50 Lessons I wish I had learned earlier

Now that I’m old and gray (but not quite in my rocker yet!) I look back on my life and think about things I wish I knew earlier. It would have made my life so much easier if I knew then what I know now. Here’s my list of things I wish I could turn back the hands of time to tell my younger self. Maybe it’s not too late for you.

  1. You’re stronger than you think you are.
  2. Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.
  3. cycling the peruvian desert

    Cycling the Peruvian desert

    There is nothing to hold you back except you.

  4. You can press forward long after you can’t.  It’s a matter of wanting it bad enough.
  5. No matter how much progress you make there will always be the people who insist that whatever you’re trying to do is impossible.
  6. You are limited only by your own imagination. Let it fly.
  7. Perception is reality.
  8. Your instincts can be trusted.
  9. There is only one question to ask yourself: “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
  10. It’s often hard to tell just how close you are to success.
  11. The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  12. Never let success get to your head, and never let failure get to your heart.
  13. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
  14. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
  15. Do what you love, not what you think you’re supposed to do.
  16. Laughter is the best medicine for stress.  Laugh at yourself often.
  17. If you want to feel rich, just count all the great things you have that money can’t buy.
  18. Forgiving yourself is far more important than getting others to forgive you.
  19. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  20. don't be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreamsBe nice to yourself.
  21. For the most part, it doesn’t matter what people think.  Follow your own truth.
  22. No education is wasted. Drink in as many new experiences as you can.
  23. Making one person smile can change the world.
  24. Don’t forget to enjoy your journey!
  25. You never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  26. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  27. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  28. Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak.  It doesn’t always solve your problems either.
  29. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  30. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  31. You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.
  32. Give up worrying about what others think of you.
  33. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  34. leaving prudhoe bay on bikes

    I learned many life lessons on our 3-year family bike trip from Alaska to Argentina

    You have to accept that some things will never be yours, and learn to appreciate the things that are only yours.

  35. As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
  36. Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone.  Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to lose.
  37. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.
  38. You’ll rarely be 100% sure it will work.  But you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.
  39. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future for too long.  Right now is life.  Live it.
  40. No matter how cautiously you choose your words, someone will always twist them around and misinterpret what you say.  Just say what you need to say.
  41. Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck.
  42. If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.
  43. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  44. life begins at end of your comfort zoneWhat lies before us and behind us are tiny matters when compared to what lies within us.
  45. Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
  46. It’s not about getting a chance, it’s about taking a chance.
  47. If it were easy everyone would do it.
  48. Be vulnerable.
  49. A problem is a chance for you to learn.
  50. Regardless of the situation, life goes on.

Life is for the living. It’s for grabbing onto and living on the wild side. Life is not about sitting safely in the harbor, but about casting off the bowlines and heading into the unknown. Live life to the fullest today.

If you enjoyed these inspirational quotes and feel they would be beneficial for others, we would appreciate it if you would take a moment to share it with your friends via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or email. Thumbs up on StumbleUpon are greatly appreciated too. Thank you very much!

Wondering who this crazy family is who would spend three years riding bikes from one end of the world to the other? Here’s our About Us page to learn more.

Interested in our journey? We blogged daily the whole way – all 1018 days. All those journal entries are here on this blog – I’ve chosen a couple/month to highlight here.

Finances are a big hurdle. In this post, I’ve explained how we managed to do it, but I’ve also linked to many other posts showing how others managed to finance their dreams. How to Finance Long Term Travel.

Looking for a motivational speaker for your corporate event, school, or club? I will encourage your group to dream big and then make it happen. Here is a TEDx Talk that I gave so you can see my speaking style: What Would You Do If You Were Not Afraid?

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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189 Responses to 50 Lessons I wish I had learned earlier

  1. David November 28, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Hey Nancy you have got some of “I wish I had learned earlier s” almost same as mine. When I look at this it remembers my old days. At that time I was dreaming of riding a Dukati 848 on my own. But when time passes, we would realize some are just only dreams.

    • Nancy November 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

      The important part is following those dreams – whereever they may lead!

    • Rusty December 2, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      It’s Ducati!!!!!!!!

