Learn to read and listen to content with a critical eye.

    Not all information we receive is correct.

  36. Life is simple if you just follow the following golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated.

    Image of two people giving each other a hand and the words “respect, give it to get it” written besides it.

    You’ll have a clear conscience and will sleep well at night.

  37. If you learn without applying what you’ve learned, you might as well have been doing something else.

    Give something back to the world.

  38. We spend our last time with people all the time.

    Friends drop out of our lives forever and when we look back, we realize we haven’t seen them in years. Embrace every moment together, and learn to move on.

  39. Someone achieving a milestone before you doesn’t make them better.

    Accomplishing a goal first doesn’t make you better either.

  40. The fastest path to unhappiness is to constantly see what other people have that you don’t.

    Compare yourself with the person you were yesterday, not with other people.

    Image of the quote, “sometimes the most important life lessons are the ones we end up learning the hard way.”

  41. Sex isn’t love, love isn’t sex.

    Great sex doesn’t guarantee a great or long-lasting relationship.

  42. When you see the red flags in a relationship (especially abusive), never ignore or assume they’ll change. It’ll probably only get worse from there.

  43. When you have a lot of money, you have a lot of friends and fans. When all the money goes, and you’re dead broke, almost all of them disappear.

  44. Anything that doesn’t give you peace of mind isn’t worth your time or energy.

    This is one of the biggest lessons in life since we want to limit wasted effort. Not only is this not a good investment of your time, but it’ll likely make you frustrated as well.

  45. Sometimes, the person you don’t love is the one who loves you so much and will do anything for you. While the person you love so much isn’t so crazy about you.

  46. Love blinds us to people’s faults but hate blinds us to their virtues.

    Image of three men sitting against a wall with a mask. The first one is covering his mouth, the middle one is covering his eyes, and the last one is covering his ears, depicting willful ignorance.

  47. You must know failure before you know success. You can’t become a master if you aren’t willing to be a fool.

  48. Self-love is key. Learn to accept and love yourself to lead a fulfilling and happy life.

  49. Use absence to increase respect and honor. You tend to lose your value when you’re too available to anyone.

  50. When trust is broken, the relationship is as good as over, there’s no point working it out.

  51. Time is your most valuable resource, there are no refunds or second chances for the time you waste.

    Spending the 6 months before your death completing your bucket list is no way to live as everything you do will be done with a touch of sadness and regret.

    Live your life as if you are terminal, you are, and do the things you want without a reason for doing so. Create memories and experience living or your time will expire.

  52. Don’t see college as the only pathway toward success.

    Image of a young child in school holding a book in front of a blackboard.

    The way you should see it is as a safety net. PRACTICE WHAT YOU ENJOY!

  53. Rely on yourself instead of on others.

    You never know for sure if anyone is trustworthy. If you’re lucky you have a few trustworthy family members and friends, but never count on them. So if things go wrong, you can handle it on your own.

  54. You will always face difficulties. No matter how small or big. Life is suffering and life is hard.

  55. Life in itself is struggling. It’s having meaningful goals that make the suffering worthwhile!

  56. There will always be people who talk bad things about you no matter how good/generous/kind you are.

    Moral of the story: Don’t try to please everyone, it’s impossible.

  57. Value and love your mom and dad every day, because nobody lives forever.

  58. Youth is not permanent. So make sure you build your personality along the way for your looks shall disappear someday.

  59. You are the only one responsible for yourself. Your success and your happiness are your responsibility. Don’t depend on other people to do it for you because they can’t.

  60. Life is short. Enjoy it while you can!

  61. Spend time doing the things you love with the people you care about most.

  62. Just because you think it’s a good idea, doesn’t mean it is a good idea. As most ideas are wrong and poorly constructed.

  63. Think before you speak.

    Words have the power to cause irreparable harm, always choose them carefully.

  64. Think before you act.

    You can take a second to do something you haven’t properly considered, that isn’t a true reflection of your character, and it can undo a lifetime of kindness and generosity.

  65. Alcohol impairs judgment, and you don’t need it to have a good time.

    A full glass of beer.

  66. Your parents were more right about the things they said growing up than you will ever care to admit.

    Usually, this is our ego talking.

  67. A hobby that you love, hopefully, which keeps you fit, is the best investment you can make in your longevity and prosperity.

