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Inspiration: Life Lessons Learned…

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“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.” Mortimer Adler

Inspiration: Life Lessons Learned... viewing the world through a stained glass window

What lessons have guided your life? What mistakes have shaped who you are? What lessons meet you at your door daily, begging to be addressed? Life is filled with lessons and, everyday, we have an opportunity to not only learn something new that empowers us, but, quite possibly, something that tests our resolve, our faith, our character, our state of mind. It is interesting to consider that what we call experience is knowledge gained from both magical and miserable moments in our lives; from our successes and our mistakes. 

Our mistakes add to our basket of knowledge and, each day, we get another go at it; to gain mastery or to fail and try again. Whether we view the world through a stained glass window; intricate, complex, with shadings of light and dark, or through  rose tinted glasses; bright, glossy, rosy, it doesn’t matter as long as we remember the lessons learned from what we experienced; from what we saw/heard/felt…

Inspiration: Life Lessons Learned... rose colored/tinted glasses

Below is a beautiful poem, “I’ve Learned,” shared by Andy Rooney, the funny journalist on CBS 60 Minutes. I split the poem in two and the other half is below… He covers a lot of ground on lessons learned that definitely resonated with me… I think you can relate to many of them. What lessons have you learned? 😉 More below.

I’ve Learned by Andy Rooney
I’ve learned… That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
I’ve learned… That when you are in love, it shows.
I’ve learned… That being kind is more important than being right.
I’ve learned… That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
I’ve learned… That I can always pray for someone when I do not have the strength to help him in some other way.
I’ve learned… That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
I’ve learned… That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
I’ve learned… That simple walks with my father around our compound when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
I’ve learned… That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I’ve learned… That we should be glad GOD does not give us everything we ask for.
I’ve learned… That money does not buy class.
I’ve learned… That it is those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I’ve learned… That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I’ve learned… That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I’ve learned… That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

“Each day learn something new, and just as important, relearn something old.” ~Robert Brault

Inspiration: Life Lessons Learned... The Difficult Lesson by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

I’ve Learned by Andy Rooney, Continued
I’ve learned… That love, not time, heals all wounds.
I’ve learned… That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
I’ve learned… That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I’ve learned… That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
I’ve learned… That life is tough, but I am tougher.
I’ve learned… That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
I’ve learned… That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I’ve learned… That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away (so if your Mom is still around, take time out to express your love to her more).
I’ve learned… That one should keep your words both soft and tender, because tomorrow you may have to eat them.
I’ve learned… That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I’ve learned… That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you are hooked for life.
I’ve learned… That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
I’ve learned … That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

As I read the poem, I could see lessons I learned over the years, lessons I am yet to learn, as well as lessons I have not had to learn. We all carry our burdens and our lessons vary; some of us have more to learn than others, some of us are open to learning than others, whilst others of us are forced to learn whether we  think we need to or not. Whether a genius or a schmo, no one is above learning.  As long as we have life, we have knowledge to share from our experiences as well as lessons to learn from our interactions with others; perfection is not a requirement for life…  The lessons make us stronger; build our character and our knowledge base. What are your thoughts? What lessons have you learned in life? If you had to pick 2 or 3 to share what would they be? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt by Daily Post: Write about a mistake you can learn from.

Positive Motivation Tip: We can learn both from our mistakes and our successes; open your eyes, there are lessons everywhere.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of Stained Glass window  and The Difficult Lesson by William-Adolphe Bouguereau via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

36 Comments leave one →
  1. 18/05/2011 12:17 am

    I’d heard parts of Andy Rooney’s poem, but didn’t know who had written it. Thank you, Eliz, I think I could write a different post about each line…maybe I will on my Saturday Ramblings. 🙂
    Have I made any mistakes? Many!
    Have I learned anything from them? Much!
    I was always afraid to speak up and always comforted myself with the thought that even though it night seem I was “going along” with whatever someone else said, inside I held fast to my own beliefs. I’ve learned to speak up and speak out for what I believe in…and this has strengthened me and has given me even more confidence in myself.

    • 18/05/2011 1:32 am

      I was touched by the poem too and could write on each line… not a bad idea Viv! Go for it…
      I read each one and felt a connection to most. One thing: I’ve learned to trust that everything happens in it’s own time; not a minute sooner. 🙂

  2. InsideJourneys permalink
    18/05/2011 12:26 am

    I’ve learned not to judge by appearances.
    I’ve also learned that first I have to forgive myself.

    • 18/05/2011 1:33 am

      Yes definitely… I’ve learned that lesson again and again. Forgiveness starts with forgiving ourselves and then others. 🙂

    • 18/05/2011 8:51 am

      This has been the most important lesson I’ve learned: I must forgive myself. Having the strength to do that has led me to learn so many other lessons, by enabling me to see I’m not “bad” simply because I did something wrong . . . and that it’s OK to move forward and try to do it better tomorrow.

      • 21/05/2011 1:51 am

        Self-forgiveness is huge! Until we can forgive ourselves, it is hard to truly forgive others… We pay lip service to forgiveness but it shapes/colors our lives and how we live and play with others… I hear you on this one. very impt point. 🙂

  3. 18/05/2011 12:30 am

    Fabulous poem full of rich insights. I love the part about always accepting a gift from a child and remembering that “it is those small daily happenings that make life spectacular”.

