What Do You Hope You’ll Still Know at 50?

We all know that old saying, “I wish I knew then, what I know now.” There are certainly instances when we can all look back on our crazy teen years and shake our heads, imagining how different life would have been if we were all as life-savvy then as we are now. But as young professionals (YPs), living in such a poignant period of our lives, we would like to think that this mentality won’t continue to follow us as we age. We’d like to think that today we are developing skills and beliefs that will stay with us and will continue benefitting us for a lifetime. So we’ve flipped that old adage around and instead asked fellow YPs, “What do you hope you’ll still know when you are older?” In other words, what knowledge, skills, and beliefs about life, love, and work do young professionals hope to remain holding onto as we age? Check out this rich list of responses that we’ve collected from a variety of YPs from across the country: 

“When I am 50, I hope that I will still believe that life is to be savoured, the good and the bad. I hope that I will continue to get out of the box, out of my comfort zone, and enjoy life on my terms.”
– Matt, strategic development consultant, 31, Victoria

“I want to still be eager to take on new challenges, to always be the person who is bringing people to new levels of experience in the restaurant and bar business. I also hope to always have a great wife and family to help keep my feet on the ground and balance in my life.”
– Ian, restaurant & bar owner, 34, Montreal   

“I have learned over the years that telling someone that they are wrong never leads to anything positive, and I hope to still know that at 50.”
– Ann, general manager, 35, Toronto

“Something I hope to never forget is the importance of continual education, through courses, seminars, etc. My business is constantly changing and you can never know enough.”
– Brent, commercial real estate leasing manager, 32, Montreal

“I hope to continue on with the same drive of my youth. It’s easy to forget the original spark that ignited a career. It’s easy to be jaded. I hope to always celebrate the love and joy of being an artist, to maintain the courage required for the passionate path.”
– Rebecca, photographer/producer, 34, Toronto

“One thing I hope to remember is that time spent with family will always be more valuable than time spent working. Hopefully I can look back at 50 and know I did my best to live that thought.”
– Miles, regional director, 40, Winnipeg

“I hope at 50 I still know that it’s important to achieve a work/life balance.”
– Deidre, TV producer, 33, Toronto

“What I hope I still know at 50 is also what I wished I knew at 16: that family is a support system that I should never take for granted and that nothing else should take precedent. Also, that true friends will always be your friends and that time and distance won’t change the connection you share. At 50 I don’t want to think that life experiences have made me a different person, but rather they have made me into the person I always knew I was.”
– Amber, elementary school teacher, 30, Halifax/Vancouver  

“I hope I will still know what is relevant in my business, and will still have the knowledge and capability to open a new place if I wanted.”
– Nik, restaurant & bar owner, 46, Winnipeg

“I take pleasure in knowing that the work I do has a positive impact on the companies we work with, and feeling like you make a difference is a nice thought that I hope doesn’t go away.”
– Jason, online marketing professional, 31, Toronto  

“(I hope I’ll still know) that people do business with people, not with businesses; with people they know, like and, more importantly, trust.”
– Scotty, director of business development, 35, Winnipeg

“I hope I’ll keep wanting to learn, to be the best I can be at my profession, and in my personal life, to be patient, strong, and supportive.”
– Billie, interior decorator, 38, Vernon

“I want to be able to carry over that dressing room camaraderie into whatever other positions I take on in the future, and I hope that I’ll still have that same amount of passion that I have now.”
– Brandon, professional athlete, 32, Montreal 

“I want to always keep learning. Sometimes we get comfortable in a routine and in our way of doing things, but it’s always good to shake things up and be open to the input of others.”
– Cosette, small business owner/operator, 32, Winnipeg

“As we age, we always become wiser, and in doing so we look back and tend to see things as mistakes rather than learning experiences and growth. If you become aware of this habit, you can look back and notice areas of your life where you’ve improved rather than failed or fell short. At 50 I hope to still recognize when this habit is recurring.”
– Steve, president, 23, Montreal

“I hope I will still be enjoying every period of my life, while embracing education, ambition, and the constant desire to be wiser, hard working, and always striving to get better.”
– Natalia, business owner/developer, 24, Montreal

Overall, it appears that many Canadian YPs hope to continue holding onto their current beliefs regarding the importance of lifelong learning and of family time. Many also emphasize a hope for sustained passion for work, life, and for perfecting a balance within each. Whatever you hope you’ll still know at 50, we hope that when you reach that stage you’ll be able to look back on your YP years with satisfaction and pride.