dip your toes into the moment
words are my happy sounds

10 lessons from the classroom of life

 

classroom of life 

"The classroom should be an entrance to the world,
not an escape from it."

John Ciardi



Welcome, class! I know this is not the first class you've taken relating  classroom learning to the learning we do in the real, adult world, but, trust me, this class is different. Today you've entered in the classroom of Positively Present, where I will be sharing with you my insights about life. These insights might be no more profound than other insights that you've read before (and they may even be less profound), but they will definitely be more personal. With each lesson, I will be sharing a personal story relating to a lesson I learned when I was in school. Not only will you be reviewing some very important life lessons, but you'll also be learning a little more about me -- Dani! I know, I know -- you're so excited you can't stand it. Pull up a chair. Grab a notebook and a pen. And get ready to learn!



Lesson #1: It's Okay to Get an F

For those of you who haven't realized it yet, I'm a pretty smart girl. Just kidding...sort of. Anyway, I probably didn't get a grade below a B until I was in high school. I was good at getting good grades and I prided myself on that. But as I got older and got put into more advanced classes, I found that getting A's and the occasional B wasn't as easy as it had been before. Sometimes I struggled (especially when it came to math...UGH). Sometimes I got C's and D's and even the occasional F. I was still smart. I still am smart. But I wasn't perfect. I realized that grades weren't everything. I did the best I could and focused on the subjects that really interested me (like English and art). I got a math tutor and did what I could to get decent grades. Even though I didn't always ace it, I still got into a good college. I got a degree. I got my Master's degree. I learned that A's aren't everything. Sure, it's important to give it your best shot, but stressing about getting a perfect score every time is NOT worth it. Same goes for life. You have to give it your best try, do what you can to make the best of your abilities, and recognize that you're not perfect and that's A okay! 



Lesson #2: Always Do Your Homework

Being the nerdy little girl that I was, I always did my homework. (Okay, there may have been a few times when I didn't hand something in but those were rare). Doing homework, as obnoxious as it seemed at the time, really did serve a purpose. Homework reinforces what you learned that day and reminds you of the lessons when you are away from the classroom. Practicing what you've learned is certainly a great way to keep the lessons fresh in your mind and show you new and different ways to apply these lessons. In the real work, "homework" symbolizes two things. First, doing your homework is a way to reapply the lessons you've learned to other situations in your life. Did you find a great way to handle an argument with a loved one? Great! Use those skills the next time you're faced with a quarrelsome coworker. What you learn needs to be used so that you don't forget it. Doing homework means practicing what you've learned. Secondly, doing your homework can refer to doing your research. When you're about to encounter a new situation (a job interview, a social event, a new task at work, etc.) do some research. Sometimes diving head first into something without knowing any information can be a great learning experience, but often it can be a complete disaster. Taking a little bit of time to research can save you a LOT of time in the long run.



Lesson #3: Reading is Awesome

I don't know when exactly I discovered reading, but it really was probably the best day of my life. I cannot IMAGINE life without books and newspapers and magazines and poems and stories and letters. My life pretty much revolves around words and I am pretty much in love with reading. While other kids fantasized about recess, I longed for a time of day called "Silent Reading." During this time everyone would read for about an hour (which, I believe, was supposed to calm everyone down from their post-recess highs). I loved Silent Reading. While other kids would grab a book off the classroom bookshelf and slump grumpily into their seats, waiting for the hour to end, I would merrily pull my latest read out of my bag and enjoy my favorite hour of the day. I understand that some people don't like to read (though I'm not always sure I understand why), but it really, really is awesome. There are so many things you can read about and every time I read a new book I learn something new. It constantly amazes me that people can write down their thoughts, put them in a book, and I am able to share in them. There is nothing more awesome to me than reading and I thank my parents for supporting my reading habit and the teachers (who ever they might be) who taught me how to master this fabulous art.


