16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School

16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School.

I am 28 now. I don’t think about the past or regret things much these days.

But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was.

Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. But I forgot about them or didn’t pay attention.

Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. Or just been too far outside my reality at the time for me to accept and use.

But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. Perhaps for just an hour a week in high school. It would probably be useful for many students and on a larger scale quite helpful for society in general.

So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier).

1. The 80/20 rule.

This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule – also known as The Pareto Principle – basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.

So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.

You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things.

And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.

2. Parkinson’s Law.

You can do things quicker than you think. This law says that a task will expand in time and seeming complexity depending on the time you set aside for it. For instance, if you say to yourself that you’ll come up with a solution within a week then the problem will seem to grow more difficult and you’ll spend more and more time trying to come up with a solution.

So focus your time on finding solutions. Then just give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or the day (instead of the whole week) to solve the problem. This will force your mind to focus on solutions and action.

The result may not be exactly as perfect as if you had spent a week on the task, but as mentioned in the previous point, 80 percent of the value will come from 20 percent of the activities anyway. Or you may wind up with a better result because you haven’t overcomplicated or overpolished things. This will help you to get things done faster, to improve your ability to focus and give you more free time where you can totally focus on what’s in front of you instead of having some looming task creating stress in the back of your mind.

3. Batching.

Boring or routine tasks can create a lot of procrastination and low-level anxiety. One good way to get these things done quickly is to batch them. This means that you do them all in row. You will be able to do them quicker because there is less “start-up time” compared to if you spread them out. And when you are batching you become fully engaged in the tasks and more focused.

A batch of things to do in an hour today may look like this: Clean your desk / answer today’s emails / do the dishes / make three calls / write a grocery shopping list for tomorrow.

4. First, give value. Then, get value. Not the other way around.

This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.

If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.

5. Be proactive. Not reactive.

This one ties into the last point. If everyone is reactive then very little will get done. You could sit and wait and hope for someone else to do something. And that happens pretty often, but it can take a lot of time before it happens.

A more useful and beneficial way is to be proactive, to simply be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. This not only saves you a lot of waiting, but is also more pleasurable since you feel like you have the power over your life. Instead of feeling like you are run by a bunch of random outside forces.

6. Mistakes and failures are good.

When you are young you just try things and fail until you learn. As you grow a bit older, you learn from – for example – school to not make mistakes. And you try less and less things.

This may cause you to stop being proactive and to fall into a habit of being reactive, of waiting for someone else to do something. I mean, what if you actually tried something and failed? Perhaps people would laugh at you?

Perhaps they would. But when you experience that you soon realize that it is seldom the end of the world. And a lot of the time people don’t care that much. They have their own challenges and lives to worry about.

And success in life often comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failure. It comes from being persistent.

When you first learn to ride your bike you may fall over and over. Bruise a knee and cry a bit. But you get up, brush yourself off and get on the saddle again. And eventually you learn how to ride a bike. If you can just reconnect to your 5 year old self and do things that way – instead of giving up after a try/failure or two as grown-ups often do – you would probably experience a lot more interesting things, learn valuable lessons and have quite a bit more success.

7. Don’t beat yourself up.

Why do people give up after just few mistakes or failures? Well, I think one big reason is because they beat themselves up way too much. But it’s a kinda pointless habit. It only creates additional and unnecessary pain inside you and wastes your precious time. It’s best to try to drop this habit as much as you can.

8. Assume rapport.

Meeting new people is fun. But it can also induce nervousness. We all want to make a good first impression and not get stuck in an awkward conversation.

The best way to do this that I have found so far is to assume rapport. This means that you simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.

This works surprisingly well. You can read more about it in How to Have Less Awkward Conversations: Assuming Rapport.

9. Use your reticular activation system to your advantage.

I learned about the organs and the inner workings of the body in class but nobody told me about the reticular activation system. And that’s a shame, because this is one of the most powerful things you can learn about. What this focus system, this R.A.S, in your mind does is to allow you to see in your surroundings what you focus your thoughts on. It pretty much always helps you to find what you are looking for.

So you really need to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. And keep that focus steady.

Setting goals and reviewing them frequently is one way to keep your focus on what’s important and to help you take action that will move your closer to toward where you want to go. Another way is just to use external reminders such as pieces of paper where you can, for instance, write down a few things from this post like “Give value” or “Assume rapport”. And then you can put those pieces of paper on your fridge, bathroom mirror etc.

10. Your attitude changes your reality.

We have all heard that you should keep a positive attitude or perhaps that “you need to change your attitude!”. That is a nice piece of advice I suppose, but without any more reasons to do it is very easy to just brush such suggestions off and continue using your old attitude.

