1. Be yourself and don’t care about what others think of you
It’s truly inspiring to see our grandparents and parents not give a damn about what others think of them. They will be silly and shake their booties to their favorite song. They will tell someone off for being an a**hole, laugh at themselves, and speak their mind. I’ve heard it time and time again from our seniors: you are so much happier when you don’t care about what others think of you and you can just be yourself.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. There is more to life than work
Our seniors remind us that life isn’t all about our careers and we can still have purpose and meaning in our lives when we are out of the workforce. We live in a society that focuses too much on careers and because of that we often lose ourselves in our jobs. But we are not our jobs, we are individual beings first. We are so much more than our professions and it is important to find those things outside of work that make us happy and remember to make time for them. For one, find a job that you love and are passionate about and secondly, remember that there is more to life than your job.
“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
3. You are strong enough to get through the toughest of times
Our elders have been through it all. They have experienced war, fought for their rights, lost loved ones, and struggled through difficult times like the Great Depression. They have seen and experienced things that it’s hard to even imagine actually happened, but they survived it because humans are resilient. We can overcome the hardest of times and come out of them even stronger. When asked how they coped and made it through those stressful, difficult times, most of our grandparents say that they “just got through it”.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill
4. Everything happens for a reason
Many of our seniors believe that everything happens for a reason. Regardless of your religion or lack there of, believing that there is a reason why certain things happen (even if you don’t know the reason yet) helps us to accept, learn, and move on. I once spoke to a senior, who was 103 at the time and has since passed away. He told me that if it wasn’t for World War II and the struggles he went through, he never would have met the love of his life who he was married to for 72 years. I have yet to find another elderly couple that was so much in love 72 years later. Most of the elderly believe that there are lessons to be learned from certain experiences, and without one experience, the next experience wouldn’t have come along.
“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”-Marilyn Monroe
5. Life is short so live in the present moment
Our elderly have lost many loved ones throughout their lives including their grandparents, parents, children and friends and they have learned that life is short and unpredictable. They have learned that the only thing that is guaranteed is now and it is important to live presently in this moment if you truly want to get the most out of life and be happy.
“What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past.” -Sai Baba
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