One of my biggest regrets in life is not spending more time with my grandparents while they were still alive. I was still in my self-absorbed teenager phase when they passed, and hanging out with or calling Grandma or Grandpa wasn’t very high on my list of priorities. Many of you reading this have grandparents that are still alive. If your grandparents are still around, learn from them while you still can, and spend quality time with them so that you don’t have regrets later in life. Love them, talk to them, take 5 minutes out of your day to call them, and don’t be an ageist jerk towards them.
There is so much wisdom you can soak up from your wise grandparents, who have been around the world and back, seen it, done it, made that mistake, made it again, and learned what really matters in life. They probably know exactly what you shouldn’t take for granted when you’re younger, exactly what you shouldn’t waste your time doing, and exactly what (and who) you should prioritize in life.
Younger generations often get it all wrong. Our priorities are all out of whack. We prioritize our ego over love, answering social media comments instead of answering our loved ones, and prioritizing our representation of ourselves over being true to ourselves. Spending a little more time with your grandparents could teach you a lot about what really matters in life, but instead, we let them spend most of their days alone in assisted living facilities – but why? Do you know what assisted living is? Think about it. It’s a home where your grandparents get great care, and that care is not from a family member but rather from a hired staff member. This person caring for them is not doing so out of love. So, they still feel lonely sometimes and wish they had visitors like you, their grandchild – their family. Visit with your grandparents more often while you still can, and while you’re spending time with them, learn from them. Here are 7 important life lessons you should learn from you grandparents while they’re still around:
1. You’re never too busy to make the people who matter a priority.
You should never be too busy for your grandparents, parents, siblings, best friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Those who truly matter should never have to fight for a spot on your priorities list. You are definitely not too busy for these people. You don’t have too much on your plate to give these people your time and attention. You simply need to make them a priority. This is a life lesson that becomes understood with age, because younger people tend to be more selfish and tend to have out-of-whack priorities. The sooner you learn the ‘priorities’ lesson, the sooner your life will be enriched with happiness, truth and love.
2. Giving something your all, without fear, is the only way to have no regrets in life.
When it comes to career ambition, pursuing the love of your life, or sharing your gift with the world – give it your all. Develop an all-or-nothing mentality. You grandparents will remind you how important it is not to reach old age with regrets. Regret happens when you didn’t give something your all. So, don’t half-ass anything in life. Pursue what you want. Throw caution to the wind. Don’t listen to your friends. Go after what you want in life without fear, and go after what you want in full force.
3. Unconditional love is a representation of solid character.
Even if you’ve selfishly been avoiding visiting your grandparent(s) at their assisted living facility, and rarely calling them, they still love you. Your grandparent will always recognize when you’re being self-absorbed, but love you regardless because deep down, they know who you are and they love you unconditionally. They know that you have a good heart, and they don’t take anything very personally. Unconditional love is a representation of good character, because the ability to love someone unconditionally requires that you have a heart and empathy. Unconditional love is loving someone despite their flaws, and accepting that nobody is perfect.
4. If you want something in your life to change or get better, it’s in your hands and your hands alone to make that happen.
It’s completely up to you to change your life circumstances for the better. Nobody else is going to do this for you. Grandparents will always notice how lazy the younger generation is. Are you wanting a change in your life, but too lazy to actually take the steps to make it happen? Who else do you think is going to do it for you? For example, if you hate your job, you should be sending out your resume 15 times per day. You’re not too busy. Turn off Grey’s Anatomy and put the work in to see the change you desire.
5. It doesn’t matter at all what other people think, as long as you stay true to yourself.
You’ve probably noticed how grandparents always tell it like it is and speak their mind with zero fear of how their words might come across to others. Grandparents often lack sensitivity or embarrass themselves in public – but it’s kind of a good thing. It proves that they’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter what people think – and they’re right. In a way, it shows you that listening to your gut is the only advice you need. Grandparents don’t care much about the opinions of others, they just tell it like it is.
6. One of the most important skills you can have is knowing how to bravely ask for the things you want and deserve.
Too often in our youth, we passively hope for the things we want instead of bravely and boldly asking for what we want. When it comes to that raise or promotion you want at work or the attention you need from a loved one, for example, bravely asking for the things you want and deserve will get you everywhere in life. With age comes more bravery, and your grandparents will teach you that one of the best skills to learn is bravery.
7. Giving feels a lot better than getting.
Grandparents give endlessly to their loved ones, because they recognize how important family is, and your happiness is their happiness. They’ve realized in their old age that giving feels a lot better than getting. That’s why grandparents give and give and give without ever wanting anything in return. If you take a page from Grandma or Grandpa’s playbook and try giving more, you’ll probably find out that they’re right – giving feels a lot better than getting.