40 Life Lesson Quotes (To Learn And Grow)

Updated Feb 14, 2023.
Life Lesson Quotes

We all need life lesson quotes to change our perspective about life. Life, itself, is an experience and there are important lessons to learn from it. The beauty of life is that nobody knows everything. We are teachers and learners all at once.

We can learn from our own experiences or other people's experiences but one thing is sure, nobody comes to this world with a bag full of experiences and knowledge.

To make things a bit clearer, a lesson is any valuable knowledge or information we get from an experience. For example, you can learn the importance of failure after experiencing it.

The point is that the experience brings about a huge change in attitude, patterns, lifestyle, and behavior.

It is impossible to live a perfect life or a life with no mistakes because there's no such thing. Instead, make mistakes but always adjust your perspective and see them as lessons instead of mistakes.

This article contains valuable life lesson quotes to help you adjust your perspective about life and its experiences.

Inspiring Life Lesson Quotes

“But one of the big lessons I have learned from my journey is you can't please everyone, so don't try.”
― Chris Colfer.

People-pleasing is a draining disease that so many people have and it never ends until you decide to put an end to it yourself. No matter how you try to please everyone, it is not possible to do this.

The first step to solving this problem is to recognize that you are a people-pleaser and then take actionable measures to solve this problem.

To recognize this, you have to commit to some self-reflection practices. Ask yourself questions like;

  • Why do I feel the need to make other people happy at the expense of my happiness?
  • Why do I put everyone before myself?

This problem might be coming from some self-esteem issues or even something traumatic in your past that makes you feel like you have to work to gain acceptance from people.

The solution to pleasing people is to try to always live for yourself and not for people.

“To be successful, you must act big, think big, and talk big.”
– Aristotle Onassis.

The mind is a very powerful tool in deciding the outcome of our lives and success or failure starts from our mind.

People who see themselves as average people will always be average because we can only manifest what we visualize and believe is true.

For example, if you want to attract incredible business opportunities, you must learn to think big. You can't think small and expect great things to happen to you.

This is the power of manifestation which means to meditate and confess good things. Mentally strong people focus on the best. They think it till they manifest it.

Mentally Strong People Do
Source: Soul Tanner
“In every success story, you will find someone who has made a courageous decision.”
– Peter F. Drucker.

Success is seen and envied by all but the hard work and perseverance that comes before the story is never seen.

This creates the impression that successful people have things easy or are just lucky whereas it took a lot of tears and sweat before the person got to the level that everyone sees.

Courage does not mean bravery when everything is going smoothly but bravery when it seems as though nothing is going right.

This attitude is what decides if we ever succeed or keep failing. A success story is not built in one day or even a week, it is years of hard work and perseverance.

“Short cuts make long delays.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien.

At every crossroad, there will be an option to take the shorter route. It is very tempting to take this route because most times it seems as though it is a smarter decision that has no consequences but this is a false narrative. It is not smart and it has serious consequences.

There are many ways we take shortcuts in life;

  • Following the crowd.
  • Cutting corners.
  • Always going for the easiest available option.

There are life lessons in putting our heads down and doing the work.

It has long-term benefits.

Accept both the enjoyable and painful experiences because they both have their part to play in deciding the quality of our success.

The best way to avoid falling into the trap of taking shortcuts is by setting standards for yourself and boundaries of what you can or can not do. After doing this, challenge yourself to choose wisely because only you can decide how your life turns out.

“Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail to practice being brave .”
― Mary Tyler Moore.

Making mistakes can be very dreadful but they indeed help us acquire knowledge on things that we were clueless about beforehand.

Making mistakes can either be a blessing or a curse because it is one of the best ways to foster growth and creativity or it could be the end of everything.

Mistakes serve us a lot of opportunities to learn and expand on diverse areas in our lives.

They teach us to be resilient and never accept defeat. They also help us know ourselves and our surroundings better.

“A very wise man once told me that you can't look back-you just have to put the past behind you, and find something better in your future.”
― Jodi Picoult.

It is impossible to forget what has happened in the past but the mistake that many people make is that they refuse to move on from it.

Having a mindset that stays thinking about past successes or failures hinders you from being productive in the now.

The first step to solving this problem is to recognize that you have it. Next, appraise yourself for the things you did right and forgive yourself for the things you did wrong.

Then make plans for the future because it helps to take your focus from the things you cannot change and move them to the things that you have the power to change.

