eo Insights

Life starts with what you believe

Tired of Learning the Hard Way


I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of learning lessons the hard way!  I did it again this week.  And even though ‘my pencil is getting sharper’ and I’m catching potential blunders quicker, there are still too many times that I have to slap myself and ask ‘Elaine, what were you thinking??’

Some may call it growing pains; a necessary part of natural development.  Others may say it’s the human transformation process similar to the struggle of metamorphosis.  Hmmmm.  No matter how we define it, learning lessons the hard way may be unavoidable completely, a side of life that continuously evolves.   My question is this, does the road to maturity always have to hurt?  Do we always have to get burned before we realize the stove is hot?  Perhaps learning from others’ mistakes would be less painful.  Or better still, learning from others’ successes might be the least distressing route towards personal growth.

One lesson I’ve learned the hard way (usually while learning the hard way)  is to recognize the difference between true and false guilt.  There are truly times when my guilty conscience pins me against the wall over some action or attitude that needs correcting.  True guilt is a function of a healthy conscience and generally accompanies a broken promise or commitment unfulfilled.   In these cases, I’ve learned to take responsibility and work to make things right.  Conversely, when I’ve done all I can and still feel guilty, it’s false guilt.  When a situation is beyond my control, I must give it  to God and work to stop the self-inflicting negative talk that goes on in my mind.  Interestingly, this all sounds like a lesson of long ago from Reinhold Niebuhr’s 1943 sermon which included these words.  ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference’.   (Maybe he learned it the hard way too.)

As I did some further research on this topic, I came across another blogger’s thoughts (1), worthy to take note of.  He’s learned these  forty lesson’s the hard way, ‘so we don’t have to’.  That was nice of him!   Perhaps there are some hard learned lessons we can appreciate (and avoid making ourselves) in his thoughts below.

Practice No Regrets Living.

People Matter Most.

If You Have An Addictive Personality, Pick Something Positive.

Don’t Waste Time Worrying About The Past (or The Future).

Don’t Worry What Others Think.

Take Risks When You Are Young.

Live For Today, But Plan For Tomorrow.

Your Time Is Your Life.

Goals Are THE Secret To Success.

See The World When You Have The Chance.

Keep Track Of Your Victories.

Commit To A Lifetime Of Learning.

A Mentor Can Work Magic.

Get Your Mid-Life Crisis Over Early.

Wait For The Right One.

Take Care Of Your Stuff.

Money Saved Is Money Earned.


You Need An Outlet For Your Creativity.

Early To Bed And Early To Rise.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.

Make a Difference.

Brand Yourself Before Someone Else Does.

Things Are Never As Bad As They Seem.

Sometimes You Have To Give Up Good For Great.

Give People More Than They Expect.

Say Thank You.

The Best Things In Life Are Free.

Take Time For Yourself.

Make Memorable Moments.

Take It One Pitch At A Time.

Pursue Your Passion.

Appreciate The Small Things In Life.

Don’t Fight Change.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others.

Empathy Is Everything.

Find Work You Love So Much You’d (Almost) Do It For Free.

Figure Out Your Uniqueness And Celebrate It.

(1) http://www.frugalmarketing.com/dtb/forty-lessons.shtml

Author: Elaine Olson

Elaine effectively counsels in the area of marriage and family, with specialization in anxiety and stress, decision-making and young adult concerns. Elaine uses a variety of counseling therapies to meet the specific needs of each client. Her insightful approach to life challenges the three-part makeup of humanity, to ensure total wellness, physically, mentally/emotionally and spiritually. She is a strong advocate for women, taking a lead role to pioneer many innovative support programs for women around the world.

4 thoughts on “Tired of Learning the Hard Way

  1. Thanks Elaine! I’ve printed this list and posted where I can see it. I won’t be waiting till the New Year to get started! I’m thinking of picking 2 items per day to work on. Blessing in this Christmas season! Ron

  2. Good stuff. I am 67 yrs old and still learning. One thing I am learning is to focus on the one good thing I have done and not on the mistakes I have made – on a daily basis!
    Have a blessed Christmas with the people who matter most in your life. At the same time share your joy of the season with others.

  3. Great blog Elaine!! May God continue to bless you as you serve the body of Christ!!

  4. Great thoughts and fabulous list. I too will post it where it will be seen. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

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