Life-Altering Things People Should Experience At Least Once In Their Lives

When most people think of going through a life-changing event, they think of near-death experiences or a tremendous psychological revelation.

But some people have experienced other events they found not only to be life-altering but which they believe everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.


Redditor decisivevinyl asked:

"What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?"

Man's Best Friend

"The unconditional love of a pet. Having a true bond with an animal is so amazing."

- Squirrel-ScoutCookie

Genuine Love

"Love."

"Not lustful, hormonal, and temporary rushes of emotion, but deep, sacrificial, spiritual, hell-or-high-water, to the ends of the earth love."

"To love someone like that and to be loved like that in return is the highest point of human existence."

"I would kill and die for my wife without a second thought. She knows this, and I know she would do the same for me. I never really lived until I loved, and specifically, loved like this."

- jcmayday

Total Vulnerability

"Complete vulnerability in the company of the person that you love. Letting that person really know you and taking the risky leap of putting yourself, with all of your insecurities, quirks, and naive hopes, in another person's hands."

"I was struggling with so much trust, anxiety, and insecurity issues for so long that when I finally let myself completely open to someone, I felt like a whole new person."

"But be sure the other person is open to having you open up and has the patience and love to help you get back on your feet."

- Salchi_

Growing from Heartbreak

"As s**t as it is, and I wouldn't wish it upon many people... Heartbreak."

"I feel like a lot of personal growth can stem from it. It also makes you way more sensitive and understanding of others who are hurting and suffering. Empathy is far more important and powerful than sympathy."

- Rasengan2012

A Sudden Life Change

"I was supposed to get married this past Saturday but my fiancée broke it off, completely out of the blue, three months ago."

"I've learned more about myself over the past three months than I have in pretty much my entire life."

"I also learned that I have a lot of REALLY good friends. Friends I hadn't spoken with in months reached out to me, and random people I somehow added on Facebook reached out, and I had never felt more loved. I also spent my Saturday night surrounded by many of these people and I had a really great night."

"I wouldn't wish heartbreak on anyone, but it is the most important and significant experience I have ever had."

- andyman492

One With Nature

"Total isolation."

"I’m talking about traveling out to a remote location far far away from civilization and far away from anyone else."

"Just you and the world around you. All alone. And not another soul in sight."

"It’s such a bizarre yet powerful feeling. Here you are, completely free from the constraints of civilization, free from your obligations, free from your routines. There’s nothing holding you back now except yourself. You’re experiencing life at its purest."

"I went on one hell of a bush walk not too long ago that took me deep into a forest that very few people have been through. There was a moment when I was sitting on this fallen tree when it hit me just how truly far away and isolated I was. And with that, just how far away all my problems were too. Out here, it was just me and the trees."

"It really seems to put life back into perspective when you inevitably have to head back and re-enter civilization. The juxtaposition is something else."

- SkyGuardianOfTheSky

Wide Open Spaces

"Two things come to mind:"

"Standing somewhere very high, and just absorbing the view. It's easy, especially in our urban cities and over-developed suburbs to lose the sense of how big the world really is. People talk about the 'big sky' in places like Texas, but you haven't experienced the 'big sky' until you're standing a mile or three high and looking out over the planet. (And being in an airplane does not count.)"

"Also, really experiencing the night sky, somewhere truly dark."

"Big bonus if you're doing both at the same time."

- IAmDotorg

Go Mountain Climbing

"One of my absolute life-changing experiences is hiking a mountain in the fog."

"A friend and I hiked a few thousand feet, and when we hit the peak we had just come over the fog line. There was an old guy at the top with us, and he saw that we were in awe."

"He pointed to the northeast. 'See that other mountain range poking out above the clouds? That’s Tahoe.'"

"Tahoe was 150 miles away, give or take."

"There's something about being exhausted after intense physical exertion, with your best friend, in a surreal landscape, and then having a seemingly impossible vision pointed out to you on top of that, was otherworldly."

- DangerousKidTurtle

Scuba Diving

"Scuba diving. I promise you, it's a completely different world down there and it's not ours."

"You'll be amazed and maybe even get an understanding and a greater connection to our earth and all the living things on this chunk of rock floating through space."

- Sparky

Live Alone

"Living single and alone. It's a very specific kind of freedom but a touch of fear."

"I can do whatever I want... but at the same time if something bad happened it might be a bit before anyone even noticed."

- BadHippieGirl

Be Independent But Appreciative

"I love certain aspects of living alone, but overall long term I prefer living with a partner."

"I love the freedom of having your own domain that isn't controlled by anybody else. Mostly I loved being able to keep it as clean/messy as I want at any given time, and the fact that I could spend hours shamelessly being 'ugly me,' which is what I call myself when I'm just a piece of s**t sitting around baked watching sports in my underwear for hours on end, really giving no thought to my outward appearance whatsoever."

"That said, all those great aspects of living alone don't come close to going to bed every night with somebody you're into. I don't necessarily mind sleeping alone, but going to bed every night with someone you really cherish is the tits, and no aspect of living alone beats that."

"For that reason, I will always prefer living with a romantic/sexual partner over living alone."

"Living with roommates was fun but that's more for your twenties."

- ApolloRocketOfLove

Have a Healthy Diet

"Eating healthy food for like two months straight. You never realize how s**tty you feel if you've been feeling that way literally your entire life."

"It also helps you realize how insanely addictive sugar/fast food is. Once you go back to it the cravings kick in immediately (at least in my experience)."

- Hudre

Improve Energy

"I’d been living pretty much exclusively off Pizza, instant noodles, and beer since uni, mainly due to not giving a s**t about anything at all."

"I started eating healthily only one month ago and I’ve already lost my pot belly and gone from feeling depressed and anxious all day every day to actually feeling the zest of life once again finally."

"If I felt 2/10 every day before I almost immediately went to feeling like a 7 or 8/10."

"The difference is phenomenal."

- TractionDuck91

Healthy Exchange

"I started eating healthy to lose weight. There was the odd craving, but I could usually stamp it out quickly just because seeing the numbers go down on the scale in the morning was much more satisfying than some fries."

"Then there would be weekends or something where I ate nothing but crappy food. Delicious crappy food. But by the end of it, I was craving veggies and fruit. I wanted healthy food!"

"So for me now, I look at a good, healthy meal and I want it. I look at some crappy meal and I'm like, 'Eh, not worth it' most of the time."

- FlameFrenzy

Artistic Mastery

"The feeling of having mastered something. Piano, poetry, writing, some videogame, coding, anything really. There is a special self-knowledge that comes from having mastered something that everyone really needs to know."

- 44Hydras

Whether it's witnessing deep love or expansive spaces, there are experiences in our world that not only remind us how small we are in the universe but which make us feel more connected and grateful.

Not only are these experiences life-altering, they're priceless.

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