10 Money Lessons and Life Lessons You May Regret Not Following
Money Lessons and Life Lessons I Need to Share
You may read classic texts on Money Lessons and Life Lessons but there is nothing better than looking back on your past and reflect and on what life has thought you. In this article, I will share my past experience on money lessons and life lessons. What I learned and wished I could have known about earlier.
Money lessons and Life lessons stem from mistakes I have made. They have be very costly and impacted my life. However, I also made some excellent decisions that are valuable and worth sharing as well. Therefore, here are some of the money lessons and life lessons that I have learnt from life – the good and the bad.
Happy New Year
My First Resolution – Reflect on Last Year
The minute the clocks strikes midnight on the 31st of every December, I always get this tingling of fear mixed with anticipation. What will this New Year bring? The beginning of a new year is a very good time to take stock of the previous year and actually THINK about what you have achieved, or what was left to be desired.
How many times do we make New Year’s resolutions, which we fail to stick to for longer than a week? The classic, I will start a new diet. I will stop smoking or I will spend more time with my kids. However, there are few times when we actually sit down and list our achievements of the previous year. Even if the achievements were by default and not by plan. Taking stock of our achievements is a very important part of money lessons and life lessons.
Self-reflection is crucial to the way we look at life. We have so much to learn from our own lives and our past. Understanding that making mistakes is as much part of life as making good decisions is very important. It is wise to look at our mistakes and not beat ourselves over them. But it is just as important to acknowledge our achievements and great choices. They are what makes us happy and validate us.
We are not Perfect – But Life is Good
If we stop to reflect on our life, we realize that in most cases we are very fortunate. If we look around us, we can probably smile at good memories with friends and family. We know that we have a family that is full of love, even with everyone’s shortcomings. We probably have the occasional holiday. If we have a steady job with a regular income, it is again part of our blessings. If we sit down to think, we probably could have a very long list of blessings, which extends beyond the obvious, and certainly longer than our misgivings.
Therefore, I am now going to share some of the money lessons and life lessons that I have learned in the first 50 years of this beautiful life that I have lived. Some things may seem obvious, but others not so!
# 1 Understanding the Essence of Time
I remember turning thirty and told one of my colleagues, “I cannot believe, how fast the years from 20 to 30 flew past me.” She smiled, and being much older than me at the time, she said: “wait to see how much faster 30 to 40 will go!” I cannot believe that, not only was this true but that 40 to 50 went even faster.
When we are young, time crawls past us. In our childhood, we cannot wait to grow up. Time stands still. But in our active life, time runs like sand through your hands. The years go by too fast.
The reason that time goes fast is that you are probably doing a lot with your time. However, the goal of my years has always been clear. I need to be enjoying what I am doing.
Let us face it. If you are working in a happy environment, you are very productive. If on the other hand, you are doing, something, you dislike, even if it pays well, you are still spending the equal amount of time doing it. But the time vs reward is much higher (even for the same pay) if you are doing something you enjoy vs doing something you are not happy doing.
Therefore, by understanding the essence of time, and having enough self-respect to do a job that you love, and living a purposeful life, will give you higher rewards. Sometimes, settling for a lesser pay may even be more rewarding than staying in a high-stress but a high-paying job. These are money lessons and life lessons, that are not based on quantifying cash, but on giving us value for our lives.
# 2 Comparisons are Odious
It is a natural tendency for us to have a healthy dose of “competition”. We constantly compare ourselves, to friends, family, and colleagues. It is healthy because it pushes us to move to the next level. The comparison can be motivational. That is why it is easier to stop smoking or lose weight in a group than alone. It is part of the healthy competition environment.
However, comparisons can be odious, and very demoralizing if our goals are unrealistic. Let me be more specific. If we compare our efforts at the beginning of a project, to someone else’s results, if these results are in the middle of their project, then we are not being fair to ourselves. It will only create frustration.
