Life Lessons I Learned From My Grandmother

As a child I ran away from home to live in streets because I could not handle the abuse I suffered at the hands of my mother. My mother was someone who struggled with substance abuse for many years, which made it impossible for her to take care of me. Fortunately, I had the privilege of spending several years with my grandmother as a child.

My grandmother was a wise woman who loved me in a way that shaped my life. She provided me with a moral compass and the kind of wisdom that endures. Wisdom that captured my heart, soul and mind. Her voice still echoes in my mind when I look for guidance. She shared many life lessons that have been invaluable to me and I would like to share some of these with you.

Be grateful for the good and the bad in your life: Grandma taught me that challenges and obstacles bring within them an important lesson. “A lot of what we call problems are actually opportunities to become a better human being” she said.

We are usually very quick to smile and be cheerful when everyone seems to be going according to plan, but throw a curve ball in there once in a while and we quickly lose hope and feel like giving up. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned in my life came from some of the most challenging times I have lived through. I am grateful now for those obstacles, since they have helped me practice and develop patience, perseverance and faith.

If you want want something bad enough, you will find a way to get it: I remember as a kid hearing her say this. I never quite understood what she meant until years later.

We often say we want “_______” but when we realize the amount of work that is needed to achieve it, we tend to have excuses of why we can’t have it. The truth is: We either strive, persevere and work to achieve what we want or we make excuses of why we can’t have it, but we can’t have both.

You have everything you need to be happy: My grandmother was always happy, cheerful and incredibly active. She was always up at 5am and you rarely heard her complaint about anything. I remember friends and family calling her to ask for advice and one thing she always said was “You don’t need anyone or anything else that you don’t already have to be happy”

We tend to think that if we only had “_________” then, and only then we will find happiness. I think happiness is a choice we make on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, we all have our own challenges and things we need to deal with, but at the end of the day we make up our own rules of what it means to be happy and we can choose to be happy regardless of what goes on in our lives.

Learn from your mistakes, this is how you become wise: This sounds like common sense when you read it, but how many times do we make the same mistakes over and over? Take moment to think about mistakes you have made in the past and what lessons have you learned from them. If you are still making the same mistakes over and over, chances are you have not learned that particular lesson yet.

Most challenges in our lives are here to teach us an important lesson. Whether is about money, love, health, etc… These challenges will continue to show up again and again until we finally learn the lesson and change.

Happiness is a choice: I don’t have a lot of memories of my grandmother when she wasn’t smiling. She always seem to have a smile on her face and a great positive attitude about her. She always emphasized the fact that “being happy is a choice you make everyday, no matter what” after years of thinking she was wrong, I now realize the truth behind that statement.

We seem to wait for something to happen in order to be happy: “When I get that promotion, buy that car, find that special someone, etc… then I will be happy” or we get stuck on things that have happened in the past and use those excuses instead to justify the reasons why we are not happy. The truth is if we really wanted, we could just be happy right now. So Make that choice right now.

Simplify your life: Grandma’s life was quite simple. It revolved around her family, a few wonderful friends, her favorite TV shows, her daily walks through the park and some simple vacations. She kept everything simple, her conversations were straight to the point, her goals and dreams were clear and concise. We tend to make things so incredibly complicated. Our jobs, our personal relationships, even simple tasks. I encourage you to simplify your life by getting rid of everything that makes your life more complicated than it is.

I can go on and on about everything I learn from my grandma and I could probably write a great book about it (maybe I will) needless to say, I am incredibly grateful for her wisdom and her love. I hope you too have great memories from your grandmothers and if they are still around, you cherish them and learn from their wisdom.