Editor's note: This is an updated version of our list of positive life lessons we can share with our students.
Sometimes there are many positive life lessons that we often wish we'd learned earlier than we did. That's okay—after all, isn't the human journey all about living and learning? We can't learn everything we need to know in school, after all. However, that doesn't mean what we learn in school always has to stay the same.
Some of the most positive life lessons we can experience don't appear on any curriculum.
Other than the curriculum taught in the school, there's also the school of "heartbreak and hard knocks." It's there that some of the most powerful teaching happen. In times of deep emotion and conflict, we learn about ourselves and our own strengths, including ones we didn't know we had.
The past can't be changed, but the time for change is now.
That's why this list is here—to inspire change. Which of these positive lessons resonates with you? Which do you see yourself sharing with your own kids, if any? What would you add? Share them and make a difference in a student's life. In anyone's life, for that matter.
40 Positive Life Lessons for Inspiring Change
- No matter what anyone says, being you is enough.
- Look at the most successful people in history. You are capable of all that and more.
- Always think about how your words and actions will affect others.
- When you shake someone’s hand, make it firm but friendly.
- It doesn’t matter how good-looking or successful someone is, or how much money they make—no one in this world is above you. Or beneath you.
- Forgiving someone doesn’t mean letting their negative behaviour continue in your life.
- Learn the best ways to say the words “no” and “enough.”
- Do things that scare you once in awhile.
- Never be afraid to ask for help. You can’t do it all.
- Read something positive every day.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s never too late to do better.
- Exercise every single day for at least an hour. Even a walk contributes to your health and well-being.
- Choose the pain of having discipline over the pain of feeling regret.
- Follow through.
- Learn how to cook really well and do it often. You’ll be happier and healthier.
- Work on loving and accepting yourself every day.
- Respect anyone who had the guts to look fear in the face and smile back.
- Learn how to listen. Most people just wait for their turn to talk.
- Get out of bed when it’s absolutely the last thing you feel like doing.
- Figure out a few things that you do really well, and strive to master them.
- Fall in love with learning.
- Find peace in every part of your life. Then share the peace.
- Don’t underestimate your power to change yourself.
- Don’t overestimate your power to change others.
- Be willing to change for yourself, not someone else.
- Honour everyone who ever taught you something valuable.
- You choose how to think and feel in any situation. This is one of the hardest lessons you’ll ever learn, and when you do it will transform your life.
- Practice the 3Ps—be prompt, be prepared, and be professional.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. They aren’t comparing themselves to you. (When in doubt, refer back to Number 1.)
- Notice something in a random person that makes you smile to yourself and say, “That’s really inspiring.”
- Remember what John Lennon said: Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.
- Train your mind to only believe in what’s possible.
- Be your own best friend.
- Celebrate your own accomplishments with humility, and the accomplishments of others with excitement.
- Walk away from a relationship with anyone or anything that doesn’t make you feel good.
- You don’t owe anyone any explanations. It’s your path.
- Ask yourself often, “How am I better today than I was yesterday?”
- Always be willing to learn something every single day.
- Be brave. The hard times never last.
- You are not alone, ever.