If you are having issues moving on from past mistakes or failures, you need to focus on some moving forward quotes. It is highly recommended because these quotes will motivate you to pursue your future, instead of sulking about the past.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them ―that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu.

In life, there were two kinds of people — spontaneous people and organized ones. The first kinds are people that leave out time for spontaneity in their schedule. They do not always plan out every single activity but are open-minded and flexible.

The second kind of people is those who plan out every detail of their lives with no room for flexibility or fun.

Research has it that 40% of people from the first category are happier in life and 72% of people feel delighted when they practice spontaneity.

Spontaneous Decisions
Source: New York Post

The truth is that it is not bad to be an organized person but too much of it takes a toll on your mental health. Try to add some doses of spontaneity to your life.

“If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And what they have planned for you is not much.”
— Jim Rohn.

One of the biggest life lessons you should learn is that you are in charge of your life. You are the one to plan it and decide how it goes. If you don't do so, you end up following someone else's plan.

Setting a plan lets you pave a path for your future. It gives your future direction and makes your goal more realistic.

There's a popular saying that goes, “If you fail to plan, then you have planned to fail”.

Every little important detail about your life, even in your business, needs to be planned. If you are starting a blog or an eCommerce business, you need to know how to get subscribers and buyers. You can't simply launch your business and expect customers to start visiting if you haven't planned how to get them.

Making plans helps you to make decisions on the paths to follow and know when your decisions are moving away from your goal.

If you don't have a plan, you will be working on someone else's path. Chances are that their result may not be the right one you need.

“‎Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning… Anyone can start over and make a new ending.”
― Chico Xavier.

Starting all over might be one of the scariest things to do. But it is also one of the wisest things to do when you notice you are not growing or moving forward.

Here are little, but effective ways, to change your mindset in a way that enables you to start all over:

  • Introspection: You must reflect on so many things and ask yourself hard questions to help you move ahead.

Questions like this could help;

Am I truly happy in this path that I chose? Does this challenge me to be better? Am I in my comfort zone or am I growing?

  • Journaling: This is one of the ways to identify your thought process and journaling simply means writing those thoughts down in a book.
  • Structure your goals: Go over your objectives again and try to be more specific as to what you want from yourself.
  • Take action: There's no such thing as too late as long as you have the desire to be better.
  • Find a source of motivation or a mentor.
“Over the years I've come to realize that mistakes are just lessons, life lessons almost like school. Once you've learned a lesson in class, you move on to the next lesson because now you know it. Well, mistakes are the same.”
– Rashard Royster.

We never stop learning until death and making mistakes is one of the ways to learn things. Mistakes should not be covered up or pushed aside. Instead, they should be embraced because the first step to learning is acknowledging that a mistake has occurred and you played your part in its occurrence.

After the acknowledgment, pick up your journal and write down at least 3 things you learned and imbibe those lessons into your life.

This is how to grow and learn from mistakes.

Avoid the trap of staying with the feelings that come with failing because they are not the focus, the lesson should be the focus.

“If there was any great lesson in life it was this: No battle was ever won with silence.”
― Shannon L. Alder.

A battle can only be won if the soldiers persevere till all their opponents are either dead or surrender. It takes a lot of blood, tears, and sweat for a battle to be won.

This goes the same for achieving our dreams but the battlefield in this case is our mind. If we will win the battle, we must first win the one going on in our minds.

Yes. The battle of the mind is the greatest battle we face daily. Sometimes it looks like you are winning, other times, you may be on the losing side.

An inspiring life lesson I've learned over the years is that our words determine if we win this battle or not.

We must use our words to drag ourselves to victory because the brain listens to our words.

For example; when you feel like a failure, use the power in your words to change that.

Stand in front of your mirror and scream out positive words if you have to.

Change your thought patterns with daily affirmations.

Lastly, surround yourself with people that validate you and not people that tear you down because their words can also affect you.

“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.”
― Rumi.

Dead leaves signify dormancy. It is a term in agriculture that means the cutting off of dead parts of a plant to enable the remainder of the plant to look better.

In reality, it means letting go of old habits and patterns or simply the past to embrace new things.

If we keep holding on to past mistakes and failures, we won't have the space to apply new thoughts.

In an actual sense, reflection and meditation are useless if we don't let the past go.

“Every fault made is another valuable lesson learned.”
― Kaylee Stepkoski.

There's the easy way and the hard way to learn. The easy way is to learn from others' mistakes while the hard way is to learn from your own mistakes.

