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I was once young too! Here are a few things I wish I had known back then. 7 life lessons to abide by!

Wouldn’t it be great if, at birth, the doctor gave us a life instruction manual to follow? It would explain why we’re here, what to expect and also tell us how to achieve happiness. But instead, we must write our own life instruction manual as we go, and often find out just a tad late exactly what life’s lessons are.

Here are seven life lessons to live by, as learned in the school of hard knocks.

1. Parents are fallible.
Even as adults we seem to hang on to the notion that our parents should be perfect. We tend to hold them responsible for our past misfortunes. But even parents—as many discover when having kids of their own—don’t have all the answers. Love them and accept them as imperfect as they are. Be kind and compassionate because they weren’t given any instructions either. Take full responsibility for your life and hold no grudges. Allow yourself and your parents the freedom to be who you all are.

Editor’s Note: This article is one in a series of  empowerment and inspiration pieces brought to you by Colgate

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2. Love isn’t forever.
Every relationship ends at some point, either because of irreconcilable differences or death. It’s hard enough to live with your own family, let alone a person coming from a different gene pool. Getting two very different people together and hoping they’ll get along smoothly forever is a coin toss. Be brave and allow yourself to fall in love. Make the most of what you have, but accept that some day, it will end.

Read Related: Learn Self-Acceptance By Asking Yourself 3 Questions

3. Friends are not for ever.
We change as we evolve, change careers, have kids or move to a different city. Some friends will stay for the long haul, and others will go. Mourn your losses and be open to new friendships. As we grow older and evolve, we will attract different people. When it is time to let go, don’t look at a past friendship with bitterness. It once served a purpose and perhaps provided a valuable life lesson.

Editor’s Note: This article is one in a series of  empowerment and inspiration pieces brought to you by Colgate

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4. You create your own luck.
You can’t wait for things to happen; you have to make them happen. This is easy to say but for many, difficult to enforce. We are set in our ways and often fearful, but if you keep wanting and pursuing something badly enough, when the time is right, you will eventually achieve it. 

5. People will let you down.
Holding high expectations of people is the best way to fall flat on your face. Keep your expectations low, but don’t be jaded. Allow people to be themselves and if they hurt you, accept it, let go and move on. 

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6. People will betray your trust.
We all have our own agendas and are somewhat self-centered. Maybe someone at work will stab you in the back to get ahead of you. Your loved one will have an affair. But that doesn’t mean that every single person is going to hurt you. Continue to give others a chance.

Editor’s Note: This article is one in a series of  empowerment and inspiration pieces brought to you by Colgate

7. Life isn’t always fair.
It’s futile to try and understand why we were stuck in an unfair situation. We can only move forward by accepting that life isn’t fair. Only in hindsight will you look back and, as Steve Jobs said, “be able to connect the dots.”

What life lessons do you wish you had learned earlier in life?