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The Secret to Longevity

If you really wanted to live to be over 100, and you were able to take advice from those who had achieved it, would you do it?

Would you try their “secrets to longevity” for yourself?

The only sensible answer appears to be “yes” … at least on the surface.

But what if this was the advice you got? (thanks, Time magazine!):

  • Drink one can of beer a day (110 year old Mark Behrends)
  • Drink lots of coffee (107 year old Downing Kay)
  • Stay away from men (109 year old Jessie Gallan)
  • Eat raw eggs (115 year old Emma Morano-Martinuzzi)
  • Sunbathe (116 year old Jiroemon Kimura)
  • Eat sushi (117 year old Misao Okawa)

What do you think?

I mean, these people are pretty….well….old.

They sure seem to have the street credit to back up their longevity tips.

For me, I would try it.

But I wouldn’t use their tips. I would make my own.

My reason? Simple – as I read this list, I don’t see a list of things to do to live longer.

I see a list of things that make people – in this case, people who have lived a really long time – happy. 

I see individual and very personalized prescriptions for happiness.

I see a natural enjoyment of life – and an avoidance of areas (in the case of Jessie’s avoidance of men) where personal happiness does not seem to be findable.

I see people living each day as though it is the last day they will ever have…and packing that day full of things they would regret not experiencing one last time.

For one, it is a can of frothy cold beer. For another, a steaming cup of coffee. For yet another, it is feeling the sun’s warmth on his skin.

Perhaps what these old-timers – great-timers – are really telling us is simply this:

Do what makes you happy. Live each day as if it is your whole life in 24 hours. If you wake up again the next morning to find you have received the gift of another fresh whole day, get UP and do it all over again. 

Today’s Takeaway: What do you think the secret to longevity really is? Do you think it is in our DNA? Or in our habits? Or in our personality – our life outlook? Or somewhere in the midst of the intersection of all three (and perhaps plenty more besides)? If someone asked you for the secret to living a long life, what would you tell them?

Senior woman drinking coffee photo available from Shutterstock

The Secret to Longevity

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2015). The Secret to Longevity. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 17 Jul 2015
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