Dr. Marshall Hennington, the author of ‘Words of Wisdom for My Daughter, Life Lessons', once said, “My greatest life lessons have not come from any achievements I have attained but rather from the failures, heartaches, and setbacks that I have experienced.”

The ability to learn from mistakes is an important life skill every aspiring successful person must have. You cannot aim for success if you cannot learn from your mistakes. A mistake is not a death sentence but an experience. And an experience is a hard teacher.

For every experience, there is always something to learn. But the real question is, “What did you learn?”

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou.

Without courage, there is no success because the ingredients of success all require courage.

Determination, hard work, and persistence all require courage. will be no resilience, perseverance, or faith.

7 Ways to Boost Your Courage
Source: Marlies Cohen

Courage helps you to stand even in the face of challenging situations. It builds character which in turn makes a person successful.

Important Lessons In Life Quotes for Success

“The trouble is if you don't spend your life yourself, other people spend it for you.”
― Peter Shaffer.

An important life lesson I've learned over the years is that people will always have different opinions on how you should live your life or handle a situation. But the only one that matters is your own.

If you don't take charge of your life and decide how you want it to go, people will do it for you. And there's a high chance that they will take it down the path they wish, not the one you want.

Don't get it wrong. It's not wrong to seek advice or get help from a mentor. But learn to make important decisions for your life by yourself. You don't need someone else to run your life for you.

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Approach and perspective are very important when it comes to achieving things.

One great perspective is to see the value of little things. Little things are not insignificant because they make up the big things.

If you only focus on the big areas and neglect the little ones, you are making a big mistake. Learn to appreciate little things and cherish the little efforts you make.

These efforts can cause the breakthrough you have always wanted. For example, you may be seeking to increase your income and achieve financial freedom. Those little savings you make daily or the passive income that fetches you a few extra dollars may look little but they can affect your overall goal.

Change your perspective and appreciate little efforts and wins.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
— Rita Mae Brown.

There is a cycle that we must all go through to tap into greatness; bad could lead to good and good could lead to bad depending on a person's choices.

When we experience bad things, we should aim to learn from them because if we learn the lesson that comes from them, we could then apply it to the next opportunity we get.

Success is a result of applying the knowledge from the various lessons we get each time we fail.

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”
― Marshall McLuhan.

Everyone has a purpose in life and as such something has been deposited inside each of us that the world needs.

Unfortunately, many people do not know this and this ignorance limits their minds.

We each have unique roles to play in life. Everyone is useful. This is an important life lesson you should learn and hold tight.

“Many of us go down a sad path when we let our egos make us suffer.” 
― Mo Gawdat.

In life, you should learn how to manage your ego. It is a very important self-management skill.

Self-confidence is great but it becomes toxic when it starts getting to pride. Pride ruins your relationships and potential ones. It makes you unattractive and hostile. Not everyone wins with pride.

The biggest lesson you can ever learn is that “pride goes before a fall”. So avoid it.

“One of my biggest life lessons is, we heal at the speed of our forgiveness.”
― Romany Malco.

Forgiveness is a very complicated subject because many people think that it is for the offender whereas it is for them.

A big secret you should know is that unforgiveness is more harmful to the offended than the offender. When you hold on to hurt, it becomes toxic to you.

Research has shown that forgiveness has healing power and could lead to a place of restoration. It enables an improved mental state and brings peace to us.

Rather than take out your anger on the offender, you can channel it to something more productive. For example, you can channel the energy toward your personal and professional development.

Forgiveness isn't only towards others but also yourself. Learn to forgive yourself for past mistakes and move on. Only then can you see the many great opportunities in front of you.

“If there's a single lesson that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so.”
― Lev Grossman.

Every dream starts from a wish but a wish only becomes a reality through hard work.

It is okay to wish and dream for greater things. But that dream will only remain one if you do nothing about it.

Everyone has dreams to be great. But what separates the dreamers from the achievers are hard work and determination.

For example, you may wish to increase your monthly income and grow your finances. However, you will need to learn high-income skills or come up with creative passive income ideas that can boost your monthly earnings.

With these skills and ideas, you can set up systems that can fetch you more money than you expected. These systems could be amateur blogging, affiliate marketing, or even by selling online courses.

What matters is that you are actually taking actions that will turn your wish into a reality. You don't need a fairy godmother with a wand. All you need is hard work and determination.

Interesting Life Lesson Quotes

“In this life, when you deny someone an apology, you will remember it at the time you beg forgiveness.”
– Toba Beta.

