By John Clinton
People around me say I am old. I suppose they are right: my heart betrays me from time to time, skipping a beat and making me a little nervous about the plans I had already made for the day. My joints are all squeaky and my short term memory is not great. Some years ago, I would have said something like: „I’ve been better, where are the good old days?”, but now I am taking each day at a time and I am grateful for everything it brings. The joy that comes with every sun beam is sometimes overwhelming and in my heart, I feel younger and more free than ever!
So, my friend! You are asking me for advice on how to live your life…! I believe this is one of the hardest questions I was ever asked to answer, it’s even trickier than the one my wife asked while we were planning our wedding, concerning the colour of the roses in the church! I believe there’s a lot to say.
First, I’d say the key to a feeling of content concerning your life, is to have no regrets. I strongly advice that, before each and every action you take, you pause for a second and ask yourself: is this really me? Is this who I am? And if you’re not sure about it, my friend, just stop. Pause, take a deep breath to find out what YOU would do, and act consequently.
Mind your own business. This will save you a lot of trouble.
Speak the truth. Always! One lie brings a hundred more, and it’s simply not worth it. Besides, the truth is always revealed, eventually – that’s not just a cliche, it’s just how things work. Don’t lie to anyone and don’t ever lie to yourself!
Try not to have expectations. It’s not fair for the ones around you, why should they do things you can’t or won’t?
Be prepared for anything that might happen. Nowadays, people generally think „It can’t happen to me!” and this is not a very safe perspective on life. Lots of things can happen and you need to be prepared: mentally, physically and financially. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket, as I use to say. Life suddenly becomes challenging for so many people, after a 2 hours power outage – and that is unacceptable! Keep your body in shape and always make sure your household is equipped with all the supplies necessary to survive for at least a couple of weeks if all – I mean ALL! – modern technology would suddenly disappear: no electricity, no running water, no supermarkets, no gas at the gas station. Ever thought of that?
Read. Oh my, I am SO thrilled with all these new movies. 3D and HD and all that stuff – it turns movies into an almost real experience! Enjoy them, my friend, however never ever forget books. They’re the only door to the most fantastic world that was ever created. It’s the only, only place where all your dreams and fantasies will come true, beyond your expectations. Not to mention that books make you smarter and wiser!
And most important of all, there is one book you should read. It doesn’t matter to me what your religion is! But please, please, read the Bible! It has so much to offer, there’s so much to learn and understand! You can read a verset now and truly understand it 10 years later, when something will bring it back on your mind. Take this advice from an old man…
Surround yourself with family and friends. Keep your front door open. Not everyone is a true friend, the kind of friends you read about in books. But everyone has a story to tell, a drop of wisdom to share and…a grain of salt! Take people for who they are and don’t try to change them. Like them for who they are and don’t take their company for granted!
Chose your life partner wisely. It’s meant to be for your whole life, you know…? Respect and compromise are the key to a long happy life together. Concentrate on what you have in common, what connects you, what brought you together in the first place, not on the differences.
Love your children. Unconditionally, I mean. Always be true to them and support them always, no matter what they’ve done or what they’re going through. You are the ONLY person in this world that they need to be able to count on, in each and every situation. Never ever hit your children, don’t spank them and don’t yell at them. Don’t ever forget that they are the greatest gift you could have received! Cherish them at all times and love them unconditionally – this is the only way to raise them properly!
Love yourself! People tend to feel responsible for everything that goes on around them and think „What if…?” What ifs are one of man’s greatest enemy. Actually, nobody knows how what ifs would have eventually turned – maybe for the better, maybe for the worse! Don’t forget that an apparently insignificant thing as the wings of a butterfly can change EVERYTHING, so there’s no use to think of what might have happened if… You can never know!
Take care of yourself. People tend to focus too much on those around them and forget about themselves. Not only your body needs food, both your mind and spirit also need nurturing. Don’t let a day go by without doing at least one tiny thing just for yourself!
Give up anxiety. You can not predict the future, you can only live the moment. You don’t want to spend your life fearing what MIGHT happen, instead of enjoying your HERE and NOW. Otherwise, at the end of the day, you will only count all the things you’ve missed while fearing the things that never happened. So, remember the song: don’t worry, be happy! Which brings me to my next advice:
Be happy. Believe me or not, it’s a matter of choice. You can complain over not going to Hawaii this year either, or you can enjoy your holiday in the mountains with your friends and children. You can chose to hate the cold weather outside, or enjoy the sparkling snow. There’s always something good in everything – chose to see that, not the grey shadows that surround it!
As you could see, I am a bit of a religious person. So, my final advice to you, is a quote from my favorite Book: „God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
Editor: What are your thought? What would you like to add?
You may also like:
The Only 4 Antibiotics You’ll Need when SHTF
An insanely effective way to build a 5 year food stockpile (Video)
10 Things to Do on the Day The Economy Collapses
68 Medicinal Plants That You Can Grow in Your Garden
Learn how to distinguish the difference between those who call you ‘friend’ and the true friend.
