4 Stars – Inspiring
Lives Well Lived may be a documentary, but it is also a love story. It is an inspirational look at what makes for a memorable life from the perspectives of a dozen people who range in age from 75 to 103 years old.
What makes you happy? What has been the most important contribution to your well-being? These are the questions that we all ask ourselves, but few know for certain that at the end of our life whether or not we will still have the same answer. Here are a remarkable similar set of summations that make the rest of us realize that much of what we fuss about as important, is in the end “nothing about nothing.”
What lessons can we learn from these dynamic elders? First, “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”. Life has major moments that shape us, but we spend 90% of our energy on the things that in the end really don’t count. Write down the things that matter to you and focus on them every day.
Secondly, “Enjoy Each Day With Gratitude”. To quote Irving Berlin, “Count your blessings, count them one by one.” Every time you feel down about anything, remember what you DO have.
Third, “Keep Active – always have a reason to look forward to tomorrow”. Make each day count. Make a list of the things that need to be done to help someone else, and attack it as if it were your life’s work.
I knew a woman who worked as a volunteer for a world relief organization in my town who drove herself to work every day – and spent most of the time there cheering everyone up! She didn’t stop going to work until she was past 105 years old! On the other hand, I’ve had too many colleagues who died within five years of their retirement in their 60’s because they had lost their sense of purpose.
Fourth, “Speak something positive into others’ lives”. One gentleman spent every day knocking on doors of other seniors just to speak a good word into their daily routine and to give them human contact. Nothing leads to our emotional demise greater than having no one who cares about you resulting in no human touch.
Lives Well Lived was created and filmed by Sky Bergman, and I was surprised when I actually knew one of the people in the film. Whether you know them, or not, their stories will make you laugh and make you cry. Most of all, they will convince you that you want to be like them!
- How many of these words of counsel do you already follow in your life? What are you going to add?
- The “attitude of gratitude” is a life of giving thanks. To whom do you give thanks?
- How many of your older friends live lives that flourish? Can you identify the reasons in both those who do and those who do? What list would you make?