Become a Writer Today

Essays About Life Lessons: Top 5 Examples and 7 Prompts

Read our guide to see the top examples and prompts on essays about life lessons to communicate your thoughts effectively.

Jordan Peterson once said, “Experience is the best teacher, and the worst experiences teach the best lessons.” The many life lessons we’ll accumulate in our life will help us veer in the right direction to fulfill our destinies. Whether it’s creative or nonfiction, as long as it describes the author’s personal life experiences or worldview, recounting life lessons falls under the personal or narrative essay category. 

To successfully write an essay on this topic, you must connect with your readers and allow them to visualize, understand, and get inspired by what you have learned about life. To do this, you must remember critical elements such as a compelling hook, engaging story, relatable characters, suitable setting, and significant points. 

See below five examples of life lessons essays to inspire you:

1. Life Lessons That the First Love Taught Me by Anonymous on GradesFixer.Com

2. the dad’s life lessons and the role model for the children by anonymous on studymoose.com, 3. studying history and own mistakes as life lessons: opinion essay by anonymous on edubirdie.com, 4. life lessons by anonymous on phdessay.com, 5. valuable lessons learned in life by anonymous on eduzaurus.com, 1. life lessons from books, 2. my biggest mistake and the life lesson i learned, 3. the life lessons i’ve learned, 4. life lessons from a popular show, 5. using life lessons in starting a business, 6. life lessons you must know, 7. kids and life lessons.

“I thought I knew absolutely everything about loving someone by the age of fourteen. Clearly I knew nothing and I still have so much to learn about what it is like to actually love someone.”

The author relates how their first love story unfolds, including the many things they learned from it. An example is that no matter how compatible the couple is if they are not for each other, they will not last long and will break up eventually. The writer also shares that situations that test the relationship, such as jealousy, deserve your attention as they aid people in picking the right decisions. The essay further tells how the writer’s relationship became toxic and affected their mental and emotional stability, even after the breakup. To cope and heal, they stopped looking for connections and focused on their grades, family, friends, and self-love.

“I am extremely thankful that he could teach me all the basics like how to ride a bike, how to fish and shoot straight, how to garden, how to cook, how to drive, how to skip a rock, and even how to blow spitballs. But I am most thankful that could teach me to stand tall (even though I’m 5’3”), be full with my heart and be strong with my mind.”

In this essay, the writer introduces their role model who taught them almost everything they know in their seventeen years of life, their father. The writer shares that their father’s toughness, stubbornness, and determination helped them learn to stand up for themselves and others and not be a coward in telling the truth. Because of him, the author learned how to be kind, generous, and mature. Finally, the author is very grateful to their father, who help them to think for themselves and not believe everything they hear.

“In my opinion, I believe it is more important to study the past rather than the present because we can learn more from our mistakes.”

This short essay explains the importance of remembering past events to analyze our mistakes. The author mentions that when people do this, they learn and grow from it, which prevents them from repeating the same error in the present time. The writer also points out that everyone has made the mistake of letting others dictate how their life goes, often leading to failures. 

“… I believe we come here to learn a valuable lesson. If we did not learn this lesson through out a life time, our souls would come back to repeat the process.” 

This essay presents three crucial life lessons that everyone needs to know. The first is to stop being too comfortable in taking people and things for granted. Instead, we must learn to appreciate everything. The second is to realize that mistakes are part of everyone’s life. So don’t let the fear of making mistakes stop you from trying something new. The third and final lesson is from Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” People learn and grow as they age, so everyone needs to remember to live their life as if it were their last with no regrets.

“Life lessons are not necessarily learned from bad experiences, it can also be learned from good experiences, accomplishments, mistakes of other people, and by reading too.”