Amen and like was mentioned don’t think others will do as you do, because this will only lead to hurt and frustration.
Words of wisdom. I, too, am 80 and I agree MIGHTILY!
Try reading “The lives of Lazarus Long” by Robert Anson Heinlein. That title isn’t what it was originally published by, but if you search Google, you’ll find it. Says pretty much the same thing.
I try to live my life that way, and I’d have to say I’m pretty happy. Not looking forward to leaving, but not much afraid of it either.
Make up your own mind – you have to any way, or you’re just a shadow of someone else. Learn from others – don’t try to BE them. Won’t work well.
One of the main tenants in the Lazarus Long books was “you don’t get something for nothing”. This concept is almost totally ignored by many in today’s society, and not just the young.
Lazarus Long appears in several of Heinlein’s books. But the book with the wisdom is “Time Enough for Love”
One thing I can’t understand about many publications concerning survival after an event———– we need books made out of paper and ink instead of a download to a computer. Chances are great that the computers will not be working and we have wasted money.
Major kudos Virgil, and our retired librarian would agree. She saw me reading an actual paperback book while waiting on my order at a local cafe, and was ecstatic. Not only the longevity of printed material, but also the tolerance for heat, usability in primative conditions, and lack of theft (unless it is a textbook that can be sold), should make hard copy books a major disaster resource
Thank you for sharing this!
The secret to a long life….is to try not to shorten it…
I will disagree with part of this gentleman’s advise, but I will split the subject apart.
I agree with the statement “do not hit your kids”. If I see a parent raise a closed fist to strike a child, I will intervene (quietly, noisily, or physically depending on the situation). I will do the same if I see a parent using anything (clothes hanger, 2×4, extension cord, etc) other than the palm of their hand, the sole of a shoe, or a willow-like “switch” to the kid’s backside. A kid’s butt is the only target, damn sure not the kidney area and not the calf area.
The only two reasons to raise a closed fist to your kid(s) is if they are intent on causing physical harm and/or death….. or
if they decide “they can whip their parents ass”.
A caveat on that is if you truly “abuse” your children, you deserve what you get from them when they become able to administer justice.
I disagree with the advise “don’t spank them”. Negative reinforcement, when properly applied to a kid’s ass (mine included), has taught more people; proper respect for others and their property, responsibility for your actions, and to excel in scholastic endeavors. All this to make you a better person and citizen of these United States.
Mark, I agree with you. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” has been around for a long time. We have forgotten it in todays “politically correct” environment. Look at the problems with many of our young as a result.
A simple confirmation I picked up somewhere long ago.
The Light surrounds us
The Love enfolds us
The Power protects us
The Presence watches over us
No matter where we are
The Force, God Is, and all is well!
This gentleman’s advice is so very sound. I am nearing the age of 80 soon and it is amazing how one starts viewing life through a different set of eyes. It is so very true to enjoy the day you have and give thanks to your God who has decided to give it to you.
Enjoy your family if you are fortunate enough to have one. For truly, they really are the only ones who give a damn about you most of the time.
Like the gentleman says, be positive and forget petty issues. Life ebbs so quickly and as yet we are not sure what the creator has waiting for us on the other side.
Best advice I have ever read. Thanks Virgil :0)
Thanks a bunch! It is an remarkable website!.
As I will be 80 in the spring I appreciate most of what our guest writer said today and wonder how, with the usual loss of memory and the inability to focus – so common with octogenarians – he was able to compose such a clear, precise and wise letter of advice. Must have been given reasonable time to collect these words of wisdom…not an immediate response. Be that as it may, I actually merely wanted to offer a correction, not ramble on and on. (Symptomatic of my age I guess) Just this: The Serenity Prayer is NOT part of the Bible. It is a prayer from the Twentieth Century, attributed to the American theologian and writer Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr, 1892-1971. In all else but the not spanking children, I must agree with the author. Thanks for an excellent piece!
Thanks Captain Storyteller. I knew the “Serenity Prayer” did not come from the Bible but did not know from whence it came.
I am getting close for I an sneeking up on seventy five. the advice I have is dont let your kids eat the cerial or drink the water. try to get your veggies from places you know what and how they grow them. grow your own if you can and let the bugs have their share. the world needs bugs too. dont let them use any of the florid tooth paste. Yes it is harder but worth it. get your kids moving. I grew up every summer on my cousins farm I take no medications. None. not even vitamins. normal blood pressure no cholesterol problems and walk a mile every day. When I retired I could and did out work people half my age. Our government poisons us. Want to live longer dont buy your food from the market. most of all move and not on bikes walk!
I would like to say: ALWAYS be honorable in every thing you do, say, act and conduct your life. You may not always be right, but I bet you will be close! You can count on honor to carry you through troubled times.
Despite all the difficulties life brings us these days.
I would like to add along with the Serenity Prayer if we all could Respect one another more, Have more integrity Love more. And Laugh More.
We would make America Great Again”.