Lessons to be learned from Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is an inspirational figure to many. He has accomplished what seemed impossible many times, going from political prisoner to a president, a leader who has united a country that seemed divided. There is a lot to learn from this man, and here are some of the most important lessons that come from his legacy.

Never give up on hope

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela

The first lesson is that you should never give up hoping. There are things that seem impossible until they happen, but you should keep believing in your dreams, aspirations, and goals. If you stop believing, if you give up, then you are ensuring it will not happen because you will stop trying.

While you work towards it, there is hope, even if the possibilities are remote. When something is truly important for you and depends on your work, you can achieve a lot by focusing on the situation and working on our goals no matter what obstacles might appear.

Let go of the past

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela

After Mandela’s experiences and the many years he spent in prison, few would blame him for holding on to a grudge. But he chose to let go of his past and look to a future that would bring people together, not drive them apart. You can do the same.

Allow yourself to forgive and let go of past resentments and grudges, not for the sake of the people who have hurt you, but for your own freedom and peace of mind. It frees you to pursue a new and better life.

Expect and embrace change

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

Change is frightening. But change is also unavoidable. Every day, the world changes and so do we. When we learn to expect change and welcome it, we make our lives easier and we become more flexible. Often, we get in our own ways by trying to cling to the way things were and in doing so, hurt ourselves and our development.

Embracing growth and change can be frightening, but it is sure to make our lives better. Allow yourself to let go of what is now and open yourself for new things, situations, and experiences.

Violence is never the solution

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

One of the most amazing things Mandela accomplished was maintaining the peace in a very complex and difficult situation. He did not respond with violence even when violence had been done against him and instead tried to create a united society.

In our lives, the violent solution is usually not the answer because it can create more problems than it solves and leads to issues with how we choose to act in general. Violent solutions can lead to results in the short-term but can end up hurting our relationships, our reputation, and our ability to use other solutions.

Learn from the good and learn from the bad

“It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.” – Nelson Mandela

One of the biggest challenges and also opportunities we have is our capacity to learn from all that happens to us. We can choose to close ourselves to learning experiences and keep making the same mistakes time and again.

Alternatively, we can choose to learn from the good and especially from the bad, making each experience valuable and turning it a way of growing and making ourselves better. This can help us make even the worst situation more palatable because it contributes to our growth and improvement, leaving us with powerful lessons for the future.

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