30 Lessons for Living

30 Lessons for Living

Tried and True Advice form The Wisest Americans

Finding purpose and fulfillment. Staying happily married for life. Raising children who turn out well. Discovering work you love. Growing older gracefully and without anxiety. Avoiding major regrets. Where can we find the practical guidance to help us accomplish these things? Renowned gerontologist Karl Pillemer has discovered a unique and previously untapped source of advice for living well: America’s elders. 

The result is an inspirational advice book like no other, filled with wisdom and tested strategies for happier and healthier living. Dr. Pillemer spent five years asking more than a thousand Americans over the age of sixty-five to share their advice for living with the younger generation. From these personal recollections of difficulties overcome and lives well lived, he has discovered thirty key lessons that form a powerful plan for living –   principles anyone can follow. Along the way, Pillemer reflects on the lessons of these “wisest Americans,” viewing them in terms of his own quest for wisdom and his training as a social scientist.

Each lesson is illustrated with fascinating anecdotes from these experts on living, providing tips and strategies you can use every day. You will learn from the hard-won insights and rich experiences of older Americans from all walks of life. Some fought valiantly for their country, others escaped the Holocaust, survived the Great Depression, or made their way out of poverty. Having survived and thrived through hard times, in this book they come together to teach us all how make the most of our lives. 

As useful as it is inspiring, 30 Lessons for Living will help you learn how to live without regret, persevere through loss, find fulfillment, and age fearlessly and well

“As he dispenses concrete, practical advice on how to make the most of our lives, Cornell gerontologist Pillemer turns for answers to our elders—those he believes are the experts, with the enormous advantage of life experience, whose limits have been tested by illness, danger, failure, oppression, and loss. His approximately 1,000 Americans age 65 and older from around the country and many walks of life share personal memories to explain what is important for a long, happy marriage: for instance, marrying someone a lot like yourself, trying to give more than you want to get out of the relationship, and learning how to fight are key… Giving familiar advice a new spin by mining the rich resource of older Americans, Pillemer offers a refreshing, smart wakeup call about getting your priorities straight and living right.”

Publisher’s Weekly

30 Lessons for Living, a book of sage advice from over 1,000 older Americans of all backgrounds. Karl Pillemer, the author and a professor of gerontology at Cornell, spent five years interviewing a diverse cross-section of seniors on life, love, work and faith. My grandmother would strongly agree with much of the collected wisdom, particularly the adage that happiness is a choice and that a practice of gratitude is intrinsic to being happy.”

Chelsea Clinton

“Thank you, Dr. Pillemer, for gathering all this wisdom in one book before it is lost. I can’t imagine anyone whose life will not be enriched by this book.”

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

“This is a fabulous book! Karl Pillemer has done an incredible job of bringing together the collective wisdom of hundreds of Americans into an entertaining, thought provoking, and practical book. Give it a read. You will find yourself getting out of bed in the morning with new enthusiasm”

Matthew Kelly, author of The Rhythm of Life and Off Balance

“Thank you, Karl Pillemer, for taking the time to collect such a valuable trove of wisdom, and sharing it with us.”

Hal Urban, author of Life's Greatest Lessons

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