When you begin to consider the advice and lives of people from 60 or more years ago, the first thing that comes to mind is typically that we’re about to hear some very interesting advice based on life experience. I think advice from those who are older can come in many forms and to be honest, some of it truly doesn’t apply to today at all. Think about it, many people, even our parents sometimes, were living in a completely different world than what exists today. Is it really possible for them to give us advice that still holds true?
Not long ago a question was posted on reddit asking the platform’s 60+ year old visitors to share what advice/tips they had for people half their age.
This is where I think this set of questions is interesting. It contains experiences and traits of human life that seem almost timeless. I remember from writing The 5 Regrets of The Dying, and also reporting on Harvard’s study about what it took for men to be happy in this world, that many of the things that create a joyful life are often simple, and many of these things are covered in the list below.
One important point I always encourage people to remember, and it is mentioned below, is that someone else’s advice or life experience is not gospel and shouldn’t be treated as absolutely something you should live by. We’re all unique, all having our own journey and I feel it’s important to listen to these things, reflect on them and then apply them to your own life as you see fit. We are always evolving as people and as a society, it’s quite possible that one day some of these things will be so a part of our natural state that they don’t even need to be mentioned.
From my point of view, aligning your life with your greatest mission is going to be huge in creating long lasting joy in your life. Don’t get lost in the illusion that there will be no challenges in life, there always will be and that’s part of why we are here, to learn and grow from our experience. Do what you feel you want to contribute to the world. Get in touch with what experiences you want to have, not what someone else is telling you to have, including cultural influences. Think about how you want to learn and grow. As you explore these things, you will be in alignment with YOU which will bring you much joy.
1. The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them as such.
2. You might live a long life, or you might live a short one — who knows. But either way, trust me when I say that you’re going to wish you took better care of yourself in your youth.
3. Stuff is just stuff. Don’t hold onto material objects, hold onto time and experiences instead.
4. Jealousy destroys relationships. Trust your significant other, because who else are you supposed to trust?
5. People always say, ’’Make sure you get a job doing what you love!’’ But that isn’t the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Almost nobody has a job they love every day.
6. If you’re getting overwhelmed by life, just return to the immediate present moment and savour all that is beautiful and comforting. Take a deep breath, relax.
7. Years go by in the blink of an eye. Don’t marry young. Live your life. Go places. Do things. If you have the means or not. Pack a bag and go wherever you can afford to go. While you have no dependents, don’t buy stuff. Any stuff. See the world. Look through travel magazines and pick a spot. GO!
8. Don’t take life so seriously. Even if things seem dark and hopeless, try to laugh at how ridiculous life is.
9. A true friend will come running if you call them at 2am. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.
10. Children grow up way too fast. Make the most of the time you have with them.
11. Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritize work over family, friends, or even yourself.
12. Eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke — so you never actually become one.
13. Maybe this one isn’t as profound as the others, but I think it’s important… Floss regularly, dental problems are awful.
14. Don’t take anyone else’s advice as gospel. You can ask for advice from someone you respect, then take your situation into consideration and make your own decision. Essentially, take your own advice is my advice…
15. The joints you damage today will get their revenge later. Even if you think they’ve recovered completely. TRUST ME!
16. We have one time on this earth. Don’t wake up and realize that you are 60 years old and haven’t done the things you dreamed about.
17. Appreciate the small things and to be present in the moment. What do I mean? Well, it seems today like younger people are all about immediate gratification. Instead, why not appreciate every small moment? We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever and the greatest pleasure can be found in the most mundane of activities. Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone. Call your mother, have a conversation about nothing in particular. Those are the moments to hold onto.
18. Pay your bills and stay the hell out of debt. If I could have paid myself all the money I’ve paid out in interest over the years, I’d be retired already.
19. If you have a dream of being or doing something that seems impossible, try for it anyway. It will only become more impossible as you age and become responsible for other people.
20. When you meet someone for the first time, stop and realize that you really know nothing about them. You see race, gender, age, clothes. Forget it all. You know nothing. Those biased assumptions that pop into your head because of the way your brain likes categories, are limiting your life, and other people’s lives.