The essay reminds the readers to live their life to the fullest and cherish people and things in their lives because life is too short. If you want something, do not let it slip away without trying. If it fails, do not suffer and move on. The author also unveils the importance of travelling, keeping a diary, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

7 Prompts for Essays About Life Lessons

Use the prompts below if you’re still undecided on what to write about:

Essays about life lessons: Life lessons from books

As mentioned above, life lessons are not only from experiences but also from reading. So for this prompt, pick up your favorite book and write down the lessons you learned from it. Next, identify each and explain to your readers why you think it’s essential to incorporate these lessons into real life. Finally, add how integrating these messages affected you. 

There are always lessons we can derive from mistakes. However, not everyone understands these mistakes, so they keep doing them. Think of all your past mistakes and choose one that had the most significant negative impact on you and the people around you. Then, share with your readers what it is, its causes, and its effects. Finally, don’t forget to discuss what you gained from these faults and how you prevent yourself from doing them again.

Compile all the life lessons you’ve realized from different sources. They can be from your own experience, a relative’s, a movie, etc. Add why these lessons resonate with you. Be creative and use metaphors or add imaginary scenarios. Bear in mind that your essay should convey your message well.

Popular shows are an excellent medium for teaching life lessons to a broad audience. In your essay, pick a well-known work and reflect on it. For example, Euphoria is a TV series that created hubbub for its intrigue and sensitive themes. Dissect what life lessons one can retrieve from watching the show and relate them to personal encounters. You can also compile lessons from online posts and discussions.

If the subject of “life lessons” is too general for you, scope a more specific area, such as entrepreneurship. Which life lessons are critical for a person in business? To make your essay easier to digest, interview a successful business owner and ask about the life lessons they’ve accumulated before and while pursuing their goals.

Use this prompt to present the most important life lessons you’ve collected throughout your life. Then, share why you selected these lessons. For instance, you can choose “Live life as if it’s your last” and explain that you realized this life lesson after suddenly losing a loved one.

Have you ever met someone younger than you who taught you a life lesson? If so, in this prompt, tell your reader the whole story and what life lesson you discovered. Then, you can reverse it and write an incident where you give a good life lesson to someone older than you – say what it was and if that lesson helped them. Read our storytelling guide to upgrade your techniques.

short essay on life lessons

Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

View all posts

short essay on life lessons

Some Lessons I’ve Learned From Reflecting On Life In 150 Essays

Colleen George

As I look back over my last 149 essays, I see memories, heartbreaks, and joys, all poured into my essays of size 12 font. I see times I was feeling high on life, and simultaneously, times I was struggling and felt as though I was stuck in the dark.. But even more than a simple timeline of moments and checkpoints, I see someone trying desperately to make sense of a messy world full of complicated emotions. I see someone a little bit lost at times, a little bit curious, and also a bit hopeful – someone just trying her best to seek meaning, inspiration, and above all, healing. 

It is an understatement to say that writing has been therapeutic for me. When I have felt lonely, or afraid, or let down, I have often sought comfort in writing. Words have been magical – they have been a way to gain a new perspective on my life and on the lives of all of the people around me. Writing has unfailingly encouraged me to look twice at life – to examine what lies beneath the surface, rather than accepting things at face value. 

And when I look back at all of these thoughts I have spilled across the white pages of my MacBook, I see many themes that seem to pop into my life over and over again, with each passing year. These themes are mainly lessons – those that I have learned, and those that I am still learning (or relearning).  Looking over my writing, I can’t help but notice how as human beings, we are constantly learning. We never seem to stop changing, growing, or healing.  

While I do not have all of the answers (or any answers with certainty), I do hope that some of the thoughts I have gathered and the lessons I have learned through examining the world through words may resonate with you as well. I hope they can bring you some comfort or reassurance in the midst of the mountains and valleys of your own life. 

1. It can feel comforting to seek home in nostalgia – to live in our memories, to replay them over and over again, like little film strips that continue to roll on. But at some point, we have to remember that life is still happening and the earth is still spinning, right here, right now. At some point, we have to be here for ourselves and for our hearts in the present. We have to be brave enough to hope that the present and the future will be just as good, if not better, than the old memories we are living in.

