In some cultures, individuals who reach a certain age are considered living treasures- Because they have wisdom that can only come with age and years of real life experiences.
If you are or were ever fortunate enough to have a meaningful conversation with any of these living treasures, take time to listen and write down the many nuggets of wisdom from them. Compile them in a notebook or an online journal- and refer to them every once in a while. They might just be what you need in your darkest moments.
To help you start, we at Home2stay have asked our friends from all over the world- What is the most valuable advice you’ve received from someone from the older generation? We got the most awesome responses!
Below, we share with you 30 profound words of wisdom that our dear friends received from older family members or wise individuals belonging to the older generation. Read them one by one, and we assure you- it’s going to be the most worthwhile 15 minutes of your day today.
One of the best pieces of advice
I’ve ever received came from my grandmother. She told me,
“You can be anything you want to be in life, as long as you’re willing to work hard for it.”
It’s a simple message, but it’s one that has stuck with me throughout my life. My parents also taught me the importance of working hard and being financially responsible. They always stressed the importance of saving money and living within your means. These are lessons that have served me well, both in my personal life and in my professional career.
— Sam Cohen, MyFreeOCR
My father told me to figure out what I love and find a way to get paid for it. Since I love innovation and creating new products, I started my own company to help other people do just that. While my father was completely correct in his advice, he forgot one key piece: helping others is the fastest way to finding success. Combine what you love with helping others and you’ll be more successful than you thought possible.
— Devon Fata, Pixoul
This is a story some three months before my father passed away. It was a beautiful morning and I was going through my daily errands and my father noticed my stubble and asked me why I had not shaved. So I told him I was just feeling lazy and he got upset when he heard that. He said,
“That’s not done. You cannot have laziness as an excuse for not doing something. You can come up with a valid reason for not doing it, but saying that you did not do it because you felt lazy is not allowed.”
Explaining further, he said, “You can have reasons for not shaving, like the razor has no blade, or there is no water in the tap but saying that you don’t feel like doing it is not done.”
What he told me made me really think. These were the days during the pandemic induced lockdown and there was zero socializing. The only interaction with the outside world was when one had Zoom calls, so the urgency to shave every morning was less.
The day there was to be a call, I would shave, otherwise it was subject to ‘mood’. As we turned from boys to men and facial hair was visible, shaving had its own charm in early days. We used to pride ourselves about it. But unlike brushing your teeth in childhood, where we would not get breakfast if we did not do it in the morning, shaving has never been enforced as a daily routine activity. Yes, once in a while parents would tell us or the spouse might insist on it, especially in the honeymoon period (for the ones who look better clean shaven, not the Virat Kohli fans) but as we grow older, we become moody about shaving.
But then I reflected back on Dad and realized something. All through my life of 46 years that I had known him, I had never ever seen a stubble on his face, ever. Even when he was fighting cancer in his last 11 months, shaving everyday was normal for him. Only in the last week, when holding the razor upto his chin was not an easy task and I had to shave him, he had to take it a little easy for a few days. I realized that there was no better example than him, of how one can instill an activity as a habit, by defining its importance.
The best advice my father gave me is:
Try to do the job that you love and be good at all your life, stick to it, try not to change jobs- life can’t stand the toss.
Because I had just graduated at that time, I left three jobs, which were not very satisfactory. Maybe I was young at that time, and then I was all hypocritical, thinking about getting a high-paying job, which is when my dad said this.
It woke me up, and then I did the copywriting job I liked. The salary was low initially, but until now, the salary is getting better and better.
— Sweet Hao, Our PCB Tech
One of the best pieces of advice that I was given was that in order to make the most out of my career, I need to find lessons out of the mistakes I make. This advice is all about mindset and what you do with the situations you encounter – taking the bad and finding good.. When I first started my entrepreneurial journey, I was making a ton of mistakes and each time was getting more and more discouraged. Getting this piece of advice helped me rewire my outlook on mistakes and helped me find a path to success that I otherwise might have never found.
