Joey Concepcion, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RFM Corporation, and one of the founders of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship has a regular column in the Philippine Star where he writes about successful Filipino entrepreneurs. In his June 28, 2012 column, he deviates from this norm and shares an email he got containing words of wisdom on aging gracefully. Excerpts from his article:
Sixtyish and going on strong… (translated from original Chinese)
There are many 1,000-year old trees in the mountain, but not many 100-year-old people.
At the most, only one in 100,000 people will live to be 100 years old.
So, if you are now 60 years old, if you live until you are:
90, you only have 30 years more;
80, you only have 20 years more;
70, you have only 10 years more.
Because you don’t have many years to live, and you can’t bring anything with you when you die, you don’t have to be too thrifty. Spend wisely the money that should be spent, enjoy what should be enjoyed, donate what you are able to donate, and don’t leave everything to your children or grandchildren, for you don’t want them to become parasites.
Don’t worry about what will happen after you are gone because when you return to dust, you will feel nothing about criticisms or praises. Don’t worry too much about your children for children will have their own destiny and find their own way. Don’t be your children’s slave.
Don’t expect too much from your children. Caring children would be too busy with their jobs and commitments to render any help. Uncaring children will fight over your assets even when you are still alive, and wish for your early demise so they can inherit your possessions. Your children may take for granted that they are rightful heirs to your wealth, but they really have no claims to your money, neither do you have any claim to theirs.
Don’t trade in your health for wealth because no amount of money can buy good health.
When should you stop making money, and how much is enough – hundreds, thousands, one million, 10 million? Remember that out of 1,000 hectares of good farmland, you can only consume three quarts (of rice) daily; and if you have a mansion of several thousand square meters, depending upon your size, height and weight, you can actually occupy only eight square meters of space to rest at night.
So as long as you have enough food and enough money to spend, that is good enough.
You should live happily. Every person and every family has its own problems. Do not compare yourself or your family with others. To compare yourself, your children, your family with others is foolish. Fame, fortune, and social status do not really bring true happiness, good health, or longevity. It does not help to worry about things that you can’t change; worrying about them will only spoil your health.
Create your own level of well-being and happiness. Try your best to always be in a good mood and to have happy thoughts. Do things daily, which give you fun and happiness, then you will pass your time happily every day. There is no certainty that everyday will be a happy one but every day of happiness is one day gained; sometimes you gain and win, sometimes you lose. Having a “good spirit” cures sickness, cures sickness fast, and even prevents sickness from coming to you.
To have good health and happy life, get a suitable amount of daily exercise, exposure to the sun, variety of healthy food, reasonable amount of vitamins and minerals. Hopefully, you have 20, 30, or even more happy and healthy years ahead of you!