Sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to live your most joyful life. After all, there isn’t a handy dandy handbook to explain it all.
Plus, everyone is different and has their own life to live. Yet, you don’t have to figure out the basics of a joyful life from scratch.
There are plenty of joyful elderly people out there who are more than happy to share their advice! After living for 80, 90 and even 100 years, they’re definitely worth listening to and can help you have a more joyful life now and not just when you’re a senior.
Make Time For Experiences
Travel is a common theme when you talk to the elderly. In fact, many of them suggest you make time to travel at all costs. It’s not so much about just getting away, but about creating lasting memories that you can look back on later in life.
The Smart Life talked with 15 elderly Singaporeans about their happiest moments. Leow Choy Heng, who was 89 at the time, stated her happiest moment was traveling to Japan and other countries, especially to visit her grandchildren. She wasn’t the only one either. Peng Yao Hua, who was 72 at the time, claimed he was the most joyful while traveling.
Grace Hill says what makes her the happiest and most joyful is the all the traveling and experiences she had in her 97 years. They allow her to relive her best moments even on her worst days. Her recollections and those of others are being gathered by “The Best Day Of My Life (So Far)” project to ensure seniors’ stories are shared.
Go ahead—travel and try new things! Even if you don’t have the budget for it, take day trips, try out free local classes, and just get out and make lasting memories with friends, family, and even strangers who could potentially become your dear friends one day.
Love And Family Are Important
We’ve all had breakups that almost broke us, but seniors have plenty of advice in that department. How many times have you read stories about elderly couples who have been happily married for 50 or 70 years?
Despite many of them getting married young, they say their spouse and children are what makes them the most joyful. Believe or not, some seniors expressed regret at rushing in too soon. In an interview for the Legacy Project, seniors agreed you shouldn’t rush in. Take the time to find the right one.
Of course, with love often comes family. One Reddit poster, among a collection posted by Thought Catalog, stated his 83-year-old grandfather gave him this piece of advice: “My family is the only thing I care about anymore.” Another said, “Your job provides the means to do what’s really important in life, nothing more. Do the job, but live for your family.”
The lesson here: love and family are two of the most important things in life. They bring you joy like nothing else. Working 24/7 won’t bring you joy, but the love of others and your family will.
Meet People And Keep Learning
To truly have your most joyful life, go out and meet new people. Make friends and create lasting memories with each other. After all, your closest friends become your extended family. Lili Rudin, a proud centenarian, says constantly meeting new people has helped her live a long and joyful life. She stopped attending school at 12—and then spent her life traveling the world, meeting people, and having incredible experiences. She loves going shopping and taking classes to meet even more people.
Her advice for creating a joyful life is to “Do something interesting every day.” This advice carries on into what centenarian, Frieda Falk had to say. She says “learning new things makes you happy and keeps your mind active.” Despite both women having very different experiences, both say constantly learning is important to being happier. These are just two valuable lessons about joy and life from Real Simple’s interviews with seven incredible centenarians.
Find Joy In Work And Hobbies
A job takes up a large chunk of your week, so why spend it being miserable? When you’re in your 80s or 90s, money won’t be what made you happiest or the most joyful. Instead, take the advice from an 83-year-old who loved his career. He said, “The most important thing is to be involved in a profession that you absolutely love, and that you look forward to going to work to every day.”
Despite what anyone might say, do what you love. As long as you can support yourself, go for it. If it’s not a feasible full-time career, have a joyful side hustle that keeps you young and active. Remember, live your life to be truly joyful.
Joy comes in all shapes and forms, but experiences, love, family, friends, hobbies and a career you enjoy all help create a life filled with joyful memories.
Ready to live your most joyful life? Use your Day Designer planner to make more time for the people you love and the things you enjoy doing most.