I’ve come to a stage in my life (aka. old age) where my parents words stop being nagging mumbles and start to make plenty of sense. It seems like it’s only when you’re far from home that your parents feel the closest to you – things tend to be ironic that way. You stop being the all-knowing teenage brat and you start learning that listening can get you far. That the older generation have plenty of interesting stories under their belt, their insights become more helpful than nosy, and their lessons are actually worth learning from.
This is why I have decided to post this; it might come in useful someday. Came across five life secrets learnt from the elderly on Business Insider and I just wanted to share them. (Note: not actually trying to be rude and implying that my parent are well, erm, elderly).
While Karl Pillemer of Cornell University wrote his book “30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans”, he studied nearly 1500 people aged 70 to 100+.
These are the key insights that he came away with…
ONE. Most important lesson? Remember that life is short.
TWO. For career? Do what you enjoy.
THREE. Healthy living? Treat your body like you’re going to need it for 100 years.
FOUR. Biggest regret? Pointless worrying.
FIVE. Happiness? Don’t make your happiness contingent. Be happy in spite of bad times.
Five seemingly obvious points. However, ones that we often choose to ignore. How many people can we think of that have chosen the safe option, settled for less than wonderful, worked in a mundane job for the stable income, survived on cereal in times of laziness, had a hangover that lasted way too long, over-thought everything and anything, concerned themselves with things that don’t matter, looked back with no intention of learning lessons, and have left their happiness to what’s around them instead of creating something of their own. Perhaps some of ourselves are guilty as charged.
Before this post turns into a bundle of cliches and me attempting to teach life lessons that I should first learn for myself, I shall leave it at that for you to ponder.
I like those five lessons. You may now all go skydiving.