  68. Save a little money every week/month. So you have a buffer to fall back on when things inevitably go wrong.

  69. Dare to do something different.

    If you zig when others zag you will avoid being in the majority making it easier to rise to the top. It’s far easier to be great in a smaller pool.

  70. Pursue your dreams.

    It takes ten thousand hours of dedication and hard work to be world-class at something.

    A woman standing in front of a blackboard reading, “dream big and make it happen”.

  71. Compete against people better than you.

    Go places where you know you will be at a disadvantage. Competing against superior performers will expose you to strategies that enable you to alter your own.

  72. Set goals. Write them down.

    Recording your goals will make you much more likely to achieve them. Write down your short–, medium–, and long-term goals and actively track your progress. It will give you a sense of achievement which will inspire you and spur you on in times of need.

  73. Comfortableness is a trap. We are all caged in our comfort zones.

  74. If you don’t listen to the voice of your inner self, chances are high you will regret it later.

  75. Don’t prioritize salary over learning.

    Growing and improving in life are the most important part of fulfillment and happiness. Money often comes from following and investing in your passion. By investing it in yourself and your education.

  76. Don’t specialize too soon.

    Generalize and allow yourself to build a base of general knowledge and specialize from there.

  77. Don’t expect opportunities to come to you. Create and take every opportunity that arises.

  78. Share your knowledge.

    Give yourself every opportunity to establish yourself as a key person of influence in your industry.

    Write a little every day. Write a lot once a week. Try to write a book. Make the world a better place by sharing your knowledge.

  79. Trust Yourself.

    A woman standing in front of a blackboard reading, “trust yourself”.

    Believe in yourself to build something, and to be someone of value.

  80. School was the best day of your life. Even if you didn’t believe it at that time.

  81. Choose your friends carefully, not everyone wishes the best for you.

  82. Fake people are often loved more.

  83. People regularly don’t care about you unless you are serving them in some way.

  84. It is frequently easier to deceive people than to convince them of the truth.

    Illustration showing one row of people waiting in line for the “comforting lies”, while nobody is waiting in line for “unpleasant truth”.

    People will fight to protect their belief systems, even if proven wrong.

  85. People only bother when something goes wrong for them.

  86. We cannot save everyone. Some people don’t want to be saved. Some people just want to watch the world burn.

  87. People typically change due to success. With achievements, money, and status comes ego.

  88. People may not go to the same extent to do what you did for them. It is foolish to expect so.

  89. Being too nice will lead to people trying to take advantage of you.

  90. Not every sacrifice is remembered. Live your life your way.

  91. People say a lot but most of the time it means nothing.

  92. People are all brain and no heart at times. Other times it’s the exact opposite. Rarely do people think with both emotions and rational thoughts.

  93. People go mad when you treat them the same way they treat you.

  94. Loneliness sometimes leads us to bad company.

  95. People waste a lot of time trying to prove their worth to other people.

  96. Nothing you do or say is going to help if a person is pledged to misunderstand you.

  97. As you find yourself, you will lose people.

  98. Rich hearts are mostly found under poor coats.

  99. Comparison either kills joy or makes you arrogant.

  100. Everything we have can vanish in the blink of an eye.

Why are life lessons important?

The word “why” written multiple times on a blue background with question marks surrounding it.

Life lessons are important to teach us new things, so we can succeed in the future, and prevent making the same mistakes down the road.

We start learning from the moment we first open our eyes, and this doesn’t stop until the moment we die. This is, of course, if we manage to keep an open mind in addition to staying humble.

This is essential to improve in life, so we can become thriving in the future. Without learning many life lessons, that’s simply not possible, and we would get stuck making the same mistakes over and over again.

Often you see people who become arrogant and think they know everything there is to know about life itself in addition to other people.

Of course, being arrogant and entitled isn’t a great mindset to enable yourself to learn new valuable skills and take in new information.

It’s also not correct that you can know everything about life because there are so many things to learn in a lifetime. Thus, a single individual can’t acquire all this knowledge during their short lifespan.

Final note

Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

A lot of these were hard life lessons to learn but were necessary to improve and to become more capable as a result.

Just because something hurts in the present doesn’t mean it will be painful forever, or that it doesn’t lead to something beautiful. Learning to embrace the pain of life is required to move forward in life.

What are your teachings that you think are worth sharing? Make sure to share them down below!