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One of the most freeing realizations I've had was when I understood that not everyone was going to like me. That's just the way it is for all of us, and I learned that it would be unfair for me to dedicate so much time worrying about what others might think. It changed my life––improved it, I'd say. That, combined with my willingness to take responsibility for my own actions, was crucial to my self-development.

After Redditor RainShxdow asked the online community, "What's the biggest life lesson you've learned?" people shared their observations and experiences.


"That life's not fair..."

That life's not fair. You could be struck with injury or disease or death at any time. Try and enjoy what time you have. None of us are guaranteed 90 years or even 70 years or 50. Live while you're alive, we're not guaranteed an afterlife either.

Hobbit_Feet45

"All of these people..."

You have to be the one looking out for you. This doesn't mean don't look out for other, this doesn't mean others never look out for you.

  • Your parents.
  • Your boss.
  • Your neighbors.
  • Your friends.
  • Your realtors.

All of these people can and will fail you in life because all people fail at something at some point. You have to look out for yourself, and you have to do what's best for you.

WorldsBestCoffee

"Working hard..."

Working hard doesn't equal success. If hard work was all that was required, there would be a lot more millionaires.

josephalbright1

This is very true.

There are a lot of factors that affect how successful you will be. The connections you have? That matters. How much people like you and want to work with you? That matters too.

"Some of the smartest people I've met..."

I like to say "Just because you're smart, that doesn't mean you aren't dumb."

Some of the smartest people I've met are also shockingly stupid in different contexts. Some of the dumbest seeming people can have profound insight into things they know well.

Intelligence isn't a linear scale, it's more like a skill tree. Everyone has a certain number of skill points to spend when they're born, and education and experience can help you earn more. But if you put all of your skill points into a few obscure stats you can be wildly under-leveled for something mundane.

CharYou-Tree

If I had a nickel...

...for every time a brilliant person showed me how absent-minded they can actually be, I'd be rich as hell.

"That if you cringe..."

That if you cringe over your past actions, that means you have matured.

CharlesTheGreat8

Another big one.

If you've ever been guilty of lying awake at night thinking of your past behavior while shaking your head, this might apply to you!

"You have to go forward..."

You have to go forward, or else you're stuck forever in your past.

Compaagnie

"It's hard to tolerate..."

It's hard to tolerate not being liked, but we're all the a-hole in someone's story.

ladyledylidy

"You'll burn out..."

Working hard, doing extra shifts, taking on more responsibilities at your job will mean absolutely sweet FA to your boss in the long run. You'll burn out while being paid the same and all of the extra you did will be used against you.

Fishingerrosti

"Don't feel guilty..."

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Six-Foot-Dwarf

Indeed!

I used to think the adults around me knew everything. Turns out they knew very little and were just trying to figure it out as they went along. We all go through it.

"Your life is incredibly short..."

Try every experience you can! Go to concerts of bands you've never heard of, take road trips and vacations in places you've never been, eat new foods, talk to everybody, learn everything you can about any subject that comes up, and take every reasonable risk.

Your life is incredibly short and once it's done you don't get to make up for missed opportunities so do it all now. Even if an isolated experience isn't the best, the process of experiencing it will usually be something you are proud of.

Knuckles316

Get out there and live your lives!

Life will indeed pass you by if you don't go ahead and seize it––we only get one shot at this. Words of wisdom.

Have some lessons you've learned that are not included here? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!

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