Advice From Your 100 Year-Old Self: Coaching questions to help you access the wisdom and insight of a centenarian

22 May 2014 by in Lifestyle

by Jackee Holder, author of Be your own best life coach.

If you had the fabulous opportunity to meet and spend time with a centenarian what question would you ask them?

Last week I had the good fortune to visit an old neighbour who lived across the road from the house I spent most of my childhood and teenage years in. Mrs Jones as I called her back then lives in the same house we found her living in with her family when we moved in across the road in 1965.

My visit coincided with her 101st birthday – unbelievable. I love it that she is a Taurean just like me; my birthday was on Sunday of this week. When I arrived she was walking about – not puttering – in her immaculate upstairs living room which is still stuffed with floor to ceiling cabinets full of every possible kind of souvenir you can imagine, spanning almost the same number of years she has lived.

We sat down on her sofa like two old friends. It’s amazing how age and time closes the gaps between you and the people who were adults when you were growing up. I loved that nothing about her had changed since we last met. She has all of her faculties and senses fully functioning. She was wearing an ice blue jacket and skirt suit (she always knew style) and kept pulling on her wig and asking me if it looked okay before she posed for shots with me.

If you had been eavesdropping outside the door you would have heard us hollering with laughter as she filled me with gossip (as she regularly did when I was a child) and you would have seen her face beaming with delight when I presented her with a huge bunch of flowers for her birthday.

On the way home I found myself deep in thought. Really, to live past a hundred in this day and age is nothing short of a miracle. In her presence I could feel her wisdom that surely is awarded with centenarian age and maturity. That’s why I’ve chosen the following coaching questions. Not many of us will reach the grand age of the centenarians of this era but we can still access the wisdom and insight the centenarian may have for our own lives.

Have a go at asking your 100 year-old self what advice they would give you about transforming: 

  • Your life right now;
  • Your work/career;
  • A significant or challenging relationship.

 If you had to live your life over again what would your 100 year-old self advise you to do:

  •  Differently;
  • Less of;
  • More of;
  • The same.

If your 100 year old self could tell you how to make right your biggest life regret what would he/she advise you to do? 

If he/she granted you a wish to make the next ten years your best years yet, what would the next ten years look like? 


Here we are posing for the camera. My time with her reminded me that life can be short or life can be long so either way we’d better aim to do it right. And by that I mean live the life that has your name on it. In the words of the novelist and writer Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

Be your own best life coach