Welcome to Real Life 101. Get ready to learn.
My husband Jonathan and I started Real Life 101 because, like many, we were somewhat lost when we were living on our own for the first time and seeing what “real life” was all about. Sure, we had been good students with high GPAs, but most of the history, algebra, biology, chemistry, calculus and rocket science that we spent 17 (+) years of our lives learning, did very little for us as far as preparing us for “the real world.”
We wondered–when do we learn what to do with that huge stack of papers our employer gives us in our “Employee Benefit Package?” What does it all even mean? How do we know which options to select, and how much to invest? How can we tell if we’re choosing the best college for a particular major, or following a career path which will lead to our happiness and success? What is the process for finding a career? How do we know if we’re on the right track? What should we look for in that first home, and how do we determine if we can even afford it? And maybe most importantly, how do we find our way when we are lost in this big, unfamiliar world?
The truth is that there aren’t necessarily definitive answers to any of these questions, and of course, we know that now. But we also realize that no class ever lectured on information regarding “the real world,” so there were no questions on the tests, and we spent no time actively seeking and learning the information.
It was then when we had the epiphany— what if we could teach people this information as though it were a class, and people could select the classes which applied to their situations, and they could use them as a guide to become more successful in their lives?! Aha!
We started Real Life 101 to provide an informational resource for life’s biggest (and smallest) questions. Those could include seeking a clearer understanding of finance, so that you’re better prepared to reach your personal and financial goals rather than just handing over your paycheck to someone and hoping they make the right decision for you. Or it could be taking a good look at your relationships and figuring out how to be a more caring and effective friend, partner, parent, or sibling. It might even be improving your home decor, making the most of your free time, getting the most out of your grocery shopping and meal planning, or finding some great vacation and shopping deals. The list is endless. But the bottom line is that we are here to help.
Bernice Johnson Reagon said, “Life’s challenges aren’t supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” Let’s face it, we are all going to make mistakes (we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t), and sometimes these hardships can really bring us down and make us feel incapable. But often these mistakes also bring out our true character and help us find an inner strength we maybe didn’t know we had. So mistakes and misfortunes aren’t bad; they are inevitable and in some ways even good because we always have an opportunity to discover something about ourselves we might not have known before.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.” Sometimes we accidentally settle for a life we’ve decided we’re destined to live. But perhaps instead of beginning with who we think we are, we should focus on who we want to be, and take action based on those goals and objectives.
The fact is, our experiences shape us, but our decisions and our actions shape our experiences as well. Therefore, our best chance for success lies in education: learning as much as we can before we make the mistake, and also learning from the mistakes when we make them. If we just bother to learn, we are always seeking the very best from ourselves and working towards living our best lives.
So maybe all of those years of schooling weren’t so bad after all—they taught us to learn, and really, isn’t that what life is all about?
We hope Real Life 101 helps you to continue your search for your best life by providing you with knowledge you can use to shape your future. We’re all in this together. Let’s get started.