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4 Powerful Motivational Lessons to Learn from the Older Generation

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When you encounter a challenge, you may tend to think it’s best to embrace what’s new, rather than learning from what has come before.

However, as you’ll see from examples below, some people from past generations struggled with familiar difficulties, but they have used the power of words to teach timeless lessons.

Never Doubt You Have the Power to Change Things

If you’re not satisfied with an aspect of society, work hard to change it. Margaret Mead was a cultural anthropologist who was mostly active in the 1960s and 70s.

She urged, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Making a difference might be something as simple as working with an environmental supply company to sell supplies that support environmental research and sustainability, or it may involve going to a marriage equality rally if you want to speak out in favor of that issue.

Whatever you believe in, you don’t have to wait until you have a huge crowd of support behind you before taking action.

Be Yourself

If you’re like most people, your goal is to live life in a way that makes you feel proud. If that sometimes seems hard, call to mind a quote from President Ronald Reagan, who said, “I hope when you are my age, you’ll be able to say, as I have been able to say:

We lived in freedom. Our lives were a statement, not an apology.”

More recently, in the early 90s, a famous tagline from the stage musical Rent was “Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.”

In both cases, the encouragement is clear. Don’t waste time wondering what others will think.

Stand up for your actions and have faith to confidently move forward in whatever you do.

Look for Ways to Help

Because of our busy modern lifestyles, it can be tempting to use every spare minute as “me time” rather than reaching out to others. However, one of the most famous quotes from President John F. Kennedy is “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

That should serve as a constant reminder of how rewarding it is to use your time to assist others.

You might decide to spend an evening a week tutoring someone as they struggle to learn English after immigrating to the United States from a war-torn country.

You might start volunteering at a soup kitchen or help a friend fix their car. No matter what you choose to do, don’t be surprised if you start noticing benefits almost immediately.

Always Focus on the Future

When describing his attitude on the ice, famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky said, “I skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” You don’t have to be an athlete to read between the lines.

This statement is letting us know it’s usually not very beneficial to fixate on the past.

Although these notable quotes are from people who succeeded in the past, it’s not hard to see why people will likely continue to gain hope from them throughout the ages.

Commit them to memory and draw from their wisdom whenever things seem bleak.

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