— Jeremy Yamaguchi, Lawn Love
My parents taught me to be hardworking at the same time, do something which I genuinely prefer. They also indoctrinated me on the significance of education. Although, I haven’t followed their advice directly. But I always loved my time with them and internalized some of their morals.
Time doesn’t come back, and you must never waste your time doing things that don’t spark your mind. It’s better to find something or do something you actually love. It also doesn’t matter if you’re from a wealthy family or a middle-class one; working hard to achieve your dream is the most reliable way of getting rich.
— Madilyn Hill, TruePersonFinder
I thought I’d tell you the single phrase that my father said to me as I left for college that’s stayed with me ever since.
As I was packing my car, he told me,
“Remember kiddo, what you care about is what you do.”
And that sentence made me rethink everything that I had meticulously planned out for my future. If my dad hadn’t said that to me, I wouldn’t have founded my own firm, and I have no idea, professionally at least, where I’d be right now. One piece of advice literally changed my life.
— Ross Jurewitz, Jurewitz Law Group
The best piece of advice that I received from my grandmother was to not take myself too seriously.
As an adolescent I always used to scrutinize every single action or word that I used to utter and think obsessively about what I should’ve done or said instead. This used to drain a lot of energy out of me and leave me feeling often exhausted and tired.
Seeing my predicament, my grandmother advised me to take things easy and not take myself too seriously. She said this is the only way you’d be able to have some ounce of fun.
It was difficult to practise her advice at first but soon I found I felt more free and at ease if I didn’t overthink things. This advice made it much easier for me to enjoy life and have some fun as well along the way.
One of the best pieces of business advice I ever received was from my grandfather, who told me to always stay true to myself and my values, and to never compromise my integrity for the sake of success. It’s a simple piece of advice, but it has served me well over the years.
I think it’s important to be authentic and genuine in your dealings with others because people can easily see through false facades. Integrity is one of the most essential traits in any profession, and it’s essential to maintain your reputation as a credible and trustworthy individual.
So always stay true to yourself, work hard, be persistent, and be grateful for what you have.
— Randy Vandervaate, Funeral Funds of America
I was in my teens and accompanied my mum for some grocery shopping at the supermarket. While I was in my own world, an elderly man looked straight at me in the eye and said,
“Don’t be so serious!”
Those were the only words he said, and that was the first and last time I ever saw him. Yet his advice impacted me so deeply that it’s been a decade and not a day goes by where I don’t smile or crack a joke, because come on— “Don’t be so serious!”
Life is beautiful. Thank you, Sir, your words filled my life with humor.
— Komal Om
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received from a parent or grandparent is to “always live in the moment.”
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on in our lives and to stress about the future or dwell on things that have already happened, but this piece of advice helps me to focus on what’s happening right now and appreciate it for what it is.
— Sheila Eugenio, Media Mentions
The best piece of advice I ever received was from my grandmother- she told me that memories are more valuable than any item could ever be, so you should spend your money on making memories.
She would talk about how as she aged, the experiences she had throughout her life gave her so much to think about and be thankful for, but the things she bought or wanted to buy at one time or another never crossed her mind.
This advice has always been a good reminder for me on how I should be living my life, and I have even made a career out of helping people make memories.
— David Angotti, Hawaiian Islands
One of my mentors once told me that I should always work hard to protect the things I love.
Whether that be my family, my pets, my house, or my childhood photos, put measures in place to keep them safe. Not only did this instill the importance of security in my head, but it also taught me to really examine what is most important to me.
—- Kristen Bolig, Security Nerd
I think about the advice I received from my hard-working mom every day. She would always tell me…
“First do what you need to do – then do what you can – then do what you want.”
By delegating tasks into these three categories, it is so easy to be productive and retain focus on the task at hand. I often get distracted by thinking about what others need of me first, but it should be what I need to do first that takes precedence.
This advice helps me stay grounded both in and outside of the workplace! Thanks, Mom!
