Art Linkletter The Four Life Lessons from the 95 Years Young

It is not about how old are you; it is how you are old?

Art Linkletter is living proof of his quote and was a true delight at the Seminar of the Century. The host of two of the longest-running shows in the US broadcast history: House Party (25 years) and People Are Funny for 19 years, at the age of 95, Art is engaging, high energy and full of a great and positive outlook on life.  He was a great inspiration for all of us regardless of our age.  Art has written 23 books, is the winner of two Emmy Awards, one Grammy Award, and been awarded 10 honorary doctorate degrees. 

I have to admit that I really did not know who Art Linkletter was before he came on stage.  A gentleman (in his fifties) who was sitting right next to me was surprised that Art was still alive.  But it didn’t matter.  Within minutes, Art had all of us captivated.  His energy and positive outlook on life was exuberating.

Seeing Art on stage, you know he is having fun.   He was sitting on a high stool and he told everyone that he was not going to make a speech, but simply having a conversation with 2,000 of us.  He started his talk by making fun of himself noting that at least he doesn’t have to worry about dying young.  He told the audience that he intentionally asked his agent to book a speaking engagement for him in 2012 so he knows he wouldn’t miss his 100th birthday.

Art was born in Saskatchewan, Canada and never met his birth parents.  At the age of three, he was adopted by a preacher and his wife from Southern California.  Art said he was very lucky growing up in warm California instead of cold Canada.  He was making fun of his experience being the preacher’s kid saying his father always prayed before each meal for so long that that he never tasted a warm meal before he was 14.

Art said:  If you want to ask for advice from someone who is 95 years old, here is what I am going to tell you…

Lesson One – Work Hard  

“I met many smart fellows in my life and most of them always wanted to take shortcuts. See… life takes hard work. I work hard and I work harder than anyone else.  Hard work always pays off.”

Lesson Two – Pick a mentor 

“I have three great mentors in my life:  Walt Disney, Henry Kaiser and Bob Hope.  Be friends with people whom you admire and can learn from.  Many old folks want to help out younger people.  I learned a great deal from Walt Disney.  He helped me in many ways throughout my career and gave me many great advice and inspiration.”

Lesson Three – Positive Thinking

“Think positively.  Make lemonade out of the lemons you get.  I was fired from the San Francisco World Fair.  I lost my job but that didn’t discourage me.  I used my knowledge and provided consulting services to all the vendors with the knowledge I gained.  I ended up making more than the boss who fired me.  Everything happens for a reason and always turned out for the better.”

Lesson Four – Positive Action

“Take action right away.  Don’t wait until it is too late. Trust your intuition and act on it immediately.”

Art said:  “You will never grow old growing up.  There is always something to learn.  As you conquer each mountain, you will see an entirely different view ahead of you.”

It is amazing how simple are these life lessons: Work hard, find a mentor, think and act positively. 

How often are you applying these lessons of life?

P.S. Art was recently rewarded the Oscar Life Time Achievement Award for over five decades of radio and television broadcasting contribution.  Art will be celebrating his 95th birthday on July 17th, 2007.  

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2 Responses to “Art Linkletter The Four Life Lessons from the 95 Years Young”

  1. CA on 14 Jul 2007 at 2:48 am

    I would agree will all the points except the first. In today’s knowledge economy, I think “Hard-work” is debatable. It is time we replaced the “work hard” motto with “work-smart”.

  2. on 12 Aug 2007 at 3:01 pm

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