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10 Lessons From The Great Gastby

Updated on June 5, 2015

Introducing Jay Gatsby

He lived in a great mansion and held parties every week. The people who attended were not friends, but merely people who admired Mr. Gatsby. They had reasons to, obviously.

He was a mysterious man. He didn't stay in places too long. As a matter of fact, he never attended his parties. Well, most of them, at least.

Aside from his elusiveness, Mr. Gatsby taught us some lessons that we should probably follow. After all, they did help him.

The Great Gasby
The Great Gasby | Source

1. There is only one you

Mr. Gatsby never tried to be like anyone else. He lived his life and he lived it to the best of his ability until the tragedy occurred.

He knew who he was and he accepted himself as that. There were many rumors surrounding how he became wealthy and he never addressed them. He didn't mind people talking because obviously, he gave them reason to.

It is no secret he had more enemies than friends, but that just goes along with the territory. He never wanted to be anyone's friend. He just wanted to live his life in peace.


2. Life is a series of fortunate events

Mr. Gatsby was a gambler and a pretty good one. Did you see his mansion?

The man definitely had skills and it is because of this that he was able to have a comfortable life. He didn't admit he was a gambler, but he never denied the insinuation from the narrator.

Gambling gave him a successfully comfortable life, but he had to have another talent to maintain the wealthy lifestyle.

3. Investing goes a long way

The story line of The Great Gatsby is centered on Mr. Gatsby's fortunate lifestyle. There are subtle hints to how he acquired his wealth since he was raised in poverty, but never directly stated (other than the aforementioned gambling).

From watching or reading the iconic story, one can definitely assume Mr. Gatsby was a man who knew how to invest. He did this in more ways than one.

He maintained his wealth by paying it forward and enjoying his blessing. He invested in winning back Daisy, his long lost love.

Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan
Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan | Source

4. Never become distracted by frivolous things

It is clearly obvious Mr. Gatsby had one goal in mind throughout the story: to win back Daisy's heart.

His goal is actually ironic because he never thought about Daisy until the narrator mentions he is her cousin. Then he goes on this quest to win the heart of a woman he lost five years ago.

He doesn't care about the fact that she is married to Tom Buchanan and is in love with him. Well, she admits she doesn't love him like she loves Mr. Gatsby, which is a lie.

When the time came for her to leave her husband, she refused. Although, her husband was cheating on her.

Getting back to the lesson. Mr. Gatsby never stopped loving Daisy and wanted her to know that by any means necessary.

5. Share and you will receive more than you could ever imagine

Mr. Gatsby didn't share his wealth monetarily. He shared his wealth by allowing people to come to his house and have fun in his great mansion. He didn't mind anything breaking because he knew he had the money to buy more things.

Other than sharing his wealth, he shared his heart. He loved Daisy in a way she never she could be loved and ultimately, it killed him. He didn't care that she belonged to another man because he had her first and he would always have her.

His love for her is what kept him going. Knowing that he had a chance to win back her heart was worth living for.

6. Never dwell on the past

Mr. Gatsby was born into poverty and he was determined to never let that be the end of him. He sent money to his father often, but he never actually spoke or seen his father since he left home.

It seemed as though Mr. Gatsby didn't want to think about his former life. He was too focused on the present and future. This was great for him because he knew what poverty was like and he didn't want to go back.

Jay Gatsby in front of mansion
Jay Gatsby in front of mansion | Source

7. Count your blessings

The great thing about Mr. Gatsby was he was never boisterous or proud. He appeared to be humbled throughout the story. (Not sure if this what the author intended or not.)

If he was proud, who would blame him? He had everything, except love before Daisy and his encounter.

The fact that he allowed strangers to party on his lawn every week is the most humble characteristic he could ever have. He may have been glad that he could make people happy.

8. Not everyone can be trusted

It is obvious Mr. Gatsby could only trust two people: Daisy and the narrator. The narrator should have been the only person he trusted because Daisy was a no good wench. (Sorry, I needed to release that.)

There was a person Mr. Gatsby didn't trust, but this wasn't overtly evident. The person is Tom.

It is no secret Tom and Mr. Gatsby didn't get along. They both loved the same woman for different reasons. There are some subtle cues that Tom may have been a bit jealous of Mr. Gatsby.

9. Wealth is about more than money

Did Mr. Gatsby have all the money in the world? Maybe.

He understood his success had more to do with his heart than with his pockets. (Don't believe me, then go back to lessons 5-7.)

Mr. Gatsby had a heart of gold and because of this, most people didn't like him or loved him a lot.

Jay Gatsby's serious pose
Jay Gatsby's serious pose | Source

10. Always remain focused

Okay, this may be a little redundant.

Mr. Gatsby had the mentality of most millionaires of his day. In the movie edition with Robert Redford as Mr. Gatsby, we never see how he achieves his wealth, but it is implied.

He was a great investor, but we didn't know what he invested in other than horses and cars.

Whatever his goal was, he kept going until it was reached. That, my friends, is admirable.

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