50 Pieces Of Life Advice From People Over 50

Sage advice from our chronologically gifted readers.

October 1, 2017

We recently asked our 50+ year-old readers to send us their best life advice. Here are 50 gems. Some themes: don’t sweat the small stuff, forgive yourself, put people first, and barrel headlong towards the thing you love. (Another thing we learned: there are a hell of lot of sage dudes named Steve).

Wise words… but we’re probably still gonna blow our cash on sweet, sweet whiskey.

 

  1. “No one but you can be honest about what it is you really, truly want to do and be. You may think you don’t have the talent or resources or connections. You may think it’s beyond you. You may be embarrassed to speak it out loud, or write it down in words, or even to admit it to yourself — but when you imagine doing or being that thing, it brings tears to your eyes, it chokes you up, it breaks your heart. Go after that now while you have the energy, the time and the health of youth.” ~Steve 1
  2. “Every day make sure you are good tired not bad tired. Good tired is when you’ve spent the day chasing your dreams. Bad tired is when you’ve spent it chasing someone else’s.” ~Joe
  3. “Your greatest survival skill will be flexibility, and adapting to rapidly changing circumstances. You have a lot of time to get it right. Don’t worry if you haven’t ‘made it’ by 25.” ~Andrew
  4. “Life is best organized as a series of daring adventures from a secure base.” ~John
  5. “Call your mother. Talk less, listen more. Believe in yourself.” ~Lisa
  6. “Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.” ~Tim
  7. “Everybody is probably telling you that you can’t do whatever it is you really want to do. Screw them. They are just imposing their own limitations and fears on you. Do what you want. No, really. If you fail, so what? That’s my favorite thing about being older. I finally figured out that I can do what I want.” ~Henrietta
  8. “Pause, but don’t stop. Perseverance matters more than raw talent that isn’t acted upon.” ~Barry
  9. “It’s okay to not know everything. I wasted a lot of time and energy on putting out an idealized image of myself. It’s impossible and exhausting. Surround yourself by smart people, and when you don’t understand something, admit it and ask for help.” ~Colin
  10. “Love your body. Society has made us overcritical. When I look back at photos of me in my 20s, I say ‘Wow, I was hot,’ but at the time, I saw every molecule of cellulite. What a shame I didn’t take more pride my body back then.” ~Dena
  11. “Allow yourself to be authentic at work. When I was younger, I was always trying to constrain my personality to be more buttoned-up and ‘leader-like’ at work. Now, I just lead. And I have a hell of a lot more fun in the process.” ~Todd
  12. “This is the time of your life. Don’t waste it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Make every moment count.” ~Jules
  13. “Talk to one stranger each day.” ~Steve 2
  14. “No one likes to work. Do it anyway. If anyone tempts you to do sloppy work [by saying] ‘No one will know,’ remember: YOU will always know, and that’s enough to do it right.” ~Steve 3
  15. “With your children, only your unconditional love will matter.” ~Craig
  16. “Listen. You will win every argument although you may be the only one who knows it.” ~Erin
  17. “When complimenting her, if you say something about the outside, say something about the inside, too. Mean it.” ~Paul
  18. “Herd mentality won’t get you any further than the rest of the herd.” ~Sena
  19. “I went through a career reboot back in my mid 30s. I’d often thought about the big change during my 20s, but the thing that stopped me over and over was a fear of being 3 years older and starting from scratch. Eventually I changed my mindset: You’re going to get older no matter what, so you might as well spend the time doing what you know you’re meant to do.” ~Danny
  20. “Question authority. Question yourself. Test Ideas. Follow the evidence, wherever it leads. And remember, you could be wrong.” ~Steve 4
  21. “As a leader, it’s not your responsibility to inspire other people, it’s your responsibility to find out what inspires other people and then create a workplace where people can release their inspiration.” ~Jay
  22. “Never live beyond your means, get out of your comfort zone pretty often, hang with friends that have good energy, good ideas, and good humor.” ~Ray
  23. “Find humor in all things.” ~Ryan
  24. “Keep your life simple & try to live on half your salary as long as you can.” ~Raul
  25. “Leave margin so you get to make decisions, not have to make them.” ~Simon
  26. “Ensure your personal mission statement is pro-human at it’s root, or adjust your compass until it is.” ~Lance
  27. “Always buy good peanut butter.” ~Bill
  28. “There’s plenty of time to be a grown-up. Set yourself up by not rushing into it. Your 20s and 30s are for accumulating experience: travel, date, read, argue, do drugs, see live music, volunteer. Every time you gain experience, your ceiling for a more rewarding rest of your life goes up.” ~Grey
  29. “Your life will never be simpler than it is today. Don’t wait to pursue your passion.” ~Mark
  30. “Make yourself indispensable. Be ridiculously good at your job, because there will always be a bunch of younger and possibly smarter folks waiting outside to do your job for peanuts.” ~Thaddeus
  31. “Don’t cling to a decision just because you spent a long time making a it. Ask yourself, “If I knew what I know now, would I have made the same decision?” If the answer is no. Get out ASAP.” ~Sara
  32. “Do what you say you’re gonna do.” ~Ruth
  33. “Pay yourself first, and split the extra cash 3 ways: Emergency fund (3 months of expenses) Attitude account (fun stuff in next few years) and Retirement (more sooner). E.A.R.” ~Saul
  34. “Know your value. Realize what you bring to the table and don’t shortchange yourself.” ~Chris
  35. “In the long run, you will not regret being honest or ethical, even if it costs you.” ~Michael
  36. “It’s always better to NOT be the smartest person in the room.” ~Julie
  37. “Spend more time doing for those who can do nothing for you.” ~Sue
  38. “Floss more.” ~Ken
  39. “Journal and write down the good things that happen in a day or week and the small milestones you accomplish. It’s so easy to burn through a year without noticing what happened. If you look at a month or a year and notice all the tiny wins added up together, you’ll realize they are the foundation to a meaningful life.” ~Shane
  40. “Trust your gut. Your internal GPS rarely steers you wrong.” ~Lydia
  41. “Meditate daily. Or just spend time being silent and visualizing the life you want. Feel the feelings of living that life.” ~Fred
  42. “The shortest distance between two lines isn’t the most valuable.” ~Sally
  43. “You don’t ask, you don’t get.” ~Drew
  44. “Every famous or successful person you know has had a suker punch thrown at them and come out stronger.” ~Lou
  45. “Learn to talk with someone, not to someone.” ~Bret
  46. “If you ain’t into them – tell them and move on.” ~Fran
  47. “Choose five people outside your immediate family. Choose to spend inconvenient time with them, stay engaged with their lives, expend your resources for their benefit. These are your real friends.” ~Steve 5
  48. “Take up Yoga. You want to be bendy when you’re my age.” ~Shannon
  49. “Express love, every time you feel it.” ~Audrey
  50. “Invest in stock instead of blowing the cash on sweet, sweet whisky.” ~Nicholas

 

Note: Some names here were changed (all Steves are OG)



Sign up here for our daily news email to get all the non-political news you never knew you needed. All it takes is 5 minutes and BOOM, you're smarter.

Your news, our way.
For a daily email you'll actually want to read
Weekdays at 9am Pacific