Advertising
Advertising

15 Life Lectures From Grandpa

15 Life Lectures From Grandpa

My grandfather was born one year and one week after Oreo cookies came into existence, and he lived to celebrate 100 years March 13, 2013, meeting his only great granddaughter, my daughter Meredith Violet, and holding his youngest of four grandchildren, my son Russell Rain. Though he lived in Florida during much of the time I was growing up in New Jersey, he visited about once every year or two. My family drove to Florida to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary around 1995 or 1996. I learned most of what would be considered life lectures not from his words but from my Grandpa’s actions.

Life Lectures From Grandpa: show don’t tell

Of the times I talked with my grandfather, I remember more about how he showed me to live than what he said. “Children should be seen and not heard” was a popular phrase for his generation, but he showed us more by listening to us.

1. Eat well

I remember laughing when my grandfather picked flowers and assorted berries from the yard of our suburban New Jersey home in the early ’90s, if not the late ’80s. He put the plant life in a bowl after washing it. I believe we ate violets, but his action inspired me to look to nature for sustainability.

lemonade-stand

    Ellen Eldridge, age 5 or 6, with her brother and grandfather. Grandmother is at the door, checking on supplies for the lemonade

    Advertising

    2. Be entrepreneurial

    Grandpa encouraged my brother and me to start a lemonade stand as kids. Though the business is a cliche like tea parties and playing princess, I don’t think either of us kids would have thought to start our own business without someone’s lead. We likely sold little, but the actions that day spoke louder than words and I’ve gone on to start more business ideas including a fanzine in high school.

    3. Keep exercising

    My grandfather still mowed his own lawn at age 90 with a push mower. Not the electrical kind either. When visiting him and my grandmother, we grandchildren felt amazed that they not only got into the swimming pool still but also my grandfather dove in from the diving board. Staying active kept my grandparents healthy.

    4. Value your roots and family history

    Grandfather and my father, who was the eldest child of four, took an interest in tracing the family’s lineage and building charts of our ancestors. Valuing your family means taking care of them while they’re young as much as it means never forgetting the ones who’ve come before you.

    5. Do what you say you will do

    The value of following through came by way of life lectures from Grandpa in that he always did what he said he would do. From making salad to waking up early and making the bed, he did what he said he would do.

    6. Earn your way in life

    As much as my brother, sister, cousins and I loved getting coveted quarters from Grandpa, he insisted we earn them by pulling weeds or studying to make good grades. The life lectures from Grandpa of earning money were continued by my father, who insisted we complete chores for an allowance.

    Advertising

    7. Save money

    Even more important though perhaps a lost lesson, saving money was a life lesson Grandpa and my father tried to instill from a young age. The importance of making conscious purchases and not frivolously wasting money dawned on me toward the end of my twenties rather than at the beginning, but Grandpa tried.

    8. Honor your country

    Many of the people my age and younger have grandparents and parents who served in the military. My Grandpa gave me a large seashell that I believe he told me came from the beach at Normandy. He never spoke much about war, but knowing he served proudly in the Navy encouraged me to later join the Army Reserves.

    9. Treat other people as you would have them treat you

    My Grandfather first taught me the Golden Rule. This was one life lecture he never had to show me. I took his word for it that the kind thing to do is treat people the way you want to be treated.

    10. Don’t stay in a job you don’t like

    My grandpa never ran from responsibility, but he made sure to encourage my father and his other children to follow their hearts. My father became a mechanical engineer. I know as much as I knew to follow through with the lemonade stand idea that doing what you like is the key to never feeling like you’re working.

    11. Always be honest

    By never lying to me or anyone else I’m aware of, my husband’s father, who is now 78, taught my husband to never lie. The strength of doing what you say inspires integrity.

    Advertising

    12. Don’t judge people based on age

    Not my grandfather, but a nontraditional student over the age of 70 taught me not to judge others based on their age. Universities and colleges allow people over a certain age (62 in Georgia, where I am enrolled) to attend tuition free. The man who has showed up and worked twice as hard as traditional students proved one of life’s most important lessons is to educate yourself.