—- Kyle MacDonald, Force by Mojio
My parents lead by example, here are the pieces of advice they gave me that have served me well:
* Live within your means — you do not need the nicest apartment/ home/ car so be responsible and do not overextend yourself
* Pay off your credit card balance every month — if not, stop buying stuff you cannot afford- the finance charges are not worth it
* Save something from every paycheck — just get in the habit and funnel a set amount directly into an investment account, you do not spend what you do not see
* Do not up your spending when you get a raise — up your savings instead
* They taught me the value of hard work and a strong work ethic to build your reputation and give you dignity
* The importance of being grateful, giving back and helping others who are less fortunate
* Always be polite and kind — treat people with respect no matter their station in life
They taught me to be financially independent by understanding my finances and using my brain to figure out how to make a living while also making a difference. It has worked for me.
— Paige Arnoff-Fenn, Mavens and Moguls
As an individual, I have received countless pieces of advice from an older generation. One of the best pieces of advice I have received is to prioritize yourself more than anyone else.
This advice helped me throughout my growing up stages. It helped me to understand that it is okay to put yourself first in any circumstances. It is not illegal to prioritize your happiness over anyone else’s.
I suggest other people do the same thing and not feel guilty about it.
— Samantha Moss, Romantific
We all know that the older generation has more life experience and has witnessed both triumphs and failures, therefore wisdom from them is really impactful.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received from an elder was to save money. For others, saving money is a cliche, but I’ve seen how it can truly save a person’s life, especially on rainy days.
It’s a piece of advice I always bring since we never know what life will throw at us, do we? In a sense, being financially secure is imperative, especially as we age.
— Michelle Devani, Love Devani
As a CEO, I have faced more struggles than you ever think before getting in my position right now. But, facing those struggles made me not give up on achieving every goal I have planned and I always remind myself about what my grandparents have told me when I am just starting out. They told me that every struggle I may encounter will pass and don’t look at the negative side to get a reason for giving up.
— Martin Seeley, MattressNextDay
The older generation has already been through most of what we are going through. And we can get a lot of valuable lessons from their experiences and the wisdom they acquired over the years.
“The greatest failure is the failure to try.” – this is one piece of advice that has stuck to me.
It always reminds me how important getting out of our comfort zones and taking risks is to finding new opportunities and achieving growth and success. It has indeed inspired and helped me, especially now that I have my own business.
— Sonya Schwartz, Her Norm
As a CEO, I can say that the saying or advice “Experience is the best teacher”– is the advice that I will treasure the most.
From the people that already have enough experience and knowledge, they thought of the things that happen as a teacher in their lives. And with all of the things I have encountered, I also proved it to myself. Hence, I learned to trust the process and carry this advice throughout my journey.
— April Maccario, Ask April
The best advice that I received from my grandfather is to appreciate the small things and live the moment blithely. This piece of advice has profound meaning (now) that today’s younger generation seeks quick gratification. Instead of craving things to happen instantaneously, we try to appreciate every small moment.
Nobody on this earth has arrived to stay forever, and the biggest pleasure could be discovered in the most tedious activities. Therefore, instead of sending a message, pick up the phone and call your friends or loved ones. Or, call your mom and have a conversation about general stuff. Those are the moments that everyone lives for.
— Ellie Walters, FindPeopleFaster
These are the two best pieces of advice I ever received from an older generation:
“You can’t soar with the eagles if you’re hooting with the owls.”
A grandmotherly woman I worked in retail with after high school said this to me. Of course, I didn’t understand at the time but she was telling me that who I “fly” with would have a strong effect on how far I can go. And that’s an absolute truth.
A few years later, I worked with a man a little older than my dad. I told him I was self-conscious about my skin (hormonal acne)… He told me, “Yes, it’s there, I see it, but the thing is that it doesn’t take away from your beauty. The ‘flaws’ we see in ourselves as something huge, especially the physical ones, rarely reflect outwardly as much more than a detail.”
I wish I could say that immediately changed my self-perception but, unfortunately, this gem also took quite a few years to sink in.