2. I’m learning that joy doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of sadness, and grief doesn’t necessarily imply the absence of joy. Though we often want to choose an either o r, life is not quite as binary as we make it out to be.

3. I’m realizing that being at peace with life doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, or that we don’t have any troubles or tribulations or low energy nagging at our hearts. Being at peace doesn’t mean that life is wonderful, or that we aren’t stressed, or facing anxiety. More so, being at peace means finding some form of “okayness” amidst all of the parts of life that are not (yet) “okay.” It means sitting amidst the chaos and making the conscious decision to remain calm. To be okay. Ultimately, finding peace means acknowledging the storm and coexisting with it, rather than sitting in the eye of the tornado.

4. It’s the hardest lesson in the world, but sometimes, the best thing we can do is let them go. Sometimes we have to say goodbye to someone good and wait patiently for someone better. 

5. Something odd about life is that the right choices don’t always feel right in our bodies. Sometimes, though difficult, we have to find the courage within us to pursue what we need, rather than what we want in the present. We have to take care of ourselves by honoring what we know is best for us in the long run. And oftentimes, in the present, it really does hurt a lot. The pain doesn’t mean the decision is wrong. Sometimes the best choices can leave us let down and hurt. But later on, we will be thankful.  

6. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe in fate. But I do believe that we can give meaning to some of our hardest most heartbreaking moments. We don’t need to build an identity that is rooted in our grief or in our trauma or pain, but if or when we want to, we can allow the healing process to bring out our best. We can grow new, fresh roots, and we can choose to define ourselves by how we rise back up again.

7. We can’t expect others to heal us – no one can love us so much that we automatically love ourselves. But maybe, when someone does love us, they can remind us what love feels like. They can help us to believe that we are loveable. And this can be the first step of loving ourselves – knowing that we deserve to be loved.

8. Grief is ugly and painful and devastating. Grief is dark swollen eyes and tear-stained cheeks. Grief hurts.  But we cannot deny the sheer beauty that grief holds. We cannot deny that grief is, in some ways, a gift. To grieve means that we are blessed enough to have loved and to have been loved by someone special – and this is remarkable. Grief means we are missing someone – someone who touched our lives in an irreplaceable way. And thus, I’d like to believe that the sadness and grief we endure when we lose someone close to us is simply the price we pay for loving them. And there’s something so dear and precious about this.

9. As hard as it is to hear, some people aren’t meant to stay in our lives forever. They are passerbys, like boats in the night. And though they may only stay for a short while, they stay safely in our hearts indefinitely.  Temporary people can leave permanent footprints.

10. Anxiety and overthinking do not change the situation. They only turn a gentle rain shower into a hurricane.

11. We can miss someone, but we can’t lose ourselves when we lose them. We can miss them, but we can’t let our lives be over when they are gone. Because we still have our lives to live. And we still have so much love left in us to give. 12. We don’t need a reason to have hope – we don’t need evidence or logic, as much as we think we do. We don’t even need to fully understand or grasp what hope is. We just have to find it in our hearts to believe that hope exists. We have to bravely decide to give in to hope, even when we can’t see it or touch it – even when we don’t know if it is there. When life is dark, we have to believe that there is something still worth living for around the corner. And this belief – this hope – this is what will help us move forward. 

13. It’s okay to find home in another person. It’s one of the sweetest, purest parts of life. But somewhere along the way, we must also find home within ourselves.

14. We know we are healing when we piece back together our broken parts and turn them into something greater than what we had before.

15. Perhaps, when someone doesn’t love us or doesn’t fight for us, it isn’t actually a reflection of us. Perhaps their inability to love us does not mean that we are unloveable, or hard to love. Maybe it means that they have been hurt one too many times before and that their walls are now built high of concrete and stone. Or maybe it means that they have been defeated by love one too many times – maybe love continues to let them down, time and time again. And maybe, even if they want to love us, they simply cannot. And we can keep trying and trying to knock down those walls. But perhaps when they don’t love us, the very best thing we can do is to hug them close, wish them the best, and then walk away.  Because even if they were special, we each deserve someone who is ready to let us in fully.