    • Jean Boyd December 4, 2011 at 11:17 am #

      When I was divorced from my first husband and living with a friend, we both decided one important thing. When I am old, I will never sit in my rocking chair and “wish I had”. We saved our money, sold our furniture, bought a tent and camping equipment and left. We were gone 3months, camped through 13 states, saw a double rainbow at the foot of the Grand Teton mountains, slept in the redwood forest, did so many wonderful things. You only get one shot at this life so grab every experience you can. Bless you and Happy holidays.

      • Nancy December 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

        @Jean Boyd,
        I love that you did that! I wish more people would head out and do exactly that!

    • Dax November 19, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      It’ll be my 27th birthday in a couple of weeks time, I sure need to read this. There were times when I feel like I’m stagnant, bored with life, and rotten, but then again, this list reminds me that I’m just halfway!

      Thanks for this.

  2. Ann Brennan November 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    These are great lessons. The one about mistakes being learning opportunities is probably the single most important lesson for parents to understand. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Nancy November 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

      @Ann Brennan,
      So important! I always told my students that making mistakes was good – the important part was learning from them rather than ignoring them.

  3. Lisa Wood November 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    That is so amazing – I so need to book mark this post for when I have a day where I need to read about inspiration! Love it – maybe we have to have grey hair and live a little before we can learn what we need to know 🙂
    Perfect List

    • Nancy November 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

      @Lisa Wood,
      That’s exactly how this post happened. Whenever I found a great quote that I liked, I copied it into a document so I could go look at it for inspiration. Now I put them all together.

  4. Rachel Denning November 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Love it!

  5. Nate November 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I really liked #29 – it’s true that just by trying and taking ACTION you are ahead of so many people…and that’s a big deal!

    • Nancy November 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

      Very true! If we don’t even start, we know we won’t make it. And yet – the vast majority of people never take that first step.

  6. Justin November 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Great Job Nancy. Both on realizing these gems and putting them together.

    My favorite – “There is nothing to hold you back except you.”


    • Nancy November 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

      I like that one too. And that we’re only limited by our imaginations.

  7. Nancy November 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Thanks April! I love this one – lots of good stuff here!

  8. Stacey November 28, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    What a wonderful way to wake up and start the day, thanks for a good read (and a good, inspired mood).

    • Nancy November 28, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      Definitely words to keep in mind as we go through life, eh?

  9. Claude Abrams November 29, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    Fantastic list. Thanks for sharing. I shall spread the word – and positivity of the message. Very inspiring and always nice to be reminded of some simple facts of life.

    • Nancy November 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      @Claude Abrams,
      Sometimes the simplest lessons are the hardest to truly remember and act upon.

  10. Hilbert November 29, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Hello Nancy, What a wonderful post.. Really great and very informative. Thanks for sharing this post, it reminds me about making thing go inline again for a better change. By reading your post, I realize of what happen during my old times. I will do reflecting now. Really Great.

  11. Tracy Benham (@TravelFit) November 29, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Love this post! I shared it everywhere (Tw, FB G+) and am going to make my lil’ sis read every word 🙂

    I also keep a list of quotes and lessons I have learned. You have captured tons of them magnificently.
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Rachel Martin November 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Wonderful! I’m about half way there, still in my thirties but love to hear advice that confirms I’m on the right track, however scary that can feel. Live, love, dream! Thank you so much I’m going to treasue this list going forward….

    • Nancy November 30, 2011 at 11:08 am #

      @Rachel Martin,
      The key is to pursue your passion and follow your dream – whereever it leads!

  13. Katie Tibbetts November 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    What a spot on and well-articulated list! Great reminders to stay tough when the going gets rough. Thanks for the refreshing refresher!

    • Nancy November 30, 2011 at 11:08 am #

      @Katie Tibbetts,
      Thanks Katie! It really is good to know we can make it through when the going gets tough. And we can – if we decide we will.

  14. Marci Baun November 29, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Excellent post, Nancy. You have to push your limits in order to know what they are. We are often capable of more than we think we are.


    • Nancy November 30, 2011 at 11:07 am #

      @Marci Baun,
      I would say we almost always are capable of more than we think we are. Why do we underestimate ourselves so much anyway?

  15. lisa Shusterman November 30, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Nancy, awesome list! I can’t even think of anything to add. I feel like I’m reading a motivational poster/Buddhist text. What a great way to start the New Year.

