Five Life Lessons I Learnt From My Parents

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Is there a magic formula for success?

If you are like me, I am sure you have sourced the web, signed up for endless webinars promising you the earth or downloaded eBooks and ecourses guaranteed to help you find the missing link in your business and propel you to untold heights. In this post I would like to share with you five life lessons my parents taught me which help me keep my dreams alive, even through hard times.

My Parent’s Didnt Have Much

I like to see myself as an optimist and will give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Who am I to say your idea, your programme won’t work? When I look at my parent ‘s life and see what they have achieved I am humbled.

My parents didn’t have a credit card or the option of interest free loans or the ubiquitous buy –now- pay later option, they didn’t have the luxury of internet gurus, spiritual teachers, or weekend retreats to find their inner peace; meal times consisted of mum’s homemade pies on Tuesday, fish on Friday, soup on Saturday and roast on Sunday- a healthy raw organic diet wasn’t on the cards. They had none of that. Yet somehow they still lived well, achieved their goals and for the last 15 years finally living in their dream house in Grenada.

What Did I Learn From Mum and Dad?

Here Are The Five Key Life Tools I Learned

Life Lesson#1 – Faith

Faith is the cornerstone of my parent’s success. They came to the UK in 1959, part of the so called Windrush Generation. They arrived with a suitcase each, determined to make a better life for themselves; hopefully have children and ultimately to return home to Grenada in that magically time span of “five years”.

It was their faith and belief in better days which kept my parents going. In the 60s racism in the UK was subtle and silent and it stole my mum’s dreams and ambitions. She left Grenada a qualified and respectable school teacher. That didn’t count in the UK. Mum worked hard, kept her pride and did what she had to do. It was her faith that kept mum going and doing her best for my brother and me. Mum taught us to believe in better and to go for our dreams. Sadly my brother, John passed away in 1997. Again it was faith that got mum and the family through. To this day, no matter what goes on, my faith and belief that life will get better keeps me in good stead.

Life Lesson#2 – Fun

Life was hard and tough for my mum. Fun wasn’t really on her agenda yet she allowed me and John to have fun. To explore our neighbourhood, have friend’s rounds, go parties and have lazy Saturday morning and Sunday lie-ins. I grew up with the attitude, hard work pays. Work was supposed to be hard, stressful, a thing you did or had done to you to earn your living. The sweetness in life for my parents came from watching John and I succeed at school, at Scouts or Girl Guides; joy and laughter flourished in regular family gatherings, home cooked meals and freshly baked bread on a Saturday morning. Thankfully, over the years my mentors have stressed the value of fun whilst you work. I am encouraged to seek pleasure, to seek work that fulfils my “passion” and to build Play Days into my regular schedule. These days I look at mum and smile to see how free and easy she is -especially with my daughters. There is absolutely no way I could have been so cheeky with my mum the way my girls are. And mum loves it. So I am glad fun now features in mums’ life.

Life Lesson#3 – Focus

Alongside faith, I reckon focus has to be the biggest lesson my parents taught me. Focus Focus Focus. Mum’s famous saying is “the world will stand aside if you know where you are going ” and “hold your head up high and look the world in your eye” Everywhere I look, I am told by the people I respect and look up to that “focus” is vital to success. In fact, one of my early teachers would end every session with the phrase “Keep your eyes on the prize”. At first I never knew what he meant—what prize? I didn’t see any trophy or gold medals in the room. But as I grew I realised the prize, was the world standing aside as I became clearer about my desires, hopes and dreams.

To keep myself focused I incorporate techniques like meditation and yoga into my daily schedule which brings me back to centre and reaffirms my faith.

Life Lesson#4 – Flexibility

Time after time I saw my parents dreams crushed. All they ever wanted was to live in peace, raise their children and eventually retire and live in their dream home in Grenada. The mythical 5 years in London stretched to 36 years. Yet throughout all of that time my parents kept their faith, kept their dream alive and adapted their daily life to accommodate whatever life threw at them. “No blacks, No Irish, No dogs” greeted them everywhere they went when they arrived in London. Trying to rent a home was a nightmare. Somehow or the other they scrapped together the 500 pound deposit to pay their first home in 1962. They constantly had to be one step ahead just to get a foot in any door. They had to be flexible, had to think creatively and out of the box to get through all of the isms thrown their way. And so it is with me. I learned early on the need to be flexible. To look after my body and keep my mind open to all possibilities.

Life Lesson#5 – Follow Through

Mum was forever saying “You started it so finish” and “if you say you are going to do something, do it well and to the best of your ability” There were no ifs or buts. Mum’s reputation was her word. Mum is one of those people who you know you can give a job to do and she will over deliver to do it.

Part of success and to achieve your goals is to follow through, to complete what you started. I am sure you know lots of people who have multiple DIY projects on the go yet never seem to finish anything. Not my mum. This ability to see things through, to focus and complete what you start is a key factor in success. If you want to lose weight, run a marathon, learn a new instrument, you have to start and go through the process to achieve your desired outcome.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. Five transferable lessons which I learnt from my parents and which I believe we can all use to assist us on our journey. I would love to hear what you think about these lessons and what you have learnt from your parents which helps you to achieve your goals. Do write a comment to share your thought- I love hearing from you. And feel free to share this post with someone else to inspire them to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

Image-with thanks from Today is a good day.

