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The One Thing You Need to Do Today, Tomorrow and Every Single Day: Life Lessons from My 103-Year-Old Grandma

A few years ago, my grandma, Auril, turned 103… and she’s been a huge inspiration to me!

Her joy, vibrancy and love for the people around her have made her a role model for me and my entire family…

And after over a century on the planet, I wanted to get her take on things she’s experiencing in today’s world which is so very different from the world she was born in!

Plus I wanted to share some of her wisdom and life lessons with you 🙂

Here’s what she said…

What’s your first memory?

When I was 3, I loved the boy next door. He was a nice kid. He did what I wanted him to and we got along fine!

What did you do as a family?

We would go riding around the countryside a lot… I had a very pleasant childhood.

What was life like for you, when you were young?

I had lots of friends 🙂 I remember my mother made all of my clothes when I was in grade school and in high school she did the same thing so I didn’t have new clothes from the store. I wish I did but I didn’t!

What was the best time in history?

When the war ended, that was the best time.

What happened to the family during the Depression?

We lost our business, we lost our home. We moved to a field and set up a tent and we really enjoyed living in that tent all summer. We felt free. It was so nice… and it was fun too!

What do you miss most about your childhood?

I miss having the whole family together. When we were all together it was wonderful… we played games and we had so much fun. We loved each other.

What brought you happiness?

Having the family together brought me more happiness than anything else.

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with us?

Make good decisions and be a good person… be good to people every day of your life.

What do you want to do with your remaining years?

All I want to do is make people happy.

Are you scared of death?

No, I’m not because it happens to everybody and I know I don’t have any control over it.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who did a lot of good.


So, I’m not sure if I’ll live to be 103 like my grandma but I know I’m not waiting that long to do the things that matter…

Spend time with the people I love, make the best of things, have fun, make people happy, do good and be good to people every day of my life.

How about you? How can you make time for the things and the people that matter to you? How can you make someone happy, do good and be good to someone today?

Share your thoughts and comments below… I read and personally reply to each one 🙂

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Eduardo Avatar

    I love it

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      <3 <3 <3

  2. Jim Avatar

    Brilliant! Much thanks for that heart felt video. Infinite wisdom in those words…….

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      It’s amazing how much wisdom you can wrack up over 103 years on the planet! 🙂

  3. Robin Hardy Avatar
    Robin Hardy

    Your grandma is absolutely beautiful. What an amazing legacy and inspiration you have with her. Thank you for sharing a bit of her with us all.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Aww thanks Robin! She is a beautiful woman…

  4. Nguyen Avatar

    I love it for her and for you.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks Nguyen!

  5. Susan Rasmusen Avatar
    Susan Rasmusen

    It’s so wonderful to have this time with your grandmother. It’s priceless! My immediate family (dad, mom, brother and sister) immigrated from Denmark and I often wonder what it would have been like to be surrounded by family. Love, love your grandmothers memories! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Family truly is priceless Susan. I hope you get to visit from time to time…

  6. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
    Marisa Murgatroyd


  7. Wasajja Francis Uganda Avatar
    Wasajja Francis Uganda

    Wow! Its great memory to have such people we learn a lot from them, me too I have great grandma turning 105 in November but when I listen to her life time, its amazing

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Wow! 105…what an awesome life! We can learn so much from our elders <3

  8. Francis wasajja Uganda Avatar
    Francis wasajja Uganda

    Wow! It’s great to such people, we learn a lot from them, me too I have great Grandma turning 105 in November but when I listen to her life time story its amazing

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Wow! 105…what an awesome life! We can learn so much from our elders <3

    2. Ricardo Cruz Avatar
      Ricardo Cruz

      It’s how I live my life daily as a Pisces, Aquarius, Libra.

  9. Urab Doleng Avatar
    Urab Doleng

    I just love her simplicity.

    1. Shannon Goodell Avatar
      Shannon Goodell

      Thank you, Urab! Marisa definitely appreciates it!

  10. Patti Panara Avatar
    Patti Panara

    Wow, the joy of your Grandmas really comes through! I can practically see her hanging out with family enjoying every moment. She sounds like a real People Person.

    One thing that struck me is how she described (pretty matter-of-factly), that during the Depression her family lost their business, and they ALSO lost their home. Not just one devastating event, but TWO, coming right on top of each other. And she would’ve been a child at that time. Can you even imagine dealing with such a double whammy? To the point where you and your family go out to the countryside for the summer and LIVE IN A TENT?

