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Posted by on Mar 2, 2013 in Featured Posts, Personal Development | 5 comments

7 Lessons That Should Be Taught In College

7 Lessons That Should Be Taught In College

Every time I read an inspiring post in my RSS feed (if you want to grab some of them, just follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook , I frequently share the best posts I’ve read), there is this growing feeling that there are so many potential life teachers here on Internet. People with a very intense sharing gift that truly understood what life really is about (hint: it’s not about the money or the job you have). People that we should put in front of our kids to teach them non tangible things such as love, compassion, happiness, mindfulness …

I sometimes feel privileged. To have access to this kind of knowledge and to actually know and appreciate the value of it. I feel now that I have a choice, I understand that there’s no such thing called destiny or luck. You are the only captain of your own life, and whatever you choose will affect the rest of your life (tweet this). I find it amazing to have the choice, and to be aware of that. I am now totally conscious that the society is not always right and that you don’t need to follow what others do or tell you to do. I am aware that you don’t need to feel sorry for yourself all the time. I know that there are always alternatives, no matter the situation in which you are.

I do feel lucky to have this beginning of awareness and be able to see past through the consumerist society, the so-called life ideals that I have been told all my life, and my own little voice trying to block me with its negative self-talk. Really I feel kind of blessed to have access to this mindfulness and actually know how to use it (well, it’s not perfect, but little by little). So many people have access to it but either don’t know how to use it or let their ego take the lead and make them believe that this is bullsh*t. That you don’t need to change your life. That it’s all good.

When you start understanding yourself and others around you, when you start to spot your own behavioral pattern, the change and the impact this can have on your life are amazing.

And well… I wish these kind of things were taught at school. Really. I had to learn everything the hard way (reading, experimenting, failing, suffering, …). Don’t get me wrong: learning by experience is probably the best things that has happened to me. And yet I’m pretty sure that for example being able to enjoy the present moment (which means, no compulsive self talk, no thinking about the past nor the future, the complete sensation of being in the here and in the now, no devastating ego) is something much more important than knowing orthography or mathematics.

An empty classroom on sepia tone

“But it won’t get you anywhere!” Who is talking here about success, about getting somewhere? I’m talking here about the ability to be happy, the required self-consciousness to be present. Getting somewhere does not necessarily mean you will have a happy life.

These are the things I wish I had known when I was 15, seriously. My life would have been so much different. But it’s ok, it’s the past. What is done is over, and has actually made me who I am now. Most probably if I hadn’t gone through all this I would not be here writing and sharing on this blog, would I?

So, according to my own personal completely biased opinion, here are the 7 lessons that should be taught in college or university:

Money won’t buy you happiness

Yes I know that for some people it helps, but my point here is that money should not be seen as an objective in life.

Blame yourself and take responsibility

It’s the only way to claim back the control of your life. If you take responsibility and blame yourself, you are actually in charge and have the power to change your life. If you leave the blame on other people, on the crisis, on your government, then you have no control whatsoever.

Meditate often

To avoid negative self-talk, calm the spirit and start fresh anytime needed. Here is a great link to start: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/the-5-minute-guide-to-meditation-anywhere-anytime.html

Be grateful

For everything you have in your life. Even small things. Especially the small things. Say thank you to those who bring you joy and laughter every day.

Be happy by focusing on simple things

It will not change your life straight away, but the more you focus on simple things (a blue sky, a smiling baby, a song that you love, …), the happier you’ll be.

Express yourself and express your feelings

If you love someone, say it. If you have resentment, tell it. If you are thankful, express it. If you need to apologize, do it. Sounds stupid, but I know so many people who are truly incapable of saying “I love you” or “I’m sorry, I was wrong”. It seems to me that there is this kind of barrier that some people are not willing to pass, I call it the emotional barrier, after which people would need to speak about their emotions.

The most important person to please is yourself, not others.

You should first love yourself unconditionally, and then about other people loving you, we’ll see. Really. Read my words. Love yourself first. No one will live your life, so build a life that you love, and that makes you happy. About what your parents or friends think, we’ll see afterwards.

I don’t want to enter in details for each lesson I would give. Each one could have a post on his own, so you can imagine the length of this post. For the moment, I’ve decided to keep things simple, but be sure I will look deeper at each topic in the coming weeks or months. If you want to be notified, just sign up to my newsletter below or in the sidebar.

Oh, and if you know some parents around you, share with them this post and let me know what they thought about it.

And don’t forget: learn something new every day.

Photo courtesy of Online Education and  doobious

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5 Comments

  1. Great post, my friend! I do agree that LIFE should be taught as an own subject at school. Because that is the knowledge you really need to know. Yes, you can learn it the hard way, but why not prepare for it at an early stage? I believe so many more young people would benefit from learning about life.

    • Thank you man :) Maybe if more young people would learn these things at an early stage, the world would be a less violent place… I believe that violence is the result of not understanding life biggest lessons, the result of not being able to look at ourselves and act upon our defects…

  2. Hi Nicholas, the moment I read the title of this article I LEAPT at the chance to read it.

    I’m currently a college student right now and I’m doing all these things outside of my classes that seem to teach me far more valuable things than the material covered in class. I often joke that I haven’t learned in school for years now and there’s some truth to it.

    Imagine how amazing a class would be if they taught all these things like mindfulness and life lessons to remind us that money isn’t what brings us happiness.

    Not many people have the mindset or the mental tools to live life like this and it’d be amazing if somehow it could be woven into curriculums. I would definitely be more engaged in such a class!

    • Hi Vincent :) Thanks for your first comment :) I didn’t know you were a college student, I read your blog yesterday and your bio and it looked to me like you were a full time online worker :D How do you get so much free time to work on several projects, guest posts and have an awesome blog???
      One of the reason I made this blog is to share my mindset and the mental tools I think everyone should have to … evolve to a better self. Hopefully one day my blog (and yours) will be useless since school will teach these things….
      Indeed I believe that life lessons are far more valuable than scientific/literary/culture lessons – you might understand the “world” but what’s the point if you don’t understand neither life nor yourself…
      Take care Vincent.

      • I guess I am just a rockstar, Nicolas. :)

        Hey, maybe the fact schools don’t teach this stuff is a good thing so we “stay in business.” Haha no, I kid, you have a great point.

        I see you’re very passionate about personal development, I really like that! Hope we keep in touch.

        Vincent

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