    • Nancy November 30, 2011 at 11:07 am #

      @lisa Shusterman,
      Thank you! I really do think this is a list to keep in mind as we go through life.

  16. JoAnna December 1, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    All important lessons, but if I recall correctly, you served in the Peace Corps at a young age, so I know you pushed your personal boundaries then, even if you didn’t think you did. You’ve done more in the few short years you have lived than most people would in a dozen lifetimes.

    • Nancy December 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      I did enter the Peace Corps when I was 24. At the time, it didn’t feel all that adventurous but I realize now that it was. I guess I’ve always believed in living life on the edge 🙂

  17. Harry & Ivana December 2, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    Good for you, great list. Don’t bother too much about what you could have learned earlier, as there is still a lot to learn ahead. Too many people get stuck in the past, while the road ahead can go wherever you want (if you bring the right set of Schwalbes 😉

  18. kirk December 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    you just blew my mind. thank you!

  19. SupermomWannabe December 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    I love this list! I am a big fan of uplifting positive quotes too – they can really help bring people back to a grateful place. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nancy December 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      Thank you! I think there is a lot to be said about surrounding yourself with positive messages.

  20. Marissa December 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    This list is amazing. I’m 19 years old, and I have been going through one of the roughest times in my life so far. I just wanted you to know that this list has given me a lot of hope, and immensely cheered me. I don’t think you understand how much this page meant to me. Thank you so much for posting it 🙂

    • Nancy December 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      Thank you Marissa! Keep hanging in there and things will turn around. My 12-year-old son taught me that lesson when I hit bottom one time.

  21. breanna December 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    I Like The First One Where It Says “Every Accomplishments Start With The Decision To Try..”

    • Nancy December 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

      I often say the decision to ride our bikes from Alaska to Argentina was WAY harder than actually doing it!

  22. Aidy December 4, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    True to life. Thank you for sharing something I also wished I heard sooner, but I am now the better for it. Thank you.

    • Nancy December 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

      Don’t we all wish we had learned more earlier? But then – life wouldn’t be as fun 🙂

  23. Gary December 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    bullshit and hogwash
    1. Sometimes you can’t accomplish something because it can’t be accomplished.
    2. Sometimes you are not near strong enough to get it done.
    3. Imagine it and it can happen, but maybe not for you.
    4. Try. If you fail try again. Then at some point, give in to reality and try something else.
    5. Quit looking for inane and polyanna quotes to give you inspiration. If you can’t find it within yourself, maybe it because it’s not there.

    • Nancy December 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

      I suppose you could look at things that way, but I choose not to. I choose to believe I can do the impossible – because we did it. Many people said there was NO WAY 10-year-old kids could possibly ride bikes 17,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina. We did it. Had we “faced reality and given in to it” we would have failed for sure.

  24. Maegan December 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Thank you for posting this list. I’m 16 and just learning how to drive and I’m pretty nervous about it. I was scared I’d be no good at it or I would mess up somehow but this has really helped my confidence, and that’s all I really need right now so thanks.

    • Nancy December 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

      Driving is scary for a little while, but soon you’ll be a master!

  25. Taylar December 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Awesome Nancy! I’m 18 and in college. If I keep looking at this, I’m sure I will look at life in a new, better perspective.

    • Nancy December 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      No doubt! I sure wish I knew these things when I was in college! But then again – maybe not. Maybe it was the process of discovering them that made it so rewarding.

  26. Marie December 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Thank you…….I asked myself……if I wasn’t afraid…..I answered……..I would leave him

    • Nancy December 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      Tough decision to be sure. Fear holds us back from following our dreams way too many times, but first we have to know what our dreams are. Good for you for identifying it.

    • Patt December 30, 2011 at 6:54 am #

      @Marie, If he is abusive, then leave him and don’t look back. It was the best decision I ever made!

  27. Hannah December 6, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    I love all the inspiration but this somewhat bothered me.
    43. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.

    I have an amazing life full of life experiences and many things that others don’t have, however, I have to admit they were basically handed to me. I want to become my own person, have my own hardships, and do these type of things for myself. If I keep doing what I’m doing, I will be dependent on others for much longer, if not forever.