Recently, I was invited to discuss blogging with a university class of students learning literature and professional writing. When I told the students that I was earning multiple 5 figures on a monthly basis – from just two years blogging, I had two very mixed reactions.
Some of the students were very keen to sit down and discuss the possibility of structuring their own blog and get going. Writing about your passion or profession. Many of them were asking how realistic earning at least 10k a month, from blogging really was. Few more asked how much time and work they needed to put in before they could see those kinds of financial results. However, they were all asking very important questions that would give them results in money lessons and life lessons.
Frustration and Demoralization. Another very pointed reaction from some others was “but you have been slogging for two years before you could reach $20 – 50k a month! – that is a long time!”
My answer to those who reacted in group 2 was very simple. You need to see the bigger picture. What are two years in the complete entirety of our life? What if we can dedicate a year of consistent effort and hard work, but see results forever? You cannot stop chasing the dream of your life because of the time element.
Believing in yourself and chasing your dreams, need to be a priority. But you cannot compare yourself at the beginning of a project, to others who are achieving the results you aspire for, but who are in the middle of their project!
My first article of just 1000 words took me five hours to write. Today I am in the middle of writing this article, and at 1140 words, I have spent less than 20 minutes writing. If I compare myself then to now, I know that time and practice have given me the experience. Understanding the “then” and “now” and identifying where you are stand will keep comparisons in good perspective.
#3 Reach for Your Dreams by Creating a Plan
Having goals to achieve is the most important part of our life. Whether it is in money matters or family matters. Be it sport, job, travel or a relationship, we need to chase our dreams, and set goals. However, we cannot cross the “finish line” without have a plan. Be it money lessons and life lessons, the plan is crucial to achievement.
Nothing happens magically. Without a plan, we cannot reach our goals. Set out your wish list, and actively create a plan on how you will achieve your goals and dreams. Creating a plan for money or life goals is the only way to tick the boxes whenever you reach the next level.
#4 Optimism is Your Best Fuel
Seriously, how many times have you met negative people and you swear to yourself that will avoid these people because they bring you down? On the other hand, when you meet a positive and optimistic person, you immediately feel happier and motivated.
Having a positive attitude is the best ingredient for success. Of course, life is always full of setbacks but a happy attitude will make the life pill a little bit more sugared and less hard to swallow. Complaining and nagging about bad things, will not make them go away. Nor will you fix problems. Taking the bull by the horn, and staring it in the eye, will help you overcome hurdles. And you had better have fun doing it!
There is nothing stronger than the power of positive thinking. Positive thinking will help you be happier and you will reach your goals even on money lessons and life lessons much faster and easier.
#5 Be Self-Motivated
When I wake up every morning, I give myself a good pep talk! The best way I do it is on my routine morning walk. Walking works magic for me. It helps me clear my mental cobwebs and see matters in a good perspective. If instead of walking, I head down to my computer, I do not give myself time to think and plan. Without my planning and positivity, I cannot think clearly. Therefore, when I am not self-motivated I produce poor quality work.
For me, my morning walk is where I gain my self-motivation. This does not mean, that a morning walk will work for everyone. However, there is always something that will work for you. It could be meditation or an evening game of chess. However, self-motivation is not a natural characteristic that we are born with. It is, like many other things in life, something that can be learned. However, without self-motivation, you will not be able to achieve your goals. Find out what works for you and make it part of your daily regime.
#6 Leave Regrets in the Past Where they belong
Whilst writing this article, I am humming Sinatra’s “My Way”.
Of course, this is more evidence of how old I am! However, when I get to the point of “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention” I smile and feel enlightened.
It is natural to have regrets, but dwelling too hard on your regrets will stop you moving forward. On the other hand, if we learn from our mistakes, we are stronger. If you have a quick daily look at “Inspirational Quotes” you will be empowered to leave your regrets I the past where they belong.
