Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Lessons of Life No SCHOOL really TAUGHT ME

I have always been an ACADEMIC STAR - Right from Nursery School way up until my Management Degree. Over the years, I gained knowledge on a wide range of subjects, upgraded myself on a variety of skills, accomplished several things (some intended and some unintended) and achieved successes in many dimensions of life which were / are important to me.........

Today, as I step back and ask myself if I learnt the Most Important Lessons of LIFE from the educational institutes I went to… Honestly, the answer is NO..

So, what are those Lessons of Life that NO SCHOOL really TAUGHT ME?

1) How to be a LIFELONG LEARNER?
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” BY Mahatma Gandhi

We all learn a lot from the schools we study in. But do they teach us how to be a LIFELONG LEARNER? I figured this on my own and I guess it’s the same for many of you. Continuous focus on learning is absolutely VITAL in the journey of life – You have to make it a personal PRIORITY and focus on LEARNING all along the way. Only then is life exciting, enriching and evolving…
Does any school really teach you this? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES

2) How to COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY?
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” By Tony Robbins

Effective Communication can sometimes be the ONE and ONLY thing that can help you in your transition from Good and Great in anything in life! And while there is no mantra for you to be the PERFECT COMMUNICATOR, the following definitely help:
i) Be clear on what you want to convey – Most times, the problem stems from here!
ii) Try and gauge you’re audience profile and moderate your communication message and style accordingly
iii) Aim for short and simple messages – They ALWAYS work!
Does any school really teach you this? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES

3) How to deal with CHANGE?
The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” BY Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld..

While change is definite and integral to our daily lives, the reality is that most of the times we are all
unprepared to deal with change. In most scenarios life teaches you how to deal with change - usually based on experience; many times the hard way. And sometimes we may NEVER accept the change!
And do we learn how to deal with CHANGE at school? Probably NOT!
But had someone taught you ways to identify potential changes and deal with them, would it have made life a lot easier? A re-sounding YES!

4) How to build and nurture RELATIONSHIPS?
The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” BY Anthony Robbins

In the journey of life, if there’s one thing which will help you sail through the trying and difficult times; it is the quantity and quality of your relationships – both personal and professional.
The BEST part is that it’s never too late to start – So here and now, you can build new relationships or revive old ones.  And then of course, you’ve got to nurture them along the way so that they grow and blossom along the way!
And does any school teach you this? Probably NOT!
Would it help if someone taught us this? Definitely YES!

5) How to manage your PERSONAL FINANCES?
A penny here, and a dollar there, placed at interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the desired result is attained. It requires some training, perhaps, to accomplish this economy, but when once used to it, you will find there is more satisfaction in rational saving than in irrational spending.  BY P. T. Barnum

Personal Financial Management is the most important dimension which will determine the quality of your life today and into the future. Formal education definitely enables you to earn. So who taught you how to manage all that you earn? Who taught you how to invest, when and where to invest / re-invest? Who taught you when to exit from an investment? For most of us, we are learning with each mistake we make.
Does any school teach you this? Probably NOT! And the truth is that the wealthiest people I know figured this by themselves.
Would it have been a boon and blessing if some school had taught this? Definitely YES!

6) How to handle FAILURE?
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” BY Winston Churchill

Over the years, I’ve realized the following about failure –
Failures are vital for life,
Failures are definite in life,
Failures are definitely stepping stones….to your chosen destination
Does any school teaches us how to define failures, accept failures, deal with failures and learn from them!  Probably NOT!
Would it have been easier to deal with failures if some school had taught us this? Definitely YES!

7) How to deal with LOSS? 
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” BY Rumi

In the journey of life, we all deal with many kinds of losses in life – Loss of people (temporary and permanent), Financial loss, Loss of jobs, Loss of friends, Loss of peace of mind, Loss of health, Loss of memory, Loss of appetite, Loss of passion, Loss in motivation, Losses in business, Loss in relationships,… And we all find many different ways to deal with these losses. Some of us take the learning’s from the losses; give it a positive spin and forge ahead wiser. But some of us let the loss take over our life. And then there are some losses which we may NEVER accept or come to terms with.
 But did any school teach us how to handle LOSS? – Probably NOT!
Would it have been useful if some school had taught this? Definitely YES!