It's unfair to ask for something you can't give back.

As humans, it is easy to judge other people around us while forgetting we are also just as imperfect as they are.

When we remember that we are all humans and as such should be allowed to make as many mistakes as possible, we will be more open to forgiveness and giving people multiple chances.

It is important to be well-grounded and know that people's actions do not determine who you are.

When you find your self-worth outside of people's opinions, it would be easier to let people in and out of your life depending on the situation.

“The biggest lesson I had in my life was failure.”
— Tim Rice.

Failure is an excellent teacher but just as you have in every class, there are the bright students and the dull ones.

In this context, brilliance doesn't just entail a high IQ but the way the student adheres to instructions and corrections also contributes.

Applying this to the real world, people are successful because they listened to the voice of correction that came from their previous failures.

They didn't stop at listening to this voice, they also reflected on it and applied the lessons they learned to their lives.

If you still don't see any reason to learn from your failures, then I recommend you should on learning from failure quotes. These quotes will inspire you and point you in the right direction.

“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
– Robert Frost 

Life never goes on a break so it is important to prioritize yourself, your mental health, and your dreams.

When life eventually ends, all our chances and opportunities are gone too.

A dead man has no dreams to achieve or mental health to protect and this is the reason we must do better in every single aspect of our lives.

“Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.”
— John Lennon.

As humans, we tend to over-plan and strategize sometimes because we don't want to be caught unawares but life always does its own thing.

Our control is very limited and most times control leads to too much organization and zero spontaneity.

It is important to learn how to balance our control over things with knowing that our plans may be stopped by bigger plans.

“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”
— Sophia Loren.

We often hear successful people say things like “I've paid my dues” and wonder what they mean by dues.

In simplest terms, this sentence signifies hard work and if someone says such it means they have labored consistently for what they later enjoyed.

In the moment of suffering or pain, it won't be easy or exciting but if you have the passion to stand for what you want then you will know better than to give up simply because life told you to.

Learn to plan your life accordingly. It is very important and will save you lots of future stress. Your life plan should align with your values, as you state your long-term and short-term goals.

My Life Plan
Source: Lifehack
“Life taught me love is risky. Death taught me to love even more.”
— Maxime Lagacé.

Death is usually a very sacred topic that people run away from. It is too uncomfortable to think that someday you might lose your loved ones or even your own life.

Nevertheless, we need to fully understand death and its effects to know the value of life.

There are lessons to be learned in losing people you care about and the number one lesson that death teaches is love.

It shows us the consequence of not living and the significance of showing love to people.

Life is the other side of the picture and when we are on this side we tend to take a lot of things for granted. Life is fickle and we need to understand this sad reality.

With that said, enjoy every moment of your life, love hard, laugh often, and make memories with the people you love because you never know what could happen next.

“It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you've known forever don't see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.”
― Nicholas Sparks.

With age comes a lot of growth and realization. The more you grow, the more you discover things about yourself and know your true opinions about certain topics.

Growing up, there are a lot of stolen ideas that were passed down to us that we think are our thoughts.

However, with time we get to see and know what we truly believe and what we don't.

Discovering who you are on the inside makes you identify the people that can add value to your life and the people that can't.

As you appreciate those around you, learn to surround yourself with people who add value to you.

“The Universe is one great kindergarten for man. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar life lesson.”
— Orison Swett Marden.

There's a lesson in every single thing but learning from each lesson depends on you.

Different setbacks, opportunities, and losses teach us so much.

We learn to be stronger and trust in our inner abilities.

The more we experience in life, the safer we feel when other things surface because experience brings some level of certainty and self-assuredness that we are ready for whatever life throws at us.

“As life's lessons are learned, spiritual truth emerges.”
― Eric Alsterberg.

There is a connection between spirituality and physical things but many people do not see this.

Our actions stem from our beliefs which lie deeply with our faith. This produces positive feelings like gratitude and trust that changes the way we look at failures.

Believing in a great source helps to take the pressure away from us by making us see a greater light.

Everybody needs to believe in something to live their lives.

“And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.”
— Haruki Murakami.

One of the best life lessons about challenges is that they are not meant to bring you down. Instead, challenges are life's way of making you tougher.

Have you ever seen a diamond stone in its pure, unrefined form?

It almost looks like filth. There's no glow or dazzling sparkle. But once that sane diamond passes through the fire and is refined, its true beauty comes out.

