10 Realizations I Want My Grandchildren to Know

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late, or in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. You can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

Brad Pitt’s leading role, Benjamin in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, wrote this letter to his daughter, sharing the openness life can portray if you choose it. It’s fascinating how a handful of words can change your life. We carry ourselves every day with the intent of living; but what does that really mean to each individual?

With the desire to pass along something tangible, a number of lists of realizations seniors had before they were about to die were created; giving thought and hope to those who will listen. We’ve included ten of our favorite.

Don’t spend too much time working. Choose work that is meaningful.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of opportunities and accomplishments. Don’t forget to ask yourself what is important to you and what you will have to compromise. Find a balance that communicates what you want to make a priority.

Spend more quality time with loved ones. Stay in touch with friends.

Learn and choose to be picky with people. Don’t waste time on those who hinder your growth. Surround yourself with people who support who you are and encourage who you want to become.

Be happy.

Let yourself be happier. Happiness is always a choice. Your environment shapes who you are, so make it one you want. You can’t control what other people do, but you can choose how you interpret your feelings, how you respond, and whether you enter or exist other people’s lives.

Don’t let others create your dreams and aspirations.

Discover your craft and dedicate your life to it. If you want to be successful at anything in life, never leave the sight of your goals without doing something that commits you to fulfillment. Become obsessed with ideas you have a vision for. Some of the best ideas live in the graveyard. Never lose imagination. Prove to yourself that your dreams and ideas are worth it.

Express real feelings.

Speak your mind. You will never get that moment back. Being vulnerable is difficult, but worthwhile. You can control your actions and speak the truth. Once you reveal the truth, it can become the biggest release. It’s not worth having suppressed feelings weigh you down. No matter what your feelings are, they are valid and deserve to be heard.

Worry less about what others think.

If others are going to judge a book by its cover, don’t give significance to their judgment because they aren’t willing to read it from start to finish.

Don’t let people affect what’s important to you. The most important element to recognize is never let yourself get in the way of what is important to you.

Instead, put your focus on the other side of the coin. Turn doubt or insecurities into a challenge. A challenge should make you certain of your potential that much more. Know your worth.

Have the courage to live truthfully.

Don’t let your eyes wonder. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by others’ passions, desperations, and frustrations.

Choose your own true self. Don’t leave people guessing and questioning who you are. Betrayal begins with oneself.

Take matters into your own hands. No one is holding you back but you. Don’t take for granted the freedom of choice you have to create a life you’re proud of. Speak the truth to yourself first.

Take more risks.

Don’t think twice. Fear is something only you bring to life that, in return, creates restrictions on exactly that – life. Instead of fear of failure or fear of being seen, be mindful of pursuing the “what if”.


Choose a life full of stories to tell and not stuff to show. Leave your eyes open and your primary perspective behind. Acknowledge the situation, feel the existence of your surroundings and understand the importance of it. Understanding more than one way of thinking will guide you to what you want.

Living in the present.

What you put out into the world is what you will receive. Be true to yourself in the moment. A moment can change your life, and you decide what that is.

I dare you. I dare you to live a life you’ve always wanted. I dare you to create the impossible. Throw all excuses, limitations and fears out the window. Choose the life you want to live right now. Don’t leave yourself dwelling on what could have been. Nothing is guaranteed, unless you make it.