    But that isn’t the most important part. What’s amazing (and INSPIRING!) to me as that she recalls it as a FUN time, that summer they spent in the countryside living in a tent. Like it was this cool adventure.

    That really proves to me that most of our happiness in life is derived from our ATTITUDE toward it. It is really the SECRET to living a good life, it’s the secret sauce, the magic key. Two people can be having exactly the same experience, and one is miserable, the other filled with joy. Attitude MATTERS. It matters a LOT. It comes into play with our health, our relationships, our success on just about every level.

    Thank you, Marisa, for sharing your Grandma with us! I hope we can absorb the lessons she’s teaching, and has lived with her whole being. Ones I’m sure you’re continuing to impart today.

    Nice to meet you Grandma Auril!

    1. Shannon Avatar

      Awww… thank you so much for the heartfelt reply, Patti! Marisa appreciates it so, so much!

  11. Abdul Avatar

    Her response on how she wish to be remembered as someone who did good caught my attention . Pls do let us know her secret to living longer. Many thank for sharing, Marisa

    1. Shannon Avatar

      Thank you for the love, Abdul! Marisa greatly appreciates it!

  12. Eleni Avatar

    Marisa, I am grateful for your sharing! What a wonderful woman! Filled with both love and wisdom. Having such a grandmother is a blessing. I cherish the memories of my grandmother, too. I had the good fortune of having my grandmother, my mother, and my mother’s grandmother (my nona) attend my wedding in 1980! Our hearts are filled with these precious moments, just like your’s with your grandmother.

    1. Shannon Avatar

      Awww… thank you so much, Eleni! Marisa appreciates it more than you know!

  13. Gill Avatar

    Your grandma is a wise lady – if only everyone could have a loving family to surround them, how much better would this world be?
    Thanks for sharing. This is such a lovely read, would you mind if I shared it on my website?

    1. Shannon Avatar

      How very true, Gill! Thank you for the love… Marisa appreciates it! Feel free to share! 🙂

  14. CarolAnn Avatar

    So simple but inspiring! Love it. Sometimes we try to make things too complex and it’s not necessary.

    1. Shannon Avatar

      Thank you so much, CarolAnn! Marisa appreciates the love!

  15. Andie Ferman Avatar
    Andie Ferman

    I love this- as one of my greatest fears is regret… to have lived a life that I love and to go all in, to do it, to be the change I want to see. To be bold and loving and free and joyful and prosperous and to help those around me see that it is possible! To living the dream and being all that we can be!

    1. Shannon Avatar

      Love this, Andie! Thank you for sharing… I know Marisa greatly appreciates it!

  16. Dr. Allen Darbonne Avatar
    Dr. Allen Darbonne

    Love it, and love how you are being in the world Marisa–the way that you come from your heart, soul and intelligence. I am grateful for what you contribute to so many in the world. Happy Thanksgiving, Dr. Allen

    1. Shannon Avatar

      Hi Dr. Allen, thank you so much for the love! Marisa appreciates it greatly! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Brioné LaThrop Avatar
    Brioné LaThrop

    What an incredible gift, to have that level of clarity and be able to share a centuries worth of living. But to distill it down to the most important thing, being good to others. Thank you for sharing your grandmother and her wisdom!

    1. Shannon Avatar

      Thank you so much for the love! I know Marisa greatly appreciates it! 🙂

  18. Maya Shaw Gale Avatar
    Maya Shaw Gale

    Marisa, your grandma radiates pure love! You are so fortunate to have her still very much alive and sharing her simple wisdom with you. I love and share her mission of trying tp offer loving kindness to people around me every day!

    1. Shannon Avatar

      Thank you, Maya! Marisa greatly appreciates the love!

  19. Curtis Graham Avatar
    Curtis Graham

    Since you share Marisa, I will share what my grandfather (born 1895) advised me. He had been a country schoolteacher for 22 years before he turned to farming. My maternal grandparents raised me through high school and early college on their farm.
    1. Don’t live a life of complaining.
    2. Always have a backup plan to fall back on.
    3. With knowledge and intelligence, you gain wisdom.
    4. Trust God to follow you around, clearing the path for you to follow.

    I still at age 86 follow his rules of life.

    1. Shannon Avatar

      So amazing, Curtis! Thank you for sharing… Marisa appreciates your wisdom so much!

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