The late Dr. Wayne Dyer was and still is beloved by so many people around the world. Affectionately called the “father of motivation,” his timeless wisdom and inspirational insight shines through in these life lessons.
“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” – Wayne Dyer
Wayne Dyer is still an internationally renowned author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth.
Wayne had said that his purpose was “to help people look at themselves and begin to shift their concepts.” Indeed, his main message continues to be that every person has the potential to live an extraordinary life and live from their “Highest Self.”
“My goal is not to be better than anyone else,” he uttered, “but to be better than I used to be.”
The following life lessons are from the video compilation, “Wayne Dyer’s Top 10 Rules for Success.” May his wisdom and his message live on forever.
10 Powerful Life Lessons from Wayne Dyer
1. You can’t give away what you don’t have.
This sounds pretty obvious when you think in terms of material items, but there’s more to this when you apply it to things like love and compassion.
People who are not good at giving away compassion, for example, cannot do so because they don’t have it to give away. If what you have inside yourself is contempt, anger, or fear, then these are the things you’re going to be giving away in your life.
As Wayne once said, “If you have anything in your heart, that’s anything other than love, you’ve got to get it out.”
2. Don’t identify yourself with what you accomplish.
Who you are is not only what you have, what you do, or what you accomplish. We believe, however, that the way we become fulfilled and self-actualized is through what we do. We learn to identify ourselves with what we get and accomplish, the labels we have, the material items we acquire—this is what Wayne called the “false self” at work.
“I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside.” Wayne’s words remind us that our inner world is far more expansive, abundant, and loving than what we experience in the material world.
3. As you think, so shall you be.
Everything begins with how we choose to think. What you think about is what expands, and once you understand this, you won’t allow your thoughts to be on anything that you don’t want to have manifest in your life.
You get what you think about, whether you want it or not. So, as Wayne would say, “Be miserable. Or, motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
4. Be open-minded.
Have a mind that’s open to everything and attached to nothing. No one knows enough to be a pessimist about anything. If we close our mind to what’s possible, we also close off the genius that resides in us.
Having an open mind doesn’t necessarily mean that you find fault with what you’ve learned in the past; it means opening up to the potentiality that anything and everything is possible.
Being open means finding within ourselves the ability to get rid of a trait that has become so mainstream—the trait of looking for reasons to be offended, and there are no shortage of reasons out there. A mind that’s open to everything and attached to nothing is not looking for things to be offended by.
5. Change the way you look at things.
Albert Einstein once said that the most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe. When you see the world either way, that’s exactly what you will create for yourself.
This is not a clever play on words, but it’s actually a very scientific thing. In Wayne’s words, “Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
Be willing to change your mind and adjust your perceptions. See the lightand love in the world and gaze at it as if that is all you see. Everything is light, or a plea for light. Everything is love, or a call for love. The world adjusts according to your perception.
6. No one likes being told what to do.
This applies to children and adults. We don’t like to be fenced in and restricted. We don’t want to be told what to think, what to wear, how to act, etc. Wayne pointed out that this is the soul speaking, always.
The soul is constantly having a desire to expand and grow, and if you feel like anything is attempting to restrict that expansion, you will find yourself fighting it or holding back. So, let us always remember this about ourselves and about each other, and recognize why it is we feel such a resistance to restriction.
In Wayne’s words, “Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.” Let’s try to love each other and respect the internal qualities that matter, without needing to change them.
7. There are no justified resentments.
It’s a tough principle to get, but one he believed in very strongly. No matter what anybody says to you, and no matter how much hate you may encounter in your life, there are no justified resentments.
If you carry around resentment inside of you about anything or anyone—the person who was abusive, the person who walked out on you, the person who never paid you back, all the things you feel you have a right to be resentful about—it will end up harming you and creating in you a sense of despair.
No one ever dies from a snake bite; the venom that continues to pour through your system after the bite is what will destroy you.
8. Stop finding excuses.
Nobody conditions us; we allow ourselves to be conditioned, and we have conditioned ourselves to believe certain kinds of things. One of those things we hang on to is the idea that all of the things that happened to us in the past keep us from doing what we want to do today.
We can’t reach higher places if we’re weighted with blame and excuses.
Wayne calls this often self-restrictive reflection on the past the “wake.” Your life is like a boat, and you’re standing on the back of the boat looking down into the water—into the past—as the boat moves the other way, forward. The wake is the trail left behind, nothing more and nothing less.
The boat is the present-moment energy that’s being generated by the engine, the thoughts you’re having now and how you’re using them to make it go in that direction.
The point is that the wake cannot make the boat move forward, because it’s just a trail left behind. We all have a wake with a lot of stuff in it, and we falsely believe that it should determine where we’re going. It doesn’t; the thoughts we have now steer the course ahead.
9. Walk down another street.
Wayne once shared a story, one you may be familiar with: Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson—singer, songwriter, actress, and author. Here’s what she so brilliantly wrote:
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am hopeless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in this same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in… it’s a habit… but, my eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
One of the most valuable life lessons we could ever learn is that, sometimes, we just need to walk down another street.
10. Don’t die with your music still in you.
There are no accidents in this universe. We all show up here with a purpose. We all have our own music playing. So many of us are afraid to march to our own music–maybe you wanted to write a book, write a composition, travel the world, start a business, own horses, anything.
Whoever you are, whatever that music is, however distant it may sound, and however strange others may interpret it to be, don’t get to the end of your life knowing you’re going to leave, and not have played your music.
There’s an intelligence that’s part of everything and everyone, and we’re connected to it through our music, our mission.
Which of these life lessons from Dr. Wayne Dyer struck a chord with you? Please share your own wisdom or lessons learned in the comments.
Share these life lessons with someone you care about.
By Aim Happy
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