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wundayatta's avatar

What is the most valuable or helpful lesson you can learn from life?

Asked by wundayatta (58357 points ) April 27th, 2009

I’m not thinking of something philosophical or religious or high-minded—at least, not necessarily. I’m wonder what valuable lessons there are that can only be learned through the experience of life. This is experiential, not mental or theoretical. Things like having lost in love, or having and bringing up children, or having loved, or having overcome some obstacle. What of these, or many other life lessons would you call the most, or close to the most valuable?

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89 Answers

qashqai's avatar

No matter what, life goes on with or without you.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Things are rarely as bad as they seem.

qualitycontrol's avatar

Hard to say as I am still learning new lessons constantly. Don’t take things for granted, treat others with respect, brush your teeth before bed, say grace, loop swoop and pull, always work hard, wash your hands before supper, go to church on Sunday, women are not objects, friends come in quality not quantity, we are all human and we are in this together, water is the only thing that really quenches your thirst (not soda), drugs are bad, no matter what you have there is someone out there with less so treasure it, don’t let other people keep you down, keep away from negative energy, always wear clean underwear, no matter how bad it gets it will always get better, recycle, always be faithful to your loved ones, blood is thicker than water, honesty is the best policy, don’t talk smack about people behind their backs, what goes around comes around, don’t eat yellow snow (it is not the same as snow cones), everyone is equal regardless of where they come from, immigrants are people too, they are just from somewhere else, stay true to yourself…the list goes on…..........and on…............

Kiev749's avatar

Dont be afraid to ask for help.
Sometimes, you have to swallow your pride.

Triiiple's avatar

I always hate to hear about teenagers and even recently that 11 year old that commit suicide because of bullying.

“It always gets better” is the one thing ive valued especially through my high school days.

TaoSan's avatar

that it’s a bitch….. biting you in the ass every opportunity it gets.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Don’t burn your bridges, you may have to retreat someday.

AstroChuck's avatar

As the Bee Gees once said, it’s uh uh uh uh Stayin’ Alive.

fireside's avatar

Be open to learning from people and experiences.
You never know when the insight will come.

GAMBIT's avatar

Everyone makes mistakes. Forgive others and also forgive yourself.

GoldieAV16's avatar

That striving for happiness is over rated, because it is transitory. Learning to accept that leads to, well, happiness. :-)

knitfroggy's avatar

Accept people for what they are, because you can’t change them.

Be happy with what you have because so many have so little.

Be good to your family and let them know how much you love and value them. It’s too late when they’re gone. My grandpa has been gone for two years now and what I wouldn’t give to hug him and tell him one more time how much I love him.

tinyfaery's avatar

Wear sunscreen.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

All your best intentions and love can affect another person but not necessarily save them from self destruction and it’s okay to walk away to save yourself.

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

nothing lasts forever. good things will go away so cherish the time that you have them, and bad things will also go away so don’t give up.
“this too shall pass”

AstroChuck's avatar

Be excellent to each other and party on!

Bagardbilla's avatar

This has been helpful to me: Desiderata
I can always find a morsel of insight into any current situation.
Skip the sales pitch (on the site) and read the text.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

All possessions are temporary.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Fuck a lot of women, kid. Not just one woman – a lot of women.

It’s my signature answer.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

You’re not always right.

DREW_R's avatar

Self sufficiency.

mcbealer's avatar

work smart, not hard

seVen's avatar

Fear of God is the begining of wisdom.

A fool says in his heart, there is no God.

tinyfaery's avatar

I agree with tits—fuck a lot of women. It’s not my signature, but I’ve done my share.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

just like the most important lesson you can learn from parenting, the one you learn from life is: there’s always something around the corner, so don’t get comfortable and stay flexible

mcbealer's avatar

Don’t try to resolve a temporary problem with a permanent solution.

GoldieAV16's avatar

and they’re ALL temporary!

sakura's avatar

It takes both sunshine and rain to make lifes rainbows xx
You only live once but if you live life right then once is enough xx

schnitzengiggles's avatar

Don’t let the a**holes bring you down. They are miserable and there is nothing that you can do to change it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Mastering a crisis.

filmfann's avatar

Life is absurd.
In every trauma of my life, I could step back and look at the situation, and laugh at how rediculous it all is.

