23 Life Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

by Chelsea Smith

Momma warned us. Grandma tried to let us know. Poppa whispered it into our ears. But certain things we’ve just had to find out ourselves. Growing up, advice comes plentiful at the hands of elders and even more experienced peers. But a lot of times, the best teacher of life’s most valuable lessons is, well, life itself.

Here’s a list of some lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way, through experience.

1. Automatic debit payments are not your friend.

2. Don’t pluck your eyebrows in a magnified mirror if you plan to keep them.

3. It never hurts to have an umbrella, phone charger, $20 bill, and a pair of back-up flats in your possession.

4. Your time is very valuable and should be meaningfully spent.

5. All of your friends don’t have to be friends (and it’s often better that way).

6. No one will ever be as passionate and enthusiastic about your dreams as you are. Nurture them.

7. It’s not a bargain, deal, or sale if you don’t need it. “Half off of too damn much is still too much.”

8. Makeup applied in natural light looks better. Flash photos are a great way to check your face before you leave the house.

9. A person who truly wants to get to know you will not attempt to do so solely via text.

10. Never be hesitant or apologetic about demanding your money’s worth. If you pay for a product or service and it’s not up to par, speak up! Respectfully, of course.

11. Waxing services should never be scheduled the week before your cycle begins (unless you’re into pain).

12. Never underestimate the power of a simple and sincere “Thank You” note.

13. Don’t count and budget money that hasn’t yet cleared the bank. Income taxes, school refunds and checks from upcoming gigs may be on the way, but if they haven’t arrived yet, don’t plan as though they have.

14. Those who gossip to you, will most often gossip about you. Be leery of those infamous for saying things like “… but you didn’t hear it from me” or “I’m not supposed to say anything, but….” Also note that those who don’t protect their own personal business won’t have sympathy for yours, either.

15. Acne scars last longer and are harder to treat than the pimples that came before them. Be patient and proactive (no pun intended), but don’t pick or pop!

16. It’s best not to divulge all of your plans. Your actions and achievements will speak for themselves in due time.

17. Nothing good ever came after five shots of Patron.

18. S-A-V-E $$$!!! No, seriously. Put a li’l something something away every week. You never know when you might be in a bind that requires immediate financial attention!

19. You can not gauge your own success based on the triumphs and falls of others.

20. There is no penalty for being early. Tardiness, on the other hand, can and will get you in trouble.

21. Write things down.

22. Those who do not add value to your life do not deserve a place in it.

23. You shouldn’t worry about a problem and pray about it at the same time; it defeats the purpose. Let go. Let God.

What life lessons have you learned through experience?

  • Ashley

    I love this! I also learned not to procrastinate. It’s better to plan to be prepared, stick to your plan, and if all else fails, have a back-up plan!

  • laughing808

    great life lessons and numbers 18, 19, 21 & 23 should be instilled in every person by the age of 18!

    Additional life lessons I’ve learned the hard way:

    Attitude is everything
    smile often
    experience (memories) last longer than possessions……..

  • Ms. Information

    Trust that voice inside.

  • Christa

    I agree with all of these lessons!!

  • Cee Cee

    Great list! And yes attitude is definitely everything.

  • http://www.lifestylebyky.com Kydee Kristina

    This was very insightful…

  • 726

    (1) Depending on others is not an option.

    (2) Some people are just born with bad luck and dealt a bad ‘set of cards’ in life and nothing they do will ever change it.

    (3) Someone who disappoints you early on is not someone who can be trusted.

    (3) Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

  • comment

    don’t agree with #2, if someone accepts that they have “bad luck” forever that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy

  • Cosmicsistren

    Your credit score can open many doors or close many doors.

    Sometimes family will not be there when you need them.

    Perseverance really does pay off.

    When you intentionally do evil it ALWAYS comes back to you.

    Be careful what you ask for you just might really get it.

  • 726

    Have you lived a life where no matter what you do, there is always an obstacle or setback? It’s easy for one to brush this aside as a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ when it is not you, who no matter what you do, end up on the short end of the stick. You don’t have to agree, but for some of us, bad luck is real.

  • 726

    People can only smile often if they have something to smile about.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    something i learned in 4th grade that has always and WILL always stick with me is “no matter who is watching you, ALWAYS do the right thing”.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    “17. Nothing good ever came after five shots of Patron”

    i have had some good comes after 5 shots…….

  • KG

    I have always had to work harder at some things than others. I completely understand that some people start off at a -100 in life due to the family that the were born into or other unfortunate circumstances that were out of their control. However, there comes a point in time when who are not mentally, emotionally, or physically incapacitated can take charge of their own lives and make decisions that will propel them forward versus binding them to their pasts. Believing that you are only as good as what you see and that you’re destined for constant, bleak circumstances creates a false since of reality causing people who think like you to allow temporary disappointment to cause permanent stagnation. I am so glad that something and Someone greater than this world gave me visions, dreams, and the determination to turn them into my reality versus allowing where I came from and who I came from dictate where I was going and who I was going to be.