 

Lesson #4: Raise Your Hand Often

Yup, I'll admit it. I'm a hand-raiser. While I'm not one of those eager-to-participate types waving their hand obnoxiously in the air, I definitely like to have my say. When I was younger, I used to be nervous when it came to hand raising. I'd think to myself, "What if I get the answer wrong? What if the teacher doesn't like my ideas?" but as I grew older (and braver) I realized that trying was enough. You don't always have to be right (and it's usually pretty obnoxious if you are). You don't always have to have the most brilliant ideas. You just have to be there, get involved, and join in. Participation in life is important for a number of reasons. One, it keeps you focused on what's going on around you and what you're learning. Two, it helps you to think more about your own ideas and thoughts. And, three, it reminds you that your opinions, thoughts, answers matter. When you speak up and share with other people, you are telling yourself that you matter. You are confirming that your voice is worth being heard. Now, in the real world, it's not always easy to speak up. Sometimes it can be very, very intimidating to share your ideas with a room full of executives or experts. But it's very important that you do so. I'm not an expert in the field I work in. In fact, I've only been doing it for a few years and have no formal training. But I speak up. I share ideas with the top executives at my company and my ideas are not only heard but they are implemented. Now, not every idea I have is a gem, but a lot of them are pretty darn good. People like my ideas. Friends come to me for advice. Coworkers ask for my help. If I sat back quietly waiting to be heard no one would have any idea that I have opinions or ideas or even thoughts. You have to speak up in life. Tell people what you want. Tell people what you think. Share your ideas and you'll be surprised by how fulfilling it is.



Lesson #5: Sit in the Front Row

Ah, the nerd alert detector is going off now in your mind isn't it? You're probably reading this and thinking, "Sit in the front row? No way! That's for losers." Okay, yeah, losers sit in the front row. You know who else sits in the front row? Learners. It's pretty hard to keep your focus when you're all the way in the back of the room. Trust me. For years and years I was "too cool" to sit in the front. When I walked in the classroom on the first day I made a beeline for the back of the room, where I could kick my feet up on my backpack and stare off into space, daydreaming about being anywhere but there. Did I learn anything back then? I'm sure I did, but not nearly as much as when I realized that I was wasting my time in the back and relocated to front and center. My parents spent tons of money on my high school education and I spent a good portion of the time I was in school sulking around, being, literally "too cool for school." Once I got to college, I realized that they way I was when I was a kid -- a determined, studious little girl -- was a much better way to get the most out of my experiences in classrooms. I didn't always sit in the front row, but, for the most part, I looked for a seat that would force me to pay attention, to be present. There are lessons to be learned all around us, every day, so ask yourself, "Am I sitting in the front row? Am I being present for this lesson?"


 

Lesson #6: Make Friends, Not Enemies

Here it is...the big one...I was a bitch in high school. And I mean bitch. I was mean to girls I didn't like. I was mean to girls who weren't nice to my little sister. I was gossipy and narrow-minded and overly concerned with my appearance. I thought I was cooler than everyone (except my friends, of course, who were just as cool as me). I thought money and men were the most important things in the world. I was, in a word, naive. I had no concept of what the real world was and, instead of making loads and loads of close friends, I pushed people away from me because, for some crazy reason, I believed they were beneath me. For the most part, the friendships I had were based on mutual disapproval of "uncool" people and a burning desire to be both wealthy and wanted. (I know now, thank god, that those two things are not the most desirable qualities to possess.) When I look back on those days, I realize that I missed out on a lot of great people. I know there were some great people from my past that I just ignored (or, worse, berated) and, sadly, I missed out on a lot of potentially great friendships. Now that I'm older I realize that I have a choice. I can continue to be a narrow-minded, mean-spirited girl OR I can open up my heart and mind to people and, as a result, experience new, exciting, and different forms of friendship. When it's put this way, there seems to be no more obvious choice. Make friends, not enemies. In the long run, you'll be much, much better off.