     

    granddad-and-russell-blk

       

      13. Family first

      I interviewed briefly a woman who had just turned 100. She reminded me of my grandfather, as he had just died a few months before his 101 birthday. I asked the woman what her favorite memories were and she just said family meant everything to her. It made me happy to know I decided to travel more than four hours with a screaming 3-month-old son and moody 2-year-old daughter so they could meet their great grandfather on his 100th birthday.

      Advertising

      14. Plan but don’t spend all your time planning

      One of my Grandpa’s and now one of my favorite quotes is “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

      Planning and making strategic choices are crucial to learning from mistakes, but with great risk comes great reward. Live a little and enjoy spontaneity when possible and appropriate.

      15. Rely on no one but yourself and love everyone

      My Grandfather taught me and everyone in our family by example. He stayed active and supported my Grandmother until she passed away around age 92. After she was gone, my Grandpa remained in his own home until the end of his life, at age 100. While he had a caretaker who came to the house, my Grandpa took care of himself until the very last few years. I know he accepted a ride to the store once a week to buy food, and he cooked for himself well into his nineties. His self-reliance kept him independent, but he remained loving and welcoming to everyone who came to visit. I believe the love and family surrounding him at his 100th birthday gave him the satisfaction and courage to move into the next lesson, the afterlife.

      More by this author

      How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor 15 Life Lectures From Grandpa Get References That Will Make You An Outstanding Candidates In 5 Easy Steps 20 Things You’ll Regret Every Time After Doing striving for perfectionism? 6 Reasons Why Perfectionism Kills Your Productivity

      Trending in Communication

      1 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 2 The Key to Happiness and Leading a Fulfilling Life 3 15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success 4 Joy Vs Happiness: What’s the Difference and Can We Achieve Both? 5 How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on April 23, 2019

      13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

      13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

      Let me begin by being 100% frank with you – everyone is capable of happiness.

      Happiness is first a choice but it also takes persistence to maintain. Happiness is our birth right and my mission is to help as many people as I can live their happiest life.

      My mission is to spread the message that everyone deserves happiness.

      To live a happy life; however, you must do the work, gain the necessary knowledge, and increase your awareness.

      You must fully embody this state and begin to think and feel happiness on every level of your being.

      Often times, excuses present themselves and our mind gives us the reasons why we can’t be happy:

      “I am too busy right now to focus on happiness”

      “I will be happy when I finish school, when I have the money, when I am in the right relationship, when I have kids, when my children are older….”

      “I would have had a happy life if this traumatic event had never happened”

      “I don’t deserve happiness”

      EVERYONE deserves happiness. The reason that you are here right now is because you have a purpose and you are on the earth to enjoy your journey.

      Think BIGGER than your excuses. Push FARTHER than your complaints.

      Don’t be pulled away from greatness. Get uncomfortable. At least these are what happy and successful people do on a daily basis.

      This article highlights the top 13 tips and tricks of how happy people think and feel.

      If you would like to begin embodying this life-changing state, then… Here are the 13 ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently:

      1. Happy People Put Happiness First

      Happy people have made the decision that their end goal is happiness.

      Every situation, event, bad day ultimately ends with happiness.

      To them, happiness is equivalent to sleep and water – it is a necessity to their life. To live an unhappy life is to have never lived at all.

      The happy person asks,

      “What would be the point of living if every day and moment were filled with negativity?”

      Advertising

      “Why would I deplete my energy on negativity when I expend less to be positive?”

      They make happy-based decisions which means in EVERY MOMENT they choose happiness.

      If their circumstances can’t change then they instead change their perspective, they look for the silver lining in the negative.

      Happy people don’t let negativity steal their moments away – a positive mindset always prevails.

      If you ask a happy person how their day was, they will always answer your question with a highlight or a lesson learned.

      2. Happy People Embrace Pain

      I know what you are thinking –

      “No one is ALWAYS happy”

      or …

      “Even happy people get in bad moods”

      and …

      These statements are absolutely accurate.