    • Nancy December 6, 2011 at 12:45 am #

      It’s your choice. If you want to keep getting what you’re getting, then keep doing what you’re doing. If you want something different, then change. That’s the beauty of it all.

  28. Linda December 6, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    No. 30 # (Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain) reminded me of an old, nearly forgotten ID I used to go by when I first discovered the internet 15 years ago: I went by the name “Duck Dancing” because of a graphic in a card printing program I had which showed a duck dancing in the rain – and that’s why I used that name – I was learning to dance in the rain. 🙂

    • Nancy December 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      I love that idea! For a duck, the rain is sheer delight, as it should be for us!

  29. DTravelsRound December 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    I love these!! “Be vulnerable.” That is a great one that most people wouldn’t think of.

    • Nancy December 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

      I truly believe that magic happens when we open ourselves up and are vulnerable. People are more than happy to help us, but they need to see the need first.

  30. vic December 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    life is indeed a decision 🙂

    • Nancy December 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      Life is totally a decision!

  31. Fida December 8, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I nail this list to my forehead. Nancy, you just became my personal coach!

    • Nancy December 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      HA! That’s a great visual! They are certainly good things to remember though!

  32. Nancy December 9, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    @Angel Collins,
    That is so true – dreams are achieved by pursuing your passion and following your dreams!

  33. giri December 9, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    thank u for taking the pain to share the real tips …

  34. Pamela December 9, 2011 at 5:25 am #

    Hi, I’m 19 years old and I can tell ya these life lessons are something we all need to keep close to us I think another one I’d add, which is kinda like one you already had is, Do what you feel is right because either way someone will have something negative to say about it.

    Great list.

    • Nancy December 9, 2011 at 7:57 am #

      Oh man – don’t I know that! For sure there are people out there who will say something negative no matter what you do. Keep these lessons with you throughout life and you’ll go far!

  35. Brams December 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    This has made me realize a lot of stuff… Thank you!

  36. Kaye Flores December 9, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    thank you! If you want something, work for it and never give up!

  37. confusedteen December 10, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    thank you.

  38. karen December 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    You guys are great!!!!!

  39. Rebecca December 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Beautiful! I have been privileged to learn a few of these before it’s was too late….especially fighting thru the bad days for those good days. I also know that some times you have to be broken down to be rebuilt into something better. I hope those younger than us take heed to your list. Some of the best life advice is on this list. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Nancy December 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

      It’s sad that, many times, those lessons can only be learned the hard way. I truly hope young people take these to heart – they’ll save themselves a lot of heartache if they do!

  40. Chelsea December 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    Sounds like you’ve lived a great life either way, hearing the things you believe in 🙂

    • Nancy December 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

      I have had a great life. Can’t deny that at all!

  41. Anna December 20, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    I have 3 more to add:
    1. No matter how hard you are trying, someone will always say it’s not enough. Ignore them. As long as you did your best, who cares what they think?
    2. Even when you have done a good job, there will always be someone thinks you could have done better. Don’t be that person. As long as you did your best, who cares what they think?
    3. (something my mom always told me): do the best you can with what you have. You can’t always be at the top of your game. Sometimes life gets in the way. (e.g. you’re sick or having a bad day…there’s only so much that can be reasonably asked of you)

    • Nancy December 20, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      Great additions to the list! All we can do is our best.

  42. Maria December 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi, I just wanted to let you know that your words of wisdom are helping me step up in my life to do something fun! I am only 20 years old and I am going through a lot of new situations and I am afraid of life. Thank you for your words. =)

    • Nancy December 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

      You can do anything you want in life! It might be scary, but the rewards of breaking through that fear can’t be measured. Go for it!

  43. Kevin Martin December 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    This post is awesome. It really made me think about what’s important in life at a glance.

