39 Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn Early

Have you ever heard the idea that you should learn from those who have gone before you? There are so many confusing things in life, and it can be incredibly hard if you feel like you’re alone. The good news is there are ways to keep yourself from making those same common mistakes that most people end up making.

Here are a handful of the most important life lessons.

Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

How often have you thought that making more money would help you solve all your problems? If you’re like most people, you have this underlying thought that an increase in income will fix everything or that if you had a certain amount of money, your problems would be solved. When things are difficult, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that the more money you have, the better your life will be.

The thing is, money can’t buy happiness. It may be able to numb things for a while (typically, a short while), but it can’t fix the way you feel, and it won’t solve the root of your problems. If you struggle financially, that’s often due to poor financial habits, not a small paycheck. Learning how to handle money wisely is essential, no matter how much money you make.

At the same time, the underlying cause of your problems, whether financial or not, will remain until you begin to view things differently. Solving real problems requires a change in perspective, not a change in finances.

Failure Is Okay

Oftentimes, people are so afraid of failing that they either don’t try or quit. However, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy because true failure only occurs when you stop progressing. The idea of “failing” in the sense that one doesn’t accomplish something they set out to accomplish the first (or second, or third, etc.) time they try isn’t a true failure. In fact, it’s really just a step towards success.

This type of failure is a necessary part of doing anything. It gives you the opportunity to troubleshoot, learn, and grow in order to move closer to success. It’s a stepping stone of progress that moves you closer to your goals.

Remember, you only fail if you stop trying!

Reputations Are Built Through Actions, Not the Words of Others

Despite popular belief, your reputation is not a reflection of what others say about you. While that may impact it on occasion, you have the ability to build your own reputation through your actions.

If there are people who are unhappy with you or who are simply spreading negativity about you, it’s possible to put those people to shame by SHOWING others who you truly are. What you do matters much more than what someone may say about you. When you take action and make good choices, you are showcasing your own value and creating a reputation that will spread.

Don’t focus as much on what people are saying about you. Keep your eyes ahead of you, focus on your goals, and take actions that move you forward and show others the truth of who you are.

Be a Learner

No one knows everything, yet some people are happy to act like they do. Those who pretend to know it all are essentially shutting themselves off from true learning and growth.

It’s important to remain humble enough to recognize when you don’t know something. This state of mind leaves you open to truly learning when the opportunity arises or taking the initiative to seek out learning opportunities.

Focus on What You Can Change and Make It Happen

There are many things in life that aren’t under your control. In fact, people often get caught up worrying about the things that they don’t control, which paralyzes them from making any real change.

Instead of holding onto those things that you can’t change, transition your focus to something else. Look for the little things, the possible things. Keep an eye out for those things that you can change.

Take inventory of the things that need changing and ask yourself which ones are doable for you. Then, create an action plan to ensure that you complete what you can. Stay focused on these possible things and work your way through them. As you do, you’ll likely gain more confidence and ability so that you can take on those larger issues.

Make Your Bed Every Morning

Making your bed in the morning is important for preparing yourself physically and mentally for the day ahead. It helps you get off on the right foot as you get ready for all that the day holds. It starts you off with an accomplishment and is a reminder that those little, simple things truly matter. Also, building good habits, such as making the bed, will only serve to help you.

People Change

It doesn’t matter who. It doesn’t matter what. The unwritten truth is that people change. This is a really important thing to keep in mind as you go about your life with, well, people.

If someone has offended you, believe that people change.

If someone has disappointed you, remember they may change.

Knowing that people change is so important because it enables us to give second chances. Without second chances, where would any of us be? So, don’t step forth in bitterness. Give the people you need a second chance, and watch your relationships grow.

You Don’t Need To Be an Expert To Look Like One

Is this the same as “fake it till you make it?” Maybe. But it’s actually good advice.

The thing is, no one is truly the expert they claim to be. We’re all people, and we all started somewhere. Sometimes you have to throw yourself in there and start doing the thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re not totally sure of yourself yet. Just do it. As you act like an expert, people will be drawn to you. Just keep sharing what you do know and figure things out as you go.

Always Keep a Notepad in Your Pocket

You don’t get to decide when inspiration is going to strike. You also don’t get to decide when there’s something you’ll need to remember. Too many brilliant, creative ideas and thoughts are lost due to poor planning. When you keep a notepad with you, you’re ready to roll 24/7, and you can rest assured that no ideas are lost.

Life Is Short

The days are long, but the years are short, as they always say. Once you realize you only have so much time here, then you can truly live in the moment and not take any of it for granted. 

Love Yourself

Self-love is important for many reasons. Not only does it raise your self-esteem, but it also guides how you treat others. We can sometimes speak out of jealousy when we don’t feel confident in ourselves.

Do Your Best

Everyone’s best is different. When you hear this phrase, don’t think about being number 1; just think about doing the best that YOU can do. 

Be Proud of Who You Are

We all have personality traits or pasts that haunt us. While we could run away from ourselves, we could also embrace what makes us, well, us!

Enjoy the Moment

We sometimes save our enjoyment for the really big moments in life, like our wedding or a vacation. However, it’s important to remember to enjoy even the little moments, how good your morning coffee is, or the stray cat you pet in your neighborhood. 

