We ought not to look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dear-brought experience. George Washington
First president of US (1732 - 1799)

The best lessons not only give us information but have us grow. We learn best when we are willing students. We won’t always know when we are right in the middle of a life lesson. It is only later with time and hindsight do we realize what we learned.

What are we learning?

First, we learned how to walk, talk and how to ask for what we needed. Later we learned simple things; how to tie a shoe, write our names, eat with a knife and fork. We acquire skills over the course of our life. Daily we do normal things; we go to work, attend school, and socialize with friends. We are doing what we are meant to do, we are living.

Learning never ends.
Our grade teacher is no longer breathing down our necks forcing us to study. Nonetheless study continues. Sometimes the lessons smack us upside the head with their impact. Others times it is a slow subtle journey to enlightenment. The best teachers are ones that take us on a journey. The best students are the ones who are willing to explore.

The idea of life as lesson can chafe at us. We may resist this idea but we constantly change. We acquire knowledge and information as we go along without realizing it. But we don’t always grow. We gather information and don’t use it wisely. A small time crook can learn more about crime in prison then out on the streets. We can live in darkness, or we can evolve.

What lessons do we want to learn?

We have the power to make choices in our lives. We can choose to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and learn all we need. What is needed is a willingness to keep growing. We must go forward with an open, hungry mind and curiosity about life.

Lesson Plans

School teachers have lesson plans. Create your own. In the book Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, the authors, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner try to explore the hidden side of everything through demonstrating that the modern world is knowable if the right questions are asked. The point is to take standard assumptions and look at them from a completely different angle. There may be facts but are the facts all we have to go on in explaining anything? If you were to take the “facts” of your life and turn them upside down what might you discover? Ask these questions.
• What did you imagine you would grow up to become? Did you think you would grow up and become a ballerina, a firefighter?
• Did you imagine you would grow up and have a fancy wedding with lots of lace and a life partner?
• What were your hopes and dreams?
• How have you lived up to these expectations?

Maybe you discovered your talent was not ballet but in science. The fancy wedding is instead a solo life lived in the mountains. Look at your life with new eyes and new questions. What would you like to learn now? What would you like to do?

Create a lesson plan for your life going forward. Be sure to add in qualities you would like to acquire. This lesson plan is in your control. Have fun with it. Make sure to give yourself a good grade for effort.

Our life lessons can empower us. Ask questions. Look for new information and transform you life one lesson at a time. Always be ready to be surprised by what life has to offer.

Author's Bio: 

Sandra Lee Schubert is the creator and instructor for the e-course Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own, leading people to be their creative best thru telling their stories.