      Happy people aren’t always happy and they DO get into bad moods. They get overwhelmed, they feel defeated, and their feelings get hurt.

      Happy people aren’t invincible and they feel pain just like everyone else. The only difference between happy people and people who let negativity run their lives is that…

      Happy people quickly acknowledge their pain and they make a decision to find a way to transform their pain into something greater. They also use these 13 simple ways to shake off the sadness.

      Happy people admit the negativity they feel and they do what it takes to get back into their natural state: happiness.

      When your end goal is happiness, then you will find a way to achieve it no matter how much strength you have to muster.

      3. Happy People Have a Happy Self-Image

      We all have an image in our minds that we subconsciously live up to.

      The reason that change is so hard is because our subconscious mind is programmed to live by how we define ourselves.

      How are you currently defining yourself?

      For happy people, they see themselves with a smile, positive outlook, and/or a bounce in their step. When an event or situation arises that brings in a negative emotion, they quickly change their state to resemble their natural self-image.

      Advertising

      When happy people are in a bad mood, it feels unusual to them because feeling negative isn’t aligned with how they see themselves.

      When they feel upset, they acknowledge the negativity and look for a solution to bring their emotions to the level of how they perceive themselves.

      Look at how you define yourself today – your mind and body are always trying to live up to the definition it is taught to believe.

      Your body’s job is to keep you in a “normal” state because this is where it feels most comfortable.

      If your self-image is happy, then your mind and body will naturally be brought back to where it feels at home. Your actions will be a clue to how you define yourself.

      4. Happy People Have a Strong Support System

      The happiest people know that it takes a village and they lean on others for support.

      Happy people feel comfortable reaching out for help when they feel that their resistances are overpowering them. They quickly sense their negativity and they tell somebody.

      Happy people ask for assistance when they can’t figure out a problem. Seeking help takes strength and it never gets in the way of their self-worth. Happy people appreciate the wisdom that their support system provides.

      They have strong connections with the people who are close to them. They never trudge through tough times alone because jeopardizing their happiness for too long would be detrimental to their well-being.

      5. Happy People Safeguard Their Minds from Negative Triggers

      Warding off negativity is almost impossible when we live in a society that lives by what went wrong and feeds off of what could go wrong. News travels instantaneously so it would be unrealistic to shut this out of your life completely.

      However, one strategy that happy people use to safeguard their minds is regulating their environment.

      We have a lot of control on how we allow our environments to affect us. We can control our social media feed, the television shows and movies we watch, the books that we read, the people that we spend our time with, and the places that we hang out.

      If happiness is your end goal, then take a good look at what is bringing you down. What triggers your unhappiness? See if there is anything in your environment that can be changed……

      What we listen to, read, and who we hang out with influence our mind, what we think about, what we worry about, our reactions, and behaviors.

      Happy people know what triggers a feeling of negativity and it feels out of alignment for them so they do what it takes to avoid it.

      They might regulate their social media news feed to reflect the information that brings them positive energy. They might regulate the people that they spend their time with. It is important to hang out with like-minded people.

      What are you triggers? How can you avoid the negativity in your environment?

      These are ways that happy people regulate their environment and safeguard their minds.

      6. Happy People Know When to Say “No”

      Happy people know when to sit one out and say “no.” They do this to protect their happiness and well-being.

      Life gets overwhelming – a lot of people need our attention and the to do list can seem never ending.

      Advertising

      Happy people give themselves permission to take the day off and they feel comfortable with saying “no” when their stress levels begin to climb. They understand that those around them aren’t benefiting from someone who is frazzled, overwhelmed, and tired.

      A happy person identifies their negative emotion and then they quickly treat it to bring themselves back to their “normal” state, so that they can be at their best for not only themselves but for those around them, too.

      A simple “no” can ultimately mean many more “yes’s” in the future because happiness has a long battery life. You can take a look at Leo Babauta’s article The Gentle Art of Saying No and learn to say no.

