My Gift to You

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Can you believe a whole year passed since the launch of this blog? It has been quite a journey and it would have never been so joyful and meaningful without all of you, my dearest readers – those who have been with us since day one and those who have joined in the more recent times. I would like everyone to know how much your on-going support, your loyalty, and your feedback on weekly posts mean to me and to our community here. To show my appreciation I have prepared a special gift for you. Today I am excited to share the compilation of the most memorable pieces of advice I got in 2017 from everyday people. These are people from all walks of life, of different professions, many already retired – generously offering their wisdom to us. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I was delighted to hear it!

John, Business Executive, 65, USA:  Do What You Love to Do

I took upon myself taking care of our family’s business because I felt a responsibility to the family. But if I could do it all over again, I would have studied foreign languages and become a diplomat. Go after your heart’s desire, do what you love to do.

Jeff, Retired Sales Manager, 60 +, Canada: Have a Dream to Reach For

What is your next goal? What is your passion? I learned that I wasn’t as ready for the retirement as I thought I was. So, my advice to you is, when the BIG DAY arrives, try to have a definitive plan or at least the next step that you can take at once. When your stars align and the Universe provides you with what you have been asking for, you need to take full advantage – so, make sure you have a dream to reach for. I personally am working on developing what I call my life plan, full of all the personal goals and aspirations I have been too busy at work to accomplish.

Phyllis, Retired legal professional, 73, England: Take Care of Your Inner Life

 Your body will fail eventually. Take care of your inner life. Whatever it is to you: love, compassion, honesty.

Randall, Former cook, now homeless, 60, Canada: How Do You Benefit Others? 

I live in the moment. In my case living in the moment means having to survive one day at a time. If I could only turn things around, I wouldn’t base my decisions on what brings instant gratification. Instead, I would choose to base my life on what benefits others. The times when I was working as a cook were the best times of my life because I saw that I was doing something for people. I felt useful…

Kent, Registered Massage Therapist, 61, Canada: Breathe

Learn to breathe with your diaphragm. This is the most natural way of breathing – watch a sleeping baby and see its stomach rise. This kind of breathing allows your lungs to take in more air which is good for your physical health and emotional wellbeing. Leave sticky notes around your workstation or wherever you spend most of your time to remind yourself to breathe properly. Breathing is a single most effective thing you can do for yourself in any situation!

Raymond, Engineering Leader, retired Lieutenant Colonel, 69, Canada: Keep Strong

Exercise from young ages to keep yourself strong. Throughout your life always have one activity that exercises your mind and one physical activity that exercises your body. I have been in Toastmasters and in CrossFit for many years now. This way I keep my mind sharp and my body strong. I rarely get sick and I am proud to say that at the age of 69 I am in my best physical shape ever!

Julia, Educator, 67, USAStay Out of Negativity

One of the hardest things I have done in my life is raising my two teenagers. Know that whatever ugly words they might be saying about you, none of it is actually about you – it’s all about them. Do not take the abuse. Do let them know how their words affect you but never allow them to drag you into their negativity.

Anne, Retired English teacher, 83 England: Keep up with the times but remember your roots

When I was growing up – just after World War 2 – we were thankful to be alive. We had very little but were so happy with small things – like knitting wool to knit, pen & paper to write to pen pals. Even though life is very different these days and it’s easy to get carried away with all the material temptations, I believe we should still exercise moderation, have good morals, be kind to people and set a good example to younger generations. I am also aware that life can be stressful for today’s parents and for the young people embarking on their careers and adult life. So I remind myself to be broadminded and not too critical. I learn to accept behavior that was unthought-of back in my day.

Heidi, Retired Accountant, 79, Switzerland: Travel more while you are young.

I always dreamed of traveling the world but didn’t do enough of traveling in my earlier years. My husband never liked going places, so we didn’t go anywhere.  At first, he was too busy building his career. By the time he retired, his health deteriorated to the extent that it made traveling impossible. I spent many years looking after him. He passed away recently. Now I am too old and too sick to travel.

Rupert, Retired Machinist, shop foreman, avid reader, 65, China: No Luck without Hard Work

Lifelong learning is good for your professional and personal growth.I don’t believe in luck without hard work. Work hard and you will be amazed – the best things will come your way.

Valida, Linguistics Professor, 64, Azerbaijan (aka my Mom): Even Small Things Count

Love what you do, be a professional. Always stay honest and true to yourself – that will earn you respect. If you can’t change the entire world it doesn’t mean that your only alternative is to sit around and do nothing. You can still contribute in meaningful ways. You are already making a difference in the world by doing your best in whatever field you currently are – teaching, healthcare, manufacturing, management or anything else. The job well done will give you the inner satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Rest assured knowing that even small things count – they won’t stay unnoticed either. The ripple effects are happening without you even realizing it.

What is one thing you learned in 2017 that stood out to you and why? Share your favorite piece of wisdom in the comments so that it becomes a gift that keeps on giving. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody! Have a delightful and fulfilling Holiday Season and see you in 2018! 

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  1. Rather penetrating words of wisdom. Thanks Natella for sharing this gift with us. I especially liked what your mother had to write about if you “can’t change the entire world it doesn’t mean that your only alternative is to sit around and do nothing.” That reminds me of some lines of the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. That is definitely a lesson from 2017. I want to write more, but I have struggled with demanding work schedules. Hopefully the opportunities will come. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Alex, thank you very much for your feedback and you are most welcome. I’m so glad to know that the wisdom I shared resonated with you! Now that you mentioned that my Mom’s words reminded you of a prayer, I will have to look up St Francis of Assisi. I hope we can make more opportunities for us in 2018 to do the things we love to do, including writing.

  2. A great year and a great gift indeed Natella………Thank you for sending your loyal readers out on such a positive note. See you in 2018!

      1. Hi Natella, Looking back a full year to last December you inspired me with one of your first post’s on your blog……..I committed to following the concept of your upcoming book: QIQO (Quality In Quality Out) in an effort to achieve the many goals I had set for myself in 2017. I’m happy to say that one year later, your concept worked to keep me accountable for my actions and on-track to achieve my goals. It will be another ambitious year of personal and professional growth in 2018 and QIQO will surely help me along the way.

        1. Wow, Jason, I was not expecting to hear about a post published a year ago! That was the very first one on this blog! Good to hear that the concept of Quality In Quality Out not only stayed with you throughout the year but also inspired more accountability and more action on your end! Would love to hear more about your goals in 2018 and as for me, it’s time for me to get back to my book :).

  3. So interesting to read about pieces of wisdom from different people. Thank you for sharing it with us, Natella!
    Here is a piece of wisdom from me, that stays with me always and not only throughout 2017. It’s “Carpe Diem” which means from Latin “seize the day”, “enjoy the present”. It is very important to give yourself completely to the current moment, and not wait until the next one comes. It may not come at all… So, live in the moment and enjoy what is happening at the present! Happy 2018 to you!

    1. Dear Melissa thank you so much for being with us this whole time and thanks a lot for sharing your favourite piece of wisdom. What a great reminder for all of us to live in the moment and not to wait till that “perfect” time in the future arrives one day. I wish you all the very best in 2018 and after! Hope to hear more from you in the New Year.

  4. Thanks a lot for providing us with this seemingly unlimited creative content! It is a true gift!