A recent article in Thrive Global Magazine shared 9 powerful life lessons that a group of 100 year olds had recommended for a happy and fulfilling life. As you develop your wisdom from your experiences, what life lessons would YOU give to others? Would they chime with the suggestions below? Let’s take a look.
Happiness comes from what we do. Older people know that when they look back it’s experiences they remember with happiness, not possessions. So the advice is to jump in, love and live life no matter your income, then you can look back on a life well-lived and the memories bring happiness in your later years.
Happiness comes from a positive attitude and optimism no matter what your life experiences were, even living through world wars. Believing that life is good affects our perception of our circumstances and brings greater happiness than would otherwise be the case. The ‘centurions’ (their word) also recommended not chasing happiness but cultivating contentment and satisfaction with life.
Live in the NOW. It’s unhelpful to dwell on past pain, regrets and grudges that can’t be changed. Happy 100 year olds live in the present and try to gain enjoyment from whatever their day brings. ‘Live for the day and keep going.’
Love and partnership is important. 100 year olds find that their loving relationships provide them with happy memories that sustain them, even those who have lost their partners some years before. They recommend working at a marriage or partnership and not give up too easily, it’s worth it, and in later age past wrongs no longer seem so important.
Eat natural, real food. Many ‘centurions’ speak about eating healthy food they have grown themselves, and recommend eating in moderation, whilst keeping as physically active as possible.
Learn to adapt. The world moves on and requires acceptance of change, openness to developments, and moving with them. Each decade brings new things to adapt to, now more than ever, but being positive about the benefits and looking forward is a happier state of mind than being fearful, critical and blind to opportunities.
Help others because it makes you feel good and builds relationships. It can also give you a sense of purpose, especially after you retire, meaning you continue being productive and active.
Keep learning throughout life, in and out of school. Being curious makes like interesting and fun, keeps you engaged in the world, and helps you adapt to change and new technology.
Practice mindfulness. As in the advice to live in the now, above, mindfulness is about appreciating even the small experiences of joy, social contact, and the beauty of the world around us in the present moment. It reduces regrets about the past and worries and anxiety about the future. Meditation is one way to practice mindfulness, even a few minutes of relaxation and stopping the mind’s constant chatter has benefits not only for mental health but physical health too.
So there we have it – the advice of some centenarians. Is their advice helpful to you for leading a happier life as you age?