It’s no exaggeration to say anime has taught me more about life than school ever will. Like the importance of setting goals, and following your own path.
The most you learn in school is how to count numbers, subtract, add and multiply.
But anime will teach you things no school will dare to teach. Because it’s not within their best interests.
I’ve gathered 31 of the most powerful anime life lessons you can learn from.
With 31 quotes to support each lesson.
1. Your time is limited, so start working on your goals TODAY
“Everyone dies eventually, whether they have power or not. That’s why you need to think about what you’ll accomplish while you’re alive.” – Mary Macbeth
You’re human. That means you’re not invincible.
People die everyday, and someday we’re going to die too. So start working on AND thinking about what you want to accomplish. Or you might regret it later.
2. Kindness starts with making a decision
“The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they don’t wish to see anyone else suffer the way they did.” – Jellal Fernandes
How many people use their “pain” as an excuse to hurt others? If you ask me – that’s a BS excuse, and it can’t be justified.
Just because you’re “life is hard” doesn’t mean it’s OK to inflict your pain onto others, just to make yourself feel better. Instead – choose to be kind instead. Either way it all starts with a decision, and kindness will almost always make you feel better than the alternative.
3. The world is a cruel place full of cruel people
“There are people in this world who don’t understand that what they consider a harmless prank can deeply hurt someone else.” – Mio Nishizono
Pranks. Bullying. Making fun of others to make yourself feel better… Yes, people like this do exist.
And not only do they exist – there are MANY people who get a kick out of hurting others. Because they themselves have shitty lives and aren’t willing to take responsibility for their own bullshit.
4. Being alive is a miracle that most of us take for granted
“That’s right… This world… is cruel. It hit me that living was like a miracle.” – Mikasa Ackerman
Child soldiers. War. Death from starvation. Knife crime. Shootings. Terrorism. Racially-motivated murder. Disease…
Do you realize how often these things happen on a daily basis? And do you realize how many people DIE as a result of these circumstances and issues?
If you’re alive, and you have your arms and legs, and you’re healthy, what the F have you got to complain about really?
5. It’s better to apologize even if you’re not at fault, than it is to argue just to prove a point
“Being angry consumes energy and makes me tired. So I’d rather apologize, even if I’m not at fault. Besides, we get along, and we both want to stay friends. Prolonging an awkward situation out of stubbornness is just silly.” – Tanaka
Tanaka makes a good point. People LOVE to argue just because they don’t wanna hurt their pride by giving up.
Here’s a reality check: your pride doesn’t mean shit.
Is it really worth losing friends and family over HOW you feel about something? Arguing for arguments sake is just stupid.
6. Making excuses is a waste of energy
“Don’t live your life making up excuses. The one making your choices is yourself.” – Mugen
It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, what you’re going through, or how unfair things have been. Because after all is said and done – the person making your decisions… is yourself.
Better to take responsibility than it is to complain about something you’ve decided to do nothing about.
7. Everybody has a dark side, given the right circumstances
“Even peaceful people, given a gun, can go crazy. Afterwards they can’t even understand what led them to do it.” – Jonathan Mar
We start out pure when we’re babies. Then along the way we’re influenced by the world, for better or for worse.
And if put in the wrong situation, even the purest person will reveal a darker side hidden under the surface.
Guns are the perfect example of this.
8. Being alone isn’t a bad thing
“Being alone is not synonymous with being lonely.” – Suzune Horikita
Society is full of sheep. So it’s no surprise why so many of the herd associate “being alone” with “being a loser” or anything related.
Like a lot of things, people confuse being alone with being lonely.
Being alone is a physical state. You’re by yourself, and nothing more. But being lonely is an emotional state, causing you to feel unhappy because you’re by yourself.
9. Being alone is better than being with the wrong person
“Being alone is better than being with the wrong person.” – L Lawliet
Staying with the wrong friend, or being in the wrong relationship is WORSE than being alone. Because then you’re doing something that makes you unhappy in the name of pride.
I don’t know about you, but being alone and happy is better than being unhappy and being around people who don’t give a F about you.
10. People judge you by your actions, not your intentions
“Do try to remember that people can only judge you based on your actions and not your intentions.” – Umiko Ahagon
You might intend to do the right thing. Your intentions can even be pure. But if your actions contradict your intentions, it doesn’t matter. Because that’s how you’ll be judged.
Whether that’s fair or not is irrelevant.
That’s why the saying: “actions speak louder than words” is true, even if it’s a little corny.
11. How you treat others says more about YOU than it does about them
“Knocking others down to gain an advantage is a fruitless endeavour. It means they’ve given up on winning any other way.” – Saiki Michiru
Bullying others, or trying to tear down what they’ve built just proves you’re weak, fragile, insecure and nothing but a coward.
In the same way – being nice to others makes you more trustworthy and respectable.
How we treat others is a tell-tale sign of how we feel on the inside. For better or for worse.
12. Success is a state of mind
“The one’s who accomplish true greatness, are the foolish who keep pressing onward. The one’s who accomplish nothing, are the wise who know when to quit.” – Celica Arfonia
The difference between a person who succeeds, and a person who fails, is how they think.
Imagine you’re in a 100 meter race with 5 people. You’re all equally talented, healthy, and fit enough to run a 100 meter sprint. Despite these facts, only ONE person will be declared the winner.
Why is that? Because along the way, some will say: “there’s no way I’m going to win, so I may as well quit while I can”. But the winner will say: “I’ll succeed no matter what it takes”.
While I might have exaggerated that a little, it’s still true. Success is mostly a state of mind.
13. Self pity is the enemy to happiness
“Stop pitying yourself. Pity yourself, and life becomes an endless nightmare.” – Osamu Dazai
Self pity, like most things, is a habit formed over time. The more you pity yourself, the more horrible you’ll begin to feel. Until it literally becomes your own worst nightmare.
14. The world can’t be changed with pretty words alone
“The world cannot be changed with pretty words alone.” – Lelouch Lamperouge
Talk is cheap as they say. And in this case it’s true.
Talking a big game, and giving a motivational speech is all great… But if you don’t take action and actually do something, it’s meaningless.
Change starts with action.
15. You can’t sit around envying others
“You can’t sit around envying other people’s worlds.You have to go out and change your own.” – Shinichi Chiaki
The Kardashians. Celebrity gossip. Being jealous of people who are doing “better”. Or even stressing about your so called “competition”.
All these things just make you weak. They crush your resolve, and hinder you from changing your own life. Because you’re too busy sticking your nose in others lives.
At some point you have to ask – what about me? And then get started.
16. Rules aren’t made for us, they’re made for the people who created it
“Don’t think that by abiding the rules you’ll automatically be useful to society. Rules are not there for us, they are there for the person who made it and the reality and future, which are bound by these lies. They are preventing you from reaching your full potential. Which is why, if there is a future that you want, fight for it!” – Junichirou Kagami
I’m rebellious and hate the thought of living by the so called rules. Which is why I enjoy bending and breaking them.
And besides – abiding by the rules is not just easy, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be useful, happy or accomplished.
17. How you perceive someone is their true identity
“It is pointless to question who someone really is. All you can do is believe and accept. Because the way you perceive someone is their true identity.” – Kazuto Kirigaya (Kirito)
This is a harsh truth.
Sometimes on the surface it’s impossible to know someone’s true intentions. So all you can do is trust and believe what you see is who they really are. Until proven otherwise.
Perception does create reality after all, even if what we perceive is a false assumption. Or simply not true.
What’s your biggest life lesson learned from anime?