11 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Ted Lasso

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If you’re reading this, you are as hooked on the bait Ted Lasso throws at you every week as I am. Well, as much as I was.

Now that the show has ended, I have mixed emotions. I’m sad it’s over, but also inspired to live my life “the Lasso way”.

I am determined to live my life honestly and boldly, to take the good with the bad, to seek help when I need it, appreciate the small things, forgive others and love completely.  All we can do is our best to do right by ourselves and others.

These are just some of the life lessons Ted Lasso taught me. Every single episode is chock full of small nuggets of wisdom and profound thought that didn’t just touch everyone Coach Lasso knew on-screen… but us at home as well.

Here’s my personal take away from the Lasso journey.

1. Believe

This is more than just a sign hanging above the locker room door that looks like a child wrote it. It is the very essence of the show.

From the moment we find out that Rebecca hired an American Football coach from Wichita, Kansas to manage AFC Richmond just to see the team fail and spite her ex, we knew she lacked belief.

She didn’t believe that Ted could do the job, nor did she believe she could run the club better than Rupert. All she believed in was revenge. 

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Majority of people will agree that humility and kindness are far more sexy.

Ted laid down the gauntlet that changed everything with “Believe”. Who knew that one word could mean so much and change the course of so many lives?

It was the very heart of the show…  so much so that the yellow sign almost took on the form of a character that the players looked to for motivation and support.

In the Season 2 finale, the team is losing and their dreams of promotion are fading away. During halftime, Isaac encourages the entire team to walk up to the “Believe” sign and puts their hands on it. Belief fueled the fire within them.

2. Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

There are so many characters on this show that prove first appearances are not always as they seem

While Ted is an obvious example, Keeley Jones may be my favorite. In fact, I’d go as far as to say she was the charter who underwent the greatest transformation.

One of our first encounters with Keeley is when she is seen entering the team’s locker room asking if everyone is decent… then replying “Oh darn!”.

We quickly find out she is a model dating the team superstar, Jaime Tartt, and just assume she doesn’t have much “upstairs” given the way she carries herself. 

Yet, Ted believes in her. And her kind and upbeat demeanor quickly captures the hearts of everyone at the club. She starts to believe in herself and her abilities and becomes the team’s PR consultant. Rebecca now goes to her for advice, which makes Keeley feel valued.

This creates a ripple effect that allows Keeley to believe she deserves more from life, which  creates a character arc that has her achieving professional and romantic success in Season 2.

3. Power Isn’t Nearly as Sexy as Humility and Kindness

While some people are attracted to powerful people, the majority will agree that humility and kindness are far more sexy.

There are a few instances of this theory sprinkled throughout the series. The two most prominent examples are that of Rebecca and Sam, and Nate and Jade.

Rebecca, once married to one of the most powerful and richest men in England, learns that being treated with respect is a key to happiness and preferable to wealth. It is Sam’s humility and genuine kindness that attracts her like a moth to a flame.

In Season 2 Episode 5, Nate is viewed as a nobody when he tries to get his parents a table by the window at their favorite restaurant and is denied. The object of his affection, Jade, doesn’t seem to give him much thought, despite his advances.

It isn’t until he becomes a household name as West Ham’s new manager that he is treated like royalty by the restaurant owner.

However, this doesn’t seem to matter to Jade, who he eventually wins over not with his power; but, when with his sincerity and vulnerability.

4. Never Underestimate the Underdog

The pundits didn’t believe in AFC Richmond and they certainly didn’t believe in Ted Lasso. Just ask journalist Trent Crimm.

But thanks to Coach Beard’s knowledge of the game and Ted’s willingness to never stop learning, they proved the doubters wrong in the end.

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Ted Lasso brought therapy to the forefront for viewers in a way that only he could.

The show is filled with underdog stories. Players such as Sam Obisanya and Dani Rojas rise to the occasion when Jaime Tartt leaves, becoming the world class players they always knew they could be.  As Ted said, “Superstars don’t win games. Teams do.”  

Roy, once considered a washed up ex-player, becomes a vital part of the coaching staff at AFC Richmond. Keely rises to success, opening her own PR firm in Season 3. And Rebecca drives her team to the Champions League, leaving Rupert in the dust. 

5. Forgiveness Can Set You Free

While the show started out having us think it was all going to be heavy handed on the revenge and hate for Rupert, it switched gears the minute Ted showed Rebecca forgiveness in Season 1 Episode 9 for admitting to trying to sabotage him every step of the way just to destroy what Rupert loved.

Ted simply says, “…divorce is hard and makes people do crazy things. You and me, we’re ok.”. He then offers his hand and they hug, tears streaming down Rebecca’s face.

From that moment on, various characters decided to let sleeping dogs lie and just focus on the life in front of them.

This included Jaime Tarrt who was battling with forgiving his estranged father in Season 3 Episode 11. 

When he told Ted he couldn’t give his father that kind of satisfaction, he tells Jaime, “No, you ain’t giving him anything. When you choose to do that, you’re giving that to yourself.”

The list goes on as Keeley forgives Jaime for leaking a video of them in Season 3 and Sam forgives the people that destroyed his Nigerian restaurant. The team forgave Trent Crimm, allowing him to author The Richmond Way.

