As we get older, it should come as no surprise that with the years of experience comes added wisdom. Whether it’s or relationship advice or tips on how to improve yourself as a person, there are many life lessons younger people can learn from their elders. We asked some of the older people in our lives, including parents and grandparents to impart some of their wisdom on us, and share their top tips to the younger generation. Here’s what they had to say.
1, Live in the moment
Nowadays, more and more of us are obsessed with posting our lives on social media. Often, this is harmless – taking a photo at a family event can immortalise a cherished memory. However, when we become obsessed with capturing our evenings on Snapchat or Instagram or another social media page, we can often be so caught up with this that we miss precious moments.
Carol, aged 71 says: “I’ve seen many young people who seem to feel the need to be validated by social media. As you get older, you realise that the experience was the important part, not what others thought of it. My advice would be to put your phone down and enjoy what’s happening right now rather than watching it back later!”
2, Take care of your health while you don’t need to
When you’re in your 20’s, you might think you have all the time in the world to get healthy. What’s another beer, or takeaway whilst you’re young? However, one of the most frequently recurring life lessons shared with us were relating to taking care of your health when you’re young, so you can reap the benefits later on in life.
Robert, aged 75 says: “The fitter you are during your youth, the fitter you’ll be when you’re older. I was always a bit of a workout fanatic during my younger years, never smoked and only drank in moderation, and I feel fit as anything now I’m still active in my 70’s… but I have friends who weren’t so healthy and they tend to struggle a little more nowadays.”
3, Read as much as possible
Outside formal education, many of us hop off the reading wagon. Some of us just don’t enjoy reading books, whilst others don’t have the time in their schedule. However, our senior gurus have advised that you make time in your schedule to pick up a new book. Whether factual or fictional, books provide mental stimulation, knowledge and tranquillity. They can be a great way to escape from an otherwise busy and often troubling reality. On top of this, it has been suggested that reading can improve both your vocabulary and your memory, which is always a benefit in later years.
Pauline, aged 68 says: “Books have always helped me relax. Whenever I pause midway through a good book, I’m always excited to pick it back up again!”
4, Save money… but don’t miss out
This one caused the most controversy when discussed. Of all of those we asked, everyone agreed that creating savings accounts when younger would be hugely beneficial later. Whilst the state pension is due to rise, money is still tight for millions of pensioners. Starting a savings account in your 20’s could help alleviate any financial worries further down the line, however, it should not be at the expense of being young and having experiences according to those we asked.
Pamela, aged 82 says: “Of course you should save money where you can, but that doesn’t mean you should turn down once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. That goes for good times with friends too. That’s one of the biggest life lessons I would share with my kids and grandkids. Go out and do all the things you could ever possibly want to do, even if that means spending more. After all, you only live once, as the kids say!”
5, Let yourself love
And we come to love: perhaps the biggest mystery to all of us. This is the life lesson that many of us seek, but so few have the answers to. The advice that John and others gave was simply to let yourself love. Love your friends, your family, your pets, significant others. Allow yourself to love, even if you’re scared of heartbreak, because love is what we as humans operate on. To quote Eden Ahbez: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
John, aged 88 says: “Love is important. Don’t try and fight what your heart tells you. At the end of the day, you get one, very short life and one of the biggest life lessons I’ve picked up is that you have to live it to the fullest extent while you can. That means being brave and letting yourself love, even if it’s scary.”
Have you got any additional life lessons you’ve picked up or had shared over the years? Be sure to let us know!