But the thing that I’ve discovered the last few years is that if you change your attitude, you actually change your reality. When you for instance use a positive attitude instead of a negative one you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before. You may think to yourself “why haven’t I thought about things this way before?”.

When you change your attitude you change what you focus on. And all things in your world can now be seen in a different light.

This is of course very similar to the previous tip but I wanted to give this one some space. Because changing your attitude can create an insane change in your world. It might not look like it if you just think about it though. Pessimism might seem like realism. But that is mostly because your R.A.S is tuned into seeing all the negative things you want to see. And that makes you “right” a lot of the time. And perhaps that is what you want. On the other hand, there are more fun things than being right all the time.

If you try changing your attitude for real – instead of analysing such a concept in your mind – you’ll be surprised.

You may want to read more about this topic in Take the Positivity Challenge!

11. Gratitude is a simple way to make yourself feel happy.

Sure, I was probably told that I should be grateful. Perhaps because it was the right thing to do or just something I should do. But if someone had said that feeling grateful about things for minute or two is a great way to turn a negative mood into a happy one I would probably have practised gratitude more. It is also a good tool for keeping your attitude up and focusing on the right things. And to make other people happy. Which tends to make you even happier, since emotions are contagious.

12. Don’t compare yourself to others.

The ego wants to compare. It wants to find reasons for you to feel good about yourself (“I’ve got a new bike!”). But by doing that it also becomes very hard to not compare yourself to others who have more than you (“Oh no, Bill has bought an even nicer bike!”). And so you don’t feel so good about yourself once again. If you compare yourself to others you let the world around control how you feel about yourself. It always becomes a rollercoaster of emotions.

A more useful way is to compare yourself to yourself. To look at how far you have come, what you have accomplished and how you have grown. It may not sound like that much fun but in the long run it brings a lot more inner stillness, personal power and positive feelings.

13. 80-90% of what you fear will happen never really come into reality.

This is a big one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.

This is of course easy to say. But if you remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.

14. Don’t take things too seriously.

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in things. But most of the things you worry about never come into reality. And what may seem like a big problem right now you may not even remember in three years.

Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously often just seems to lead to more unnecessary suffering. So relax a little more and lighten up a bit. It can do wonders for your mood and as an extension of that; your life.

15. Write everything down.

If your memory is anything like mine then it’s like a leaking bucket. Many of your good or great ideas may be lost forever if you don’t make a habit of writing things down. This is also a good way to keep your focus on what you want. Read more about it in Why You Should Write Things Down.

16. There are opportunities in just about every experience.

In pretty much any experience there are always things that you can learn from it and things within the experience that can help you to grow. Negative experiences, mistakes and failure can sometimes be even better than a success because it teaches you something totally new, something that another success could never teach you.

Whenever you have a “negative experience” ask yourself: where is the opportunity in this? What is good about this situation? One negative experience can – with time – help you create many very positive experiences.

佛教禅语

1.人之所以痛苦,在于追求错误的东西。
2.如果你不给自己烦恼,别人也永远不可能给你烦恼。因为你自己的内心,你放不下。
3.你永远要感谢给你逆境的众生。
4.你永远要宽恕众生,不论他有多坏,甚至他伤害过你,你一定要放下,才能得到真正的快乐。
5.当你快乐时,你要想这快乐不是永恒的。当你痛苦时,你要想这痛苦也不是永恒的。
6.今日的执著,会造成明日的后悔。
7.你可以拥有爱,但不要执著,因为分离是必然的。
8.不要浪费你的生命在你一定会后悔的地方上。
9.你什么时候放下,什么时候就没有烦恼。
10.每一种创伤,都是一种成熟。
11.狂妄的人有救,自卑的人没有救,认识自己,降伏自己,改变自己,才能改变别人。
12.你不要一直不满人家,你应该一直检讨自己才对。不满人家,是苦了你自己。
13.一个人如果不能从内心去原谅别人,那他就永远不会心安理得。
14.心中装满着自己的看法与想法的人,永远听不见别人的心声。
15.毁灭人只要一句话,培植一个人却要千句话,请你多口下留情。
16.根本不必回头去看咒骂你的人是谁?如果有一条疯狗咬你一口,难道你也要趴下去反咬他一口吗?
17.永远不要浪费你的一分一秒,去想任何你不喜欢的人。
18.请你用慈悲心和温和的态度,把你的不满与委屈说出来,别人就容易接受。
19.同样的瓶子,你为什么要装毒药呢?同样的心里,你为什么要充满着烦恼呢?
20.得不到的东西,我们会一直以为他是美好的,那是因为你对他了解太少,没有时间与他相处在一起。当有一天,你深入了解后,你会发现原不是你想像中的那么美好。 http://www.6park.com

