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The most important life lessons we can learn

“Family comes first”, “don’t judge others” and “forgive and forget” are all pearls of wisdom picked up and taught by those who came before us. But have older generations had to learn these moral guidelines the hard way?

To find out how the nation’s over 50s have learnt some of life’s toughest lessons, the Amigo Loans team carried out an in-depth study of almost 2,000 Brits. From relationship advice to life regrets, we’ve compiled some of the most popular pieces of advice passed on from young to old. Listen up and grab a pen and paper… or should we say, mobile!

Relationship advice

According to over 50s, matters of the heart are an area where Brits have made the most mistakes, with 39 per cent saying that they had learnt loves hardest lessons. Unsurprisingly, 40 per cent of survey respondents described having children to save a relationship as one of life’s poorest choices.

Those blessed with the wisdom of years also said that when it comes to our relationships, friendship is more important than sex (37 per cent) – and that if a relationship has to remain a secret, then you shouldn’t be in it.

Learning things the hard way

Our research found that many of those surveyed had taken the long road in some shape or form. Two hundred and fifty people (from two thousand respondents) said they were unhappy with the way things had turned out in their life, with 58 per cent of today’s older generation saying that they were given the wrong advice when growing up.

A further 19 per cent also said they had learned the hard way about jobs and careers.

Health and wellbeing

While we can’t deny that the younger generation has access to far more health information than the over 50s ever had, there are still a few pearls of wisdom that the older generation wants to pass on.

Fifty four per cent of those surveyed said that looking after your teeth should be top of the younger generation’s priority list, with 24 per cent also concerned about the safety of their skin.

But it’s clear that those wise old owls have made some mistakes along the way, as 10 per cent admit that they have disregarded their health and wellbeing, with another 6 per cent confessing that they could have brought up their children better.

No regrets

But it’s not all bad news. 91 per cent of those surveyed said that, despite learning lessons the hard way, they feel stronger and more empowered. It seems that the up and downs of life are part of the learning process, with 49 per cent saying that no one is in charge of your happiness except you.

Likewise, 33 per cent said that they have taken risks and accepted challenges in their life, with almost half (45 per cent) of those in the study admitting that, despite the challenges, they would live their lives again, even if they knew what they know now.

In fact, 25 per cent of the older generation admit to being extremely content with life, saying that they are very happy with how their life has turned out. 60 per cent said they are ‘quite happy’.

Here are a few other pearls of wisdom passed on from old to young: