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Life Lessons I Learned From How I Met Your Mother

Mohammad Yasir is a published author who likes to write about sciences, social issues, and various other topics relevant in today's world.



One of the many reasons How I Met Your Mother resonated so much with all its fans was its ability to stir up a variety of emotions. Primarily, it was a sitcom and yet, it is one of the most beautiful journeys in the world of romance. Simultaneously, it was able to hit its audience with all kinds of emotions in the world.

In terms of advice, Barney's legendary, albeit highly controversial "one rules" weren't all that Carter Bays and Craig Thomas came up with. Instead, there were a variety of lessons to learn from the nine-year journey that Ted took his kids on. Let us look at the top five.

1. Right Place, Right Time

Patience is a virtue. Life can prove a very arduous journey for us, and we may start losing hope. However, it is important to remember that everything happens in its own time.

Over the course of its nine seasons, Ted Mosby from 2030 (so long, Bob Saget) was heard repeating one phrase several times:

"... you kids wouldn't have been born."

This is important. It is evident that even if one little thing had happened differently, the future wouldn't have been the same. The twenty-second episode of the fourth season is even named "Right Place, Right Time", and its entire synopsis revolves around how much Ted's life would have changed if he hadn't been in the right place at the right time.

Our lives aren't so different from his. We may not be living in a sitcom, but the real world also works just like that. Everything happens in its own time and in its own place and we can't just skip ahead to whichever moment we decide is best. We need to take the whole journey and realize that our reward is waiting around some corner in the future.

2. Little Reasons, Big Things

What we might fail to realize is that in the grand scheme of things, the little actions and reactions add up. Life isn't a whole bunch of cosmic decisions. Instead, it's a series of small choices and events that sums up our existence.

There's a lot of little reasons why the big things in our lives happen.

— Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother, S4E22

Just as all good things come in time, they also don't happen all at once. Every day, we make choices that affect our future and our character. Every day, we evolve into the person we are going to be a few years from now. Our happiness and comfort lie in realizing the importance of things both big and small, and learning to be content with every victory, instead of forcing ourselves to achieve higher and higher and ending up burnt out in the process.

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3. Your Friends Are the Best Parts of Your Life

If you want to look at clichés, recall the age-old adage: "The man is a social animal." It remains true to this day. Love and friendship are two of the most beautiful aspects of our existence in this mortal plane.

Some people prefer their lonesome self to the company of others, and that is also okay. However, one can also never deny that facing hurdles every day in life is much easier when you have friends and family to keep you motivated and celebrate your victories. Just now, I mentioned "Little reasons, big things". But how are we to enjoy the sweet taste of success when we don't have our friends to share it with?

Whatever you do in this life, it’s not legendary unless your friends are there to see it.

— Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother, S9E17

4. Perfect isn't Perfect

Lily and Marshall fought various times over the show. Barney and Robin were endgame and their first relationship ended up in the nastiest way possible. Even future Ted talks about stupid little fights between him and Tracy. Nobody is perfect, and nobody can be perfect.

At the end of the day, it isn't about who is without fault since no one is. Instead, love is about finding the person whose every annoying little trait is exactly what makes you smile. Someone who is proud of your insecurities. Over time, you can iron out the wrinkles, but finding someone who is as perfect as unrealistic romances have led you to believe is impossible and frankly, a preposterous notion.

This goes for friends too, and if you cannot decide, remember what Ted taught us: do the front porch test.

The people who matter are the ones you can imagine yourself on a porch with in the future.

The people who matter are the ones you can imagine yourself on a porch with in the future.

5. Put in the Effort

While on a walk with Tracy, Ted talks about Gary Blauman. At the end of that episode, we were treated to one of the most precious pieces of advice he could have given his kid.

You will be shocked, kids, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever. That is why, when you find someone you want to keep around, you do something about it.

— Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

It is easy in life to part ways with people forever. When we are seeing someone for the last time ever, we have no idea about it. The death of Marvin Eriksen taught us that, as did the story of Gary Blauman. When you really find someone you wish to keep in your life, you take Ted's advice. As previously mentioned, your friends are the best part of your life. And HIMYM also tells us how it isn't about winning. Instead, it is about compromise.

If there is a fight, then you will be angry that day. Your anger won't last, but if you let your friends go, your loneliness will. When you meet someone new, sometimes it isn't easy to break the ice. But your shyness only lasts for as long as you let it. So, if you are lucky enough to find someone you can genuinely call your friend, take Ted's advice and do something about it!

© 2022 Mohammad Yasir

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