  • KG

    *insert “people” and *sense vs. Since*

  • 726

    “However, there comes a point in time when people who are not(I) mentally, emotionally, or physically incapacitated can take charge of their own lives and(II) make decisions that will propel them forward versus binding them to their pasts. Believing that you are only as good as what you see and that you’re destined for constant, bleak circumstances creates a (III)false since of reality causing people who think like you to allow temporary disappointment to cause permanent stagnation. (IV)I am so glad that something and Someone greater than this world gave me visions, dreams, and the determination to turn them into my reality versus allowing where I came from and who I came from dictate where I was going and who I was going to be.”

    (I) Depression

    (II) No matter what you do, you end up on the short end of the stick.

    (III) How is one’s own life and experiences a false sense of reality?

    (IV) Good for you then. Apparently this ‘Something greater’ has a wicked sense of humor and doesn’t think we are all deserving of a life where there isn’t some form of hardship at every turn.

  • http://stillhiphopmom.blogspot.com Hiphopmommie

    I thought this was great!!!

  • http://sparkleandboom.wordpress.com Nina Renee

    Great list!

  • http://gravatar.com/prxtence Salmon

    “Don’t pluck your eyebrows in a magnified mirror if you plan to keep them”

    Hit too close to home LMAO. Where my brow pencils at…

  • http://www.funkybeautiful.blogspot.com C. Hayes

    Awesome list!!! Love it!

  • Brittney J

    So glad I read this. I’m 22 and still learning to do/not do some of these things. My parents always taught me that my reputation is everything, and that I should always act like a lady.

  • http://www.facebook.com/smileypie90 Jordan Hamilton

    Loved them ! I’m in my early 20′s so I’m still learning, but one life lesson that I have learned over the years is not to be so quick to trust.

  • ItsNotWhereYouStartOffButWhereYouEndUp

    726, i know it looks bleak, but perseverance is key. to battle your depression, to get over your unique hurdles in your life which is YOUR reality, to get to where you want to be in life. But you have to keep trying, especially in those little choices where you don’t realize you’ve given up or given ‘in’ to your circumstances. Everything adds up at the right time, it either creates momentum, or takes away from it leading to that eventual feeling of being right back at square one. You may have it harder than those in your life you are comparing yourself to, but there is always, always someone in your life that has it harder. This is in no way to patronize your struggles, but believe me, it helps you to help them or be there for them in any way, if you can. Creating hope in others lives around you, will help you cope and create hope for your life/dreams, trust me! Keep pushin and I hope this helps

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com Chelsea

    I’m 23, Jordan! Hence the number of lessons in the list lol. I’m sure we have hundreds more to catch on to in the next few years! Feel free to share any more that come to mind.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com Chelsea

    LOL! I should do a post on those, too. My current faves are by Maybelline, Clinique, and Lancome.

  • 726 is My Birthday

    Wait a minute, you are only 23, Chelsea?

  • 726 is My Birthday

    I am persevering. I am trying. Knowing that someone else has it harder than me means nothing to me. It changes nothing. Let me tell you – Those other people whose lives I have created hope in went on to have it better than me, so yea, that didn’t work. I can’t trust what you say because it’s not up to you.

    I am a pessimist and there is nothing you can say that will make me feel any different.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com Chelsea

    To answer your question, yes! 23 going on 35. = ]

  • 422

    “I am a pessimist and there is nothing you can say that will make me feel any different.” Because of your mindset nothing will ever be good. You will never be able to enjoy the good that is present because you can only see the bad. You may not control the circumstance but you do control your perspective and attitude.

  • The Comment

    never have sex with a man who has a big ole ding dong unless u are going to marry him. Trust!

  • 726 is My Birthday

    Cool. Cool.

  • 726 is My Birthday

    I’ve only been shown the bad.

  • http://rocksattiffanys.blogspot.com/ Rocks

    True!!

  • http://naeicanrepeatit.wordpress.com Nae

    Great list!

  • http://www.sodivinemagazine.com Shenelle

    When people show you who they are, believe them. Best life lesson ever.

Latest Stories

Hashtivism: See How Twitter Took Over #myNYPD to Highlight Police Brutality

by

V.O.T.D: “Thugs, The Musical!”

by

Open Thread: Did You Watch “The Boondocks” Season Premiere?

by

Paul Ryan to Meet With CBC to Clear Up Racially Insensitive Comments

by
More in Life, opinion
Katherine Jackson
Whether Michael Jackson’s Millions or Grandma’s Thousands, Money Fights Destroy Families

To Whom It May Concern: We Don’t Need Your Validation Anymore
Close