Important Life Lessons: What’s The Most Important Life Lesson Older People Feel You Must Know?

Important Life Lessons: What’s The Most Important Life Lesson Older People Feel You Must Know?

Important Life Lessons: What’s The Most Important Life Lesson Older People Feel You Must Know?

important-life-lessons

Yes, older people are agreed on the most important life lessons they want to pass on.

Karl Pillemer of Cornell University interviewed nearly 1500 people age 70 to 100+ for his book “30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.” He asked them what life lessons they’d pass on.

What piece of advice were they more adamant about than any other? More adamant about than lessons regarding marriage, children and happiness?

Do not stay in a job you dislike.

Via 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans:

You know those nightmares where you are shouting a warning but no sound comes out? Well, that’s the intensity with which the experts wanted to tell younger people that spending years in a job you dislike is a recipe for regret and a tragic mistake. There was no issue about which the experts were more adamant and forceful. Over and over they prefaced their comments with, “If there’s one thing I want your readers to know it’s . . .” From the vantage point of looking back over long experience, wasting around two thousand hours of irretrievable lifetime each year is pure idiocy.

What other important life lessons did they have for your career?

Here’s the refrigerator list:

1. Choose a career for the intrinsic rewards, not the financial ones. The biggest career mistake people make is selecting a profession based only on potential earnings. A sense of purpose and passion for one’s work beats a bigger paycheck any day.

2. Don’t give up on looking for a job that makes you happy.According to the experts, persistence is the key to finding a job you love. Don’t give up easily.

3. Make the most of a bad job. If you find yourself in a less-than-ideal work situation, don’t waste the experience; many experts learned invaluable lessons from bad jobs.

4. Emotional intelligence trumps every other kind. Develop your interpersonal skills if you want to succeed in the workplace. Even people in the most technical professions have their careers torpedoed if they lack emotional intelligence.

5. Everyone needs autonomy. Career satisfaction is often dependent on how much autonomy you have on the job. Look for the freedom to make decisions and move in directions that interest you, without too much control from the top.

Another point worth making is advice the older folks consistently did not give:

No one— not a single person out of a thousand— said that to be happy you should try to work as hard as you can to make money to buy the things you want.

No one— not a single person— said it’s important to be at least as wealthy as the people around you, and if you have more than they do it’s real success.

No one— not a single person— said you should choose your work based on your desired future earning power.

Now it may sound absurdly obvious when worded in this way. But this is in fact how many people operate on a day-to-day basis. The experts did not say these things; indeed almost no one said anything remotely like them. Instead they consistently urged finding a way to earn enough to live on without condemning yourself to a job you dislike.

This might be a lot to remember and ask yourself on a daily basis. What’s a quick litmus test to determine if you’re on the path to happiness or regret?

You should ask yourself this: do I wake up in the morning looking forward to work?

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Improve Your Life: What 10 Things Should You Do Every Day To Improve Your Life?

improve-your-life

10 things that scientific research shows can help improve your life.

1) Get out in nature

You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’sresearch that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you morecreative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.

2) Exercise

We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently. Other than health benefits too numerous to mention, exercise makes you smarterhappier, improves sleepincreases libido and makes you feel better about your body. A Harvard study that has tracked a group of men for more than 70 years identified it as one of the secrets to a good life.

3) Spend time with friends and family

Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert identified this as one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Relationships are worth more than you think (approximately an extra $131,232 a year.) Not feeling socially connected can make you stupider and kill you. Loneliness can lead to heart attack, stroke and diabetes. The longest lived people on the planet all place a strong emphasis on social engagement and good relationships are more important to a long life than even exerciseFriends are key to improving your lifeShare good news and enthusiatically respond when others share good news with you to improve your relationships. Want to instantly be happier? Do something kind for them.

4) Express gratitude

It will make you happier.

It will improve your relationships.

It can make you a better person.

It can make life better for everyone around you.

5) Meditate

Meditation can increase happinessmeaning in life, social support and attention span while reducing anger, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Along similar lines, prayer can make you feel better — even if you’re not religious.

6) Get enough sleep

You can’t cheat yourself on sleep and not have it affect you. Being tired actually makes it harder to be happy. Lack of sleep = more likely to get sick. “Sleeping on it” does improve decision making. Lack of sleep can make you more likely to behave unethically. There is such a thing as beauty sleep.

Naps are great too. Naps increase alertness and performance on the job, enhance learning ability and purge negative emotions while enhancing positive ones.Here’s how to improve your naps.

7) Challenge yourself

Learning another language can keep your mind sharp. Music lessons increase intelligence. Challenging your beliefs strengthens your mind. Increasing willpower just takes a little effort each day and it’s more responsible for your success than IQ. Not getting an education or taking advantage of opportunities are two of the things people look back on their lives and regret the most.

8) Laugh

People who use humor to cope with stress have better immune systems, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, experience less pain during dental work and live longer. Laughter should be like a daily vitamin. Just reminiscing about funny moments can improve your relationship. Humor has many benefits.

9) Touch someone

Touching can reduce stress, improve team performance, and help you be persuasive. Hugs make you happier. Sex may help prevent heart attacks andcancer, improve your immune system and extend your life.

10) Be optimistic

Optimism can make you healthierhappier and extend your life. The Army teaches it in order to increase mental toughness in soldiers. Being overconfidentimproves performance.