But the second best act of forgiveness came during the episode “International Break” when Rebecca forgave Rupert, “the little boy who loved football so much he used to sneak into the matches because his family just couldn’t afford the tickets”.

She walked away from Akufo's Super League meeting viewing them all as little boys and never felt so free!

6. There is No Shame in Seeking Therapy

When Ted suffered a panic attack, it was clear that his bubbly exterior was hiding some real pain. It showed he was human, like so many of us, trying to conceal our emotions and suffer alone.

But who said that was normal? It’s far from it. Ted Lasso brought therapy to the forefront for viewers in a way that only he could. He was funny, honest and slightly damaged like most people are. 

We all have our problems and Ted had his share of some rough ones. Yet, as per usual, he wound up helping his therapist as much as she helped him… a sentiment proven when she tells him, “Thanks to you, I've learned that expressing my vulnerabilities can help my patients with theirs. You helped me become a better therapist.”.

7. We All Need Our Own “Diamond Dogs”

Everybody needs people they can count on. Folks that will drop whatever they are doing to help a friend, offer advice or simply listen to what they have to say.

This is not always easy to find, especially for men. They typically don’t like to share their feelings for fear of coming across as weak.  Ted wanted to change this and, in doing so, successfully shed some light on the stigma for the show’s male audience. 

The significance of these Diamond Dog meetings between Ted, Beard, Nate, Leslie (and later Roy and Trent) were one of the life lessons Ted Lasso gave us that I thoroughly enjoyed.

8. Don’t Dwell on Your Mistakes

One of my favorite Ted-isms was when he told Sam to “be a goldfish”. He was beating himself up about underperforming and making mistakes that cost the team when Ted called him over asking if he knew “what the happiest animal on earth is.”

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Putting any negative feelings aside is possible, and even necessary, if it means making the people you love happy.

Ted tells him it’s a goldfish because they have a 10-second memory. If you get stuck in your own head, worrying about things you can’t control or trying to change things that you can’t, you’ll never move forward.

Three words changed Sam’s mentality and season for the better.

9. Never Kick a Person When They are Down

Nate sent himself on a downward spiral when he left AFC Richmond to prove he was more than a kit man. And working for Rupert of all people was a nasty blow to the head for Rebecca and company.

But he hit an all-time low when he snuck into the Richmond locker room and tore up the “Believe” sign.  In Season 3 Episode 4, Ted is shown footage catching Nate in the act and doesn’t so much as flinch.  He actually looks sad.

When the coaching staff tries to get him to use the footage as a motivator for their team, Ted asks them to go home and continues watching Nate.

He later tells Beard, “I hope that either all of us or none of us are judged by the actions we take in our weakest moments, but rather for the strength we show if and when we’re given a second chance.”.

Ted has been forgiving people left and right all series long, but the forgiveness he shows Nate in his darkest hour may have been the most touching. That single act ultimately led to Nate rejoining the team and their successful finish.

10. Family Comes First

While Ted was devastated when his wife wanted a separation, he was able to take great comfort in his regular video chats with his son, Henry.

He even participated in online calls with Henry’s teachers and had him visit whenever possible. His son was the center of his world, despite the winding road his marriage was taking.

When he found out that Henry was missing him, it ate him alive. He even thought about leaving the team to go back home. In Season 3 Episode 8, his estranged wife is heading off to Paris with her new boyfriend. Ted is jealous and nervous, but delighted to keep Henry for a while.

Despite Nate’s betrayal and the team’s disdain for Rupert, Ted takes his son to a West Ham game… even buys him a jersey.  They are cheering and Henry even waves “hello” to Nate.

Ted showed that putting any negative feelings aside is possible, and even necessary, if it means making the people you love happy. And when he did decide to return home he sent a loud and clear message that family comes first. Always.

11. Be Generous, Be Kind

Showing acts of generosity is a life lesson Ted Lasso fans witnessed quite often… and one that often goes hand in hand with being kind. Ted’s kindness from the moment he stepped foot on the AFC Richmond grounds was contagious.

He brought homemade biscuits to Rebecca every day.  He helped secure Keeley a job. He gave Nate and Trent Crimm a second chance. 

Keeley helped Roy believe he could be a manager and to let people into his world.

The entire team showed up to restore Sam’s restaurant when it had been destroyed.

And in its final act, Rebecca decided to stay on as owner despite lucrative offers, and make the fans co-owners of AFC Richmond.

And if you want some more life lessons for you to learn, here's a great video for you to watch:

Final Thoughts on Life Lessons from Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso may appear to be one of the simplest men on the planet, but his wisdom and influence are on par with that of characters such as Mr. Miyagi and Yoda

He has a knack for knowing just what people need to hear when they need to hear it, and does it in such a clean and thought provoking way that we are often left scratching our heads… or smiling.

The show was funny, honest and even caused me to shed a tear on occasion. It also left me wishing Ted Lasso was a real person. 

And while some say they have been given mixed signals about the future of the character, one thing is certain… for about 40 minutes each week, Ted was very real and very much a man I enjoyed taking life cues from.

And if you're looking for more articles about life lessons, be sure to check out these blog posts:

Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.

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