In my profession as an executive coach there is always a focus on progress, success and achieving goals, and this is a good thing. Yet it is also important to take a step back, assess and reflect… Our way of life has become a fast moving entity based on rapid change which may not always be as satisfying as one might hope it to be. I stumbled over a collection of wisdom, suggestions, recommendations and advise from some mature people (a.k.a. old people…), which I could not resist to share for reflection and, maybe some re-thinking. I certainly can appreciate the sense of these thoughts very well. If nothing else, I hope it generates at least a relaxing smile while you read them.
Here are the points of wisdom:
- The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share his/her life with you. Treat them accordingly!
- You may well live a long life, or you might live a short one – who knows. Either way, trust me when I say that you’re going to wish you took better care of yourself in your youth.
- Stuff is just that, stuff. Don’t hold onto material objects, hold onto time spent with others and experiences enjoyed instead.
- Jealousy always destroys relationships. Trust your significant other, because who else are you supposed to trust?
- People always say, ’’Make sure you get a job doing what you love!’’ But that isn’t always the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Only very few people have a job they love every day.
- If you’re getting overwhelmed by life, just focus on the immediate present moment and savor all that is beautiful and comforting. Take a deep breath, count to 10 (or 100 if necessary) and relax.
- 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!
- Don’t take life (and yourself!) so seriously. Even if things seem dark and hopeless, try to laugh at how ridiculous life sometimes is.
- A true friend will come running if you call them at 2am. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.
- Children grow up way too fast. Make the most of the time you have with them.
- Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritize work over family, friends, or even yourself.
- Eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke — so you never actually become one.
- Maybe this one isn’t as profound as the others, but I think it’s important… Floss regularly, dental problems are awful.
- 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.
- The joints you damage today will get their revenge later. Even if you think they’ve recovered completely. TRUST ME!
- We have one span of 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.
- Appreciate the small things, be present in the moment. It seems today, 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 parents, your siblings, a friend and have a conversation about nothing in particular. Those are moments to hold onto.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 to categorize are limiting your life, and other people’s lives.
I hope there is some useful wisdom for you, too! …or, at least something to smile… or maybe something to reflect… or something that makes you think. Obviously, if you chose to apply any or all of these suggestions you will experience enjoyable benefits. Make them your habit and they will serve you well!