    • 18/05/2011 1:35 am

      I concur… the small things add to the abundant memories and experiences we share… I love the gift from a child line too. So sweet! 🙂

  4. 18/05/2011 1:20 am

    That’s a very insightful poem from Andy Rooney. I’m trying to decide which one lesson strikes me the most, but almost all of them make me say, “Oh yes, that’s true!” I’m not going to say that I love all the lessons life has taught me, because some of them, I had to learn the hard way. But they definitely have contributed, and continue to contribute, to my growth.

    • 18/05/2011 1:36 am

      Yes, I had the same reaction to the poem and the recognition of a familiar experience was there. My lessons had helped me grow too. 🙂

  5. 18/05/2011 5:25 am

    I’m proudly following you on TWITTER now.
    I hope I can learn, what I have to learn there …

    • 18/05/2011 5:43 am

      Great to be connected with you… I’m not on Twitter as much but I will definitely log on and follow you back. I still love Twitter and the friends I make there. 🙂

  6. 18/05/2011 5:58 am

    Great post, Eliz. My Dad always says “Everything happens for a reason.” I’ve often struggled with that premise, but have finally matured to the point of realizing that, yes, everything that happens has a ripple effect on our lives and that when bad things happen, we may not ever understand in this lifetime what good may have come of it. But I do believe one day we will understand everything.

    • 21/05/2011 1:33 am

      I agree with you on that one… especially as I get older and look back on certain events in my life. Sometimes, bad things lead us to great gifts and vise versa… Such is the mystery of life. 🙂

  7. 18/05/2011 6:11 am

    There isn’t any useless things in life.
    When you fail something, you can learn many things rather than when you succeed.

    • 21/05/2011 1:33 am

      That is true… both teach us about what matters. 🙂

  8. 18/05/2011 6:54 am

    The lessons make us stronger; build our character …
    a lesson, resume, result, summary?
    if you are fallen from cruise ship into the sea, swimming and watching the ship drive away – then you make a summary …

    • 21/05/2011 1:34 am

      Who knows…. I hope to never fall off one. 🙂

  9. 18/05/2011 7:19 am

    Very nice post. This was so touching and can one really see the multitude of seeing life in different aspects, even through rose colored glasses. Our minds and our perceptions of what we see and hear, can be taken in so many directions. I too do not believe in judging, we never know the circumstances behind one’s ways. I like “Money does not buy class”, this is so true-real class of one’s lifestyle is found from the heart.

    • 21/05/2011 1:37 am

      Thank you Penny! It is human nature to judge others and while it is petty behavior, some can’t stop it. We all look at situations different and even when we are on the same page, we have a different perspective . 🙂
      The heart matters.

  10. 18/05/2011 9:47 am

    When I was very young, I used to think – well, when I finish high school I will know everything so I won’t have to learn anymore!! Yay! Then, I went to college. That’s when I found out how much fun learning can be. Then I went to law school and found out – oh, never mind, learning is not all that fun after all… 😉 But it is life that has taught me the most valuable lessons. The ones that are not in a classroom book. Life’s lesson become experience and experience is knowledge.

    Lovely post, as usual, Elizabeth! Love the poem. There is so much in there that all of us can relate to! I also love the poem “Children Learn What They Live”. I grew up with that pasted to our refrigerator with a magnet. 🙂

    • 21/05/2011 1:38 am

      Yeah, I hear you and had the same idea when I was growing up. I love that poem too and was nicely surprised when I found out the author was Mr. Rooney. It covers a lot of topics… 🙂

  11. 18/05/2011 10:41 am

    That is brilliant! And I love Andy Rooney….who is also brilliant!

  12. 18/05/2011 1:08 pm

    I was fortunate enough to participate in a collaboration of 108 bloggers who created a book called Life Lessons. It is available on my blog as a free download. Full of great insights and stories you would love.

    We are never finished learning and growing, if we’re lucky.

    • 21/05/2011 1:40 am

      I enjoyed the ebook very much… such a labor of love and goodwill. 🙂

  13. 18/05/2011 2:30 pm

    “I’ve learned … That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.” So true! They say if want something done, ask a busy person! And I just love that painting you featured!! So soft and powerful…

    • 21/05/2011 1:42 am

      Oh yes, that painting caught my attention too… I loved it. I believe the quote you used too because I find busy people to be both productive and generous with carrying through on things.. 🙂

  14. 18/05/2011 5:58 pm

    I agree with Vivian: each line of Rooney’s poem would make for a good post in itself. I strive every day to better myself, to become more patient, go heed life’s lessons. Another post well-written

    • 21/05/2011 1:43 am

      Thank you for your support… and yes we could write a post on each line. I strive daily too and it is not always easy… 🙂

  15. 18/05/2011 9:15 pm

    I’ve learned that letting go of the past is the best way to make room for the future.

    I’ve learned that ships are safe in harbor but that’s not what ships are for.

    I’ve learned that there are no mistakes . . . only lessons.

    Thanks, E!

    • 21/05/2011 1:45 am

      Yes mistakes are lessons we hopefully never get to repeat. I like the idea of letting go though it is not so easy to do over certain things… Time is a great healer and teacher. 🙂

  16. 19/05/2011 6:33 am

    Very thought provoking post Eliz. I really like this. 🙂

    • 21/05/2011 1:46 am

      I’m glad you did… It was one of those prompts that was inspired by the daily post and an email from my sister. Thanks G! 😉

  17. Andrew Obedoza permalink
    23/05/2011 5:08 am

    Sometimes we tend not to fully understand this lessons until we fail and learn it by ourselves. Failures come to our lives as a blessing, a blessing that teaches us the true meaning behind these challenges. 🙂


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