Lesson #7: Teachers Aren't Always Right

Sorry, little sis (she's a teacher), but teachers aren't always right. Teachers have a lot to share with the world -- A LOT. I think they hold one of the most amazing jobs on the planet because they have the ability to impact the lives of so many in such powerful, lasting ways. They have knowledge and training and classrooms full of books. They are, to put it bluntly, awesome. However, as wonderful and powerful as they are, teachers aren't always right. Teachers are human. They can make mistakes. They can use bad judgment. They can be viewing situations and lessons from a biased viewpoint. They might be knowledgeable on a subject, but they aren't perfect. Growing up, I pretty much thought teachers were the best people I'd met since my parents. They knew so much. They were friendly. They liked me and my hard-working, scholarly abilities. They encouraged me. Really, I loved them. However, the older I got, the more I realized that they didn't always have the answers. They more I learned, the more I realized that some of my ideas were just as good as theirs. This is true in the adult world as well. Just because someone has more experience, is older than you, or holds a higher position doesn't mean that person is right. S/he may have great ideas (and, yes, experience can be really valuable), but no matter who you are, what position you're in, or what you know, you're NOT perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has biases (though some try harder not to than others). Remember that the next time your boss or your parent says something with absolute certainty.


 

Lesson #8: Embarrassing Moments Happen

Let's face it. We've all had our share of embarrassing moments. When I was in high school, I got in trouble pretty frequently. There's nothing about being lectured to about your behavior (especially some of my behavior) that makes you feel confident and proud. Walking down a hall knowing that everyone knows you're in trouble sucks. Likewise, the smaller embarrassments aren't so fun either. For example, having the gym teacher tell my gym class that I must touch the ball at least once before the class is over or else we won't be able to leave the gym was not one of my finest moments. (In case you didn't know, gym class is my arch nemesis.) Or, looking back at some of my outfits and makeup choices, I feel mortified. What was I thinking? (These embarrassments are a bit better because I only felt them in retrospect.) I've had zits. I've had falls down flights of stares in front of room full of cute boys. I've stuttered and stumbled and said things that made my face turn a bright shade of crimson. High school, especially, seems to be the world's favorite time to embarrass us. But, let's be real here: it happens. We all have to face embarrassing moments every once and awhile. Sure, it sucks. But you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on. One of the most important things I've learned is that everyone has embarrassing moments. It doesn't matter who you are. You have, at some point, been embarrassed. (And, yes, this makes me feel better about my own moments o' shame.)



Lesson #9: Work Smarter, Not Harder

This is a phrase that I hear one particular coworker of mine use a lot and I think it's a great one. When I was a kid, I used to use every moment I had to do little bits of homework or reading assignments so that when I got home I would have time to do the things I reallywanted to do (like reading and writing, haha). I'm an extremely organized person and I work smart, doing what I can to find the best ways to get something done as thoroughly and efficiently as possible. When I was a kid, I was always organizing things, keep things in tidy piles and color-coded bins. I was always looking for new ways to do something as fast as I could (this mostly has to do with my astoundingly impatient nature, but we'll save that topic for another post...). To this day, I still believe that there are TONS of great ways to work as hard as other people but in a lot less time. You have to be organized. You have to be focused. You have to be ready to really put your all into what you're doing. But, when it comes down to it, wouldn't you rather work really smart for a little bit of time rather than work hard for a long period of time? Give some thought to how you can be more efficient, how you can work smarter rather than harder, and you'll be shocked and how much more enjoyable your life becomes.


 

Lesson #10: Take Good Notes (and Share!)

I'm a big fan of note taking. Perhaps this is because my memory is terrible or because I love writing, but I've always found that no matter what I'm doing or what I'm trying to learn, taking notes is the way to go. In college, I even used to take notes twice, handwriting the notes in class and then typing them up and expanding on them once I got back to my room. (Excessive? Yes. Effective? Absolutely.) For me, I'd rather not worry about remembering things later and I know that if I write something down I can just go back and look at it when I need to. As an adult, I find this very effective as well. When I want to remember something I've learned, I write it down. I write about it in my journal or in a letter or, these days, in my blog. Once I write down information, I'm freeing up my mind for more information. It's sort of a release of learned stuff in a way. And, just like I did in high school and college, I think it's really important to share your notes. Some might say, "Well, I did all of the work, learning this stuff and writing it down. I'm not going to share it with you, you little freeloader!" but that's not how I think about it. If you learned something, took notes on it, and gained value from it, why wouldn't you want to share it with someone else? In a way, I feel like that's what I'm doing here with this blog. I'm taking my notes on life and I'm sharing them with you. And, you know what? It feels good to share!



