9 life lessons we can learn from Sheldon Cooper

The Big Bang Theory follows a group of eccentric, nerdy scientists, none more peculiar than Sheldon Cooper. The show’s breakout character, Sheldon is known for his many idiosyncrasies, stubborn ways, excessive pride, and difficulty coping with change.

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However, Sheldon’s arc is an example of growth, and his storylines throughout the show’s twelve seasons can teach audiences some valuable life lessons. He may not always deal with life’s difficulties appropriately, but Sheldon remains a compelling figure with plenty of wisdom to share. And if there’s one thing he loves, it’s sharing his wisdom with others.

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Change is not always bad


“Change is never good. They say yes, but it’s not.” During the show’s early seasons, Sheldon hates change and actively rejects it. He spends the rest of the series dealing with it, understanding that he cannot stop it. Sheldon still has trouble with it, but he gradually learns to accept it as one of life’s inevitabilities.

Sheldon does a lot of maturing throughout The Big Bang Theory, and his attitude to change proves it. Like him, fans should learn that change can be good, even if it doesn’t look like it at first. Life is not static, and the sooner people understand it, the better off they will be.


Things aren’t always the way we remember them


George in Young Sheldon and Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon likes to tell stories about his childhood in rural Texas. He paints a somewhat dark scenario, presenting himself as a genius surrounded by idiots, including his family. Sheldon also portrays his father as a raging drunk who had a chaotic and abusive relationship with his mother, Mary, whom he cheated on with another woman.

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However, Young Sheldon presents a very different take on Sheldon’s childhood. Contrary to Sheldon’s accounts, George Sr. is a loving, dedicated, and responsible father who always puts his family first. Sheldon’s memories might not necessarily be fake, but his memories don’t match reality. Each person will see things from their unique perspective, but human interaction is more complex. It is important that people are always ready to see things from the perspective of others to find the nuance in every situation.


Friendship can hide in the most unexpected places


Penny and Sheldon sitting on her couch in TBBT

Penny and Sheldon have the best friendship ever. The Big Bang Theory. It’s quite impressive that two such different people can form such a strong and lasting bond, but the series does a perfect job of showing how they find common ground and learn to accept and embrace each other’s idiosyncrasies.

Friendship is one of life’s greatest joys, and it doesn’t always come from familiar places. Indeed, a person can create a real bond with someone with whom he has little in common, and this is normal. The best thing about being friends with someone is getting to know them and maybe even gaining a new perspective on life.


Safety first!


Sheldon is notoriously obsessed with security. At one point, he covers his apartment with fluorescent arrows pointing to the nearest exits before getting rid of them after realizing that they are “extremely carcinogenic”. After being robbed, he goes so far as to leave Pasadena for the supposedly safer Bozeman, Montana, only to be mugged upon his arrival.

He can take things to extremes, but his constant preoccupation with safety makes Sheldon incredibly relatable. People should be cautious and alert, taking precautions for eventualities. No one knows what’s coming, so it’s best to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.


Pure talent will only get you so far


Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory

A renowned theoretical physicist, Sheldon is at the top of his profession, which he constantly brags about to his friends. However, it wasn’t until he began working with Amy that he had a real breakthrough that ultimately led to his Nobel Prize.

Sheldon is the smartest character in The Big Bang Theory, but he’s also the perfect example that raw talent isn’t enough. People have to work constantly, make connections and seize opportunities as they arise. Talent will open many doors, but it’s not enough to take someone all the way. They will need the support of friends and colleagues and the experience of years of work if they are to reach the top.

Fight for your true love


Despite his problematic ways, Sheldon was a very good boyfriend to Amy. Their relationship has had many ups and downs, as evidenced by their breakup in the season eight finale. Still, Sheldon knew Amy was the love of his life, and he overcame his pride to win her back, eventually marrying and even having a child with her.

Love is difficult. It takes constant effort, commitment and compromise to be successful. Sheldon knew he belonged to Amy and went against everything he thought he knew to win her back and make their relationship work. Her story teaches audiences that while love won’t make things easy, it will make them worthwhile.


Compromise is crucial


And speaking of compromise, Sheldon learned to do it, albeit reluctantly. When he first met Leonard, the infamous and headstrong genius was stuck in his ways. With time and a lot of patience from Leonard, Penny and Amy, Sheldon eventually became more flexible and adaptable.

Life is about compromise. Whether in love or at work, people have to adapt to circumstances, which sometimes means making some sacrifices. It may not always be easy to let go of things or behaviors, but people learn to cope. It’s okay to feel sad or angry and even to cry about those things that get lost, but it’s pointless to resist change.

Life isn’t always how we planned it


Sheldon and Amy's wedding in The Big Bang Theory

Young Sheldon shows that the genius always thought his life would follow a certain path. He certainly never saw himself living with strangers and befriending them or getting married. Never in a million years would he have imagined dedicating his Nobel Prize speech to other people!

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Alas, life has no set path and its twists and turns will take everyone by surprise. No matter how hard someone tries, they’ll never be able to anticipate everything that’s going to happen, and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean things are going to turn out for the worse, but it does mean that some might not go as planned.


Always believe in your dreams


Sheldon Cooper delivers his Nobel Prize speech in The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon remained convinced that he would eventually win his Nobel Prize. Most people doubted him because, although he was a genius, the chances of him making a breakthrough discovery were slim. Sheldon has made several bad career choices throughout The Big Bang Theory but kept working, never giving up on his passion until he finally achieved his goal.

Life can sometimes be cruel for those who have a specific dream. However, it is important to never back down. There will always be naysayers, but if someone really wants to achieve something, they have to develop tough skin. Ultimately, a person can achieve their dreams with enough hard work, talent, and, it must be said, a little luck.

NEXT: 10 TV Characters Who Would Get Along With The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon & Leonard

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About the Author

Sharon D. Cole