10 Life Lessons for My Sons

by Jenn Bodnar | December 15, 2019 11:39 pm

I have been blessed to experience many great mentors in life from teachers and family to friends and work peers. They have all imparted many pearls of wisdom that have made a significant impact.  I only wish I had learned from them earlier!

Being a single mom of three boys has been one of the most rewarding gifts, but not without humility, challenge and if, I’m being completely honest, a lot of stress!  Fortunately, there has been even more love, laughter, excitement, and pride along this journey.

They grow up so fast.  It seems like yesterday my boys were rolling around on the floor, playing with Thomas the Tank trains, legos and watching  Blues Clues.  Now they are driving, going to parties, traveling (without me!) and heading off to college. How can this be when it feels like there is still so much to share with and teach them?

I can’t imagine growing up in their world.  Technology and the internet have certainly raised all the stakes.

Here are a few life lessons as they begin their trek toward independence out into the great big wide world!

1) The most important things in life are not things

If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it. Avoid debt at all costs. Remember that love is spelled T-I-M-E. Money doesn’t buy happiness and stuff is replaceable, people are not. Cherish the ones you love!

2) Leave everything a little better than you found it.

Years of asking them to pick up after themselves and make their beds was not just nagging.  There is actually a much bigger lesson. Cleanliness is next to godliness.  Take pride in yourself, your space and the people around you.

3) Someone is praying for the things you take for granted.

Shelter, food, freedom. There is always something to be grateful for.  Stay humble, or life will do it for you. Appreciate the little things.  What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you remembered to be grateful for today? Say thank you.  Often.

4) You get out of it what you put into it.

If you really want something, you will find a way.  The universe provides, but life is a journey that requires patience and diligence.  Focus, practice presence and keep your eye on your prize.  Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.

5) Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some kind of battle.

This is so powerful in our current world. Everyone is able to create a fake life via social media, sharing only highlight reels that may imply a perfect life.  Nothing is perfect and everyone struggles. Be nice, it costs zero dollars and requires absolutely no talent to be a good human.

6) Do no harm, but take no crap.

People are mean and mean people suck.  Stay close to those who feel like sunshine as much as possible. Eliminate toxic people and situations quickly.  There is always another option.  Don’t ever be afraid to make a change for the better, even if it scares you.

7) No one is thinking about you as much as you are.

If you feel like the world is against you, remember it’s all in your head.  Everyone is out there trying to do their best and that is a lot of work, trust me they don’t have time to dwell on your most recent successes or failures.

8) You’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting.

We are designed to learn, grow and evolve.  Take a look at history.  Cell phones and the internet didn’t come from status-quo thinking. Embrace challenges and remember:  if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

9) We don’t lose in life, we learn.

Everything happens for a reason. (Use this phrase sparingly!) But literally everything we experience happens for us, not to us.  Every win and every loss is a teachable moment.

10) You’re one decision away from a completely different life.

Vision without action is a daydream and action without vision is a nightmare.  Don’t get stuck, but don’t jump off the cliff either.  There is a happy medium, so get comfortable with making choices in your life. (And don’t forget #9)

 

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