If you listen carefully, there’s much you can learn from your everyday life.
These lessons are invaluable because, as opposed to acquiring specific professional skills that have a single use, they help us live better each and every day. Through the tough times, personal challenges, transition periods, uncertainty, and simply to help us live better and perform more effectively in each moment.
Over the past decade, I’ve come across many of these deep insights in my own life. I attribute each of these to some measure of either my happiness, success, or ability to navigate the challenges of everyday life. And while I still have much to learn, this wisdom has made all the difference in my life now and I know it will continue to serve me.
Here are ten deep insights I’ve gained by examining my everyday life. Use these as a starting point to experience each lesson in your own life, which is always infinitely more powerful than reading words on a page. I hope these lessons serve to be as valuable to you as they have been to me.
10 Deep Insights You Can Gain From Your Everyday Life
True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
1. Things always appear worse than they really are
We experience things more intensely in our mind than they actually are in real life. When we think about that interview coming up, the next game, your big speech, that bill that’s overdue, or anything else we tend to inflate the severity of the situation subconsciously.
Think about it, how many things have ever turned out as bad as you thought they would? Sure, there will be exceptions. But they’re just that– exceptions. Remember this and it will help you manage your challenges mentally better moving forward.
2. The people in your life are more precious than gold
The single most important thing in your entire life are the people closest to you. Who these people are is different for each of us, but the effect is the same. Without these people, we lose all sense of meaning and purpose in our life.
Unfortunately, some people don’t realize this until they’ve lost someone dear to them. So, take some time to look at your life ask yourself, “Am I living in a way that prioritizes these people? Am I spending enough time with them and truly being present for them?”
3. Take action – NOW
The routine of daily life gives us the sense that life will go on forever exactly as it is. The result is that we make endless excuses to do tomorrow what should be done today. I was particularly guilty of this when I was younger, where I’d routinely wait until the last minute to do, well… everything.
The good news is, this is one mental hurdle which is relatively easy to get over. By tracking what you need to get done with some sort of simple list method you can also track when you’re procrastinating. When you notice something that you just keep putting off, take a minute to drop everything, shut your mind off, and just do it. This will develop the habit of taking action and help you fight procrastination over time.
4. Be present (stop, breathe, and appreciate)
Most of us live out our daily life distracted and anxious at every turn. Rarely, if ever, do we stop to smell or appreciate the beauty of a flower, enjoy silence, or take time to truly be present for our loved ones. By doing so, we learn to live more fully in each moment and rid ourselves of the persistent stress and anxiety so much of us suffer from.
Becoming more present in your daily life is incredibly easy, just pick one point to focus on in any given moment (this can be a person, thing, or process like your breathing) and allow yourself to become more keenly aware of it. However, it’s easily one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my entire life.
5. Meaning is found in making a difference in someone’s life
When it comes down to it, what many of us are searching for is a sense of meaning. However, the way most of us go about it is to find a way to please ourselves. This is all wrong.
Sure, we’re trying to be happy so it makes sense we put focus on ourselves, but it turns out that connecting deeply with another person and making a difference in their life is what makes us happiest. And the great part is, this is incredibly easy to do.
Examples of ways you can make a difference in someone’s life include:
- Volunteering at a local program
- Helping a friend or family member accomplish a goal or overcome a challenge
- Providing inspiration or education
- And just downright being a good person throughout your daily life
6. Moods are contagious
If you aren’t already, you need to quickly become highly conscious about who you’re surrounded by every day. Your personal associations are a critical factor that influences everything from your happiness to your level of success.
It might sound a little harsh, but you should take this so far as to completely remove people from your life that are toxic associations. If you’ve ever been around someone like that, like I have several times before in the past, you know how negatively that can affect everything in your life. Take the steps necessary to remove the bad seeds and maybe even add some good ones over time and your life will be noticeably brighter.
7. Love yourself (before trying to love others)
Life can be really tough. I found that out the hard way shortly after I graduated high school, but something no one ever told me until much later was how important it is to develop self-love. Most of us develop the habit of beating ourselves up over mistakes, failures, and any sort of minor setback. This does nothing but hurt us over time, affecting our health, happiness, and success.
But this isn’t just important for you. Without some measure of self-love, it’s virtually impossible to love another human being. So, it’s about much more than just treating yourself better. It extends off to every one of your loved ones.
8. Appreciate life (death comes for all of us)
From the very moment you were born, the clock which counts down to the end of your life began ticking. Death is a reality for all of us, but Western culture especially does a great job of teaching us how to hide from this fact.
However, there’s a lot of value in facing the truth of your own impermanence and realizing the beauty in it. Being aware of your own impermanence gives you clarity and a sense of perspective like nothing else can, which can compel you to stand up and strive to live the life you always wanted.
9. Greatness is found in the little moments
Working hard is important, but it’s not about killing yourself to do something faster, it’s about whether you show up every single day in those little moments when nobody is watching. That’s where greatness is found.
10. Spend time learning how to beat fear
It’s difficult to notice the power that fear can hold over us because it operates mostly within our subconscious, but fear can dictate much of what we do in our daily life.
Starting paying attention to notice when your actions are fear based and use something like a regular meditation practice to start working through whatever mental blocks are causing the fear. This can take time, but it’s infinitely rewarding.
While incredibly valuable, these are just ten of the countless lessons that everyday life can teach us. Live in a way that your everyday life becomes your teacher and watch as a lifetime of invaluable life lessons unfold in front of you.