By Koon Yew Yin
When I was 10 years old, my mother passed away. Otherwise, she could have taught me many good lessons to succeed in life. Instead, I had to learn from trial and error. I made a lot of mistakes and I learned from them. I came from the school of hard knocks.
At school, kids learn a lot that isn’t going to be helpful to them later in life. While getting education is important, there is much that kids could be learning that schools aren’t teaching. Children and young teens need to be taught life lessons that will enable them to be independent and confident yet respectful. Below are ten lessons that I think schools should focus on:
- You live the life you create for yourself
While others will try to persuade you to do something, know that they cannot decide for you. Make sure that the path you decide to take aligns with your own intuition and desires. It’s okay to switch paths or create a new one.
- Patience is not about waiting
Patience is about the ability to maintain a good attitude while working hard for what you want to achieve. Being patient gives you the time you need to reach your goal. Patience is about pace, not waiting. It’s about timing yourself to work with more than one process around you.
- Some kind of failure always occurs before success
Making mistakes is part of the learning process and most of them are unavoidable. Making mistakes is not the problem, not learning from them is. Remember that behind every great success is a thousand failed attempts to get there.
- Thinking and doing are two different things
Don’t expect success to come to you just by sitting around. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Remember that good things come to those who work on meaningful goals. Ask yourself what’s important and have the courage to build your life around your answer.
- You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive
Learn to accept all the apologies you’ll never get; this will make life easier. The key is to be thankful for each experience, be it positive or negative. Instead of getting upset at a situation, take a step back and say ‘thank you for the lesson’. Realize that grudges from the past are a waste of happiness. When you forgive, you’re allowing yourself to let go of your past.
- Walk away from people who always pull you down
Be brave and walk away from the people who make you feel uncomfortable and insecure. If the people you stay with makes you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if you feel emotionally drained or anxious after spending time with them, listen to your intuition and step away. Hang out with the people who inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
- What you own is not who you are
The things that you own have no bearing on who you are as a person. Understand that we live in a hugely consumer-driven culture that gives more importance to material things than meaningful connections and experiences. Make it a point to create your own connections without being influenced by what you see on TV, read in fashion magazines and so on.
- It only takes one second for everything to change
Keep in mind that things change, often spontaneously. People and circumstances come and go. Remember that life doesn’t just stop for anybody. It has the potential to move from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds. Unpredictable events happen and they may happen at any time. So when life is good, absorb each moment, enjoy it. And when life gets tough, know that these moments do not last forever.
- It is not other people’s job to love you, it is yours
When they’re young, children are taught to be nice to others. But as they get older, they need to be reminded that while it’s important to be nice to others, they must be nice to themselves too. Don’t see yourself through the eyes of those that don’t value you, know your worth.
- Life is short
While the unknown may seem fearful, the only thing you need to fear is not living because you feel too afraid to take action. Be bold, be courageous, and don’t let yourself be afraid of accomplishing your dreams.