This is exactly what challenges do to us. We never know how powerful and effective we are until we face challenges.

“A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.”
― Dan Rather.

The sad truth is that not everyone you come across has good intentions toward you.

It is easy to get carried away by a lot of things that we forget to pay close attention to patterns.

Discernment is a great quality to have because it helps you identify different motives and know who to stop from getting to know you on a personal level.

Here are ways to be a bit more observative;

  • Ask more questions.
  • Listen more than you speak.
  • Paying attention to every detail.
  • Think about the answers given.
“I've come to realize that every single day we face moments that are difficult, uncertain, and scary. Your life requires courage.”
― Mel Robbins.

The journey of life will not always be easy and this is one thing many people do not understand.

We will have ups and downs but we must keep standing both in the good and the bad.

Being courageous does not in any way mean that only pleasant things will be happening all around you but that you still keep trying even in undesirable times.

Short Life Lessons Quotes

“My greatest life lesson has been that life can change in a second. This is why it's important to always live your best possible life and to do what you can for others.”
— Niki Taylor.

There is a popular saying that goes “tomorrow is not promised” and it cannot be overemphasized.

This is why we have to put in all the effort that we can to achieve our dreams. Wasting the ability that you have been blessed with (everyone has gifts and talents deposited inside of them) is a great disservice to yourself.

Why live below your full potential when you can surpass your goals?

Always challenge yourself to do your best. Start building that strong work ethic or developing your communication skills. Your goal is to be the best version of yourself, not an imitation of someone else.

“Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh.

Our actions in the past defined our present and our actions now will also determine our future whether we accept it or not.

Our steps should be well thought out because our future depends on them.

One of the ways to be more serious about the steps you take toward your future is to have a vision board that allows you to plan your goals flexibly.

You need to first know where you want to get to before you can get there because it is the knowledge that prompts the actions.

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.”
― Steve Jobs.

Time is something we don't have much of and the tricky part is that we don't know how much time we each have left.

It is important to use the short time we have left wisely by living for ourselves and not others.

We each have the option of choice. You can decide to keep focusing on the expectations others have for you or you can focus on yourself and what you want for yourself.

Recognizing your inner voice is the first step to self-fulfillment because it is easy to carry other people's opinions as yours without ever finding out your true thoughts on certain matters.

Find your inner voice and build on it.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
― Nelson Mandela.

You can never know the strength that lies in you if you never get the chance to use it.

In falling, you know that you are strong enough to get up and that builds some level of confidence for the next setback that you might face.

You just have to develop a positive attitude. A positive attitude makes you see all the important lessons to learn from your mistakes. Instead of blaming yourself, those around you, or even invisible forces, you can highlight your mistakes and learn from them.

A positive attitude is the best attitude to have if you want to succeed. You can only stand after a fall if you have a positive attitude.

Steps to Develop Positive Attitude
Source: Slideplayer

You can use the help of some positive attitude quotes to boost your attitude.

“Life's lessons take a lifetime to learn, that's just how it is in life's classroom. But as we learn, we teach others. We are all teachers in the school of life.”
― Olive Steele. 

Our experiences are not just for ourselves, they are for other people as well.

You can use your experiences to be a source of inspiration or motivation to those around you.

People are drawn to hearing success stories because they want to know that you fell yet rose again and so they can too.

You need to see yourself as someone that can make an impact even with your mistakes.

Learn your lessons and teach others too.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt.

We shape our lives through our choices.

We are responsible for ourselves and this means that we get to choose what we say, what we do, what we hear, what we pay attention to and the list goes on.

Whatever goes into your mind is what it produces back out. You attract both good and things on the frequencies of your own actions, thoughts, and beliefs.

For example, having a negative attitude towards challenges or issues at work can affect your efficiency and reduce your productivity. You are in charge of your life. It is your responsibility to determine how productive you want to be.

“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.”
— Al Franken.

You should live your life to the fullest regardless of the fear of failure. Learn to take risks and not be too scared about making mistakes.

The best part about mistakes is that there is always something to learn.

Final Thoughts On Life Lessons Quotes

The quality of the life that we live highly depends on our ability to accept corrections, learn and keep growing.

Realizing that our imperfections are part of what makes us humans will help us take things easy on ourselves when we make mistakes.

It is impossible to go through life without making a single mistake and as such, we all need to embrace making mistakes and see them as part of life.

Change your mindset to pick out the lesson in the mistake and forget about negative emotions like shame and fear because they only contribute to the problem.

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.