  44. Haley December 30, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    Wow, this list is amazing. Ive been struggling with a lot of stuff right now like depression, anxiety, reading disorders…can you believe I’m only 14? Well I am! I’d just like to ask you a question- I have asked soooo many people & I havent gotten the best answers. After reading this i know you are great at advice! There’s a girl in my class and she’s really nice. Some people don’t like her though. They tell me she is a bad person to be around and that she talks behind my back. My mom has always taught me go not believe it- only to believe it if it comes from the actual person. So I’ve been trying to do that. I don’t know what to do. I have lately been seeing the other side of her…she gossips a lot and she’s not the best influence on me. I didn’t get invited to a bowling party becuase I was “hanging out with her while she was bugging” some people. When I’m with her– she seems like a great friend. But it’s so weird because there is times where its almost like she’s against me, not for me. It’s hard to explain….but I think you know what I mean. Ive always been the type of person to always be nice to the people who have no one to be nice to them…and every time do, the results are usually against me. I’m good friends with these two girls in my math class.But, during that class, I hardly look at them, let alone talk to them. well, the girl who I have been talking about doesn’t like them. Her name is Mikayla. ( she’s the one who Im struggling with) I usually only talk to them when she’s not around. Am I a prisoner of Mikayla? Has she taken me as hers or something? I really just want to walk up to her & say I can be friends with whomever I want. But, I am too scared of the results. Do you have any advice?
    Thank you!(:

    • Nancy December 30, 2011 at 1:51 am #

      I can tell from reading this that you already know the answer to your question. Believe in yourself. Trust your intuitions.

      • Haley December 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

        Thanks for the courage. But, how do you think I should approach her?

        • Nancy December 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

          Go with your instincts. What I would do might not be what you would do. You need to follow your heart.

  45. Genie December 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Hello Nancy, I read your list through twice and I will be linking to this post because it is so relevant. I especially love # 42, because it serves as an enforcement for me right now. I hope that more people will get to this post sooner than later so they can be inspired and not waste any more time lamenting in the dark.

    Keep up the great work you are doing here!

    • Nancy December 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

      Thank you! I’m having a hard time choosing my favorite – so many wise words!

  46. Marissa January 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    This is uplifting. Being only 17 and already knowing these things and always keeping them in mind; I can’t wait to see what my life brings me.

    • Nancy January 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

      Your life will bring you what you make of it Marissa!

  47. gabi klaf January 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    oh my god. love it nancy. i want to sit down slowly and read it, let it soak in fully.

  48. martina January 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    They’re all such great lessons to pass on! Some of the things on your list, I’ve got on my own “I’ve learned…” and others are just great advice I’m willing to follow (aka learn the EASY way). Thanks for sharing!

    • Nancy January 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Learning is the easy way is… well, easy. I never seem to be able to do it like that 🙂

  49. Corey January 5, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    I spent my life trying to follow those ideals and all I am is miserable and alone. The thing I wish I had learned before this is better to be compromise and be with others then to press on alone.

    • Nancy January 5, 2012 at 10:09 am #

      that’s a tough one to be sure. I hope you find others with a shared passion!

      • Emily January 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm #


        I do love this list and think there are many wonderful lessons on it, but Corey brings up a good point. Learning to compromise, pick your battles, work with people, and live selflessly are in many ways more important than relentlessly trying to make yourself happy. Happiness is a byproduct of living well, not a finish line to reach.

        • Nancy January 9, 2012 at 12:17 am #

          As in everything, there needs to be a balance. Compromise, pick your battles… they’re all good!

    • bjj December 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      @Corey, Sometimes we pick the wrong friends. I have known a few who blame everyone or someone close to them for everything that goes wrong. I had an x brother in law who blamed my sister for everything that went wrong.
      We start to believe them and end up alone. He put down my sister every time I was around, She insisted he did not do that when they were alone, so I stayed away. She is and was then a great person and mother, Tho she did not think so.
      NO ONE HAS TO BE ALONE. If you feel alone, try volunteering at nursing homes, at senior centers or youth clubs. There are many other people out there that feel alone.

  50. Tori January 5, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    I stopped at ‘Perception is reality.’

    Thats totally false, what we perceive as ‘reality’ is an illusion.

    • Nancy January 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      In some ways, I agree with you. However, the way we perceive things is OUR reality.

  51. Leo @ Free Samples Canada January 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    i just love this – life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I’ve been trying to live by this code for I believe life is either a daring adventure or nothing. I had been in a comfort zone for several years and I realized that I missed so many great experiences in life for fear of the unknown. These days I am happier; I learned to take some risks and try new things. It is not easy but it’s worth the effort 🙂

    • Nancy January 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      @Leo @ Free Samples Canada,
      I think that is the exact same thing every single person who makes the decision to leave the comfort zone says! it’s a scary leap for sure, but so rewarding!

