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3 Golden Nuggets

 "Many people die with their music still inside of them."  Well known author and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes made this statement over 150 years ago.

Her eyes are the window to a soul filled with treasures to share
Recently I wrote about how we each have been given one life to live, so let's live it the best we can, creatively making the most of every day.  But how do we do that?

Since then I came across some interesting research conducted among adults over the age of 65 who were post-retirement.  These retirees were asked one question, and it was this:  "If you could live your life over, what would you do differently?"

Anytime we can get a perspective on life from others who have lived and experienced things that we have not, it's, for us,  a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow.  I've come to realize that older adults offer a treasure of wisdom, insight and understanding that is beyond our reach simply because most of us haven't lived a span of 70 or 80 or even 90 years.

So when older people share insights from their unique vantage point and perspective, I listen.

The results of this study can help inform our lives, as younger people, if we so choose.    The top three sentiments expressed by the retirees were these:

Be More Reflective
The retirees said that they wished they had become less caught up in the day to day and taken more time to reflect on the bigger picture of life.  Reflection affords one the opportunity to step back and evaluate what is important and authentic.  Reflection allows us to evaluate whether we're living authentically and true to the call on our lives.

Take More Risks
If they had another opportunity at life, the retirees said that they would take more risks the second time around and not play it so safe.  I hear in that a willingness to fail more often, but to at least have tried something.

Live On Purpose
All of the retirees said that if they had their lives to do over again, they would want to pursue lives of purpose, of helping others, of  pursuing their passions and dreams. In essence, they wanted their lives to have mattered, to have made a difference in this world.

In fact, living with a sense of purpose is so critical to life, that other research has shown that a high percentage of persons who retire and do not find a meaningful involvement  somewhere will die within two years of retirement.  Death can be difficult as it is, but dying with "the music still inside of us" is even worse.

If you are reading this and happen to be in your 70s, 80s or 90s, would you offer your perspective on what you would do differently if you had a second chance at life?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!    Even if you're under 70,  I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.


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