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life lessons

Pop Culture

Someone asked strangers online to share life's essential lessons. Here are the 17 best.

There's a bit of advice here for everyone—from financial wisdom to mental health tips.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Failure is a great teacher.

It’s true that life never gets easier, and we only get continuously better at our lives. Childhood’s lessons are simple—this is how you color in the lines, 2 + 2 = 4, brush your teeth twice a day, etc. As we get older, lessons keep coming, and though they might still remain simple in their message, truly understanding them can be difficult. Often we learn the hard way.

The good news is, the “hard way” is indeed a great teacher. Learning the hard way often involves struggle, mistakes and failure. While these feelings are undeniably uncomfortable, being patient and persistent enough to move through them often leaves us not only wiser in having gained the lesson, but more confident, assured and emotionally resilient. If that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.

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8 powerful lessons about love, life, and self-care from a talking dog on TV.

'Downward Dog' is a delightful, must-watch show with a powerful message.

There are lots of life lessons we can learn from our four-legged friends — but ABC's "Downward Dog" takes it to the next level.

"Downward Dog" is a heart-meltingly cute show that premiered earlier this year about a woman named Nan and her dog, Martin. Each episode centers on Martin as he learns a bit about himself and the world around him. Oh, and he can talk — at least in the "breaking the fourth wall" way (meaning he doesn't talk to Nan, but he does talk to the audience in a hilarious, droll voiceover), narrating his journey.

Allison Tolman (who plays Nan) and Ned (who plays Martin). Photo courtesy of ABC.

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These 11 childhood cliches are still totally on point.

If we follow the voice from childhood still ringing in our heads, we might do better at adulting.

Did your parents set boundaries for you when you were a kid? Mine did.

But if you were anything like me as a kid, you questioned all of it. I wondered why I couldn't stay up all night at a sleepover, or why I couldn't eat a bowl of Fruit Loops at bedtime. (My mom always said, “You think you’re hungry, but you’re really just tired. Go to bed.” Thanks, Mom.)

Me and my mom. Photo courtesy of the author, used with permission.

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Fathers Everywhere

I'm not a dad — not yet, anyway. But if all goes according to plan, I'll probably become one sooner than later.

My wife assures me that I'm going to be the Objectively Greatest Dad in Dad History; she says it's half the reason she married me. But now that I'm facing down the potential of a fatherly future, it's also a little terrifying.

However, I'm fortunate to have some friends who are in the throes of fatherhood themselves. And as I've watched them all dadding in their unique ways, I've learned a few lessons that I hope to carry with me when I embark on that same journey.

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