You might have been groaning when you saw the title of this post, thinking, oh geez, who hasn't done a post on "the classroom of life," but I really do hope you gained some insights from these lessons (or, at the very least, a little more insight into who Dani is...). I'd love to hear about your life lessons. We've all walked down slightly different paths and we all have something to share. Take a moment to think about these questions:

 

What have you learned so far in your life?
Did what you learned in school impact your adult life?

Comments

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Well said! All very good lessons! I'm *so* happy you're not a bitch anymore. :) I'm glad to count you among my friends, and that probably wouldn't have happened with you in that frame of mind! But then again, maybe that was at the same time when I was in my "asshole" phase, and we could have hated everyone! Doresn't that sound fun? (Not to me, either...I'm glad I grew out of my own bad phase, too)

Awesome lessons. I think the one about taking notes is a really good point. I got horrible grades in undergrad, despite going to one of the best schools. I was listening to Jack Canfield on some tape program and he said the difference between a 3.0 student and 4.0 student was really minimal in activity. 4.0 students took notes, and reviewed there notes every night before they went to sleep. That's it and it made that much of a difference in GPA.

Love the stuff on friends. I've connected recently with people I wasn't friends with in high school and it's been pretty cool.

Jay - I'm so glad I'm not a bitch anymore too! :) I missed out on so much by thinking I was too good for people or situations. No one is too good for anyone! I'm so glad that I've met you and that we're both out of our asshole/bitch phases!

Srinivas - That's really interesting about the note-taking thing! I didn't know that it made that much of a difference, but I guess it does. I find that it's really helpful to take notes, even at work, and it definitely helps me recall what I've learned. That's awesome that you've connected with people. It's such a great thing to have happen!

Hi Dani .. that's a really good post .. ten important lessons. I need number nine. At school I was definitely one of the not so brilliant, I wasn't a difficult child, just couldn't get my head round learning .. seems strange now - as I'm definitely that way oriented.

I studied eventually in my forties and knew it wouldn't be easy - but if I did what the tutors told me to do and took in their advice - I should be ok .. and I was: four years of evening college and amazingly passed first time .. not with A's -but I got through.

Yes - note taking .. I do the same ..and if I can't do it and rewrite it .. and if necessary rework it .. I feel as though I've lost it and still do.

That's great .. thanks for bringing the class room back into our lives ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Great lessons. I really enjoyed "Lesson #4: Raise Your Hand Often". I can't emphasize enough how important participation as well as contribution is. I had a mentor who gave me a piece of advice that I now carry into every meeting/network situation/social gathering...and that is that no matter how hard or difficult it is to contribute to a conversation or discussion...always ask at least three questions or give feedback at least three times. Often it is the first three that is the most difficult, once you've contributed that much, everything after that flows smoothly and feels more natural.

7, 9 and 10 jumped out at me.
They reminded me of many occassions in education and at work. Also helped me recall some moments when I decided I wanted to learn something new or whenever someone decided they wanted to 'teach'.

What I'll take from this is: We all learn regardless of merit or qualifications. It's good to share and fun to find new things. The smarter or quicker you learn to do it the better. I like the way you write!

Thanks
Jens

Usually, we only apply the theoretical knowledge in the class room. This is a good example of where we can improve our soft skills from what we learned in the early days.


I remembered my old school days when I was going through each of the lessons :-) Very true indeed.

Shamelle

My manager grilled work smarter, not harder in me and I took it to heart. It is one of the best lessons. It's a forcing function to focus on the value and effectiveness instead of throwing more hours at problems.

> I really do hope you gained some insights from these lessons
Absolutely, and very nicely done.

This brought back some great memories. Fortunately, I was a person who enjoyed school for the most part. Sure, there were subjects I didn't enjoy or teachers I wish I didn't have - but they all served a purpose. One of the big points from this post is that it doesn't really matter what grades you got - it's important to love what you do and do what you love. I have never had anyone ask me what grades I got in school - the passion speaks louder than words.

