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The other day I attended a lecture that one of my professors held called “Nuggets of Wisdom”. ‘Nuggets of wisdom’ are those short and simple phrases or pieces of advice that we often wish we knew before life decided to throw us curve balls. They can be cliché, but they are just simple phrases that can make life more satisfying if they are followed.

This lecture inspired me to come up with my own nuggets of wisdom that have been relevant in my life. A lot of these nuggets came from my journey of healing from mental illness and overcoming some of my greatest challenges. Sometimes it seems that our most painful experiences provide the most important lessons. For me, that is exactly what overcoming mental illness was marked by. I learned things about myself and the world that I never would have encountered had I not had those particular struggles. No matter how painful my experiences have been, I am grateful for my journey because of the pieces of wisdom I have gained. Healing from mental illness meant I could no longer run away from self-exploration and all the parts that made me scared and sad. It resulted in me becoming self-aware. I was a mystery until I decided to face the inner dialogue of my mind.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom that I’ve learned:

  •  It’s okay to be happy when others are not. It does not mean that you are dismissing their pain, and you do not need to feel guilty.
  • Allow yourself to feel happy. It is okay to be happy.
  • Taking on other people’s pain does not make their pain go away. Being empathetic does not mean you have to suffer too. You can listen to people and support people without holding their pain as your own.
  • Secret to happiness: want what you have but be willing to go after opportunities
  • In times of difficulty lies opportunity
  • Moments of happiness will shine through the clouds when you least expect it
  • Live day-to-day
  • Feed your brain
  • Be authentic and unapologetically honest
  • Removing yourself from toxic situations is necessary
  • Doing what you need to do to heal is number 1
  • Respect yourself first and foremost
  • Ask for help
  • Change seems scary, but embrace it
  • Tell people who are important to you that you appreciate them deeply
  • Express gratitude

Everyone’s story is unique, and everyone gets to learn their own “nuggets of wisdom”. Never judge someone if you have never experienced their situations and their story.


About Kendra Randi Nicole Doyle

Student at the University of Waterloo, studying Sociology and Social Development Studies.
Research Assistant for the International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP; furries)
Introvert. Tenacious. Bubbly. Free-spirited. Creative.
Passionate advocate for mental health and the promotion of prevention and intervention strategies.
Academic study interests include policy and mental health (families, parents, children), child socialization, and identity.
Plans to pursue a Master of Social Work specializing in art therapy, a Master of Sociology and a PhD in Sociology.

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