It’s one thing to experience a situation in life and quite another to learn the valuable lessons that come with it.

The older I’ve become the more mindful I am that most situations have lessons to be learned, however only upon reflections do these lessons become obvious…

Perhaps it’s a sign of maturity that I now seek out these lessons as I go.

Honestly, for the majority of my early life I associated bad luck always with things outside my control, thus taking no ownership or accountability.

However, we all know with hindsight things aren’t always as they seem.

Often poor planning or poor management are at the heart of bad luck, not always but often.  Other times you may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time…

My most important personal lesson has been the realization that I am accountable for my life and in control of my thoughts, feelings, mindset and more importantly actions.

Each day I decide how I’m going to react to the world around me.

Now it’s one thing to think but quite another to do anything about it.

You may have the best of intentions, but if you don’t act on these intentions then it was nothing more than a passing thought.

As my dad would say “a man is as good as his word”.  And if you say you’re going to do something then you have to actually do it and follow through.

From my experience this isn’t necessarily a common thing.  People will often tell you what you want to hear, but sometimes have no real intention of following up on their promise.

At the center of this are your personal values and beliefs.  This was an important lesson that my dad always drilled into me and my brother.

It serves as the foundation of trust.  The question of whether I can trust this person is on display if they don’t follow through on their words.

Linking actions to your words is a fundamental lesson that I also passed down to Zach and Sam.

Although a simple lesson, trustworthiness and reliability are foundational and go to the heart of who you are as a human being.

There have been times where I wanted to trust, but inherently knew that something didn’t quite gel.

Learning to trust your intuition has been one of the most important lessons for me personally.

When I was younger, I would take things on their face value, however after being burned a couple of time I matured and began listening to my gut.

As soon as I sensed any form of incongruence, I began to question everything which is a healthy response.

This has been another lesson that I’ve planted with the kids.

During their teenage years whenever they asked me for advice the first thing I would say was “what does your gut tell you?”

I used this as a springboard for them to step back and evaluate the issue from all angles.   Often, I had an opinion, but always wanted them to think it through first and ask questions so that they could make the decision.

This was an incredible method of helping them learn to be independent and think for themselves.  I would recommend this approach, even though in many situations you want to guide them and give the answer.

In the long run teaching them this valuable approach will set them up for their future lives.

Sometimes you have to let them make mistakes for them to really understand.  Letting my kids fail… was one or the most difficult things I had to do as a parent.

Even though in the long run this was always going to be the most useful approach it doesn’t take away from the feelings you have.

Another important lesson has been that you can’t worry about things you don’t control.  Prior to learning this valuable lesson, I’d often worry about the most inconsequential things in my life.

Literally turning myself in knots… and for naught.

Often these things that we worry about will run their course no matter what, and whether spend time thinking or worrying about theme means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

It comes down to same category as things you can’t control, but it also fit nicely with the fact that you can’t control what others think of you.

All you can do is to put your best foot forward each and every day and let the rest take care of itself.

Another lesson I’ve learned is that I have to be open and willing to change.

I’ve often found myself in a satisfying routine, only for it to change.  Sometimes with me as the catalyst and other times not, but in both scenarios, I had to adapt to a “new normal”.

Change can be painful!

We can resist as much as we like, but the inevitable will always triumph, and we find ourselves adapting.

Life is one constantly evolving landscape that we need to be able to flex and grow with every day.

What have been your biggest lessons in life?

Take a minute to reflect on these lessons and ultimately what they have taught you.

Until next week