THANKS, Dani! love love love this post.

my biggest lesson from the classrom of life ~ when hugging, be the last one to let go.

my biggest surprise lesson ~ that i actually USE algebra almost every day - ha! who knew?!

Hilary - I'm glad you enjoyed the "lesson"! :) That's great that you went back to school. I've actually been thinking about that a lot recently. I would love to go back and study psychology but school is SO expensive and time-consuming. Maybe someday...

John - That's great advice! I completely agree that once you put yourself out there a few times, you find that it's easy to open up. For me, the first question/comment is the hardest. Once I've contributed that, I feel like I am much more relaxed and open to add more to any discussion.

Jens - I'm glad some of these points hit home with you. You wrote about some great takeaways in your comments. Thanks for the compliment on my writing style. :) That makes me very happy!

Shamelle - We often get stuck thinking that learning ends in the classroom, but, as you know, we can take these lessons with us everywhere! Thanks for commenting!

J.D. - I'm so glad you got something out of this post. As you probably could tell, I wasn't 100% confident with it since I feel like the "classroom of life" idea is a bit played out. I agree that "work smarter, not harder" is one of the best lessons we can learn.

Chiropam - Exactly! Once you become an adult, no one cares about your grades. What matters is what you do and we should all strive to do what we love in life. I was (and still am!) a big fan of school and learning, but, for those who aren't there are still many, many valuable lessons to be taken away from the classroom.

number 1 is super on point. i fully know what you're saying about the transition to more difficult material. i used to get all Fs in school, then changed everything and graduated with all As. then wen to university and the standard is way crazy compared to everything else. where i was used to getting 80%, now it's really good to hit a 70. i think the biggest thing is a skewness in perception. you're used to getting 75% so you get 60 and you're really bummed. problem is you're comparing yourself to absolutes instead of relatives. rather, if you usually get 72% and the average is 60% then you're getting 20% on top of average (120% of the average (times by 1.2)) so then if you get 60% and the average is 50, you're STILL getting 20% on top of the average - so though it's a lot less than you usually get, you're still doing as well as usual relative to the average. hope that made sense :)

raising your hand often - really cool way of putting it btw =D - is really good advice.

think number 7 stuck out most for me because people give all sorts of advice when they havent' actually experienced what they're talking about. they give you advice to make themselves seem clever. ego bullshit. good 'ol "take my advice, i don't use it anyway" :P

number 8 and 9 are also super on point.

i think for me, the biggest lesson has been that you can learn anything and make it happen. i guess the biggest lesson from school was how to teach myself. and learn. and that has changed my life many times over.

really cool stuff - keep in touch
all the best
alex - unleash reality

Hi Dani --
I'm glad to see you sharing more about yourself. Yay for you in being more open.

I love number four, about raising your hand. I did NOT like to raise my hand in school, and I also didn't sit in the front row or do my homework! I didn't raise my hand then the same reason I sometimes don't speak up now: I don't want to get the wrong answer. Thank goodness I am slowly starting to realize that it's okay to be wrong or to have an opinion that isn't the same as someone else's!

Great post!

Lisa - So glad you liked the post! Yay! I love what you wrote about hugging. I'm not the best hugger (yes, you can be a BAD hugger) and that comment will really help me out the next time I hug someone.

Alex - Thanks for your GREAT comments! :) It did make sense and I think you have some excellent insights. I love what you wrote about teaching yourself. I don't think that's something that's emphasized enough in schools and it really should be. There is so much we can learn from life, books, people, etc. and it's often up to us to teach ourselves lessons.

Vi - I am too! It feels good! :)

Jen - I'm glad you're starting to realize that it's important to speak up. I know it's hard (I don't want to do it a lot of the time myself) but it's really necessary to share your insights with the world. We want to hear them! :) And, of course, it's okay to be wrong or to have a different opinion. The world would be so boring if we all thought exactly the same.

