Life Lessons from old people


I use to quote in my workplace, “OLD is GOLD”. It doesnt mean I support all the old things, but we have to learn all the lessons we got from the past and use that to move forward. In similar vein older people have a radically different view point than the younger folks. Old people have seen life and again it doesnt we have to take everything but certainly if you talk to many old folks, you will see a pattern.

I want to write down few lessons I have made note from reading books or talking to some old people, some in long-term care facilities.

Always be respectful of people

We dont know when someone will cross your path in any given moment. So many old folks have adviced to never burn bridges. Be respectful of their time, their presence. Treat them well and help if you can. This leaves a lasting impression and you now start collecting people.

Marriage is always about equal contribution

Many old people believe, marriage is not able 50-50 contribution but rather 100-100 contribution from each partner. Be helpful to each other, respect each others viewpoint, engage in conversation after you have calmed down. This has made many marriages successful or long lived ones.

They have adviced, Never go to bed angry. Its important to say “I love you” and its important to resolve the conflict. Again respect your partner and be more of a friend than wife or husband.

Be glad that you are living today

People who have lived 100 years or long enough consider living every moment as if it is a gift. They have lots of gratitude that they are living that day. This whole mindset shifts my outlook when I read this. One thing that stood out was, old people never considered themselves old.

Choose a career for Intrinsic reward, rather than financial ones

One of dad’s friend told this many years ago when I was starting on my job. He said enjoy your doing your job, if you dont keep looking until you find one. Keep taking risk at young age. But I never listened or took that seriously but now it resonates. Somehow this one stuck with me but never resonated until I crossed 37 :)



Be Emotionally Intelligent

You can have all things in life but if you dont have a good mindset you dont succeed a lot. There is a pattern in Old people’s advice. They want young kids to express themselves. They stress upon good social skills and having a good eye contact as single most important thing for successful endeavors.

Empathy always takes you further than you anticipated. Being empathetic is so important that you can deliver great service to others in need. Its all love.

Everyone needs Autonomy

Give everyone their space to express and innovate. Be it in a domestic life or in work place, everyone loves autonomy and empowering others to be themselves is a great gift you can give to your fellow being.

“When you don’t have a say in things, you could feel terrible”

Nobody’s perfect

Avoid perfection. But do things to your best. This always stuck with me. This is saying that you strive for excellence but not perfection. It means you know failure is imminent in every single undertaking but you strive to avoid it as much possible. It gives room for people to innovate and explore. It relaxes the situation and life in general.

Always Travel

Old people have advocated to travel and see places whenever you can. They have collected memories and reminiscence. Travel have thought them life and sometimes it has changed their perspective about something. Travel also makes people realize to never take your life for granted.

People don’t die

Many old folks believe their dead father or mother or children are around them and talk to them. They are around you and protect you. Some old folks call it nature some call it as God.

Prepare your food

Old people when it comes to health, they attribute that to food they cooked at home. Fresh veggies and lots of fiber. Freshness is the underlining factor here. Some prepare their bread, some then salsa, some their grow veggies in their garden, and some focus on organic produce. Either way they shopped their groceries and cooked their meal.

Happiness is a choice

Many old people advice that striving to be happy is a conscious decision rather than something happening or an event. They say happiness comes mostly and frequently from small things in life. It is up to us to notice and be happy about it. It is not always grand celebration or be around 100 people but some things like quality time with 1 or 2 friends does the job.

Learn Constantly

Keeping up with things happening around us is single most common pattern old people tend to do. They are up to date on news and trends. They don’t do too much Facebook or twitter but they strive to know how to use it. Learning new thing that they haven’t done majorly, gives them sense of purpose and keeps them agile.

Stay Connected

Strive to call up your parents or your friends often is most attributed for their sane life. Being connected with people is most helpful thing one can for oneself. Call up your friends often in your busy schedule. Remember people who helped you in your tough periods. Never lose those people during your hay days.

They repent not investing in health

Many old people felt they never took their health seriously until their body is irreversibly damaged. They always have new normal. Investing in your body is never a wasted investment.

Friends, Family, Learning and curiosity has always helped old people to navigate life successfully. People are everything and infact, it is all that matters.


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