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About Ntathu Allen

Yoga Teacher, Blogger and mum to three bubbly teens, I aspire to support, educate and encourage busy mums and working women to weave moments of calm into their hectic schedule.

About Ntathu Allen

Yoga Teacher, Blogger and mum to three bubbly teens, I aspire to support, educate and encourage busy mums and working women to weave moments of calm into their hectic schedule.


  1. Good advice. Although the list of life lessons differs from person to person they have certain things in common. These are things such as realizing that life is not forever and looking past your current circumstance. There is more to life than we realize. Thanks for the post and keep writing.
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  2. God blesses those who follow the teachings of parents. My parents always taught me not to give up dreams. Nice article

    • You are very lucky that your parents taught you to value your dreams, some people do not have that support and have to make their own way in life. Enjoy the blessings and thanks for sharing.Stay well

  3. i think following through is one of the biggest ingredients in achieving a goal. i used to think i was the only one with persistence issues but i found our that most people too just start stuff and then find it hard to finish. the extra mile really helps…

  4. Your article is just awesome! It is both funny and informative .. I love it!

    • Thank you Misley (what a lovely name) I appreciate your comments and taking time to response. Do you have any stories or lessons to share…

      • (My name is original, that’s what gives it its strength)
        Maybe: Do not waste, time, money, food. But above all remain generous. You have much say in your article, it is dificult to make this post richer.

  5. Sonia Harris says:

    Great blog Ntathu. It is a shame that at the time we do not always take them as lessons and it it not until we are grown up ourselves that we realise the importance of these lessons in our life. The great thing is that the lessons you speak of will be passed on to our own children, who like some of us may not really appreciate them until later on. Thanks for sharing. x

    • Bless you Sonia, great to hear from you:) Yes, that is so true. As children we take so much for granted. Being a parent and seeing my daughters grow up reminds me just how much my parents taught me which I never acknowledged.

  6. Yes -start with a lot of money and a wealthy back ground….. 🙂

  7. No – I’m not like you … 🙂

    • that’s good John – we are all different and have different life experiences. Parents come in all shapes and sizes. I was lucky that a lot of my elders were around and played an active role in my younger years. Family structures are different these days and I wonder what lessons I am passing onto my children.

  8. Wonderful story and wonderful lessons!

    My Mum was famous for saying things like, “You made your bed, now you sleep in it!” and “If you get mad, you’ll just get glad again” and my all-time favorite, “Good enough isn’t good enough”. 🙂
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  9. Ntathu, your parents sound like capital folks! Real inspirational sounding people! Thank you.

  10. Hi Ntathu

    Thank you for sharing, I like the fact that you have taken the lessons learnt from your parents
    made them your own. You talk a lot about your mum, and I just wondered what you learnt
    from your father as well. Your mother must be very proud of you, and also of your daughters
    as they blossom and move out into the world.


    • Thanks Leah, yes, it is interesting I have focused more on mum here (must be a reason for that?) as I have certainly learned how to be a woman from my dad, in fact if you click this link you will find another blog post with a slant towards my father’s love and care > Yep mum is mega proud of her granddaughters…it is great for them to have that connection with her. Take special care Leah and thanks for taking time to comment. One love

  11. Jacqi Spooner says:

    Hi Ntathu
    Yes, heartfelt and reflective was my experience of reading your blog. It certainly made me reflect on what my own life lessons would be. There was definitely a steadfastness to our parents in ways that are simple at a soul level yet practical in their application for growing up a family. Their take on ’emotional intelligence’ far exceeds the gurus of today. If only we were to be still, receptive and knowing innately that everything has a season which requires action. So it is up to us as parents to consciously take into our ‘being’ and ‘knowingness’ what lessons are we passing on to our own children in these times of uncertainty. Follow the certainty of your heart, be still, receptive to receive all that you need to know for it is known to your heart if not your intellect.

    • Beautiful Jacqui and I so appreciate you taking the time and space to share your wisdom and insight. All the buzz words we take so much for granted “emotional intelligence” (I can just see my mum look at me) they didnt have our vocabulary yet their essence is so much more. And yes, the more I allow myself to listen to my heart beat the deeper and clearer I am.Take care and thx.

  12. Hey Ntathu,

    This is a heart-warming article, think you portrayed the depth of your parents relationship to their kids, and the depth of their own lives fairly well. The tools you gained from them are very practical and ageless, something that applies to everyone, so thanks for sharing something that is very personal, and perhaps nostalgic. Have your kids read this? Do you talk to them about these principles – directly or through anecdotes? 🙂
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    • Bless You Neeraj, yeah Iamglad you liked the post. Must say I found this post hard to write. I mean, how could I sum up all I have received from my parents in just 5 paragraphs. So, its just a snap shot. Yes, I asked my daughters to read, they have a good relationship with my mum so its interesting for them to see their grandma through my eyes. Only time will tell what lessons my girls will pick up from me.

  13. One of the best article I have read this week, I love this phrases “You started it so finish” and “if you say you are going to do something, do it well and to the best of your ability” There were no ifs or buts. I hope you don’t I post it at my facebook page at Thank you.
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    • Blessing Rammesh and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Am glad you found the post riveting. In looking at your life, what lessons would you say you have learned from your parents? Take care and thx also for sharing on your FB fan page