      7. Happy People Are Good Evaluators

      Happy people can quickly sense when something is off with themselves or others. They are very intuitive to happiness levels. When someone isn’t quite right, they are the first ones to notice.

      Being able to evaluate happiness means that you can identify when negativity is lingering around for too long.

      We all have bad days; however, the happy person evaluates often and quickly intervenes.

      In other words, happy people frequently evaluate their state and immediately change when their pessimism is overshadowing their joy.

      8. Happy People Bring Other People Up

      What goes on inside of us is mirrored into our physical world.

      What we think about literally consumes our life and is displayed in our work, relationships, and attitude.

      Happy people naturally feel good inside and about themselves so they treat others the way that they treat themselves. It never feels forced to give a compliment or to help out a stranger.

      When we are truly happy with ourselves, everyone around us has a better experience. Happy people are kind to themselves and because of this, it feels natural to them to want to make others’ happy, too.

      9. Happy People Go After Their Dreams

      Happy people are always following the joyful path. They make happy-based decisions and because of this, they always end up where they want to be.

      It’s absolutely impossible to be happy by following an undesirable path, which is quite opposite for unhappy people.

      Most people journey through life on a path they think they are “supposed” to be own. Warning signs (negativity) are often ignored because they truly believe that these feelings are a normal part of life.

      Negativity is NOT normal.

      The happiest people investigate the negativity in their life and quickly analyze the results. This process allows them to get back on the joyful path which ends in a desirable outcome.

      Follow your happiness and your dreams will come true (If that isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is!)

      In addition to happiness, here are 14 amazing things that happen when you live your passion.

      10. Happy People Never Sweat the Small Stuff

      The only expectation that the happy person has is that they remain in a joyful state.

      They rarely have expectations for the events and people in their lives because they know that this is a sure way to get let down.

      Advertising

      The happiest people take life as it comes – you could say that they roll with the punches. When you don’t have expectations, thenyoue can just sit back and watch how beautifully life unfolds.

      Happy people understand that bad things are inevitable, they are a part of life – The car will break, the kids will make mistakes, people will be late, and dinner will burn.

      If it’s not anything seriously affecting their lives, then they don’t give their energy to it.

      11. Happy People Rarely Have to Prove That They Are Right

      Happy people remember that it’s more important to live up to what they believe. When you live your life aligned with your belief system, then there is no need to explain or prove yourself to others.

      Differences in opinions are inevitable, but the happiest of people know it’s wasted energy to defend their position.

      It is more effective to simply show people, through actions, how you think, feel, and what you believe.

      Energy is saved, arguments are diminished, and credibility/respect are gained when we live by what we believe.

      12. Happy People Smile (Even When They Don’t Want To)

      Smiling is one of the healthiest things we can do; and happy people use this simple trick quite often.

      It has been proven that smiling has the ability to boost your immune system, decrease stress levels, and can even make you look younger. The benefits of smiling have even been backed up by science.[1]

      Better yet, smiling is contagious. When you engage in a quick smile, you are likely to brighten someone else’s day along with your own. It is no wonder why happy people smile often!

      13. Happy People Live Life in the Present Moment.

      When we are genuinely happy, we are living for the moment.

      Happy people let go of the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. They take the moments for what they are worth – they only invest their energy in what feels right to them.

      Everyone is capable of living a happy-centered life. You deserve a life that you desire – your dream life. All you have to start doing is make happy-based decisions TODAY.

      In every moment, decide on what makes you happy – decide on what gets you excited. Stop doing what you don’t love, don’t listen to the people that you dislike.

      If you are engaging in something that isn’t bringing you joy, then quit doing it. Listen to your heart, stop ignoring the warning signs (negativity) because they are there for a reason.

      I have observed, studied, and interviewed some of the happiest and most successful people along with some of the most miserable and self-loathing.

      It starts with one decision – happiness.

      The happiest, most successful people choose happiness with EACH and EVERY decision. And you can start doing this today.

      Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Harvard Business Review: The Science Behind the Smile

      Read Next