8) How to THINK?
“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” BY  Mahatma Gandhi

Over the years what I’ve realized about life is this - How you think about yourself, people and the world is eventually reflected in how your life eventually turns out. And hence, it important to create and fuel positive, powerful and purposeful thoughts! And to keep at bay negative or de-energizing thoughts. Several times many of us are simply not aware when the cause for negativity in our life is due to negative thinking.
Again, did any school teach us how to consciously create positive powerful and purposeful thoughts? Probably NOT! We all come across specific teachers, mentors and guides in our life who make us realize the importance of the RIGHT and POSITIVE  THINKING! 
Would it have helped if someone taught this? Definitely YES! And the earlier, the BETTER!

9) When and How to say NO?
Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” BY Josh Billings

If there’s ONE thing which many of us find hard to say, it’s these 2 simple letters – NO. And try as much as we want, we simply can’t get ourselves to say NO! And when you say YES to everything, life is steered through a course which you don’t necessarily like. Personally, I really felt truly LIBERATED when I started saying NO!
Does any school really teach us how to say NO? NO!
Would it have helped if they did? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

10) How to cultivate and enhance SELF-DISCIPLINE?
"Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear—and doubt. Self-discipline allows a pitcher to feel his individuality, his inner strength, his talent. He is master of, rather than a slave to, his thoughts and emotions." BY H.A. Dorfman

Anyone I know who achieved anything worthwhile in life will vouch that one of the key reasons was due to Self Discipline. And yet  self-discipline is a dying virtue today. Sad but true! Along the way, I figured out a way to be self-disciplined about the things that were important to ME!
Schools definitely enforce some level of discipline in our life, but do they really teach us to be self-disciplined for life? Probably NOT!
Would it have helped if they did? Of course YES!

11) When, How and How Much to JUDGE?
Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” BY Wayne Dyer

If there’s one activity which many of us indulge in on a regular basis – It is that of passing JUDGMENT! We judge everything – People, animals, nature, trees, flowers, food, weather, technology, automobiles, organizations, institutions, governments, policies, movies, books, products, services, blogs,…. and of course OURSELVES! 
It’s almost as if passing judgment is a need in life, a part of life and way of life.. And what I’ve realized is that passing JUDGMENT is probably one of the most time consuming and energy draining activities you can indulge in – especially mentally and emotionally! And if you step back and ask yourself  What do you really get after passing JUDGMENT?” Most times NOTHING really!..
Does any school teach you if you are qualified to JUDGE? When, How and How Much you should JUDGE? Probably NOT!
Would it have helped if someone taught you this? Of course YES!

12) How to LET GO?
Letting go doesn't mean that you don't care about someone anymore. It's just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” BY Deborah Reber

The one inhibiting factor in your growth and progress in life is your inability to Let-Go: Especially of your past and of your fears. And once you let-go, you feel truly liberated.
 Does any school really teach you How to let go? Probably NOT!
Would it have helped if they did? Of course YES!

13) How to EFFECTIVELY manage your TIME?
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” BY Stephen R. Covey

I strongly believe that you’re most precious and valuable asset is your TIME! And yet, most of us don’t respect and value it enough – Both our own time and time of others! When you begin to value time, you begin to effectively manage it – And then the sky is the limit to what you can do in 24 hours of the day!
Does any school really teach you this? Probably NOT!
Would it have helped if they did? Of course YES!

