25 Pieces of Advice from Seniors to Millennials
Despite Millennials' reputation for slacking, they're putting in long office hours, leading to work-related stress. In fact, they've continued to have the highest reported stress levels of all the generations surveyed by the American Psychological Association since 2014, according to the latest Stress in America study. On the other hand, older adults (72+ years of age in 2017) had the lowest stress levels among the generations since the survey began.
Perhaps younger adults should heed the advice of a centenarian who took a reporter out for a spin on her 101st birthday: "I don't let anything upset me, especially traffic. I don't like stress. I can't stand arguing. If anybody is fussing, I'm gone. I like to be around positive people, people who lift you up not bring you down."
Cornell University professor Dr. Karl Pillemer has compiled the advice of more than 1,500 older American interviewees into two critically acclaimed books, "30 Lessons for Living" and "30 Lessons for Loving". The elders' biggest takeaway is to "take time to craft the story of your life." As we age, what ends up mattering the most is ultimately how our life story has played out. Has it been meaningful? It's important for older people to know that their lives have mattered. Reminiscing, even penning their own memoirs and documenting values for younger generations, has been rewarding in the later stages of life.
He posits, "[I]t's important for older people to record their own thoughts and memories, but it's really critical for younger people to ask them for them, and not just for stories, but for guidance and practical advice for living."
Pillemer spoke with over 700 long-married people about love and marriage, and came up with this sage advice: Don't rush into anything, and choose your partner carefully. Love yourself first before you commit to another person and follow your heart, but also use good judgment.
Lillie, 78, tells him, "The biggest mistake is being too quick to enter a marriage. Get to know that person very, very well in all circumstances, the happiness part and the stressful parts. So both people have to be very willing and very open, and often times make concessions, as they get to know each other. So please, take a very serious look. You cannot mold your spouse into something that you want."