8 Life Lessons From How I Met Your Mother

5 min read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

“It’s going to be L E G E N — wait for it but don’t forget to suit up — Dary”.

For six years, How I Met Your Mother was a show that every twenty or thirty-something could relate to. You were either a Ted, Marshall, Barney, Lilly or Robin.

“How I Met Your Mother,” probably one of the greatest shows in existence, has not only made us laugh until we couldn’t breathe but has also inspired. From Marshall and Lilly’s extraordinary love story to Barney’s “Bro Code,” there’s a little piece in there for all of us.

We all know, that the point of us hearing Ted tell all these stories is to explain to his kids how he met and fell in love with their mother. But in that nine-year span of storytelling, we watched him and the gang experience love, heartbreak, births, deaths, and overall, grow up.

I mean think about yourself nine years ago compared to who you are now. You’ve gone through good and bad experiences and they have changed you for the better or worse, but either way impacted you. Everything Ted recalled to his kids over the nine seasons helped explain how and why it led to meeting the love of his life.

Like Ted, I’m a very big ‘everything happens for a reason’ person, and this entire series is the epitome of that.

So in the spirit of that mantra, here are the best life lessons gleaned from HIMYM, the ones that help shape who we are, and the ones we will remember for the rest of our lives.

  1. You can reach your goals, even if the road is long sometimes.

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Marshall eventually escaped the corporate world and became an environmental lawyer. Robin eventually became a successful newscaster. Barney eventually executed the perfect Playbook play. And Lily eventually became a successful artist, even though dogs were her primary audience. 😀

Don’t stick with a major, career, or job just because you’re afraid to leave or it’s risky to go after whatever you really want. Chase after your dreams no matter how scary it is.

Work hard and don’t settle for something that doesn’t make you happy every time you wake up every morning.

  1. The front porch test

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Lily used the “Front Porch Test” to see if she believed that Ted’s girlfriends were right for him. You should use the same for your life choices.

Imagine yourself at the age of 70, sitting on that porch, and reminiscing about your life. Would you be happy you made this decision? Will it matter? Is this a lasting decision, and if so, can you see yourself growing old with it?

  1. It’s all about your mindset

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Take this tip from Barney to heart. Don’t let a setback or a series of bad events become who you are. If you’re ever stuck in a funk, go back to #1, take a nap, and then start being awesome!

Your beliefs determine who you are. You are not what you believe. Give yourself a chance every once in a while to question things that you believe in. You’ll discover an altogether different side of yours.

  1. Take every “challenge” life throws (or doesn’t) throw at you.

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Be like Barney and constantly challenge yourself, or just never fear away from what life throws at you.

“Challenge accepted.”

  1. You need to accept when to move on

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Occasionally, there are things beyond your control. You need to accept that they are beyond your control. Whether it’s old friends or classmates, some things just aren’t meant to be permanent fixtures in your life. Same with classes, and majors.

Sometimes, you make bad decisions, so you should know when to move on and start over.

  1. ..and when to wait for it

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Rome wasn’t built in a day. Things don’t happen with the snap of your fingers. Legend-wait for it-dary things take time, but they’ll happen. So, you should think before you make the call to move on, or wait.

  1. It’s okay to make mistakes.

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All the mistakes you make in life are the steps that lead you to where you are supposed to be. Although you may not understand it at the time, you’ve made those mistakes for a reason.

So don’t beat yourself up too much about it, everything happens for a reason and things will eventually fall into place.

  1. But sometimes all you need is a nap

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Ted is obsessed with making sure his life is going according to his plan. But as Marshal says, forget about your plan, for now. Sometimes, things happen for a reason. If something has derailed your plan, remember, your life cannot be designed like a building, things happen and you have to go with them.

When they get you down, take a nap, re-energize and attack with a new game plan. Self-care is crucial.

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How I Met Your Mother has come to an end, but we learned one big lesson from the finale. In the last double episode special, we finally met the mother. After years of searching, Ted finally found the love of his life. Unfortunately, the show had an unhappy ending when the mother dies. Yet Ted is not left alone because he can, at last, be with Robin.

HIMYM taught us that no matter what age you are, how many years you spend looking for things, there’s always something or someone out there for everyone, waiting to be found. Barney teaches us this too when his baby daughter, Ellie, is born.

So there we have it, our all-time favorite How I Met Your Mother Life Lessons, but what are your favorites?

Let us know in the comment section below! 🙂

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Aayushi Damwani
Studying bachelor's in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.