“Listen to your elder’s advice. Not because they are always right, but because they have more experience of being wrong.” –Anonymous
Advice has the power to save us from disaster or compel us toward it. Either way, we’re likely to find some snippet of value in it. Even if we have no plans to put it into practice, at least not right away.
Seniors who share wisdom from their lives likely know we may ignore what they’re saying. But they’re also likely to understand that the advice we hear today may come in handy much more tomorrow (or a few years from now).
As the quote above suggests, good advice comes more from mistakes than perfection. Seniors with the best of intentions offer advice to spare us mishaps or heartaches. They want to help us make better choices–with our money, in romance, for our health and a range of other major and minor decisions.
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Of course, sometimes we’re not willing to take that advice until we become older (and wiser) ourselves.
Recent studies from California University in Riverside and the University of Texas show that experience and knowledge more than make up for any slowing in fluid intelligence (the ability to learn and process information) as we age.
Generally, seniors make better financial and strategic decisions than younger people because they can weigh immediate and delayed benefits of different outcomes. In the end, they’ll choose wisely.
So why shouldn’t we benefit from that wisdom?
Here are some pieces of advice taken from seniors who were generous enough to share the wisdom of their experiences with the rest of us. Perhaps we can all save ourselves from a mistake or two after reading this list.
To have friends, you have to be a friend.
Accept your limitations.
When something goes wrong and you can’t change it, find a bright side, and make it into something better.
Be grateful for everyday things.
Read to your children.
Never build your house in a flood plain.
Pay off credit card bills every month.
Don’t give advice to people who don’t ask for it.
Enjoy activities that stimulate you mentally, physically and emotionally.
Travel while you’re young. Don’t wait until you’re retired and the kids are gone. It’s too rewarding and should take precedence for a family.
Happiness is a choice. No matter what happens to you, be joyful Your attitude can make a big difference when times are tough.
Each decade presents new opportunities. Take advantage of them.
Never let go of your passion. Whether it’s work or otherwise, always have something you do on your own that makes you happy.
How well we take advice often depends on our perspective–of the person giving it and of ourselves. In the information age, we tend to Google just about everything. We’ll research health information, home buying topics, child rearing and more.
Perhaps if we thought of senior advice as the hands-on side of that research. It’s a chance to learn from someone else’s experience, someone we know and respect. That alone makes it worth listening to.
What’s the best piece of advice a senior loved one has given you?