Top 10 Life Lessons
written by Mike Ballew July 9, 2023

If you are fortunate, you reach an age where the foolishness of youth becomes apparent. You see young people, perhaps as you once did, declaring everything uncool, boring, and out-of-style, never considering that one day all the things they espouse will too become uncool, boring, and out-of-style.

If we don’t pay attention to life’s lessons, we are doomed to repeat them. Each time we come to a fork in the road we should stop and ask ourselves, have I been here before? 

Life is too short to learn everything the hard way. The best way to learn is from other people’s mistakes. Join us now as we count down the top 10 life lessons.

Number 10: Life Isn’t Fair

What if everyone were born with the exact same looks, same intelligence, same talents, and same circumstances? For one thing, it would be difficult to tell each other apart. For another, it would make life pretty boring.

Life isn’t fair. There will always be someone better looking than you, smarter than you, more talented than you, and born into better circumstances. That’s just the way it is. You can become bitter or better. Many things in life we have no control over. However, we can control how we react. Which would you rather be: a whiny crybaby, or an overcomer?

Number 9: Making the Grade

You will never meet every qualification of a job description. If you do, the job probably isn't worth your time. A job description is a list of qualifications for the ideal candidate. If you meet some of the qualifications, go ahead and apply for the job.

Number 8: School Choice

If you feel the schools in your area are too unsafe to send your children, don’t put them to private school. Buy a home where the schools are safe. 

The average annual tuition for private school is $10,000 per student. If you send two children through private school for 12 years you’re looking at $240,000.

Sure, it costs more to live in an area where the schools are safe, but instead of throwing all that money away on tuition, you will be building home equity – something you can keep. 

Also, you already pay for public schools with your taxes. Paying for private school on top of that amounts to paying for the same thing twice.

I have nothing against private schools. If you can send your children to private school without making a dent in your wallet, more power to you. For the rest of us, it’s important to consider whether that kind of money couldn’t be better spent.

Number 7: Be Nice to your Coworkers

Is there someone at work who rubs you the wrong way? Resist the temptation to blast them with both barrels. Your life will be better for it.

If you unload on someone at work, you will inevitably be teamed up with them to travel together or otherwise be forced on each other in a manner intrinsic to your work. It’s Murphy’s Law.

Number 6: Your Most Valuable Asset

Not appreciating things until they are gone is human nature. If you don’t believe it, wait until next time you are sick or injured – it’s all you can think about.

The best time to take care of your health is before it’s too late. Is everything working okay? No aches or pains? Good. Keep it that way by eating right, exercising, and not smoking or overindulging in alcohol.

Number 5: Just Do It

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Whatever you want to do, just do it! Don’t think about the enormity of the task, it just increases the odds that you won’t do it. Ignorance is bliss. Jump in and keep pressing towards the goal until you accomplish it. Still not convinced? Here’s a famous quote from George W. Cecil:

“On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and in waiting, died." 

Number 4: More than a Feeling

Some people bounce from relationship to relationship, never seeming to “find the one". Or they can’t manage to remain faithful to their spouse. They say it’s fear of commitment. It’s really something else.

Infatuation is a powerful thing. You can become addicted to it. Meeting someone new is thrilling. You experience feelings like no other. But it doesn’t last. If the relationship is meant to be, those feelings will mature into true love. Love is the most powerful force on earth. 

Some people have unrealistic expectations about love and romance. It has never dawned on them that infatuation wasn’t meant to last. As soon as it’s gone, they become bewildered. “What happened? What went wrong? It’s just not the same." 

What a sad way to live your life. You end up childless and alone.

Love is more than a feeling; it’s a commitment. Love is a choice. Every day we choose to love the one we are committed to. 

Every relationship has its ups and downs. Let minor annoyances pass. Be supportive and respectful. Forgive and forget. Those who persevere are rewarded with meaningful and lasting love.

Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Number 3: Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

Imagine a world where spending hours in the gym every day resulted in a flabby belly, while sitting on the couch stuffing your face with junk food all day gave you bulging muscles and rock-hard abs. Can you guess which look would be most admired?

Anything that takes a lot of work is considered good. Perseverance is like a muscle; the more you stretch and work it, the more it can handle. Developing perseverance puts you on the road to success. 

The fact that there are so many sayings on perseverance speaks volumes about its importance:

“Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy." Theodore Roosevelt

“The harder you work, the luckier you get." Gary Player

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Seneca

“Genuis is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." Thomas Edison

Number 2: Integrity Matters

Integrity is being honest and having strong moral values. A person with integrity does what they say they are going to do.

What could be worse than a parent who makes empty promises? The trip to Disney World that never materializes. The bicycle, or toy, or whatever that is promised but not delivered.

Don’t make empty promises. Follow through on your commitments. Be a person of integrity. This is one of life’s most important lessons. Without integrity, nothing else matters.

Number 1: Don’t Worry about What Other People Think

Finally, we have reached number one in our countdown of the top 10 life lessons: Don’t worry about what other people think.

If you worry too much about what other people think, everything you do will become an outgrowth of that mindset. The house you own, the car you drive, the mate you choose – everything is designed to please other people. You spend money you don’t have to impress people you don’t know.

Not only are you doomed to financial ruin, it also hurts those around you. Your loved ones feel alienated when you care more about what strangers think than your own family. 

Don’t concern yourself with what other people think. Most people are too focused on themselves to notice you anyway. Focus on your loved ones and show them they matter most. 


If those 10 important life lessons weren’t enough, here’s one more.

When I was young, it seemed like life was an endless expanse of time. Being so immense as it was, things never felt very important because there was so much more to come.

Now that I am older, life feels exactly the opposite. Time seems truncated, as though it’s been compressed into succinct little chapters, many consisting of just a single memory.

It’s unfortunate that so many important and consequential moments occur when we are young and lacking in perspective. There are only so many firsts and other important moments. We owe it to ourselves and others to make the most of every one.

We are always taking things in and only time will tell what is worth remembering and what is not. Nothing in life should be approached with anything less than our best. 

Life is not an endless expanse of time. There are not an endless number of important moments. Be present in every moment and know that any one of them can become important, something that you and everyone around you will always remember.

Photo credit: Pixabay Eggstack News will never post an article influenced by an outside company or advertiser. Our mission is to help you overcome uncertainty about retirement planning and inspire confidence in your financial future.
Is Your Bank Safe?
March 26, 2023
Eggstack founder, Financial Planning Association member, engineer, and software developer.