16. Most of the time, when we think we need closure from someone else, what we truly need is closure from ourselves – permission from ourselves to let things be. To accept the ending and to understand that it’s time to let the ending stay an ending. We must find the strength to seek peace and healing on our own. Healing is our responsibility, not the responsibility of the person who hurt us.

17. Sometimes growth is quiet and subtle and doesn’t look like growth. Sometimes growth is simply viewing a situation from a fresh perspective. Sometimes growth is trying something new, despite whether or not it ends up being a good experience. Sometimes growth just means making it through each day and noticing one small good thing about the world each night. Some seasons are for making leaps and bounds, while others are simply for surviving and just being. Both seasons are important. Both are needed. 

18. How do we know when we are healing? I think we know that we are coming close when we feel immense gratitude that something happened, rather than devastated by the fact that it ended. 

19. We don’t always need to find the silver lining. Sometimes really crappy, awful things happen, and there is much more bad than good in the world. Sometimes we go through devastating, heartbreaking experiences that don’t have a silver lining, and the idea of trying to find one only hurts us further. In these really rough moments, we don’t need to search for the light. But maybe, when we are ready, we can remind ourselves that there is still light in the world. Maybe there’s no shining light in our situation, but there is still goodness somewhere out there. And hopefully knowing this will help us make it to the other side

Perhaps the secret isn’t avoiding pain or numbing ourselves from pain, but rather, putting our energy into cultivating joy and peace. Perhaps when we value joy over pain, life becomes a little bit easier. 

Colleen George

“there can be magic in the messes” @apeaceofwerk

Keep up with Colleen on Instagram , Amazon and linktr.ee

More From Thought Catalog

8 Trailblazing Inspirational Movies To Kick off 2024 — & Where to Stream

8 Trailblazing Inspirational Movies To Kick off 2024 — & Where to Stream

5 Christmas Movies That Could Never Happen Today

5 Christmas Movies That Could Never Happen Today

6 Critically-Condemned Christmas Movies That Became Beloved Classics — & Where to Stream

6 Critically-Condemned Christmas Movies That Became Beloved Classics — & Where to Stream

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (In The Most Terrible Time To Be Alive)

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (In The Most Terrible Time To Be Alive)

Chronic Illness & Identity: How Crohn’s Impacted My Relationship With Myself

Chronic Illness & Identity: How Crohn’s Impacted My Relationship With Myself

When To Disclose Your HIV Status? It’s Up To You.

When To Disclose Your HIV Status? It’s Up To You.

IMAGES

  1. Life lessons (600 Words)

    short essay on life lessons

  2. 10 Lines on Life in English || Short Essay on Life in English || #

    short essay on life lessons

  3. Scholarship essay: Short essay about life

    short essay on life lessons

  4. My School Life Essay

    short essay on life lessons

  5. 45 Life Lessons Infographic…

    short essay on life lessons

  6. Essay on Life

    short essay on life lessons

VIDEO

  1. Essay Session

  2. Short Essay on "My Aim in Life"

  3. essay on success in life

  4. Essay on An Ideal Life of Students

  5. write ✍️ a short essay on homework

  6. Essay on My Daily Life. #shorts #essay_on_my_daily_life #essay #mydailylifeessay #essaywriting

COMMENTS

  1. Essays About Life Lessons: Top 5 Examples and 7 Prompts

    See below five examples of life lessons essays to inspire you: Quick Summary: Our Top Picks For Essay Checkers Contents [ show] 1. Life Lessons That the First Love Taught Me by Anonymous on GradesFixer.Com “I thought I knew absolutely everything about loving someone by the age of fourteen.

  2. 33 Important Life Lessons to Learn in Life Early

    Overview. Our Personal Narrative Essay Contest is inspired by The New York Times’s Lives column, which ran from 1996 to 2017 and featured “short, powerful stories about meaningful life ...