Change, Decisions, Feelings, Happiness, Hope, Inspiration, Love, Moving Forward, Purpose, Regret, Relationships, Success

Life Doesn’t Come with an Instruction Manual

There was always this inside joke between my friend and I. She would joke that I basically knew the answer to everything. Whenever something was troubling her and she needed advice, she would always come to me. I was not only her friend but her confidant – someone who she could depend on to provide all the right answers. But, as flattered as I was, I knew I didn’t always have the right answers. Even though I provided her with good insights, there were questions that even I couldn’t answer.

Life_Doesnt_Come_With_An_Instruction_ManualPhoto Credit: anankkml /

Life isn’t always easy

Seven years have passed since I knew that friend. And in that seven years, there have been changes within the world, my life, my relationships, and most importantly, within myself. As a 24 year old now, I still don’t believe that life is easy. Far from it.

I am now a wife and a mother. I’m also a writer who works from home. I try my best to maintain a healthy marriage. I try my best to be a good mother to my kids. I try my best to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. I try my best to maintain a work-life balance.

But I don’t always get it right.

As much as we plan and believe we’re doing the ‘right’ thing, sometimes life goes off course. Sometimes we lose our way. Sometimes we just don’t know what we are doing – we’re basically just ‘winging’ it.

And you know what? That’s absolutely okay.

We’ve all been there

I may write to help others lead better lives, but I’m no saint. I’ve made mistakes in my life. I’m not perfect at all. I don’t know the answers to everything.

The lessons I’ve learned about life have come from my own mistakes.

When I was at the lowest point in my life, I…

  • Thought life wasn’t worth living
  • Abused alcohol instead of dealing with my emotions
  • Put my life and health at risk
  • Failed to appreciate the people who wanted to help me

I honestly didn’t know where my life was heading, I didn’t think it would ever go anywhere. Deep down inside, I knew I wasn’t happy but I didn’t know how to ‘fix’ it.

But I did ‘fix’ it. I took control of my life and found purpose in it. I managed to get my life back on track.

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual

As much as I’ve gotten it figured out, some days I’ll crack. Some days I’ll need a shoulder to cry on. Some days I’ll need someone else’s advice. I’m just like everyone else – I’m not free from emotion, from feeling, from negative thoughts.

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. There is no ‘right’ way to live your life. What works for one person, may not work for another. What someone considers love, somebody else may not. What a person has planned for their life, may not end up the way they want.

But you need to keep your head up, give life your best shot. Let your family and friends help you figure it out. Let them be there for you when you can’t be there for yourself.

Life may not come with an instruction manual. But take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. People, just like you, are trying to work it out too.

Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She has just completed her first book – a memoir - and is on the search for a publisher.

6 thoughts on “Life Doesn’t Come with an Instruction Manual

  1. Hi Thuy,
    I think what’s ailing most people these days is that they don’t have any purpose. There’s no meaning in their lives. They are doing things, just because they’ve been told by society that that’s what they should be doing, that having this job will make them happy, that doing what’s ‘normal’ is the only way to be. The answer for this meaningless existence based on what others’ want us to do ends in depression, anxiety, health issues, alcohol and drug abuse etc. It is imperative that people rediscover what it is that THEY want in life. What they are passionate about, what they find interesting so that they can have a fulfilling, meaningful job. As Mothers I think we can learn from our experiences and encourage our children to explore all the their interests, become their unique selves. If they see, by example that you love the work you do, that you are enjoying life, then our children with think that is the norm. Unfortunately most children see their parents working long hours at a job they hate, when they actually see their parents they are stressed and anxious and angry due to a lack of purpose in their lives so the children grow up thinking misery is the norm. I totally agree that when you find your purpose in life, meaning in your life, then the symptoms of a meaningless life disappear, the depression, the alcohol abuse etc. I’m on the same path as you and am glad to have crossed paths. Congratulations for stepping outside the Boeing, meaningless status quo and living a life based on your terms.

    1. Wow, Angela, what a brilliant comment! I totally agree with you on all your points.

      As parents, it is our responsibility to be good role models for our children – to teach them what respect is, how to show love to others, what it means to be truly happy.

      And you are right, when we are without purpose, we are not only disadvantaging ourselves but our children as well.

      So the best we can do is leave the past behind and try our best to move forward. We need to believe that we can do it; that our lives can mean something. It is never too late to have the life you want!

      Good on you, Angela, for moving forward with your life 🙂

  2. Life definitely would be much easier if we are taught how to go about living a good life in our schools. Unfortunately, this does not happen any where in the world. It is left to parents and society who help to a certain extent.
    I have a written book that is sort of user manual for life. Everyone can have their own life but need to watch out for the things mentioned in the book and manage life.
    The book can be found here:
    Please purchase a copy and you will be glad about it.

    1. I totally agree with you there, Viswanatha – young people certainly need more guidance as to move towards adulthood. Wow, well done on writing that book – I will certainly have a look! Thank you for dropping by and commenting 🙂

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