Real Life Lessons: 24 Nuggets of Wisdom to Live By

Life is a series of lessons, often learned through experience and sometimes the hard way. In this guide, we’ll explore 24 real-life lessons that can help you navigate various aspects of life with a bit more wisdom and a lot more ease. From how to treat your neighbors to managing finances and dealing with social etiquette, these nuggets of wisdom are practical, insightful, and sometimes, amusingly true

Respecting Your Neighbors

Living in a rental house brings a certain level of shared space and mutual respect. One of the cardinal rules is to avoid playing loud music. Keeping your music or TV volume within the confines of your home ensures you’re not disturbing others. Remember, your neighbor might be studying for exams or trying to put a toddler to sleep. Considerate behavior can make communal living pleasant for everyone.

Safe Driving Practices

Once you hit 30, it’s time to leave those boyish antics behind, especially when it comes to driving. Participating in road races to out-compete other cars is not only dangerous but also immature. Stick to the maximum speed limit of 100 km/hr. Safety on the roads should always be your top priority.

Buying a Used Car in Kenya

When buying a second-hand car in Kenya, don’t be naive about the mileage. A 2008 car with 49,000 km on the odometer is likely too good to be true. Be realistic and cautious. Look for a car’s service history and consider having it checked by a trusted mechanic before making a purchase.

Understanding Politics

If you want to maintain your sanity and peace of mind, don’t take Kenyan politicians seriously. They have a reputation for betrayal and seldom follow through on their promises. Engaging deeply with political dramas can be exhausting and unproductive.

Venturing into Agribusiness

Agribusiness thrives on economies of scale. Small-scale ventures like planting sugar cane or maize on half an acre often lead to frustration and minimal returns. For serious gains, consider large-scale farming. This way, you can leverage better yields and more substantial profits.

Investing in Real Estate

Real estate can be a lucrative investment, but location is key. Building rentals in a rural area where houses rent for as little as 2k per month may not be wise. Calculate your investment and ensure the returns justify the expense. It could take years to recoup your initial outlay if you’re not strategic about your location.

Managing Small Businesses

If you’re starting a small business like a milk bar, salon, or car wash, invest in CCTV cameras. Employees might be tempted to pocket money if they know they’re not being watched. Surveillance helps maintain accountability and protects your business interests.

Valuing Family and Relatives

Your family and relatives are irreplaceable assets. They’re likely to stand by you during tough times, so treat them well. A supportive family can provide emotional and sometimes financial backing, helping you through life’s challenges.

Lending Money to Friends

Lending money to friends can be a quick way to lose them. Financial transactions often create tension and misunderstandings. Only lend what you’re willing to lose, and be clear about the terms to avoid damaging valuable friendships.

Loyalty to Your Employer

While loyalty to your employer is commendable, remember that your employer’s primary goal is to balance the books. Don’t expect unwavering loyalty in return. It’s crucial to balance your dedication with your own career interests and personal well-being.

Workplace Ethics

In your workplace, be mindful of your actions, especially when it comes to job security for others. Firing someone should be a last resort, only when absolutely necessary. Unjustly affecting someone’s livelihood can have severe consequences for them and their families.

Dealing with Insurance Agents

If you’re not ready to take an insurance policy, don’t give your phone number to an agent. Their persistence can quickly become a nuisance. Politely decline and avoid the hassle.

Cooking Tips

Here’s a practical kitchen tip: never leave boiling milk unattended. It only takes a few seconds for milk to boil over and create a mess. This small oversight can lead to significant cleanup, especially in a small living space.

Importance of Reading

Make it a habit to read regularly. Books, magazines, and blogs enrich your knowledge and can make you a more engaging conversationalist. Being well-read helps in avoiding awkward silences and contributes positively to your personal and professional interactions.

Relevance of Academic Grades

High school and college grades are often overrated. Life outside academia doesn’t always reward those with perfect scores. Success is more about hard work, resilience, and practical skills. Shed any sense of entitlement and hustle just like everyone else.

Buying a Car vs. Other Investments

There’s never a perfect time to buy a car if you listen to societal expectations. Kenyan relatives will always have opinions on how you should spend your money. Make financial decisions based on your needs and circumstances, not on external pressures.

Social Interactions and Spending

Drinking with colleagues or engaging in office relationships can quickly drain your finances. Approach social drinking and relationships with moderation. Be mindful of how these activities impact your wallet and well-being.

Household Hiring Decisions

In household matters, especially hiring and firing househelps, let your wife take the lead. This approach helps maintain peace and avoids any perception of bias, ensuring a harmonious home environment.

Importance of a Power Bank

A power bank is a small but essential tool. It keeps you connected when your phone battery dies, especially in emergencies. Having one can be a real lifesaver.

Managing Power Tokens

Always keep track of your power tokens. Never let them fall below 20 before refilling. Running out of power unexpectedly can be a major inconvenience, disrupting your daily activities.

Social Etiquette for Men

Certain social behaviors are best avoided. Men scrambling for wedding or birthday cakes or walking around with a pizza box can look undignified. Maintaining a certain decorum in public helps uphold your social image.

Emergency Funds in M-PESA

Always have some money in your M-PESA account. Emergency funds are crucial for unforeseen situations. Even a small amount can make a significant difference when you need it most.

Sensitive Questions

Never ask a young couple why they don’t have kids yet. It’s a deeply personal matter and can be a source of pain or stress. Respect their privacy and avoid intrusive questions.

Media Consumption

Be mindful of what you listen to, read, and watch. These elements shape your personality and worldview. Choose content that enriches your mind and spirit, contributing positively to your growth.


Real-life lessons are invaluable, guiding us through the complexities of daily living. By applying these 24 nuggets of wisdom, you can navigate challenges more effectively, make better decisions, and ultimately lead a more fulfilling life. Whether it’s respecting your neighbors, managing finances, or maintaining social decorum, these lessons offer practical advice for a smoother journey through life.

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