14) How to master the art of PRIORITIZATION?
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”. BY  Stephen R. Covey

Clarity on your Top 3 personal and professional priorities at any specific point in time will eventually determine how much you can get done and how well you can get them done.
One of the most effective ways to figure out your priorities is to write down the list of tasks and ask yourself if any of these will take you closer to your goals – personal or professional. If yes, then they should be HIGH on your priority list.  It takes time and focus to figure this out – But well worth it!
And does any school really teach you how to do this! Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely, YES!

15) How to give and accept COMPLIMENTS?
A compliment is verbal sunshine” BY Robert Orben

Many of us feel inhibited and shy to give compliments to others. We’ll probably think about all nice things to say to others; and then let it pass. Many times simply because it’s out of our comfort zone!  
The thing about compliments and human beings is that I’ve never heard of anyone ever tell me that they’ve had enough of compliments. It is never enough! After all, who does not like to listen to good things about themselves? We all love it. So make sure you compliment others when it is due!
And many of us don’t know how to accept compliments – Some shy away, some run and some hide. For starters, a simple Thank You is good!
Does any school really teach you this? Probably, NOT!
Would it help if they did? Of course, YES!

16) How to give and receive FEEDBACK?
Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” BY Ken Blanchard

Giving and receiving feedback is both a skill and an art. One which many of us fall short of – In terms of the timing, setting, the words and the expressions!  And the point about feedback is that the way a feedback is articulated can make or break a relationship of a lifetime!
Does any school teach you how to give and receive feedback? Probably, NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES!

17) How to feel INSPIRED everyday of life?
There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” BY Albert Einstein

A daily dose of inspiration at the start of the day does wonders to your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, your perspective, your energy, your attitude and your deeds! But rarely do we all feel inspired everyday of our lives!
The point is once you recognize that a daily dose of inspiration can make a DIFFERENCE in your life, you’ll begin to ensure that you draw in from sources of inspiration as a part of your everyday life.
Did any school emphasize the importance of daily inspiration and how to get it in your personal context? Probably NOT!
Would it have helped if they did! Absolutely YES!

18) How to be HAPPY?
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” BY Abraham Lincoln

What I’ve figured out is that Happiness is really a CHOICE you can make in any situation in life. And it is the awareness and exercise of this choice which ultimately makes a difference between your state of happiness. Hence as of date, I’d like to believe that everyone is really the Chief Happiness Officer of their LIFE! Once, you start playing that role, HAPPINESS becomes a way of LIFE
Did any school teach me how to make this CHOICE to focus on HAPPINESS? Probably NOT!
Would it have helped if someone did? Absolutely YES!

19) How to master the art of asking QUESTIONS?
The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.” BY John A Simone, Sr

Asking Questions is both a skill and an art. I've seen too many people ask too many questions and receive excellent answers. But what do they do with the answers! NOTHING! - Sad, but TRUE!
It’s really important to ask yourself WHY you are asking a QUESTION - There has to be a reason else why even bother ask! And more importantly ask the RIGHT QUESTION to the RIGHT PEOPLE; and then do something about the RESPONSE!
And does any school teach you the art of asking QUESTIONS? Probably NOT!
Would it have helped if someone did? Absolutely YES!

20) How to “REALLY” solve a PROBLEM?
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” BY Albert Einstein

Problem Solving skills are probably the most important skills that anyone should build, develop and enhance in the journey of life; simply because you never know when and what kind of problem can engulf you at which stage of life.
And a lot of schools definitely aim to lay the foundation for problem solving, but is it strong and good enough to take you through life? Probably NOT
Would more focus and rigor on PROBLEM SOLVING skills help? Absolutely YES!

21) How to deal with a CRISIS?
In a crisis, don't hide behind anything or anybody. They're going to find you anyway.” BY Paul Byrant

You never know when a crisis hits you - can be personal or professional. And presence of mind is the one thing which can help you in a situation of crisis. Crisis could mean anything - related to your own health or the health of a loved one or a financial crisis or a loss of employment, etc.
And when a crisis hits you, your life turns upside down - Your mind and emotions probably spiral in dimensions which completely catches you off-guard! And the thing about dealing with a crisis is that the more you delay any positive and constructive action, the LARGER the CRISIS gets! So it is important to take action to deal with the crisis sooner than later.
And does any school teach you how to deal with a crisis? Probably NOT
Would it have helped if someone did? Absolutely YES!

