One day I asked a friend if she’d like to live as long as George Burns. For those of you too young to remember him, he was a well-known comedian years ago who also played God in a couple of movies back in the seventies. God must have enjoyed his performances, because old George lived to be 100. He actually worked until he was in his mid-nineties! George also believed in having a good attitude about aging. He was credited with saying: “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”
My friend didn’t seem too keen on the idea of becoming a centenarian. She responded: “No, I don’t want to live to be 100. Can you imagine what I would look like if I was 100? Nobody would be my friend (mostly because they would all be dead). I would be lonely walking around my house with my walker, running into the wall and falling down. Do you know how hard it is for a person who is 100 to get up when they fall down??? I might lie there until I was 101!” (OK, I get the picture)
I have to agree – if that was to be my 100-year fate, I’d pass on the longevity thing.
On the other hand, if I could age like the feisty Golden Girl, Betty White, 96 and still going strong, well, then I might go for it.
Like my friend, you simply may not want to live to be a century old. But if you do want to add years to your life (and life to your years), I can offer you my own suggestions, developed during my 60 years of living on this planet:
- Develop a 5-word mission statement for your life. Mine is Wake up, kick ass, repeat.
- Find your purpose. I’m telling you, having a purpose made a huge difference in how I approach life. I feel more focused, self-confident, and fulfilled.
- Be passionate about something, and share that passion!
- Shake up your life – get out of your comfort zone and take some (calculated) risks, before it’s too late.
- Stay curious, my friends! It’s one of the primary keys to keeping those brain cells from getting rusty.
- Have fun with life! Try to get more belly laughs on a regular basis.
And of course, some suggestions from health and wellness experts:
Get off the couch and move it, baby! Physical activity and exercise are great for physical, mental, and emotional health. Why healthy movement matters –
Eat clean – avoid all the crap that pollutes our bodies and our brains.
Lose excess weight to help ward off age-related diseases and conditions. How excess weight affects your health –
Renounce your membership in the “clean plate club.” Try the Okinawan way of eating: “Hara Hachi Bu“
Everybody needs a #tribe – gather your friends, family, and other social connections to enhance your wellness in many ways. (Just ask Dr. Partha Nandi)
Do you have any suggestions of how to live longer and better? I’d love to hear your comments.
Want to read more?
Okinawa Centenarian Study – Why they live longer
This amazing Ted Talk can add 12 Years to your Life
We are Living Longer than ever. But are we living better?