Life’s biggest questions are naturally the hardest to answer, and if you choose the wrong action you could end up regretting it in the long run. We all hope to live with no regrets, but for many, this is not the case. Thankfully, Karl Pillemer of Cornell compiled a list of life’s greatest trials and sought out advice from people who have already made their life changing decisions and lived with their results. These people, of course, are our elders. As they say, another year older, another year wiser.
On Regrets – The seniors questioned on how to avoid regret came to a consensus on two major points. First, always be honest while taking advantage of new opportunities and embracing challenges. It is impossible to regret something if you did everything within your power to accomplish it. Second, try to travel as much as possible. Most seniors believe that this should take precedent over many other things young people spend money on.
On Happiness – Happiness is a choice and not a culmination of positive or negative circumstances life throws at you. You may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can always control how you react to it.
On Marriage – While love can initially bring people together, a lasting friendship and complementing qualities will build a lasting relationship. As one 89-year-old woman put it, “too many young people are giving up too early, too soon.”
On Careers – Out of the seniors polled on careers, not one said that they achieved happiness by working in a profession they did not like for a big paycheck at the end of the day. As one 83-year-old former athlete and recruiter put it, “the most important thing is to be involved in a profession that you absolutely love and that you look forward to going to work every day.”
On Parenting – It is important to spend more time with your children despite whatever busy work schedule you may have. Sacrifices may have to be made along the way, but spending time with your children should come before your career.
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