22) How to show that you CARE?
I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” BY Pablo Casals

Many of us care deeply about a long of things. But find it extremely hard to express this and translate into action. The beauty about CARING is that it is personal, emotional, very specific to a cause and subjective to an individual.
While there are many ways to show that you care, what is most important is that you demonstrate how you really feel in front of those who matter, and in a way that they understand!
And does any school teach you how to care and show that you care? Probably NOT
Would it have helped if someone did? Absolutely YES!

23) How to demonstrate RESPECT?
If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.BY Fyodor Dostoevsky

Many of us don't really understand what respect truly is. Both Self-Respect and Respect for others. And those who understand find it hard to translate this to action. And the thing about respect is that it has to come from within (So you can't force yourself to respect someone), You've got to earn it and You've got to give respect to get it back!
The best definition I've come across on RESPECT is No blame, No judgment, No criticism and No control - Very short but immensely profound!
And does any school teach you the TRUE meaning of respect and how to demonstrate the same? Probably NOT
Would it have helped if they did? Absolutely YES!

24) What and How to SHARE?
"Share everything. Don't take things that aren't yours. Put things back where you found them.” BY Robert Fulghum

Sharing is a basic human need. On a daily basis, we all share several things with others - From smiles, to words, to deeds, to gestures, to moments, to joys, to tears, to dreams, to hopes, to joys, to griefs, to successes, to failures, to highs and lows, to fears, to experiences, to finances, to knowledge, to wisdom, to a laugh or a meal....... But as we grow, we forget what to share with others and how to share... And many times end up paying a price for this...
And does any school teach you what you should share, with whom to share, how to share and how much to share? Probably NOT
Would it have helped if they did? Absolutely YES!

25) How to set and manage EXPECTATIONS?
"I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can't be helped.” BY Frederick S Perls

From all my life experiences I can say that the primary cause for most problems in life is expectations – Rather our inability to be clear on expectations of our self and others, to set / re-set expectations; and then to manage changes to these expectations over a period of time
You expect someone to SAY something; they don’t – You are UPSET and that triggers a chain of negative thoughts and actions from your end
You expect someone to DO something; they don’t – You are UPSET and that triggers a chain of negative thoughts and actions from your end
And the thing about negativity is that Negativity breeds Negativity – certainly, rapidly and quickly! And before you realize, negativity has engulfed your life..  Not a pleasant situation to be in!
So if you can figure out a way to set realistic expectations for yourself and others; and a way to effectively communicate these expectations, your life will be a lot simple, stress-free and positive!
Does any school really teach you to set and manage expectations? Probably NOT
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES!

26) How to APOLOGIZE?
Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.” BY Margaret Lee Runbeck

A lot of problems in life can be easily solved if you apologize at the right time and to the right people (people who matter). All this requires is for you to say SORRY - Sometimes you don’t feel like saying it and sometimes you need not say it. But no matter how you say it - Most times it’s probably worth it!  
And the thing about apologizing is that there is a time value to it. So if you don’t apologize within a specific time, then chances are that the apology does not matter anymore – So people have moved on (or appear to have moved on) - and they either become indifferent to you or there’s too much emotional baggage they are holding on within which is not healthy for any individual or any relationship! The other thing about apologizing is that if you do too much of it – Again it loses its value both for yourself and those around you!
Does any school really teach you when, how and to whom you should apologize? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES!

