10 Life Lessons Most of Us Learn Too Late

If you aren’t continuously learning, you are doing something wrong.

Every year, I learn something new. It’s a process I love, and this habit of learning has made me wiser. The more we know, the more successful we become as people.

Here are ten lessons in life that most people (including myself) learn far too late.

1: Health Is More Important Than Wealth

Without good health, your wealth is only meaningful to your kids. Never sacrifice your health for money unless that sacrifice is temporary or necessary to keep the lights on and food on the table. The more you focus on your health, the lower your future healthcare bill. The more active and confident you’ll feel. The longer you will get to play with your kids. There’s nothing that should come between you and your health.

Related: 8 Controversial Comedies That Could Never Get Made Today

2: Working Smart > Working Hard

“Hard work” wins the race, right? Well, not exactly. While there’s nothing wrong with working hard, we also need to ensure we’re working on the right things. And that’s where working smart comes into play — working smart means spending time on tasks that matter. Smart work means working on things with the biggest payoff and supporting our long-term goals.

3: Risk Builds Wealth

To get rich, we need to put our money at risk. Money will never grow when we keep it in a checking or savings account. Instead, investing in appreciating assets like stocks and real estate is how money grows on its own. While there is always a risk of an investment going down, history has shown the stock market goes up over time. With a long-term time horizon, investing in the market has helped millions of people build wealth.

Related: Top 5 TV Show Cancellations That Still Frustrate Disappointed Fans

4: Take Risks (Especially Early in Life)

Like money, we tend to grow as people when we take risks. Playing it safe might avoid failures, but it also keeps us from achieving our full potential. And when we use failures as a learning opportunity, our mistakes are often our best teachers. Put yourself out there. Say “yes” to opportunities. The more we do, the more we learn. And wealth is attracted to those who are okay getting in a little over their head.

5: Don’t Be Afraid of Failure

Failures make us more experienced people. Wiser. When we make mistakes and learn from them, we know what not to do next time. Sure, our successes are much more satisfying. But, we learn much more from failures than our successes. If you make a mistake, that’s okay. It happens to all of us. Instead of getting upset, learn what to do differently next time.

6: Flexibility Is Key

I used to be rigid in my beliefs, but I’ve learned rigidity flies against the very fabric of life. Life is fluid. It ebbs and flows like our career, money, mood, and everything else. Instead of taking a hard stance on every little thing, flexibility will help us confront more challenges and learn about ourselves (and life) more naturally. Things don’t always have to go to plan. It’s okay for things to change. Often, change is good.

7: Coincidences Are Rare

Even if we don’t directly see them, every decision has consequences. Every choice has a reaction. This includes the words we use, our actions, and how we carry ourselves throughout life. For instance, happy people tend to attract happiness. Likewise, negative people always seem to be “unlucky.” This isn’t a coincidence. Our lives are the result of the choices we make, not just random actions that happen to us.

8: Other People Don’t Care About You

I learned this one much too late in life, but it’s true. Most people aren’t discussing us at their dinner tables. As a result, it’s a waste of time worrying about what they think of us. It doesn’t matter if other people disapprove of the way we operate. You do you. What other people think of you, the clothes you wear, and the car you drive, won’t make you more successful.

9: Live in the Moment

While it’s always a good idea to establish and work toward future goals, it’s also essential to appreciate our lives today. It’s too easy to let our careers consume our minds. When we do this, we lose sight of everything good that’s happening in our lives. So every day, take time to reflect on everything you have and appreciate the family you’ve built and your things. After all, there are a lot of people in the world who would love to be in your position.

10: Your EQ Will Open Doors That Your IQ Won’t

While your skills and experience play a significant role throughout your life, your EQ, or emotional intelligence, plays an equally important role. Your EQ measures how well you learn new things and interact with people inside and outside the workplace. The easier it is for other people to work with you, the easier it will be to make friends and get opportunities.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.