The #1 Way to Avoid Unnecessary Pain in Life

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“Wisdom is learning from others’ mistakes”

As human beings, we all experience pain in life. The death of a loved one, messy break-ups, physical injuries, and disappointment with ourselves are just a few common examples. Sometimes pain is unavoidable. But here is the big idea: often pain is avoidable. Often pain we feel is just the culmination of a bunch of bad habits or practices that deep inside we know are going to cause us problems later down the line.

Unfortunately for many years the biggest lessons I learnt in life were from my own stupid mistakes. In fact, just today I have had to deal with some mess that stems from my one and only run in with the law when I was 17 (I am now 25). What then is the easiest way to avoid unnecessary pain? The quote at the beginning of this article says it all: learn from others’ mistakes.

The following are what I consider to be 25 ways in which people set themselves up to experience future pain. Many of them are common sense. One thing I have learnt, though, is that common sense does not necessarily translate to common practice. I have purposely not gone into much detail for each mistake as they are fairly self-explanatory. You will probably find yourself thinking of someone you know when you read each one. The question is, though, do any of these mistakes apply to you?

Health:

1. Smoking

2. Excessive drinking

3. Poor diet

4. Drug-taking

5. Failing to exercise

Financial:

6. Accumulating mountains of debt

7. Spending more than they earn

8. Not having an emergency fund

9. Leaving it too late to properly save/ invest for retirement

10. Lack of adequate protection (ie insurance) for their assets

Relationships:

11. Expecting their partner to change

12. Taking their partner for granted

13. Not discussing key issues (eg kids) before making a big commitment (ie marriage)

14. Just not being compatible (eg financially)

15. Using emotional blackmail

Career:

16. Poor presentation/ personal hygiene

17. Not being proactive

18. Laziness

19. Blaming others

20. Doing something they hate for a living

Life:

21. Dangerous driving

22. Negative thinking

23. Endless procrastination

24. Forgetting how to have fun

25. Not listening to good advice :)