Linda_Owl's avatar

The most valuable lesson learned is “Life is not fair”. All you can do is live as honorably as you can as an individual, but be realistic enough to realize that just because you do, it does not mean that that things & circumstances will work to your advantage. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t, it is all ‘the luck of the draw’.

sakura's avatar

@Linda_Owl SO TRUE SO TRUE Just had some rubbish news today and defo luck of the draw scenario.

ccbatx's avatar

Yeah. Live it.

SeventhSense's avatar

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Don’t look him in the ass either.
A penny saved is a penny earned. But who gives a shit, you’ve only got two cents.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today,. unless you feel like sleeping.

No more deep thoughts for today…

jackfright's avatar

that you shouldn’t take life too seriously.

because when you seriously think about it, nothing really means anything. the larger the picture you’re looking at, the more insignificant all of us are. death just reinforces this.

fireside's avatar

@SeventhSense – Actually, wouldn’t that only be one cent still?
If not, tell me who you bank with because I want that interest rate.

SeventhSense's avatar

@fireside
See..it’s an even worse saying than I thought…and you know old Ben was one of the first to use the “American Express taxpayer card” to pay for his French whores over there in Paris anyway. Gout afflicted fat old lush. :)~

lillycoyote's avatar

Don’t sweat the small stuff, but it’s not all small stuff. Learn to tell the difference, learn to choose your battles, fight for what’s important and let the small stuff go.

shortysith's avatar

No matter what, you can’t make other people happy if you aren’t happy first. Do what is right for you even when people don’t understand it. Love with all your heart, even if sometimes people don’t deserve it. Forgive easily, life is too short to hold grudges. Remember how important your family is, and always make the time to tell them you love them. Learning more everyday. Pick your battles, stand your ground when you truly believe something, and remember that everyday is a new day and anything can happen :)

desno's avatar

this is all just temporary, so dont sweat it. not even the debt. :)

Macaulay's avatar

Learn something new each day.

jfos's avatar

“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” -Bob Dylan

Mr_Callahan's avatar

What goes around comes around. You get out of life exactly what you put into it, its up to you.

CMaz's avatar

Dont congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

Shake the mustard bottle really well before squeezing…...or you just get watery , ugly mustard.

wundayatta's avatar

@Mr_Callahan Excellent point! Although, if you use Grey Poupon, you don’t have that problem! Just sayin’.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

Dontcha have to drive a Bentley to use Grey Poupon?

Mr_Callahan's avatar

daloon: I feel a little uncomfortable with my 6” gun barrel over your crack, but I dont have a holster… LOL

sakura's avatar

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing
George Bernard Shaw

ram201pa's avatar

@Mr_Callahan LOL on your last post.

wundayatta's avatar

@Mr_Callahan Over? Under? No matter. Though that gun barrel looks at least a foot long, to me. A bit of overkill, doncha think?

Mr_Callahan's avatar

Its the camera angle, I wanted to look BIGGER, ya know , for the ladies. ( they say its mental compensation for a small weiner )...what do THEY know?

wundayatta's avatar

They have been blamed with many ills. It is not at all clear what They know.

jjosephs's avatar

The only way out is death!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

This one isn’t so sweet but it’s true:
You (universal you) are not a special and unique snowflake and also what @Linda_Owl is also true, life is not fair, good doesn’t necessarily bring rewards and your mortal life is finite so… do as little harm as possible and LIVE.

filmfann's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence You mean: Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.
That’s Tyler Durden from FIGHT CLUB.

angelic_fire_hazzard55555's avatar

Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and as long as we believe we will be forgiven and will go to heaven

wundayatta's avatar

Oh boy! Will someone change my diapers, please? I think I made a doody.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

If you perform a random act of kindness, tell the recipient to pay it forward.

