About 10 years ago, I stumbled across some advice from a survey of 80-year-old British people. I can’t even remember who did the survey, but the list of lessons from people in the later years of life really resonated with me to the extent that I typed it up and stuck it on my wall where it stayed for some time and has proved to be a very useful resource.

Since then, we have moved country and house several times, whilst unpacking some boxes the other day, I stumbled across the list. It’s a great list of words of wisdom grounded in the experience of life.

Today’s culture tends to celebrate youth and often forgets the wisdom and guidance that elders can share.

Here’s one of those gifts for you…

ADVICE FROM OLD PEOPLE

1 The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them as such.

2 You might live a long life, or you might live a short one — who knows. But either way, trust me when I say that you’re going to wish you took better care of yourself in your youth.

Stuff is just stuff. Don’t hold onto material objects, hold onto time and experiences instead.

4 Jealousy destroys relationships. Trust your significant other, because who else are you supposed to trust?

5 People always say, “Make sure you get a job doing what you love!” But that isn’t the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Almost nobody has a job they love every day.

6 If you’re getting overwhelmed by life, just return to the immediate present moment and savour all that is beautiful and comforting. Take a deep breath, relax.

7 Years go by in the blink of an eye. Don’t marry young. Live your life. Go places. Do things. If you have the means or not. Pack a bag and go wherever you can afford to go. While you have no dependents, don’t buy stuff. Any stuff. See the world. Look through travel magazines and pick a spot. GO!

8 Don’t take life so seriously. Even if things seem dark and hopeless, try to laugh at how ridiculous life is.

9 A true friend will come running if you call them at 2am. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.

10 Children grow up way too fast. Make the most of the time you have with them.

11 Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritize work over family, friends, or even yourself.

12 Eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke — so you never actually become one.