Life Lessons from Lillian

 Life Lessons from Lillian

Last week I had an amazing experience.

While grocery shopping, I had an exchange with a lady named Lillian who was doing her shopping from a motorized cart. She shared with me that she was 91 years old (plus one month), and had all her “marbles”. She certainly does, and then some.

I was shocked.  Her eyes were bright and clear, her voice strong, and she had a wicked sense of humor.  She exuded life force.

What is the secret, I asked her, to being so vital at that age?

Her answer blew me away in its forthrightness, clarity and simplicity.  I paraphrase:

“When I was in my 80’s,” she said, “I identified three things that must be done daily, and after I turned 90, I added a fourth.”

Wow. What were these things that could help to sustain such energy, such engagement, such vitality, at such an age.  I wanted to know.

So, I asked her, and  this is what she said:


“Every day you have to learn something new.”


“Every day, and the most important one, you have to have humor, and you have to spread humor.”


“Every day you have to do a good deed, even if you only pick up a piece of trash and throw it away.”


“And then I added a fourth one; every day you have to be thankful for something.”

And she added…

“Now, if you can do all four of those before 9:00 in the morning, then you can screw up for the rest of the day.”

(Like I said, this lady  packs in a wicked sense of humor…)

Thank you Lillian, for doing the good deed of teaching me something new, with great humor, and endowing me with the spirit of thankfulness.  I won’t forget you, nor your life lessons. May you live long, and prosper, practicing your four  maxims every day, and inspiring us to do the same.