Life Lessons From the 1900s That Are Still Relevant Today

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Stop and smell the roses

Even though the pace of change was quickening in the early 20th century, people still spent time enjoying life’s pleasures. New modes of transportation and better roads allowed Americans of many socioeconomic strata to go on vacation, enjoy the new diversion of movies, or spend an afternoon in an urban park. Americans were also made aware of the physical benefits of exercise to fend off stress.

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Learn from failure

History is peppered with accounts of failure by those who eventually made a difference in people’s lives. Even though Thomas Edison’s inventions were changing people’s lives in the early 20th century, it is important to know he failed a thousand times before his light bulb worked. He didn’t look at it that way. “I didn’t fail 1,000 times,” he said. “The light bulb was an invention that took 1,000 steps.”

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Friends are worth keeping

Good friends are worth holding on to, and good friendships need to be cared for and nourished. One hundred years ago, that was easier to do because many people lived and worked in the same town all their lives.

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Manage anger

Losing control of your anger has repercussions such as hurt feelings, resentment, and regret. Culturally, losing your temper in the early 20th century was frowned upon because it was associated with losing one’s self-control and being overwhelmed by emotion that clouds reason and intellect.

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Exercise

The importance of exercise to reduce stress and improve one’s health was becoming more widely known in the early 20th century.