Positive Ageing Advocate, Marcus Riley shares five of the greatest life lessons we can learn from older people.
The world is moving at a much faster pace than previous generations ever experienced. Thanks to the internet, smartphones and almost anything accessible just by the click of a button, there is a thought among some of today’s younger generations that they know all there is to know.
While Marcus Riley acknowledges there is much that the young can teach our older generations; he says there is no question that we have much to learn from our elders about living sustainable, fulfilling lives.
Riley points out that in Australia, we already have an imbalance of work and life order. The heightened sense of relentless urgency, busyness, and our subconscious minds feeling ‘guilty’ from the moment we decide to take a break, compromises the personal things that are most important to people individually.
Here, Riley shares five great lessons from those older and wiser to help us all live our lives to their fullest potential.
#1 – We all have potential to be pursued – at any age and at all stages of life.
Riley states that “We should not live our life based on stereotypes that are associated with a certain age or stage of life. Instead, decisions should be made in accordance with our personal priorities and in support of the pursuit of our potential.”
#2 – Live at your own pace
“A great challenge for many people is to avoid being all consumed by our busy schedules,” says Riley. One major lesson learnt from the wiser and more experienced is to maintain a ‘balanced lifestyle’ – to slow down and revel in what you’re doing and take opportunities for conversation. Appreciate your surroundings and investing time in interests and hobbies.”
#3 – Your time should be devoted to what is important to you
Riley places a huge importance on people actively seeking and doing what is genuinely important to us. “It is essential to maintain a sense of purpose. Most often, this comes with the roles that we play in our families, community, workplace and in the pursuit of our passions.
#4 – The benefit of living within your means
No doubt, the older generations have often come from a background of fixed incomes which has led to a better understanding of the need to live within your means. This presents a stark contrast to today’s society where everything is disposable and the struggle when it comes to saving vs spending money.
#5 – Importance of the relationships that matter
“As we become swept up with the busyness and short sightedness of our hectic schedules – we tend to often neglect the relationships we hold closest to our hearts,” says Riley. “Those who are older tend to have greater awareness of the importance of the relationships that matter and the impact they have on our quality of life. They have had the benefit of reflecting on items past and the people they know and love.