— Kekua Kobashigawa, HBIC Development
Be IMPACTFUL instead of being INFLUENTIAL
I received this advice from my granddad when I was about to start my business years ago. At that time, I believed that being impactful and influential is just the SAME. Is there really a difference? I kept on pondering and eventually found the true meaning of it.
The common ground of being impactful and influential is your ability to change or have an effect on people’s lives or beliefs. But there are also major differences:
Being impactful will challenge someone’s beliefs, core values, and future decisions. When you aim to be impactful to other people’s lives, you share your vulnerability, mistakes, failures so that other people will learn from them. They aim to help people build a path where others could grow and develop even without the commendation or praises from others. In short, impactful people love to be backstage instead of being in the center stage.
On the other hand, being influential will make people go with the flow. They will challenge your belief or soften your stance on something. However, influential people usually put their best foot forward like milestones, achievements to influence someone to do the same.
— Ewen Finser, The Digital Merchant
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was from my grandfather who said,
“It’s not how long you live, it’s how you live.”
It was a reminder to me that no matter how long I live, it’s important to make the most of every day and to enjoy life.
Another great piece of advice I’ve received is to always stay humble and be grateful for what I have because there are a lot of people who are worse off than me. Being grateful for what we have helps us appreciate life more and makes us happier overall.
— Sharon Winton, Gomontana
The best advice I have received from my grandfather is to live in the moment. It sounds quite a cliche, but it’s one thing I swear by. This is because I am an overthinker, and I forget about living in the moment. I focus more on future events rather than what is in front of me.
My grandfather suggested that nothing is in our control after trying to take charge for almost 50 years of his life. But then he realized that life isn’t about control; it’s more about enjoying the moment. This positive take on life is what my grandma loves about him the most, regardless of whatever they faced together.
So, I wish to find someone with whom I can share the ups and downs of life without focusing on future events.
— William Donnelly, Lottie
My Savta, in the moments, when I was feeling down on myself, used to tell me:
“What’s for you, won’t go by you.”
By which she meant that if something was meant to be, it was meant to be and if it wasn’t, well it wouldn’t happen for you. And she was right, as my journey has taken me to this point in life, and I’m incredibly happy with where, and who I am.
— Michael Rose, Hach & Rose
I recall having a conversation with my grandfather, who always inspired me to live life to the fullest. He used to say that no one knows how much longer we will live or how many birthdays we will celebrate.
The only thing we can do is appreciate and savor each and every moment. That is why, if you want something, quit second-guessing yourself and just do it.
— Natalie Maximets, Online Divorce
When I was a young girl, my grandmother gave me a piece of advice that I didn’t understand until much later in life.
She told me, “Never seem more intelligent than you are.”
At the time, I thought she was telling me not to be too smart because people would judge me negatively for being so. However, many years later, I understood that her advice was intended to help me avoid acting like I know everything when I don’t.
—- Janet Coleman, The Consumer Mag
Following are three pieces of advice my grandmother gave me before I got married three decades ago:
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received from an older generation is to accept the aging process. Too often, aging is feared and seen as this thing to avoid and delay as much as possible.
However, my grandmother would often remind me that aging doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you don’t want it to be.
Your sense of humor doesn’t go away, you don’t lose your zest for life, and you don’t suddenly become dull just because you’re getting older.. This advice has always stuck with me and it’s encouraged me to want to age gracefully.
— Daivat Dholakia, Essenvia
Which one is your favorite advice from the above? Or do you have any valuable advice from the older people around you that you yourself live by?
Please feel free to share this list with friends, as one of the best ways to honor and appreciate our older generations is to keep their words of wisdom alive.
We got more responses than we expected for the question: What is the most valuable advice you’ve received from someone from the older generation? And this is just part one!
We will share another compilation soon. In case you want to contribute, please feel free to email me at email@example.com, and we’d love to feature your response, as well!
Home2stay provides accessibility solutions to help our living treasures age in the home they love. We service the British Columbia region, but would be happy to answer your home accessibility and safety equipment questions, no matter where you are in the world.