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I Wish I Had Learned about These 16 Things Early On in Life

In our time, self-improvement classes at school were unheard of. Most of our practical life skills were learned through our own life experiences. With that being said, modern-day personal development classes at school seem like a good idea. In addition to being useful for students, they might also be quite helpful for society in general. Here are 16 things I would have liked to know about earlier on in life: 

 
 
Self Improvement

Also known as the Pareto Principle, this rule states that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities. Therefore this implies that a lot of what we do is probably not as useful, or necessary, as we imagine it to be. So how can we go about managing our time during such activities? One way to do it is to decrease the time you spend on them. Doing so will allow you to dedicate more time and energy to the things that truly bring you value, happiness and fulfillment.

 
Self Improvement

Keeping a positive attitude will alter your reality. For instance, having a positive outlook as opposed to a negative one will enable you to see what may have been invisible to you before. When you change your attitude, you change what you focus on, enabling you to see the world in a different light. Try to make a real change to your attitude rather than merely analyzing such a concept in your mind. The results may surprise you.

 
Self Improvement

We're often told to feel grateful for what we have, but how often do we practice it? Dedicating a minute or two to giving thanks each day will do a lot more for us than just make us feel appreciative. Expressing gratitude is a great way of turning a bad mood into a good one. It keeps us uplifted and enables us to focus on the right things. It motivates us to make others happy, and as a result, will make us feel happier too.

 
Self Improvement

When we compare ourselves to others and what they have, we allow external sources to control how we feel about ourselves. Think about it - you'll be much better off comparing yourself to yourself. Start by taking a look back at your own journey and see how far you've come. Take a look at all you have managed to accomplish and see how you have grown. Reflecting on how far we have come brings us lots of inner calm, empowers us and brings positive feelings into our lives.

 
Self Improvement

Most of the time, our fears are merely constructs of our minds - nothing more. Even if what we fear will happen does indeed happen, it will likely not be as painful or as bad as we expected. Worrying over things that have not happened only deprives us of time. Instead, remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life has actually happened. Doing so will help you release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.

 
Self Improvement

While it may be easy to get ourselves wrapped up in the small things, most of what we deem to be a big problem at present, may most likely turn out to be something that we have forgotten about in three years. Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously will only lead to more suffering - relax and lighten up! Doing so will not only uplift your mood, it will uplift your life.

 
Self Improvement

Writing our thoughts down is a good way of help ourselves stay focused on what we want. It sparks our creativity and enables us to retain our good ideas too.

 
Self Improvement

In every experience that we encounter, there is always something that we can learn and that can help us grow. When going through a negative experience, ask yourself what good can come out of this? With time, one negative experience can help you create many positive experiences.

 
Self Improvement

Bear in mind that a task will increase in both time and complexity depending on how much time you set aside for it. For example, if you give yourself one week to come up with a solution, the problem will likely get more difficult. So rather than giving yourself more time, give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or a day (instead of the whole week) to come up with a solution. Doing so will force the mind to focus on what's in front of you.

 
Self Improvement

Procrastination and low-level anxiety are the results of boring or routine tasks. However, batching (doing activities one after another) will enable you to do them quickly, as the start-up time between one activity and the next is shorter. When you batch your activities, you become fully engaged in the tasks, and doing so also allows the mind to remain more focused. In case you're wondering what batching looks like, here's an example: clean the bedroom, answer today's emails, do the dishes, make three calls, write a grocery shopping list, etc.

 
Self Improvement

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.), you have to increase the value you give. Over time, you come to learn that you get what you give. Seldom do we get something for nothing.

 
Self Improvement

If you sit and wait around for someone else to get something done, though it may get done, it will generally take up a lot of time before it happens. So, Instead of waiting, be proactive. Be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. Besides saving you time on waiting, it will also feel more rewarding, making you feel like you have power over your life.

 
Self Improvement

While we often think that it is fine to try things and fail until we learn in our younger years, we often tend to hold back as we get older. It may be due to the fear of failure, or of what others might think. Success in life often  comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failures. It comes from being persistent. If we give up immediately after a failure, we might miss out on learning valuable lessons and possibly, more success.

 
Self Improvement

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why people give up after just a few mistakes or failures is because they bring themselves down. But this is a rather pointless habit, as it will only cause additional and unnecessary pain.

Self Improvement

While meeting new people is fun, it can also create feelings of nervousness. One of the best ways to make a good impression and avoid getting stuck in awkward conversations is to assume rapport. Imagine that you are meeting one of your best friends. Start the new interaction in that frame of mind instead of a nervous one. This technique works surprisingly well.

 
Self Improvement

Keep your focus steady. Set goals and review them frequently to keep you focused on what's important, moving you closer toward where you want to go. But how can you motivate yourself to stay focused? It may come as a surprise to learn that the inner workings of your body, predominantly the Reticular Activation System (RAS), can help you retain your focus.

The RAS located at the base of the brain acts as a filter against all the 'data' (sounds, tastes, images, etc.) that surrounds us. Seeing as the brain can only process so much information at one go, the RAS will only let things through that it considers to be important. The RAS determines what it considers to be important, by taking into account what you focus on most. If you focus on negative self-talk, such as "I am really bad at this", "I never have enough money", and so on, your RAS will show you things to prove to you that what you're thinking is the truth, even though it's not.

Consequently, the more proof you see, the stronger your belief that it is true becomes. The stronger your belief is, the more likely you are to tell it to yourself. However, you can train your RAS to look for the positives - "I am confident", "I am good with money", and so on. By doing so, your RAS will start to show you things to prove that your new belief is true for you.

What lessons do you wish you had learned earlier in life?

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