Laugh. It is healthy for you and it just feels good!

don’t b afraid to make other people laugh with you (but not necessarily at you, unless you’re laughing at yourself too)!

jamielynn2328's avatar

Family is the most important thing you have. Everything else will come and go.

filmfann's avatar

@jamielynn2328 lurve for that, and welcome to Fluther!

stephiiee94's avatar

live life the way you want. not the way other people want you to live it.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Experience is a wonderful thing. It allows you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

filmfann's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Ooooh, I like that!

Mr2_jol425's avatar

Everyone has different morals.

tramnineteen's avatar

I’m guessing you are not religious. I and other people with faith will tell you, once you stop pushing God away, you do experience his love in a real, literal way. Changes in your happiness (not the momentary kind, the happy with your life kind) based on your actions, blessings that are too perfectly timed to not be God, the lessons from the Bible (in my case) that prove true right after you were resisting them. Perhaps circumstantial stuff like this doesn’t count in your mind, but it’s real events.

I’m sorry about this, because I know it wasn’t what you wanted. HERE are some of the lessons you did want:

- When someone wrongs you, forgiving them and not showing your anger will cause you less pain then paying them back.

- Never burn bridges, people have infinite potential and can surprise the hell out of you.

- Prepare for the worst, expect the best.

- How you treat other people is the most important in life, they have more value and can be of more help and will make you happier (albeit sometimes sadder) than anything else including and especially money.

filmfann's avatar

@tramnineteen Welcome to Fluther. Lurve.
It’s nice to have another Christian in the fold.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to not dwell on past mistakes and to live life with no regrets. Too many times I found myself sitting there wasting time being upset about a mistake I made or something that went wrong. Now I just pick up the pieces and move on with life. I can’t change the past but I can control what choices I make in my future.

russian123's avatar

For me, 1. is accepting & acknowledging your fears- because they are all the negative things that hinder living to your full potential & 2. knowing exactly who you are and where you stand in life. 3. always comes down to God. whether you or i like it or not -everyone comes to a point in life where they realize they can’t be happy or complete without him… these lessons are mine. hopefully they help you see what some of yours might be :)

willbrawn's avatar

“its not the experiences you go through who make you who you are, its the way you deal with the experiences that are presented to you.”

Adagio's avatar

The most important thing we can give our children is our time.

filmfann's avatar

Really? I thought the most important thing we can give our children is time outs.

HGl3ee's avatar

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

You get back what you put out. Meaning, promote hate or promote love, it’s only going to come back atcha… tenfold.

Enjoy the little things!

Try to do one random act of kindness a day. Be it, buying a coffee for a co-worker. Baking cookies for your neighbour. Walking your roomate’s dog. Letting a fellow driver merge infront of you.

NewZen's avatar

Here we are at 78 responses into the thread and only _I have given you lurve for this GREAT QUESTION!!?!_

I have added another valuable lesson in life: forgive – fast and furiously. The faster, the better (and healthier). Forgive and forget.

Response moderated
lillycoyote's avatar

That there is always more to learn,

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

How to think for one’s self.

MissA's avatar

We’ll never get out of this world alive.

Coloma's avatar

The nature of all things is temporary, don’t ever get attached to the idea of ‘forever’, be it a job, a house, a relationship, anything.

Enjoy what comes your way, but learn to live with uncertainty and STILL find joy every day.

And remember…you don’t HAVE a life, you ARE life!

Celebrate everything!

Frenchfry's avatar

Don’t smoke. Once you start it’s hard to stop.

zophu's avatar

There’s always something more to see. If you feel you’ve missed nothing, you miss everything. Keep looking. Especially when what you’re looking at is a person you think you love. You’ll miss it if you don’t.

Coloma's avatar

Nobody is perfect, BUT…if you mange to get to the end of your life without ever lying to or deceiving another in life changing ways, you have been a true success!

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Life goes by very fast, so you better make the best of it, enjoy it, and don’t be afraid of loving those that you love! We’re not here for long.

suzanna28's avatar

You can’t relive the past. You can’t get your youth back. Always think before you act.

SABOTEUR's avatar

You can’t make sense out of nonsense.

The more you try, the closer you come to losing your sanity.
Learn to recognize nonsense for for it is.

Nothing.

Don’t waste time with it.
Move away from it as quickly as humanly possible.

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