Thursday marked 20 years since Diana’s tragic death, Princess of Wales! Her life was all too cut short, and in the process, an era of hope and humanity snuffed out. While there will never be anyone like her again, you can still gain some great scraps of wisdom from Diana’s own mouth. Here a just a few life lessons we can learn from the People’s Princess, in her own words.
“I don’t go by the rule book… I lead from the heart, not the head.”
Stay true to who you are. If it feels right, then that’s probably because it is right! There was no pretense about Diana, she was a natural in every way. Yes, she was criticised for manipulating the media, but when it came to compassion all of hers came from a place of truth. That’s why people loved her. She really cared and we really believed her.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
Selflessness was what Diana admired most. A trait she found in those she held dear, such as Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela. Due to her position on the world stage, she received the great accolade for her wonderful humanitarianism. But the Diana close friends speak of, would have done it nonetheless. Accolade or no accolade. Put others before yourself. Do it because you want to. Do it because you care. Not for compliments or admiration – they should come naturally anyway. Just as The Princess surmises, “I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give. I am very happy to do that, I want to do that.”
“I like to be a free spirit. Some don’t like that, but that’s the way I am.”
Often celebrated for her great sense of humour, her playfulness, and impulse, Diana did what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it. She encouraged her boys to be cheeky! Pushed for them to have fun and play pranks! She didn’t toe the line. She didn’t do what was expected. She broke away from rigid royal customs and lived the way she believed was right and good. Don’t feel forced to do anything, be a little daring and have fun! Laughter is one of life’s greatest pleasures. And Princess Diana Loved to laugh.
“Family is the most important thing in the world.”
Everyone knows The Princess of Wales’ greatest loves were her boys. Their relationship was tear-jerking. They adored her and she always made sure they had the best life. She’d put them before anything. Diana understood being royal was as much a curse as a blessing and she wanted to make sure the Prince’s experienced the normal things in life. She took them to McDonald’s and theme parks and she made sure she dropped them off at school and picked them up as often as her schedule allowed. She was a brilliant mum because she understood the importance of family. Learn to appreciate your family. One of the great tragedies of Diana’s passing is that she left those boys behind. Life can be short, make sure the people closest to you know you love them.
“The greatest problem in the world today is intolerance. Everyone is so intolerant of each other.”
This one is as true today as it was over 20 years ago. One of the planet’s greatest infections is the lack of tolerance. Take it from the Queen of Hearts herself, be more tolerant. Understand differences and celebrate them! Don’t be cruel and vicious, in Diana’s words again, “Every one of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.” Be more caring and educate yourself. You’ll feel so much better about yourself if you treat people with mutual respect and love!
“When you are happy you can forgive a great deal.”
Sometimes it’s not always about what you can do for someone else. We must also focus on our own happiness. It’s no secret that The People’s Princess struggled in this department, maybe because she gave too much of herself away to others. Don’t fall into a hole where you neglect your own needs by pursuing the needs of others. “Life is a journey”, Diana once said and one of the best things about journeys is they often lead to self-discovery. Treat yourself to the things you love. Give yourself time. Chase your dreams and passions. You can do this parallel to helping others. It’s all about balance. And when you are happy, you most definitely will treat people better and with more sincerity and goodness.