21.活着一天,就是有福气,就该珍惜。当我哭泣我没有鞋子穿的时候,我发现有人却没有脚。
22.多一分心力去注意别人,就少一分心力反省自己,你懂吗?
23.憎恨别人对自己是一种很大的损失。
24.每一个人都拥有生命,但并非每个人都懂得生命,乃至于珍惜生命。不了解生命的人,生命对他来说,是一种惩罚。
25.情执是苦恼的原因,放下情执,你才能得到自在
26.不要太肯定自己的看法,这样子比较少后悔。
27.当你对自己诚实的时候,世界上没有人能够欺骗得了你。
28.用伤害别人的手段来掩饰自己缺点的人,是可耻的。
29.默默的关怀与祝福别人,那是一种无形的布施。
30.不要刻意去猜测他人的想法,如果你没有智慧与经验的正确判断,通常都会有错误的。
31.要了解一个人,只需要看他的出发点与目的地是否相同,就可以知道他是否真心的。
32.人生的真理,只是藏在平淡无味之中。
33.不洗澡的人,硬擦香水是不会香的。名声与尊贵,是来自于真才实学的。有德自然香。
34.时间总会过去的,让时间流走你的烦恼吧!
35.你硬要把单纯的事情看得很严重,那样子你会很痛苦。
36.永远扭曲别人善意的人,无药可救。
37.说一句谎话,要编造十句谎话来弥补,何苦呢?
38.白白的过一天,无所事事,就像犯了窃盗罪一样
39.广结众缘,就是不要去伤害任何一个人。
40.沉默是毁谤最好的答覆。
41.对人恭敬,就是在庄严你自己。
42.拥有一颗无私的爱心,便拥有了一切。
43.来是偶然的,走是必然的。所以你必须,随缘不变,不变随缘。
44.慈悲是你最好的武器。
45.只要面对现实,你才能超越现实。
46.良心是每一个人最公正的审判官,你骗得了别人,却永远骗不了你自己的良心。
47.不懂得自爱的人,是没有能力去爱别人的。
48.有时候我们要冷静问问自已,我们在追求什么?我们活着为了什么?
49.不要因为小小的争执,远离了你至亲的好友,也不要因为小小的怨恨,忘记了别人的大恩。
50.感谢上苍我所拥有的,感谢上苍我所没有的。
51.凡是能站在别人的角度为他人着想,这个就是慈悲。
52.说话不要有攻击性,不要有杀伤力,不夸已能,不扬人恶,自然能化敌为友。
53.诚实的面对你内心的矛盾和污点,不要欺骗你自己。
54.因果不曾亏欠过我们什么,所以请不要抱怨。
55.大多数的人一辈子只做了三件事;自欺、欺人、被人欺。
56.心是最大的骗子,别人能骗你一时,而它却会骗你一辈子
57.只要自觉心安,东西南北都好。如有一人未度,切莫自己逃了。
58.当你手中抓住一件东西不放时,你只能拥有这件东西,如果你肯放手,你就有机会选择别的。人的心若死执自己的观念,不肯放下,那么他的智慧也只能达到某种程度而已 http://www.6park.com

59.如果你能够平平安安的渡过一天,那就是一种福气了。多少人在今天已经见不到明天的太阳,多少人在今天已经成了残废,多少人在今天已经失去了自由,多少人在今天已经家破人亡。 http://www.6park.com

60.你有你的生命观,我有我的生命观,我不干涉你。只要我能,我就感化你。如果不能,那我就认命。
61.你希望掌握永恒,那你必须控制现在。
62.恶口永远不要出自于我们的口中,不管他有多坏,有多恶。你愈骂他,你的心就被污染了,你要想,他就是你的善知识。
63.别人可以违背因果,别人可以害我们,打我们,毁谤我们。可是我们不能因此而憎恨别人,为什么?我们一定要保有一颗完整的本性和一颗清净的心。
64.如果一个人没有苦难的感受,就不容易对他人给予同情。你要学救苦救难的精神,就得先受苦受难。
65.世界原本就不是属于你,因此你用不着抛弃,要抛弃的是一切的执著。万物皆为我所用,但非我所属。
66.虽然我们不能改变周遭的世界,我们就只好改变自己,用慈悲心和智慧心来面

About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some wont like you at all. ~~~ Rita Mae Brown

“Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” —- Conan O’Brien

Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invaribly they are both disappointed. ~~~ Albert Einstein

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? ~~~ Albert Einstein

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich — John F. Kennedy