Life is like any other skill – we have to learn how to do it, but yet it isn’t something that we are overtly taught.
We learn how to exist from an early age. Our bodies learn to survive from the minute we are born. We are taught how to do everything skill wise from eating to walking, to academic ability. We are taught how to fit into society, taught how to be successful in terms of learning to drive, earning money etc., but that’s where the structured lessons begin and end.
Where do we learn how to truly live life? When are we taught about our emotions, how to think, how to understand ourselves? Who teaches us how to love ourselves? Who teaches us how to navigate the adversity we will go through? Who teaches us to explore and celebrate our uniqueness?
Mostly we are taught through experience and, to my great horror, through the media. We are taught by our peers and the adults in our lives, be that a parent, teacher or guardian – and sometimes, if we are lucky enough, we get some really good ones of those. You know, those people who positively shape our lives. But it is so down to chance, getting to meet these people, that in the large part Learning to Live is a pot luck syllabus that has surviving at its core and not thriving.
Let’s use becoming a parent – I don’t know how many times I’ve heard ‘there’s no rule book for parenting’. Jeez – why not? I think after bringing new humans into the world for this many thousands of years the human race is qualified enough to put together a rule book for how to bring people into the world who know how to truly live. By this I mean know how to truly understand themselves, the type of life they want to live, the things to value, how to overcome adversity and turn it into Fortitude. How to cherish, and love and make the most of the time they are on the earth.
But yet we don’t impart these skills on purpose. We don’t teach humans how to be human, we don’t teach people how to truly live their lives.
In the school of hard knocks that my life has been, one of the key lessons I wish I had learned it this; I wish I had learned that my experiences and the adversity I went through very early on were not the definition of who I was as a person. For many years the life lesson I learned was that I wasn’t worth much as a human really, and that I was easy to leave behind. I learned to turn that around – changing that belief – but it took some time.
I know that adversity brings with it its own unique lessons for each individual and that this cannot be taught, but I do believe we can create learning that helps people to make the most of it, not to be defined by it and to learn how to get through it.
How about you? What lesson would you put into the Life Syllabus?
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All the love