Life Lessons that Cannot be Taught


“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”Oscar Wilde

Many life lessons are passed down to us from our parents, teachers and mentors, they offer us their wisdom and experience so that we may avoid these mistakes ourselves and side step failure. But some life lessons cannot be taught because no matter how loud they yell, no matter how important they stress that we do not make the same mistakes; we’re going to do it anyway.

It’s these life lessons that stick with us, always hiding in the backs of our minds. We hold these mistakes like a badge of honour using them to judge and weight future choices’ pros and cons. The fact is that some things can be taught to us but somethings need to be experienced firsthand so that we may avoid making similar mistakes as we move through this life. Here are;

7 Life Lessons that Cannot be Taught


  1. It is better to have Loved & Lost…
    …then never to have loved at all; this is a lesson that you may still have to learn, yet it is a valuable and bitter sweet one. In the fell clutch of circumstance we often find ourselves regretting ever meeting the person we once may have called the world; however you will eventually remember the good parts of the relationship and that is never something to regret. That person made you feel happy, if only for a short while and regardless of what transpired look past the pain and misery and remember what good came of it.


  1. The Stove is Hot
    In my case it was a literal stove top, but this sentiment can be applied to a great many things especially from an early age. You may not remember when you learned that the “Stove top was hot” but whatever the “stove” was to you, you never forgot it. For me, when I was young and experiencing the world for the first time the bright red thing on top of what my mother called the “Stove” was a magical pad that made kettles sing and pots bubble. I knew the stove was Hot from what my mother had said, but what does “hot” mean to a child? It’s a word, a word that a child can’t associate with anything other than a red spiral thing, but when I touched that burner on top of the stove it was a lesson I never forgot. Whatever your “Stove” was; a knife is sharp, cars are dangerous or hitting your head hurts, there are a few fundamental things that we learn as children that simply cannot be taught.


  1. Nothing is given to you
    Well at least nothing worth having will be handed to you on a silver platter. Yes you may be given some money or a car; but nothing that will set you on the path to make yourself truly happy. If something is worth having you need to work for it, roll up your sleeves, get down on your hands and knees and crawl through muck and weeds towards it; that’s when you know something it worth striving for. While it may seem like something that can be taught, you will never have the drive and determination unless you make the discovery yourself.


  1. No Man is an Island
    There may have been a time you felt that you could cut yourself off from the world. Some people have done this and some succeed at it – don’t get me wrong, some great work is done when you are secluded and often many introverts feel at home when they are alone. However to rely on only yourself with no one else is a different thing altogether. You cannot be taught that friendship and companionship are important, we all naturally feel that they are but it is still something that you must discover yourself. Through conversation and occasional discussions results are found and conclusions are drawn; every jewel needs a surface to rubs against in order to buff it, sometimes abrasive surfaces work best.


  1. Knowledge is Power
    From an early age teachers and parents alike encouraged us to read, pay attention in class and study. Some of us did pay attention, some didn’t, but neither saw the immediate value in the knowledge we learned – at least not in the early years of elementary. Understanding that knowledge is powerful can hit you when you’re young or you can still be waiting to discover it for yourself, but no matter how many times someone may tell you; you need to experience the power knowledge holds yourself before you can ever truly appreciate it.


  1. Be kind
    Don’t get me wrong, we’re all told to be kind to one another when we are young and for the most part we do it, but it isn’t until later in life that we truly understand why being kind to others is an important life lesson. When we’re younger we see everyone else as players in our world and cannot understand that every person we meet has a whole life of their own. No matter how much someone may tell you to be kind you will not truly understand why it is important to be kind until you come to that fact on your own. Some still haven’t.


  1. Time Passes Quickly
    Time is a funny thing; It feels like time moves so slowly when you’re young, even going into high school. Every day you could be reminded about how quickly time flies, by your parents and teachers, but it isn’t until you wake up on your 50th birthday that you realize that they were all true. Life moves pretty fast, If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

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