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, USA: Stay 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!