45 Life Lessons, Written by a 90 Year Old

Life lessons

As we travel through life, are we learning any lessons along the way?


The following list was compiled, not by a 90-year-old as the title suggests, but a 45-year-old-woman. The author expanded her lessons learned at 50 by adding an additional five. After reading through these valuable life lessons, read the story (and attribution confusion) behind the list below.

45 Life Lessons

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties; Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose Life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

Here are the five Ms. Brett added at 50:

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

The title of this post is the story that has circulated on the internet for years– that a 90-year-old woman wrote out this list in attempt to share her wisdom. There was even an image of an older woman attached as an attribution. This list, however, was written by Regina Brett when she turned 45. At 50 she added five more lessons. The award-winning writer has said the article with this list is the most requested and shared of all her writing. Regina states on her website she is happy the message has reached so many, but only asks she be attributed for the list.

Image credit: HaoJan Chang

 Tell me: what life lessons have you learned?







9 responses to “45 Life Lessons, Written by a 90 Year Old”

  1. What a fabulous list, I really need to start living by these! Thanks for sharing

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      You are welcome. I was inspired by this list as well.

  2. I’m not big into self reflection or inspirational sayings but there really is a lot of truth in this list. I would not even be able to pick my favorites from this list, every time I read it again a different one speaks to me.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      That’s great! I am glad the list resonated for you. Thank you for visiting.

  3. Love this list! So glad you were able to attribute it to the original source. I’m clipping it to my Evernote — it’s chock full of writing stimuli!

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      It really is an inspiring piece. I think there are a lot of blog posts in the making for me as well.

  4. Love it! Thank you for sharing this list. I should and will print it and put it on my real life pin board (not just Pinterest) :)

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      I really connected with this list as well. I did the research to give proper attribution and was excited to share with readers.

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