26) How to ask for HELP?
"In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us." BY Flora Edwards

If you think deeply about the many nuances of life, you will realize that it is probably way too complex for complete comprehension and the complexity is simply mind-boggling.  And yet the universal fact is that, you will find a way to live.
As you live and sail through life, you begin to realize that while being independent is great, there are times in life when things are beyond your control because of the inherent nature of interdependency or dependency on others. Hence, there are times when it is imperative to ask others to help you in more than one way and for more than one thing!
And the reality is that for many of us, we just can’t get ourselves to say “Please can you do this for me?”. And for some of us, asking for help is our first nature without even trying or thinking. Both these extremes are not really beneficial for personal growth!
Hence knowing when to ask for help and to whom you should ask for help is both a skill and an art!
Does any school really teach you when, how and to whom you can ask for HELP? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES!

28) How to figure your CORE VALUES?
It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. BY Roy Disney

In life you need to be clear on your core values. Some values are deeply ingrained from childhood and some we define based on our life experiences. The point is that there cannot be “gray” shades for your core values. It has to be Black on White. And how you conduct yourself and make decisions in the most critical / trying / vulnerable moments of your life are directly linked to your values. Many of us don’t realize this till we’ve been through such a life-changing experience. But you don’t need to have such a experience to figure out your core values. Regular self-introspection will help you in having the desired clarity.
Does any school really teach you how to figure out your core values? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES!

29) How to LAUGH at yourself?
To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” BY Reba McEntire

Many of us take ourselves way too seriously – especially once we enter adult life. We don’t like it if others laugh at us, and more importantly we just can’t laugh at ourselves. Those who can laugh at themselves are able to deal with most life situations with a pinch of humor. And that keeps them going through many a rainy day!
Does any school really teach you how to LAUGH at yourself? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES!

30) How to DREAM?
People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” BY Neil Gaiman

Some dream during the day and some at night. But if you have a dream, it’s sometimes all that is required to take you through life.
Does any school really teach you how to DREAM? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES!

31) How to find your TRUE CALLING in LIFE?
I believe there's a calling for all of us. I know that every human being has value and purpose. The real work of our lives is to become aware. And awakened. To answer the call. BY Oprah Winfrey

Many of us sail through life without really finding our TRUE CALLING! And when you do, it’s sometimes just a little TOO LATE! Wouldn’t it be great if you figured this early in your life? Absolutely!
Does any school help you figure this out? Probably NO!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES! [Though of late, I’ve heard of several institutes across the globe enabling and facilitating this process of self-discovery! ]

32) How to live the PRESENT MOMENT to the FULLEST?
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." BY  Buddha

The reality is that the PRESENT MOMENT is all that you’ve got. And yet many of us spend too much time holding on to the past, or looking into the future! The best lesson of life is to “Seize the MOMENT and Live life HERE and NOW!”
Again, does any school really teach you this? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did… Of course.. YES!!!

33) How to BREATHE?
"Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” BY Thich Nhat Hanh

The most important requirements of every cell in the human body are Oxygen, Food, Water and how to excrete waste. Along the journey of life, we’re taught what and how to eat right, the importance of replenishing yourself with water and fluids and of course, we naturally eliminate waste from the body in one of many ways!
But what provides OXYGEN? Evidently, it is your BREATH. And whether or not you realize this – The reality is that if you figure out how to breathe RIGHT – You’re life will be transformed. Simply because, breathing RIGHT ensure that there is optimal flow of “Prana” / Life energy within your body and that leaves you feeling more energized, active and of course, in control of your thoughts and emotions!
Does any school really teach you how to BREATHE RIGHT? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did… Absolutely YES!!!

What about you? What are the Lessons of Life NO SCHOOL really TAUGHT YOU? Leave a comment to let me know

Published @ http://arkarthick.com/2012/08/01/life-lessons-no-school-taught; Also published as part of Nischala’s Blog-o-Series on Education at The Lessons of Life No School really taught me, Edited and re-published here; Courtesy - Nischala Murthy Kaushik

3 comments:

  1. wah!it's so informative. Many quotation that i heard some day ,all picked up and arranged beautifully.. congratulation.That's a great work.keep going.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful lessons of life that no school taught!! And so inspiring too!

    ReplyDelete