The people we meet and the events we experience teach us valuable lessons as we go through life. Through these lessons, we learn, grow and create new opportunities that shape us into who we are today. Many seniors love to give advice to others based on what they have learned throughout life and encourage young ones to avoid making the same mistakes they did. We all tend to look back on life and say things like, “I should have traveled more” or “I wish I did this differently.” Recognizing the good decisions and learning from the bad is what wisdom is all about. Going through life with little to no regrets may be impossible, but learning to live your life to the fullest with the benefit of advice from others can help avoid future regrets. If you are reading this as a senior, I am sure you can agree with the top things most people wish they knew when they were younger—living the best of your life before and after retirement is key to true happiness.
Here is some advice that many seniors would want to share with others to help live a happy life and avoid regrets.
Being more careful when choosing a partner
Seniors collectively agree that, among all things, finding the right partner takes patience. We often want to see our soulmate in everyone we meet, and we don’t want to second guess our feelings. However, taking your time getting to know someone is wisdom that seniors share, as this is probably an essential part of leading a fulfilling life. Not only should you be careful when choosing a life partner, knowing when it is time to let go is important as well. Life is too short to waste time and energy on a bad situation. With age comes wisdom, and making sure the person you are with is the right one can make a difference in your happiness. However, life and people change over time, and nothing prepares you about how life will change, no matter your age. A common piece of advice…. never settle! There are many fish in the sea, especially when you least expect it, and you just might find the love of your life, even at 75.
So many people wish they had the opportunity to explore more of the world and locales close to home. Visiting some of the fantastic sights around the world can not only bring joy, but it gives one perspective and appreciation. One of the biggest regrets that most seniors have is not having followed their dream of traveling and exploring. Many seniors felt they couldn’t travel when they were younger because they were raising a family, their job didn’t allow the time necessary, and most often, their finances wouldn’t allow it. The truth is they could have traveled on a budget to many places, but it’s often easier to say it’s not possible than putting in the effort of figuring it out. As a senior, health is the primary driver, along with limited finances for not traveling. Even if budget is not an issue, health often is. According to reports, “Seniors say that traveling is so rewarding and should be one of the main things that money is spent on.” The belief you can’t travel because you have little money is false. You can experience incredible travel moments that do not require a lot of money. Jump in the car and drive to a national park in your state or take a bus trip with other tourists and visit historical sites in your backyard.
Taking better care of your health
Getting in shape and eating healthy was not something that was as important years ago. People were expected to be out of shape as they aged. Unfortunately, declining health is common as we age and often results from poor choices made in our youth. Smoking is one of the biggest regrets seniors have, and this bad habit is the cause of many life-threatening issues such as lung cancer, heart disease, and pulmonary disease, just to name a few. As you get older, you realize that you only get one body, which needs to be taken care of. The good news is that it’s not too late to start living a healthy lifestyle. You can’t always turn back the clock; however, something as simple as eating nutritious foods and daily exercise can improve your health dramatically and even undo some of the effects of a sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle of the past.
Unresolved personal issues
Often, isolation and depression arise from a lack of communication with family and friends. Some of the unhappiest seniors feel they failed to resolve issues with their children or close family members. They find themselves regretting and wishing they had apologized, spoken out, or simply shown up for a gathering. They often wonder, “What if I had just tried harder?” Sound advice for people in this situation is to remember that it is never too late to make things right, and communication is key to mending strained relationships. Especially for seniors, waiting to open dialogue can lead to regrets if the other party should pass away. At that point, it is too late. Remember, pride is the enemy of forgiveness and reconnecting.
This item is a big one because we often find ourselves scared to speak our mind or tell someone how we feel based on fear of rejection. Communication is vital, and it is easier to have a conversation while you still have the person around. Seniors can agree that one of the worst feelings is the feeling of “what if.” You will also find that communicating can help to release stress and eliminate overthinking. Communication can also open doors to things you never even thought possible. With the benefit of hindsight, seniors realize that speaking their minds could have gotten them further in life and improved their relationships.
Taking more career chances
Collectively, seniors agree that not having taken more career risks is a big regret. Once again, fear of the unknown caused many seniors to become comfortable where they were, so they didn’t want to take any chances. Finding your passion and taking risks to get where you want to be is key to living a happy life. You never know what lies on the other side of opportunity. The advice here is to try something new and don’t get stuck in a box.
Taking advice from seniors is intelligent, as they have the wisdom of what they did right and what they could have done better. Your goal is to live your best life and prevent others from making the same mistakes they did. Also, seniors can take this as a sign that it’s never too late to improve your quality of life and try things you never got to. Take that trip, speak your mind, and take care of your body. Life is so short, so no matter your age, you are the creator of your life, so what will you choose to do?