These are wonderful! I definitely agree about sitting in front, sharing notes, and making friends. I was not a hand-raiser but I got good grades, too. ;D

Meream - I wasn't the biggest hand raiser in class either, but as I got older I got better at it. It's not always easy to do, but it's worth it to help reinforce what you're learning. In life, it's more about participating. Even if you weren't a hand raiser in school you can be great at participating in life!

this was exactly what I needed to hear at the moment.

great article. I saw myself in many of the lessons. thank you.

Excellent post! This is another time when I really wish I had known these things in past.

Dani - I love this! Are you me? hahahaha!


#1 - I flunked half a semester of geometry in high school...and if I hadn't failed, I never would have met the man who once was the first boy I fell in love with. As a senior, I needed 1/2 a credit of math to graduate and you guessed it, I had to drop drama class and repeat geometry...and there was the CUTEST damn boy I'd ever seen and for 6 months I made him mine...25 years later, he found me and we got hitched 5 months after that...in September, we celebrate our 3rd anniversary...Yeah...getting an F in math was one of the best things that ever happened to me :-)

#2 For the student of life, school is never out of session. Today I am reading "Leadership and Self-Deception." I'm learning so much, taking notes, and you'll be seeing posts from me about self-betrayal and self-deception...awesome stuff!

#3 See above...I'm always reading...and today I read while I pedaled on the stationary bike. Just ask my husband...when is my nose NOT in a book?

#4 The answer is always no unless you ask. I raise my hand, my voice, often!

#5 In college I was a front row seater. Why? Because I heard that students who sat in the front row did better in school (I went to college later in life...I was 27 when I started, 30 when I graduated with my BA. I also have an MA) I sat in front and I graduated #1 in my class...

#6 I'm the social mixer...I was the girl in high school that could hang out with the preps, the jocks, the potheads, the gear heads, and the social misfits. I got a long with everybody...still do (except for maybe my ex husband, but that too gets better with each passing year)


#7. Got that right!

#8. I have so many...where do I start?

#9. I teach people to work smarter...the hard way just doesn't work!

#10. Oh yes! I just interviewed my Bonus Mom of the Month and wait to you see her profile...I took darn good notes! And you can bet, if Jack Canfield's speaking, I'm trying to get a front row seat, and you'll see me with my notebook and pen!

Great job...Great post!

Brandi - I'm so glad it was what you needed to hear! That makes me happy. Thanks for the comment.

Ia - I know...me too! But we can only learn from what we know now and do our best to use that knowledge in the future!

Peggy - Yes! I'm you! Just...living as me! Haha. I'm so glad you liked the post. Your #1 is a great reminder to me that everything happens for a reason (though sometimes we don't realize this until much, much later). It sounds like you've learned a lot so far and you'll always up for more learning (which is GREAT!). I love that you love reading so much. You might want to check out my listen of "Brilliant Books" to find some new ones. :)

Hi Dani

I love the way you put this together. I was not a very good student when I was younger, so your # 1 "It's Okay to get a F" made me LOL!
My favorite one here is "seat in the front role"
Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

That was so much fun to read - thank you for writing it! I laughed about the "sit in the front row." Egads! I always went as far back as I could when given the choice. And the reading thing --- in school, I hated to read. HATED it. But in "real life" I can't get enough. I have books everywhere and so many I want to read that I don't even have copies of yet! Thanks for sharing everything you did!

Giovanna - I'm so happy you enjoyed the post. I think a lot of people struggle in school and that's perfectly okay. Grades certainly aren't everything and there is SO much to be learned from the classroom that doesn't involve letters or numbers.

Megan - You're welcome. It hasn't been easy for me, but, little by little, I'm opening up on my blog and it feels great. There were definitely points in my life when I headed straight for the back row, but, looking back, I've had much better experiences when I sat in the front of the class. Glad you enjoyed the post! :)

Those are such usefull lessons!!!!

Thank you s much for visited my blog anad left such nice comment.

You've here a very cool blog.

Keep in touch if you feel like it.

xoxo

The Seeker - Thanks for your comment! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed reading the post and that you like the blog. I hope to see you back around here soon!

