Sergio is 78 years old, have been married to the same woman for 50 years and a proud parent of two daughters. Sergio and his wife are also grandparents, of two children.
Of course, there have been ups and downs, including being diagnosed with two forms of cancer. But Sergio is able to look back on his life, and on his career as a publisher and writer, and feel reasonably successful and happy.
Now that Sergio is nearly 80, he learned nine important lessons about success, money and happiness. Have a look:
- Remember to be kind to yourself
Kindness can be directed inward as well as outward. Being kind to yourself isn’t self-indulgence; it’s validating your own worth.
We are probably our own harshest critics, and we certainly know our limitations better than anyone else. So when things don’t turn out as you intended, it’s sometimes a kindness to remind yourself that your intentions were honorable.
Not everything that goes wrong is your fault, and while you might be good at taking the blame for the sake of a peaceful life, being kind to yourself means sharing the burden of guilt that from time to time cripples us all.
- Money won’t make you happy
Money allows you to enjoy life if you have enough — and maybe a bit more than “enough.”
But it won’t significantly boost your happiness in life. (I don’t need to emphasize this very much, as there are various studies out there that will tell you the same.)
Your happiness and well-being comes from taking care of yourself, the good things you’ve experienced (like love and laughter) and nurturing relationships with people who make a positive difference in your life.
- You’re never too old (or young) to make mistakes
Mistakes are signs of vitality, inventiveness and adventurous intelligence, at least when you’re the person making them.
You’ll never try or discover something new if you’re afraid of getting it wrong. Mistakes are an unavoidable part of progress, so don’t be afraid to make the leaps, no matter how frightening they may seem.
Of course, there are limits.
Incompetence or malpractice deserves punishment. But people — especially the younger ones — should be aware that generally when we make mistakes, it’s a sign that we prefer to experiment, rather than be cautious to the point of cowardice.
- ‘Retirement’ is a nonsensical term
I am self-employed and still working in my late-70s — and I don’t plan or want to retire anytime soon. (I’ve just finished writing a novel and even have another one planned!) In a world where so many dream of early retirement, this must sound like a shocker.
But “retirement” is a nonsensical term: to call yourself retired is a totally inaccurate description of all the activities and anxieties that fill your waking — and often your sleeping — hours. Just because you’re no longer in full-time employment doesn’t mean you have withdrawn from the world, or that you have nothing more to contribute.
Giving up your active work life just because you have reached an arbitrary age is ridiculous. If you’re still alive, active, capable and taking pride and pleasure in what you do, you should be encouraged to continue.
- Self-employment isn’t for everyone, but it can be rewarding
If you have a hard time just thinking about working for someone else, and you have the energy, confidence and communication skills to persuade other people to use a service, then I encourage you to consider self-employment or running your own business.
Find a gap in the market and look for something that no one else is going to do — or if they are doing it, do it better. It’s risky, of course, and it’s not for everyone; you must work harder than you ever did for some other company or corporation. And you must be prepared to make all the important decisions, as well as take responsibility for anyone you employ.
The good news is that no one can fire you, unless you do something illegal or go bankrupt. But if you do it right, you’ll wake up each morning looking forward to the next challenge.
To read the rest of the article by CNBC Make it and Peter Buckman that was published on the 17th September 2019, click here.
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