You know those obnoxious kids who think their parents are just mean, awful and clueless and then they grow up and realize that their parents were right all along? Yep, that was me! Some of the things my mother used to tell me or make me do seemed ridiculous at the time but the older I get, the more I run into situations that remind me of the life lessons my mother taught me.
Some she would teach me in a direct way by just telling me but others, she taught in more subtle ways through observation, repetition or experiences. Those are the ones that really stuck with me.
Eat well, live well. Good day or bad day, happy or angry and rain or shine, you must eat if my mother has any say in it.
Nice people finish first. The way people treat you is irrelevant to how you should treat them. My mother taught me to never hold grudges and to be nice even when others are not nice to me. She always encourages me to do everything in my power to build strong relationships with people, even when it is challenging.
Money isn’t everything. Just find a balance – save on things that aren’t as important and spend on things that you value. From afar, my mother seems extremely frugal, or maybe even cheap. However, she would never skimp on the things she valued in life – food, education and good health.
Never stop learning. My mother was forced to drop out of college to work but she never let that stop her from learning new things. Even today, my mother has learned computers and technology on her own. She has been my motivation to be the first college graduate in my family and continue my learning in my work.
Face adversity and overcome it; don’t complain about it or make excuses. My mother hated when I would make an excuse for something I did or didn’t do. I’m still learning this lesson and trying to get better at it everyday. My mother was amazing at this. She had so many misfortunes in her life but you would never hear a peep about it from her.
Find passion in your work. As stressful as it was, my mother loved being in the restaurant business. She never complained even on the worst of days. She always told me that no amount of money can buy me a career that I’m not passionate about. She was right. I’ve taken lower-paying job offers so I could do something I believe in, something that I care about.
Engage in self-reflection and disengage in blame and assumptions. Before we critique others, we should critique ourselves. I remember the first time I came home complaining to my mother about how my teacher gave me a bad grade. She told me to think long and hard about why I really got a bad grade and try telling her again the next day. I felt silly after thinking about it and would never blame a teacher for a bad grade again.
Poor attitudes produce poor characters. When I would get down on myself about something or get insecure, my mother would never encourage me that everything would be okay. She always just agreed with me. It used to make me so mad. I would say stuff like, “This test is too hard. There’s no way I can pass it.” or “I’ll never make it to that school because the competition is too tough.” All my mother would say is, “Yes, you’re right. You won’t improve anything in your life unless you improve your attitude.”
Patience will get you there faster. Even just last weekend, my mother was yelling at my father to stop speeding. Her argument was always that speeding is counterproductive because if he got pulled over speeding, it would defeat the purpose of speeding in the first place because it would slow him down from getting to where he wanted to go.
Share your recipes. Mom doesn’t just mean actual food recipes. She means that we should share our recipes for success – our knowledge and experiences. Help others succeed. Share your expertise and let people take what you give them and make it their own. If it’s really as good as mom’s recipes, no one will ever be able to replicate it exactly anyway.
What are the life lessons you’ve learned from your mother? Share them with us in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there!