Some Elder Advice for The New Year Ahead
With Christmas 2019 just passed and a bright new year of 2020 before us, it seems appropriate to hear from some people who have 70, 80 and 90 Christmases and New Years under their belts. From a 2012 article featured in The New York Times, the lessons in life do not change and include the following advice from seniors:
- ON CAREERS Almost everyone interviewed agreed with what this 83-year-old former athlete who worked for decades as an athletic coach and recruiter had to say: “The most important thing is to be involved in a profession that you absolutely love, and that you look forward to going to work to every day.” Even though it can take time to find that ideal job, don’t give up looking for it, and in the mean time try to make the best of the job you have.
- ON AGING “Embrace it. Don’t fight it. Growing older is both an attitude and a process,” The experts’ advice to the young: “Don’t waste your time worrying about getting old.” Most of those interviewed discovered that old age greatly exceeded their expectations.
- ON REGRETS “Always be honest” was the elders’ advice to avoid late-in-life remorse. Take advantage of opportunities and embrace new challenges. And travel more when you’re young rather than wait until the children are grown or you are retired.
- ON HAPPINESS Almost to a person, the elders viewed happiness as a choice, not the result of how life treats you.
- A 75-year-old man said, “You are not responsible for all the things that happen to you, but you are completely in control of your attitude and your reactions to them.”
- An 84-year-old said, “Adopt a policy of being joyful.”
- A 90-year-old woman said, “I learned to be grateful for what I have, and no longer bemoan what I don’t have or can’t do.”
Even if their lives were nine decades long, the elders saw life as too short to waste on pessimism, boredom and disillusionment.
Let's all aim to make 2020 a great year, as life is truly too short not to enjoy the ride.