Live Life “Your Way” Sinatra style. You will also learn in time, that bothering about what other people are saying about you and how they think of you, is counter-productive. Set your own goals. Do not let other people set your goals for you. Do it “Your Way” and not the way that other people are expecting you to do it. You are your own best doctor! So do what is right for YOU and not what is right to PLEASE OTHERS!
Seize the day and enjoy it. Placing too much importance on the distant future can useless as life takes funny twists and turns. You simply need to “grab the moment”. This is true as much for money lessons and life lessons.
Every day is the beginning of our new life. As soon as we open the door to the day, we can either have a joy ride or hell spiral. If we have expectations from our day, we could be sorely disappointed. If, however, we seize the day and take advantage of it, it will bring us a wonderful amount of opportunities. When you have a great moment, you need to stop and embrace it. Enjoy it. Love it. Acknowledge it. Understand that it is meaningful. Too often, we do not acknowledge that we have great moments every day. Even if it is just that we are enjoying a delicious meal cooked by someone for us. The moments you grab, are what take you into the future with stronger meaningfulness.
No matter how much money you have in the bank, and no matter what lifestyle you live, you must enjoy your life to the full. Live within your means, so that you do not put yourself under unnecessary stress, stop comparing yourself to others who “apparently have a better life” and embrace the moment. This is one very important rule that works both in money lessons and life lessons.
#8 “All Work and no Play – Makes Jack a Dull Boy”
Find time to have fun, to exercise and to live a healthy life. If you only set your goals for money lessons and not life lessons, you will have poor motivation. You will not be an interesting person, and your social life is bound to suffer. If you are looking at improving your motivation, give yourself time to have fun too.
After all let us face it, what is the point of achieving financial success if you do not have the power to enjoy it? Therefore, make time for fun and also to cherish moments with the people you love and who matter most to you. Friendships, families, relationships, all need to be nurtured in order to grow. Therefore, remember that your quality of life is dependent on nurturing yourself and others, as much as it is working on your financial success.
#9 Take Time to Get to know yourself Properly
This may sound like an anomaly. We probably think that we know ourselves well. Many times we think we know best what is right for us. However, many times, the way we perceive ourselves, is shockingly different to how others see us.
Despite the fact that earlier on I said how important it is not to place importance on what people think of us, it is also realistic to look at ourselves objectively.
If you are looking at getting to know yourself better, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Are you happy with your life? Is this where you really would like to be? Are you postponing starting a family for the wrong reasons? These are questions, that we always tip-toe around but hardly ever bring into full-on cognizance.
Tonight, have a hard-talk moment with yourself, and if you are not really happy with your answers, just try to change what is bothering you one step at a time. You cannot bring change into your life if you do not know yourself properly. This is part of the money lessons and life lessons that you need to teach yourself for a better life.
#10 Set Me Free Financially is Set Me on Course for a Happier life
Being financially free does not mean that you necessarily need to be financially rich. However, financial freedom is a state of mind that can be achieved even with learning to live with less and decluttering your life. Sometimes, less is more, if your quality of life is suffering in order to earn more.
In a recent article that I wrote on decluttering your life, I dwelled on the “too much can stop us from really enjoying life – another lecture in money lessons and life lessons”
However, taking care of your future in the best possible way gives you mental peace. Planning for your retirement, for example, is very important. There is no better time to start than now – when you are young and able. You cannot start planning your retirement in your fifties! There is not enough time to do it then. Also doing proper financial planning makes your life much simpler. Sticking to a budget requires discipline. But in the end, your financial freedom is what will give you a better quality of life. These are hard money lessons and life lessons that we need to learn and avoid pitfalls for a better life.
These ten points on money lessons and life lessons are just scratching the tip of the iceberg but every single one of them has contributed to a better quality of life, at the point when it was encompassed as part of my life.
If you have found this article to be interesting and want to learn more about financial freedom, drop us a comment or email us directly on team(At)setmefreefinancially.com