      • Leo January 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

        @Nancy, indeed it is! i only wish that i realized it sooner 🙂 then again what matters is today and tomorrow. Great post by the way and thanks for sharing your insights.

  52. Nina F January 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    My favorite is #30 – Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

    Make it happen and open up your life to new experiences!

  53. Robert January 8, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    The Chinese often get things right and now we are in the “Asian Century’ it’s worth noting this old quote… In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away… in the case of your family you are way up on this scale compared to your average family.

    • Nancy January 8, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      I’ve always loved that quote! I’m not sure sure how it missed my list – thanks for adding it!

  54. mathira January 9, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Life teaches you lessons which can mold you into a person of good character. Your article was the essence of what life can teach.

    • Nancy January 9, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

      I think it all depends on our response to life. We can choose what kind of character we have.

  55. Sarah January 9, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    I love this collection of quotes. You did a good job!!

    • Nancy January 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks! These are some great words of wisdom, eh?

  56. Milkalina January 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    This list is very motivating! This really opened up my eyes in realizing that life is not perfect and it is what you make of it. Thank you for this amazing list!

  57. Lily January 10, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    My son of 27yrs. sent this to me.
    I am in my 60’s. I am so glad he saw the list early in his life. I know he is already guided by some of the ideas on the list. It was good for me to read the list.
    I had some of my thoughts reassured.
    It also motivated me to continue on enjoying life and the friends and family in my life.
    Thanks again for this list. I will definitly share it with others.

    • Nancy January 10, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      That’s awesome Lily! Love how your son sent it on.

      There are some great words of wisdom in this list – things that would have made my life much easier had I learned them earlier. Maybe the reward in knowing them is that I learned them the hard way??

  58. Alexa from 52Perfectdays.com January 13, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Love your blog! Always a fun read. Keep on biking!

  59. sheila January 31, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    Wonderful post! I’m over from FB, you shared your site with my site online. Great blog!!!!

    • Nancy January 31, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      Welcome Sheila! I’ve enjoyed this blog – so nice to have a place to share all those little things I’ve learned throughout the years.

  60. Sune @ Extra Income Blogger February 6, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Wow! 7540 shares on Facebook! Epic post – and number 35 is one of my favourites ever: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”

    • Nancy February 6, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      @Sune @ Extra Income Blogger,
      I’m not sure what happened to the Facebook share number – it used to say 14.2K, but then that got cut in half a few weeks ago. Whatever the number, it’s quite a few!

      I’m partial to that same one – it’s very true!

  61. Ferb February 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Education isn’t wasting time,, I learnt not to fail from this post, thank you.

    PS: I came from the ProBlogger that you said you have unknown thing happened and it really is, congratulation!

    • Nancy February 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      I’m happy to see you over here! It really took us by surprise when this post took off – never expected that to happen at all!

      • Ferb February 6, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

        You know what, I’m actually wondering, if one day I can become like this with one of my post.

        • Nancy February 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

          I think everybody dreams of it, but it still blows us away when it actually does!

  62. Pete@News February 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    I love #40,
    “No matter how cautiously you choose your words, someone will always twist them around and misinterpret what you say. Just say what you need to say.” It resonates with me, cos I always think my listeners would find fault in whatever I say. But now, I hardly care again.

    • Nancy February 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

      My words have been twisted so severely you wouldn’t even recognize them. It’s crazy what kinds of crazy things people can read in your words. All you can do is say what you’re going to say as clearly as you can and then not botther when people misinterpret.

      • bjj December 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

        @Nancy, it is so true. there are many people out there that will twist your words. It makes no difference how much good you say about someone, they can make it sound like a put down.

  63. Rae Ann Hoehn February 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    I love your quotes and have followed your biking adventures. The book Hay Mom Can I Bike Across America started me on week long bike trips and I am now hooked on them. Biking has taught me how to live to the fullest and how to let problems be the projector of the answer I need.

    I remembered this poem and thought it could be posted here for fun.

