Important Life Lessons: What’s The Most Important Life Lesson Older People Feel You Must Know?

APRIL 12, 2013 by ERIC BARKER

Important Life Lessons: What’s The Most Important Life Lesson Older People Feel You Must Know?

image001-1

Yes, older people are agreed on the most important life lessons they want to pass on.

Karl Pillemer of Cornell University interviewed nearly 1500 people age 70 to 100+ for his book “30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.” He asked them what life lessons they’d pass on.

What piece of advice were they more adamant about than any other? More adamant about than lessons regarding marriage, children and happiness?

Do not stay in a job you dislike.

Via 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans:

You know those nightmares where you are shouting a warning but no sound comes out? Well, that’s the intensity with which the experts wanted to tell younger people that spending years in a job you dislike is a recipe for regret and a tragic mistake. There was no issue about which the experts were more adamant and forceful. Over and over they prefaced their comments with, “If there’s one thing I want your readers to know it’s . . .” From the vantage point of looking back over long experience, wasting around two thousand hours of irretrievable lifetime each year is pure idiocy.

What other important life lessons did they have for your career?

Via 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans:

Here’s the refrigerator list:

1. Choose a career for the intrinsic rewards, not the financial ones. The biggest career mistake people make is selecting a profession based only on potential earnings. A sense of purpose and passion for one’s work beats a bigger paycheck any day.

2. Don’t give up on looking for a job that makes you happy. According to the experts, persistence is the key to finding a job you love. Don’t give up easily.

3. Make the most of a bad job. If you find yourself in a less-than-ideal work situation, don’t waste the experience; many experts learned invaluable lessons from bad jobs.

4. Emotional intelligence trumps every other kind. Develop your interpersonal skills if you want to succeed in the workplace. Even people in the most technical professions have their careers torpedoed if they lack emotional intelligence.

5. Everyone needs autonomy. Career satisfaction is often dependent on how much autonomy you have on the job. Look for the freedom to make decisions and move in directions that interest you, without too much control from the top.

Another point worth making is advice the older folks consistently did not give:

Via 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans:

No one— not a single person out of a thousand— said that to be happy you should try to work as hard as you can to make money to buy the things you want.

No one— not a single person— said it’s important to be at least as wealthy as the people around you, and if you have more than they do it’s real success.

No one— not a single person— said you should choose your work based on your desired future earning power.

Now it may sound absurdly obvious when worded in this way. But this is in fact how many people operate on a day-to-day basis. The experts did not say these things; indeed almost no one said anything remotely like them. Instead they consistently urged finding a way to earn enough to live on without condemning yourself to a job you dislike.

This might be a lot to remember and ask yourself on a daily basis. What’s a quick litmus test to determine if you’re on the path to happiness or regret?

Via 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans:

You should ask yourself this: do I wake up in the morning looking forward to work?

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: