What Are Your Life’s Happiest Moments?

If you look back on your life, which moments would you count as your happiest? What would be your biggest regrets?

time to evaluateThat’s the intriguing question online insurance company Beagle Street asked 1000 “life experts” aged 70 or older to mark the release of a new heartwarming, short four-minute film called “Happiest Moment.”

The film is produced by BAFTA-nominated Gary Tarn and features some of UK’s oldest couples – including Maurice and Helen Kaye from Bournemouth, who are 102 and 101 and have been married for 80 years.

Fascinating stuff, right? What did the older generation say and would you agree with their answers?

The Happiest Moments in Life

Happiest momentsPerhaps not surprisingly, the top three best moments in life the participants listed were the birth of their first child, their wedding day, and the birth of their grandchildren.

Other happiest moments included the day of retirement, moving into a new home, meeting the man or woman of their dreams, the first kiss with the person they love, and watching their child’s first steps and hearing their first words.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, the subsequent births of siblings rated number four on the list of happiest moments. As the oldest of four, maybe I feel just a bit smug about that.

One woman described the joy she felt seeing her wounded husband in a hospital during World War II as one of her happiest moments in one of the touching interviews that might have you dabbing your eyes.

What noticeably did not make the top ten on their list were any career-related achievements or anything to do with material gains. Obviously, job promotions and buying a fancy car were not as important as loving relationships.

We can learn from that, folks.

Regrets in Life

Interestingly, more than half the people questioned said they had absolutely no regrets in life.

The most common regret of those that had them was choosing the wrong career and not pursuing lifelong dreams.

Also in the top five were getting divorced and getting married too soon. One in ten of those with regrets wished they had worked harder in school and seven per cent regretted not traveling the world more.

old manAdvice from Life Experts

The short film, Happiest Moment, includes advice from the older generation aimed at the younger ones. What wisdom from their experience in life did they want to pass on to the generation following them?

The number one piece of advice was to never take the people you love for granted.

Other top pearls of wisdom were “believe in yourself,” “nothing worth having comes easy,” and
“don’t hold grudges.”

What Can We Learn?

Since it’s scientifically proven that happier people live longer, we should take some notes.

What makes life matter when you look back?

Me – I would agree with most of their choices. The primary difference is that I would include the day I got baptized and dedicated my life to God on my list of happiest moments. After that, I would definitely include the day I met and married my husband, our first kiss, and the births of my children and grandchildren at the top of my list.

Clearly, relationships with those we love are more important than money and the key to contentment according to this study of older people in Britain who were looking back at the high points in their lives.

Matthew Gledhill, managing director of Beagle Street, put it well when he said: “The overwhelming message from those with the most life experience is that the key to happiness is to worry less and live in the moment with the people you care about most.”

Still living in the moment, one 80-year-old woman said, “I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.”

True, this study is not exactly scientific and gives us a limited snapshot of happiness, but it supports countless research that suggests family relationships and social connections overrides career or monetary success when it comes to happiness and life satisfaction.

In other words, counting your blessings instead of your material gains will definitely give more meaning to your life at the end of the day.

How about you? Do you agree with their list of life’s most fulfilling and joyful moments? I’d love to know. If you’re so inclined, tell me what you would include on your list in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Stuart Miles, kangshutters, and taoty at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

16 thoughts on “What Are Your Life’s Happiest Moments?

  1. Michele

    I agree with the happy moments. The birth of my children is one of my happiest moments. I wish I had known the red flags of a relationship, though. I probably wouldn’t have married who I did. Of course, my kids might not have been born then. I have now been divorced for over 10 years. Another happy moment is publishing my first book, but the regret is I didn’t pursue my writing dream sooner. But I am now!

    Reply
  2. Jessica Sweet

    Hi Julie! This makes so much sense, and in truth it’s not surprising. Why, then do we get so caught up in the things that we think are important at the time but truly aren’t? Why can’t we have perspective in the moment that something isn’t important to our overall life happiness? I hope they do a follow up on that!

    Reply
    1. juliegorges Post author

      Good points! When we are caught in the moment stressing about something that really isn’t important, we should all ask – will this matter to me in five or 10 years? And what’s the worse thing that can happen? If the answer isn’t death, we should move on. But why is it so hard to keep perspective in the moment – that is an excellent question and a battle we all face.

      Reply
  3. Marquita Herald

    Inspiring post Julie … although I have to admit my most memorable moments don’t really match those outlined, with one exception. I DO vividly remember that all important first kiss! Living in the Islands I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many different cultures and a large part of that is having the opportunity to learn from the kupuna (elders). They are a rich and cherished resource and I feel fortunate to live in a place that recognizes that.

    Reply
  4. Michael Gray

    I enjoyed this post on happiness–that rare gift from beyond.

    The Indian sage, Shantideva, put it in a way that rings true:

    “All joy in this world comes from wanting others to be happy, and all suffering in this world comes from wanting only oneself to be happy.”

    Reply
  5. Diane Topkis

    Julie, I’ll be visiting my 85 yr old mother next week. This has inspired me to ask her what her happiest moments have been. I’m sure I know some but have never asked her directly. As for me, certainly birthing my son and seeing him grow to be successful and happily married and primarily, that’s he’s grown into a really good person. Very few regrets – even a failed marriage is not a regret since I got my son and now have a man I adore. It all made me who I am today.

    Reply
    1. juliegorges Post author

      What a great idea! We should all ask older family members to share their happiest moments with us. And thanks for sharing your personal happiest moments as well!

      Reply
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