    Life Lessons

    Parenting teaches…
    Patience, unconditional love,
    And anger management
    (If I am lucky!)
    Swimming teaches…
    You have to get wet and cold to get in the water.
    If you are tired you can catch your breath by floating.
    (It is easier to breathe if you keep your head above water)
    Biking teaches…
    To get to the top of the hill you must keep peddling.
    There will be hills so save your energy to use as needed.
    (No one else will do any of the work for me!)
    Skiing Teaches…
    Plan ahead and dress for the weather and know the terrain.
    Dress in layers because conditions change as the day goes on.
    (Plan ahead, do not choose hills you can not manage, or you will fall)
    Sailing teaches…
    To get to your destination, chart the course and set the sails to get there.
    The wind will change so know how to change the sails accordingly.
    (Teamwork counts so all need to know how to help!)
    Loving teaches….
    Total relaxation and enjoyment of the moment.
    Connections between people are what are necessary to make the world go round.
    (I am blessed by a loving family and friends)
    Everything I learned I did not learn in Kindergarten or in school.
    I learned from the activities that I love to do

    Life Teaches when you listen

    • Nancy February 19, 2012 at 12:15 am #

      @Rae Ann Hoehn, Lovely poem – thanks so much! I loved Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America! Great story for sure!

  64. Chrystal Burch February 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    i just love this – life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I’m not sure sure how it missed my list – thanks for adding it!

  65. Barbara February 25, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    I loved this the first time I read it. Feeling low tonight so I came back for some “tonic”.
    It is important to take a moment and think about what is good about life/your life every now and again, isn’t it?
    I’ll probably be back here again, but for now… thanks…. onward and upward!

    • Nancy February 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      @Barbara, You’re so right – sometimes it’s critical that we slow down, take a deep breath, and reevaluate what’s good and not-so-good about our lives.

  66. Cecika March 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    @Cecika, Live and let Live..

  67. sanaa qureshi August 2, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    thank you for this. 🙂

  68. Mandy August 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm #


    Thank you for this beautiful collection of inspiration! I am SO amazed by your family’s journey – way to go!!

    I think it is imperative in life to follow your own truth, it is too easy to get lost in the crowd. True success comes from living your own adventure!

    • Nancy August 13, 2012 at 5:38 am #

      @Mandy, Thank you Mandy! I so agree that success comes from within. No matter how “successful” you might be according to others, if you aren’t living your own adventure, it’s all for naught.

  69. Aya August 14, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Even though I am so young to judge whether you are right or not, but I already see that most of what you wrote is worth knowing at this age, and it can be so much of a help, especially when u feel like all doors are closed in front of you and you don’t know where to go or what to do…thank you for these 50 wisdom lessons…

    • Nancy August 16, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      @Aya, Oh yeah – so many doors close and it’s hard to remain focused. Just keep plodding ahead in the general direction you want to go and things will happen. Thanks for commenting Aya!

  70. Harold Coat Hanger August 23, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    I read them and a second later I had to do the dishes and I forgot them

  71. Dan Bonser November 1, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    What a great set of quotes and rules. If one isn’t living by them, then one is missing the point of living, and I’ve met many who miss the point of living. Thanks for the great list!

  72. Brian Quigley December 11, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Thank you very much for the inspirational quotes. I will try my hardest to keep an open mind and remember some of the kind words I have just read.

  73. Tonya @ The Traveling Praters December 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    What a great list! I also wish I’d known many of these things when I was young. It truly is “Live and Learn,” isn’t it? Love the quote you shared, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” That’s a great thought to keep in mind as we head into 2013. That may just become my mantra for the year! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  74. Anna January 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    This really impacted me, especially when you pose the question: “what would you do if you were not afraid?” Thanks for posting!

  75. Scarlet February 2, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    #50 is very true! Life is like waves up and down- you just have to ride them out and keep positive!

  76. Mariam February 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    great post !!! all thous things u wrote are just helpful and full of living experience !!! thanks a lot )) reading these i realized that no matter what life continues and u need to go straight,make your dreams come true with hard working and am going to make my life beautiful with hardest steps … thanks!thanks! thanks !!! <333

  77. sameer February 3, 2013 at 2:25 am #

    its give me boost,i always follow you.#37 for me thanx

  78. Nancy Sathre-Vogel February 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    @Jason, Absolutely! Very great things will happen this year!

