"You Don’t Feel 50 When You’re 50" — 23 Things Older People Think Young Folks Don't Realize

Someone asked older internet users to share their best advice for younger people. Their answers have inspired us to approach life a bit differently.

Distractify Staff - Author

Jun. 15 2023, Published 3:47 p.m. ET

Senior man with hands clasped using laptop
Source: Getty Images

When you're young, it's easy to dismiss the advice from older people as irrelevant (and, depending on how it's given to you, kinda rude). Nobody wants to hear their Great Aunt Joyce talk about how "kids these days just don't want to work" every Thanksgiving. However, there's definitely something to be said for the fact that usually, older people have experience that younger people simply don't, and their advice might actually be useful in some cases.

Article continues below advertisement

Now, obviously, that doesn't mean that you should listen to everything an older person tells you, but Redditor u/h-gotfred unearthed some pretty fantastic advice when they posed this question older Redditors in an AskReddit post: What's something you genuinely believe young people haven't realized yet, but could enrich their lives or positively impact their outlook on life?

Here are some of the best answers they provided.

senior couple dancing on the balcony
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Marriage/relationships should be fun, and happy. Life is hard, things get tough. Find someone that makes the tough times easier, not harder. — Inevitable-Mine6466

Not everything that you disagree with deserves an argument. Pick your battles and let trivial things slide. – hail2theKingbabee

Take a genuine interest in what other people have to say, ask them follow-up questions about their passions in life. Don’t just talk about yourself, or wait for your turn to talk. That’s how you have a conversation, and build a relationship. – MayIServeYouWell

Everything you post on the internet is there forever and could come back one day to haunt you. Be careful what you post. – lylisdad

If you die, your employer will have your job posted before you are buried. Remember that one when making work/life choices. – Justin9314

Unless you don't mind hearing EEEEEEEEEEEE like all the time day and night, use hearing protection in loud situations. Tinnitus is a b----. – revnhoj

Article continues below advertisement

Just be kind. Everyone is struggling to survive and find meaning — all creatures — people and other animals. Be nice. Be considerate. – Irish8th

If you think you know what somebody else is thinking, you don't. That's just projection. – Lacriphage

Wear sunscreen. – nilecrane

Woman exercising outdoors
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Learn to eat well and exercise, or you will pay for it later. You don't have to be a health nut, but you have to move and you can't sustain yourself on junk food and live a good life. – tdellaringa

Every skill takes determined practice to master. I see my young friends/relatives try, and give up on so many things because "they weren't very good at it." If you keep doing that, you'll never be very good at anything. – EarhornJones

Putting things off to do when you're older very likely means you'll end up not doing it.

You young people have no idea how quickly your strength and stamina desert you as you age. In my thirties and forties, I used to happily do multiple-day hiking trips of 10-hour-a-day hikes up and over mountains. Now in my fifties, the last serious hike I did (which was only 6 hours), I could barely move the next day. My leg muscles were jelly.

Article continues below advertisement

One of my best holidays was a month-long hike around Switzerland, done 15 years ago. As much as I would love to do that again, I have to face the fact I likely don't have it in me anymore. But at least I did get to do it. Had I put it off to "when I retire" I would never have done it.

Also, you may well never get the opportunity to do them. About 10 years ago when I first moved to Perth, WA, a co-worker's friend was due to retire. A friend and his wife had never been overseas. As his retirement drew close he and wifey started planning a big post-retirement, 12-month European trip as their first-ever overseas adventure. A week after he retired, he dropped dead from a heart attack. – Lingering_Dorkness

Close-up of a mature woman's hands as she sits at a table writes checks
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Debt can really ruin your life. If you want to take on a lot of it, make sure you have a good plan and run it by a lot of smart people first. – vanityklaw

Fear of the future makes you ignore the present, causing you to make errors now that you will regret doing in the past. If you pay attention to the right now (mindfulness, basically), you don't make as many errors, hence you regret the past less, and no longer fear the future. Break the cycle. – scrubjays

Reading for pleasure. – invalidpassword

Two things I will be eternally grateful to my grandfather for instilling in me:

1) Failure is not an end state unless it is where you choose to stop. He loved to quote that line by Churchill whenever something didn't work out for me, Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

2) Honesty is the most powerful tool you can use to define yourself. Admit your mistake, frankly and honestly. The truth always comes out in the end no matter how big or small and it doesn't get better with age. You can give back something you steal, you can help those you hurt but once they brand you a liar, its all you will ever be. – iskandar-

Article continues below advertisement

Time. You think you have plenty of time when you’re young, but you actually don’t. All of us 50+ were your age once, and it feels like yesterday. Don’t wait to do the things you dream of, or put things off for when you get older. That just leads to regret and “what could have been” reflection as you age. – whatitbeitis

You don’t feel 50 when you’re 50. I feel 27 or 28. Change happens slowly so you don’t always notice it. – Whatever-ItsFine

Senior man setting up camera by lake, looking over shoulder
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Stop thinking your life is about being the most productive person you can be. Find interesting hobbies that make you feel good and are good for you. Your soul deserves to experience some of your own dreams, don't waste all of your time working towards the dreams of your company's owners. – Boxing_day_maddness

Nobody else ever thinks about the things you did that you think were embarrassing or cringeworthy. You are not important to them. The only one who remembers those moments is you, and you shouldn’t let them define you to yourself. – Rune_Council

If there was abuse in your childhood of any kind and no one helped, get help now. If you can’t afford therapy use online resources. They’re not the best, but still helpful. Don’t have your own children until you’re sure you won’t repeat the cycle. – JonesinforJonesey

Inheritance is not a retirement plan. – CafeTerraceAtNoon

Work hard at your job but also keep your ear open to other fields or jobs that can offer a better future. Success takes time, lots of time. Make sure that you see a path to a comfortable future. – PlantationCane

More from Distractify

Latest Human Interest News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2023 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.