Last week I was flying home from Vancouver, B.C. and I was seated next to an elderly man who was dressed to the nines!
Blue suit, vest, tie, Irish pins on his lapel and black shiny shoes.
Oh I wish the days of dressing up to fly were still around!
We were chatting about nothing in particular but there was something special about him, an energy, a positive vibe.
His name is John and he was going to visit his brothers and sisters in Ireland.
John is 81 years old and flying by himself.
His ‘beingness’ was having an impact on me.
I wanted to know more about him, what his long life was like and, quite frankly, what it felt like to be 81.
So I asked John, ‘What life advice would you give a 49 year old?”
He said; “Oh I don’t have advice to give anyone but I can tell you how I lived my life.”
He spent the next 15 minutes, without hesitation, reciting the rules he has lived his life by and what it was like growing up poor in Ireland.
Here is what he said in this order:
1. Take care of your SELF first and foremost.
2. Take care of your family next. (Ladies..something to take note here)
3. Take care of your friends.
4. Take care of your community.
5. Don’t do anything that you will regret. Don’t NOT do anything that you will regret.
6. Go after your dream and let nothing stop you.
7. Health is number 1 most important thing.
8. Work really hard so you can easily get what you want.
9. Leave ’em be. (let people be who they are and don’t worry about what they say or do).
10. Everything you do will have an impact on someone else, so make sure you are leaving your mark.
11. I came from nothing; I had no shoes growing up and I went hungry often.So what?
12. When I came to Canada I had $50. I swept the streets as my first job. (read between the lines).
13. Come from love and anything is possible. That means love of your self because you are all you got.
14. When my Dad died (I was a young boy) my Mom became an entrepreneur and sold anything.
15. That was tough times growing up but it never stopped me or made me bitter, it motivated me.
16. Be excited for life, it’s as good as you make it.
I asked him if there was anything he regretted doing or not doing.
His reply was swift and sure: “I never did anything that was harmful to myself or anyone else, including the thoughts I had in my head. Your thoughts about your self are the most critical and the most harmful.”
Finally he said to me; “I have never told anyone any of this before. No one has ever asked, so thank you!”
His words will forever impact me.
My question will forever impact John.
Love and gratitude,
PS. Who are you impacting today? Post in the comments below to share your story!