Growing up in a much different generation from our grandparents can give us the assumptions that what we don’t have anything in common with them. They have lived longer than we have, they have overcome way too many hurdles than we have, and they definitely have, in one way or another, experienced the most difficult circumstances in life, which we are likely to encounter one day. So even if we think we’ve got nothing in common with them, they pretty much have gained enough wisdom and knowledge through time that we can take advantage of – that is, if we’ll listen to them. Old people are not a nuisance, a contradiction, or a roadblock to pursuing our grand plans, they are just wise people who want the best for the younger generation.
So instead of rolling our eyes and showing our annoyance for their unsolicited advice, why don’t we try to listen to them with an open mind and heart. You might be surprised how a single unwanted counsel can create a profound impact in your life.
1. The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them as such.
2. Choose your mate with your brains as well as your hormones. Be picky. If you’re getting overwhelmed just return to the immediate present moment and savor all that is beautiful and comforting. Your life is not as serious as you think it is.
3. Well, as the old saying goes: a stitch in time saves nine. Those weeds in the front garden? Pull them out now, or in a few months there’ll be ten times as many of them and they’ll be five times as tall. And next year they’ll be bushes with roots that are a real pain to get out.
4. 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.
5. Stuff is just stuff. Don’t hold onto material objects, hold onto time and experiences instead.
6. Books. Read them. 64 here, and your mom. All the cliches apply (sunblock, flossing, travel). But don’t stop reading books, lots and lots and lots of books. Crappy ones, disturbing ones, difficult ones, fun ones. You can only live your one tiny life, but with books, you can live thousands more.
7. The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them as such.
8. Take risks! we think in terms of black and white, the world is gray. It’s really hard to “lose everything” unless you die. If you get fired there’s another job, if you go broke, you can rebuild. If you don’t take risks, you’ll look back and say “I wish I had.”
9. Jealousy destroys relationships. Trust your significant other, because who else are you supposed to trust?
10. 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.
11. Keep your word, even though most people will end up disappointing you with theirs.
12. 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!
13. Don’t take life so seriously. Even if things seem dark and hopeless, try to laugh at how ridiculous life is.
14. Marriage is not 50:50. It is 100:100. Remember that when you wake up and when you go to bed. Every day.
15. Remember that life is like a bank account: You don’t want to spend everything you have right away, but you don’t want to be a miser and save every penny. Yes, you’re only young once, but, with any luck, you’ll also be old at some point. Plan on a career, but don’t let it overcome the rest of your life. Take care of yourself, but don’t make it an obsession. Focus on your kids, but leave room in your life for yourself. Save enough money so that you’ll have enough for the future and for emergencies, but spend enough now to avoid looking back with regret.
16. A true friend will come running if you call them at 2am. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.
17. 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.
18. Eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke — so you never actually become one.
19. 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…
20. When you have kids you will be time warping. Spend as much time with your children as you can. Turn off the TV, get away from the computer. You will never understand the impact you have on their lives. Make the most of it.
21. The joints you damage today will get their revenge later. Even if you think they’ve recovered completely. TRUST ME!
22. Life isn’t serious. Success or failure mean nothing in the scheme of life’s existence, never mind your life. If you are fortunate enough to be born into relative wealth, enjoy it. And if you aren’t, do everything in your power to make everyone’s lives better. The only goal we can ever really have as a species is equality of happiness.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. Don’t look at the calendar. Just keep celebrating every day.
26. Even if you feel hatred, keep it to yourself. Don’t hurt other people for any reason.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. If you are embarrassed to be dating someone, you should not be dating them.
30. Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritize work over family, friends, or even yourself.
It’s never too late to take your grandparents’ guidance to heart. And if you want to gain more insights from these senior citizens, here’s about a hundred more from them. Have a meaningful day!