Lessons to Unlearn


I noticed lately that Oprah has a lot of 10 thing articles.  10… life lessons you should unlearn,  pieces of advice to get you through a terrible dayways to stay spiritually connected, etc.  I’ve never been one to worship at the alter of Oprah. The most exposure I get to her is on CNN, where I found the first article of 10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn.

That got my attention.  I thought to myself that could be interesting – Lessons to unlearn.  I read through it and well frankly, there is nothing particularly earth shattering about it.  In fact, it inspired me to come up with my own list of Lessons to Unlearn.

  1. I have to be Perfect – No, I do not.  Perfection is a vastly overrated attribute that can not be achieved.  I hate to be held hostage to the Perfect paradigm by people who are not perfect themselves.
  2. Be Quiet and Don’t Draw Attention to Myself – Been there done that and haven’t like the results. I’m much happier with myself when I live out loud and accept the accolades for a job well done.  The spot light doesn’t have to be on all the time, but I don’t have to avoid it.
  3. You’d be Pretty if You Lost that Weight – I call Bullshit on this.  I’m an attractive person with a great personality.  Weight has nothing to do with a person being ‘pretty’.  It is all about being secure in who you are.  This is a battle long fought for me.  I like who I am right now.
  4. I Must be 100% Original in any Creative Endeavor – No, I can be inspired by others.  The great artist, thinkers and other creative people through out time have been influenced by the world and people around them.  Nobody functions in a bubble.  My perspective on the world has every right to be heard and seen, no matter the medium.
  5. People will Hurt You in the End – Maybe, maybe not.  But if they do, I learn from the experience and move on. Dwelling on the experience only makes me bitter and miserable.  Taking the lesson and emerging stronger, willing to take another risk makes me amazing.
  6. Tragedy will Cripple You – No.  The experience changes your perception of the world and how you deal with it.  If it cripples you, it’s your own fault.  I’m not saying not to mourn the loss of a loved one, a job, a dream.  I’m saying rise like a phoenix and be better for it.
  7. Dreams Never Change – Not true.  I don’t want the dreams of my childhood.  I’m a different person. My needs are different now. Dreams should evolve with your personal journey.  As you mature, they should mature.  I’ve learned to have the strength to set aside my childish dreams so I can have room for my grown-up dreams.  And these dreams are that much better.
  8. Success is EVERYTHING Material – Absolutely not.  Success is not all things material.  In fact, success is extremely subjective.  Sometimes failure can be a success.  Don’t scoff.  Some of my biggest successes have been perceived as failures by others.  Success and failure are the same coin, just different sides.  In order to enjoy one, you have to know the other.
  9. People’s Opinions Count – No they don’t.  They can offer an insight to what is happening, but other’s opinions are just that  – opinions.  Nothing set in stone.  Like water on a duck, if it doesn’t fit, shake it off and move on.  If they take offense that you didn’t adhere to their opinion, then they really aren’t meant to be in your life.
  10. I Must be Happy at all Times – Nobody can be happy at all times, it’s unnatural.  I have emotions, I own them and live them.  Will I inflict them on the world at large? No, but neither will I run from my emotional landscape.  I’ll be happy when I am.  The rest of the time I’ll just be whatever I am, eventually I’ll circle back to happy.

What are your ‘Lessons to Unlearn’?

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About Leila

I hail from the East and view the world as my playground. I'm opinionated. My dog is my co-pilot, but my cat navigates better. I'm only limited by my imagination. While there are terrible things that happen in the world I am responsible for making good things happen where I live, and that affects the world at large making it a better place.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Life, Personal, Self-Awareness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Lessons to Unlearn

  1. Jeni says:

    Leila,
    I liked this posting and thought that it was a good solid list.

  2. julijules says:

    Now you’ve gone & made me think! I am going to have to do some reflecting and post one of these myself.

  3. “The Alter of Oprah” — I like that. When I go to our local library I see stacks of her O Magazine, and I enjoy flipping through one after another in quick succession to see Oprah in a red dress; Oprah with yellow flowers; Oprah in a black pantsuit. When I am irritated with my husband I threaten to get him a three-year subscription.

    The List of Things to Unlearn, however, is a good one, and I offer accolades to the silent, unnamed person or staffwriters who actually came up with them and wrote them, then sold them to Oprah to promote under her name.

    I agree with you that cats navigate better, but I have found that mine frequently don’t want me to be along — as long as the kitty dish is full, they’re fine, thank you.

    • Leila says:

      My cat, being part Siamese, likes me along so he can tell me how to do every thing his way and keep the dog from getting better treats.

  4. Pingback: Ten Life Lessons to Unlearn « Rambling Jules

  5. “Sip your Tequila,
    give me some time
    to unlearn all I’ve learned
    for the spring to unwind …”
    — Concrete Blonde

    I have lots of stuff that I should unlearn, but probably won’t.

  6. This is a great list. My lessons I need to unlearn are similar…. I’ll add these two for me:

    1) If I make a friend angry, they won’t like me anymore.
    This is maybe true sometimes, but other times people will get over being angry and be willing to forgive and still want to be friends.

    2) Hurtful comments from others are to be avoided at all costs.
    It is better to speak the truth with compassion, and be willing to admit when I’m wrong, than to constantly try to please everyone out of fear of what people will think or say about me.

    Yep, I obviously have some self-esteem issues here – i’m working on it. 🙂

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