Don’t Fill Your Mind With Useless Thoughts

Easier said than done, we know. As we grow up and get more responsibility and stress, our mind becomes crowded with worries and “what if’s”. If you don’t have the bailey to fix an issue or it’s not even an issue yet, then push that thought after your mind. 

Stay Healthy

While this is something we get told often, it is very important. We only get one body, and little changes in diet or exercise earlier in life can help keep us healthy later in life. Not to mention the good habits we will create and maybe even pass on to our kids. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

None of us know everything! Asking for help seems simple but seems to be very hard. Getting assistance, though, can either teach you new schools or simply ease your stress when completing a difficult task.

Be Grateful

Especially in this day and age, it’s hard not to compare what you have to others. However, we tend to look over the good food we eat or the roof over our heads. We’re not saying you can’t want more, but it’s important to also take count of what you already have.

Helping Others

Doing good towards others has a way of bringing good back to you. Not only does it build friendships and people you can now count on, but people also believe it can help with your positive karma.  

Do One Thing at a Time

We get it, our days are packed, and someone always needs something. In moments where you have a list longer than the hours in your day, take a moment and a breath and focus on one at a time. Trying to work at multiple things usually means nothing is done to the best of our abilities.

Pick the Right Partner

Take the time to focus on what you want and need from a partner. This is the person that will help you achieve goals, raise kids, solve problems, and provide emotional support. With how unique we all our, our partners are just the same. Finding someone to go through life with is not a simple thing.

Read a Lot

Reading has many benefits. From the obvious of learning new things, reading also keeps your brain sharp. Don’t worry about always reading to learn, though; our enjoyment is just as important, so those fiction romances are equally as good!

Respect People’s Privacy

Being in the middle of all the drama is something a lot of people enjoy. However, everyone deserves to have their privacy. Trying to find out what’s going on can cause you to lose friendships and become none as nosey. 

Live With Less Stress

Stress isn’t just an unsavory mental state; it can cause real-life consequences. Stress negatively affects the body in physical ways and can even cause major health issues. There are many ways to lower your stress, like meditation, yoga, or simply more sleep.

Accept People as They Are

Earlier in this article, we mentioned accepting yourself. Once you learn that, it’s then important to accept others. While you don’t need to be friends with everyone, you do need to realize everyone is different and deserves the same treatment. 

Listen More Than You Speak

Listening before speaking can help us avoid arguments born of misunderstandings. It can also give us valuable insight into how to complete a task or avoid common problems. It can also bring us closer as we learn about our friends and family through their eyes.

Be Responsible for Your Actions

No one likes knowing they did something wrong. However, owning up to poor actions you have taken can help you grow and keep friendships alive that otherwise would have dwindled. 

Don’t Take Yourself to Seriously

Sometimes we like to omit ourselves from activities we think will make us look silly. Taking ourselves too seriously can cause us to miss out on new and fun experiences. At worse, it can even cause us to lose out on friendships and opportunities.

Don’t Exaggerate

While telling someone you caught a 20 lb fish as compared to a 5 lb one doesn’t seem like a big deal, it can be. Exaggerating can be seen by some as a form of lying and makes everything you say untrustworthy. 

Accept Your Fate

Committing to an unsavory task is the fastest way to get it done. If you can’t avoid it, it’s best to keep whining to a minimum and then enjoy the relaxation after it’s all over.

Learn From Mistakes

Mistakes are going to happen. While we usually think of them as roadblocks, instead think of them as stepping stones. You now have important info to pass on to others and can complete the task faster in the future if you learn from your mistakes.

Work Together

The more the merrier, we always say. Having many hands on one project doesn’t just make it go faster; it also provides important peer review that can catch errors or simply improve the project in ways you never would have known. 

Never Say Never

Life has a funny way of making you eat your words sometimes. It’s important to remember that accidents can happen to anyone, so preparing for them is best.

Think Ahead

Similar to the previous lesson, never saying never involves thinking ahead sometimes. Creating a savings plan to help when disaster does hit can help ease the stress. 


You will be given a lot of advice and criticism in your life. For one, you’re reading this article. You don’t need to take everything given to you, but truly listening might help you figure out what you need. 

Think Twice

Measure twice cut once is a great saying when it comes to projects, but that same rule can be applied to our thoughts. Taking a day to reassess our emotions and responses, especially in emotional conversations, can be the key to solving our problems. 

Don’t Rush Things

We know we said life is short earlier, but another part of that is that life will continue moving. Forcing something to happen before it’s time means you won’t get the best experience. Instead, taking the time to truly build a stable base is what’s most important.

Slow Down

In the literal sense, slow down. Doing things fast can cause silly errors to be made and subpar work in the end. When we apply this to the rest of our life, we can see that taking the time to focus on ourselves or our hobbies instead of always pushing forward can help in the long run. 

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself 

We’re saying this last for a very important reason. You just read a lot of life lessons. You won’t get it all right overnight. Learning, changing, and making mistakes aren’t getting in the way of life; they are life. So don’t worry about getting it all right. 

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.