When I was 8 years old, I remember thinking I couldn’t wait to become an adult, because that meant I wouldn’t have to get scolded anymore, and more importantly, I could finally do what I wanted in my life.
I really thought life would be easier when I grew up without my challenging parents around.
However, I was wrong. Life actually got increasingly difficult.
As I went out into the world at 16, my challenging parents just changed from one manifestation into another, as the world became my “parent.”
I have since learned that life is not meant to be easy, and that our purpose in life is to grow and evolve from all of our life experiences.
Now I know, as I’m sure you do, the learning really never ends.
As long as you are alive, there are lessons to learn from this “school of life” called Earth. The moment you think you’ve mastered life is the moment a new lesson arrives. I believe it’s important to embrace being a perpetual student to have a winning attitude in life.
Here are a few things I’ve learned as a student of life:
>> Nothing lasts forever: Whether it’s the good or the not-so-good, everything in life is transient. So when things are going well, appreciate and be grateful for all the good.
And when things are crazy and out of whack, know this stage will pass as well. Life will take you on an unexpected journey. You just have to trust in the process of life and go with the flow.
>> Life is about the journey, not the destination: It is about the experience. After all, you don’t listen to a song just to get to the end; you listen for the experience of the emotions it evokes. When you watch a movie, you immerse yourself in the story.
When you plan a trip, you don’t fantasize about coming home again the moment you book your ticket. You go on a trip to create memories and have new and joyful experiences.
When we remember to focus on the experiences, we enjoy what life has to offer.
>> Everything happens for a reason: When things don’t go as planned, it’s not random.
It’s actually the universe looking out for you.
There are three reasons I’ve discovered the universe sends unplanned things your way: You need to be stronger and better prepared for something coming up in your life; you need to be shaken up to see a different perspective on something; or you need to move on to a new path.
No matter what the challenge you experience in life, you are receiving a gift that you sometimes can’t see until some time has passed.
Challenges happen to benefit your future self. It’s worth reminding yourself of this often.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.