Dani...this is superb! You get an A+ for this post! You summed it up perfectly by saying "I'm taking my notes on life and I'm sharing them with you. And, you know what? It feels good to share! "

This is such an important lesson is life...sharing (or giving back). You have wonderful knowledge that you share with us and I am grateful for this blog!

Now keep up the good work ;)

Very good stuff. I always enjoy your blog.

Caroline - A+! Yay! :) I'm so glad you like the blog. Your words mean a lot to me. It's not always easy for me to open up and share with my readers so it's so great to get positive feedback like this.

Jack - Thank you! It makes me happy to know that you enjoy reading the blog. I put a lot into it and it's great to know that people are enjoying it!

Great post! Parts of this...I totally could have written! I'm a hand-raiser, a note-sharer, a sit near the front kind of girl. And yeah...I could be a bitch, but who wasn't? I especially reciprocated the b-word-iness to those who treated me badly for being a participant in the classroom. I'm still studying (working on my MBA) but I'm doing it in an online setting. I never thought I'd like online learning, but it is a lot better than I anticipated. I do miss some of the interaction though.

Jill - Thanks so much for your comment! I'm glad you saw some of yourself in this post. I'm also working on a degree online and I know what you mean. It's so great to still be in school, but I definitely miss some of the interactive qualities of being actually "in" school.

Lesson #3! I love reading. LOVE. READING. I'm actually sad for people who don't like to read. It's one of the best things my father ever did for me, reading to me and my brother every night. He sure messed up a bunch of other stuff, but that he NAILED.

I honestly think reading makes people better people. It's one thing to watch people interact on TV or in movies, but reading exposes you to a character's internal world - their thought processes. You really, truly begin to understand a character and empathize with them. It's why people love Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, even though they ARE NOT REAL. I am convinced this translated to 'real' people as well. Understanding motivation, having compassion and empathize with others.

World peace, I'm sure, begins with reading.

Hayden - Reading is the BEST. I also feel sad for (and have trouble understanding) people who don't like to read. I cannot imagine my life without it. I love what you wrote about world peace. That's probably so true. Reading really helps me to understand myself and all different types of people in different situations. There's something about getting a new and unique perspective on the world from books that makes me feel connected to others (even fictional others!).

We continue the commonalities...

Great post - caused me to think about some things that I hadn't and apply my own lessons to what I'm living now.

It's also a great tool for me as I get ready to go back to school after a nice long hiatus. Scary, but exciting too. Especially considering I'm going in with a whole new perspective and goal.

Thanks, love!

Veronica
Moment-to-Moment Optimism
www.drrussbuss.com

Veronica - So glad you liked the post and could relate to it. Best of luck with going back to school. It can definitely be scary, but it's also so exciting! :)

I'm currently an undergrad and these tips are a definite must-follow for those who want to succeed (or at least pass their classes ;). While your lessons are somewhat common-sense, I loved them nonetheless.

Nina - Thanks so much for your comment! I know the lessons might seem basic, but we often forget the most basic things in our busy day-to-day lives. (P.S. - My parents nearly named me Nina!)

Dani, this is such a great post! Thank you for listing 10 fundamentals in life. Many don't realize how fundamentals are needed to get through in life and be successful. All these lessons are great but #6 stuck out to me because I am dealing with someone who at the age of 28 (who many consider an adult :-/) is being an asshole to me. He is shallow, worries about what others think, flaunts that he has money, tries to impress people by showing off, and takes many things for granted (especially his friendships). I know people can change (and I don't know why but I pray for this person that he does) but my question is, what made you "realize" that you had to change from a b*tch (sorry don't want to call you one, lol) to the great person you are today?

Christine - I'm so glad you enjoyed this post! It took me a really long time to realize that being a bitch wasn't cool -- and being one really got me nowhere. Unfortunately, I had to go through some tough times, some really low points, before I realized that if I wanted a more positive life, I had to be the one to make it more positive. I'm sorry to hear about the situation you're dealing with, but I hope the person you're dealing with will come around. Sometimes all it takes is time...

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