  79. Duygu February 23, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    Thanks for those 50 great advices and brightening my day 🙂

  80. Harvey C. Jones March 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    I think that this is positive site for all the world to check out. If you get to check out my poetry site of positive poems that I think you will relate to and thanks again. Harvey C. Jones.

  81. Pika March 22, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    Dear Nancy,

    THANK you for writing this post. #13 really spoke to me. I love you! My family and I are going through a lot right now and this helps us in reminding ourselves that there will be better days.


    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel March 25, 2013 at 12:25 am #

      @Pika, There will be better days for sure. It’s easy to lose sight of that, but things really do turn around eventually. I hope they turn quickly for you!

  82. Skakried March 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    I love how all this “live life today” stuff is written on a wedpage , probably took 2-3 hours to write and edit . Doesn’t sound like your following your own advice.

  83. aep saepudin April 22, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    I got lesson #4 on facebook. I am looking for the source and found this blog. I enjoyed it and I shared via twitter and facebook. I hope you allow me to share via my blog.

  84. sruthy July 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    Thank you for the post.. very inspiring…

  85. Tommy Douglas August 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Some great life tips but learning these tips is only 10 percent the other 90 is how you react to them.

  86. sue October 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    I’ve heard several times recently to do what scares you. Guess that’s the same as getting out of your comfort zone. Nice list.

  87. Trisha Saple October 17, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    very inspiring article.

  88. Andrea November 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    I tell people all the time who tell me they hate the cold, are sick, have arthritis, etc to do something about their situation and make the decision to change their lifew and be happy! I had the courage to make the move and I am so happy that I did. My dream has come true!! I changed careers, and couldn’t be happier!

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel November 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      @Andrea, Excellent! It’s a big step – and scary as hell – but the rewards are tremendous. Congrats on doing it!

      • Andrea Wolak November 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

        @Nancy Sathre-Vogel, It really wasn’t scary for me since I just hated the quality of life in PA. If you know anyone even thinking of moving to SW FL whether it be for a 2nd home or permanently, please remember me!!

  89. Madhavi November 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Truly Inspiring! Glad I found it

  90. Basavantappa November 24, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    By reading all 50 lessons I can rememberasloka from Sanskrit language that ” What you feel that you become, What you wish strongly that you get ” and also the proverb ” Troubles are the stepping stones of success ” Thanks for your lessons which are of greathelpfulto lead successful and happy life. Thank you.

  91. Viswa December 2, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    It is motivating to read each point and compare it with our own life. Thanks for helping me understand what mistakes I’m doing until now. Will try rectifying from this day on.

  92. Sebastian December 4, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    “If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks. That’s how dreams are achieved” in correspondence with “You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life” are really touching me.

    I am dreaming of a lifestyle of constant travel and at the moment I am following my passion,, even if it might be of mainstream acceptability of our society, to pursue this goal.

    I learned along the way that I have to stop to think about what other people might think of me. I only take advice from people who are on the same road and who are successful with what they are doing.

    The point where I still have to work on is that I have to accept some bad days in order to develop my purpose project. For me it is the biggest gift on earth to really do what I am passionate about but I have to learn that there will be good and bad days on the way to get where I want to be.

  93. Zara @ Backpack ME December 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    “If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, you’ll often find that you’re right.” This is such a good tip and observation. Beauty is often in the little things and if we learn how to appreciate the awesome things around us (big and small) we will end up realizing that many more positive things are actually taking place. Focus on those and shove aside the negative things you can do little about.. and you’ve got yourself a simple formula for happiness! 🙂

  94. Aakash Murugan March 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    These are the best quotes i have ever seen on web….seriously motivating and inspiring……

  95. John May 26, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    What a great list of life’s lessons! I didn’t see my favorite though…

    “If life knocks you down – make sure to land on your back because if you can look up then you can get up!”

  96. Micah Caravantes September 17, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. ~Pablo Picasso

  97. MIchael December 30, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    I always had a dream to travel the world in my bike. But family pressure always forced me back. 🙁

  98. Matt August 19, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    I could do with having this list with me at all times or get in the habit of reading it every time I wake up.

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel August 20, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

      No kidding! I think we would all benefit from reading it regularly.

  99. Nakul Grover July 30, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your experience and life lessons, Nancy.
    Much needed.. 🙂 🙂 🙂


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