6 Keys for Living On and On to be 100 years

We all want to live to be 100. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts Mandy Oaklander is one of my favorite columnists of Time Magazine. She provides simple strategies that are very effective. Her latest article is on how outlook and social ties affect the way you age. Here are her tips to live on and on till age 100 which should be our aim. Here are her 6 tips with my take on each.
Embrace Technology – However old we are there is no escaping the fact that we have to embrace technology. We need to be tech savvy whether we like it or not. The fact is it is easier than ever to understand how the world works and information is in our finger tips. Anything we want is available and the only missing ingredient is how we use technology to further our aspirations. Being in touch with technology can make you feel younger. Social media is a great means to stay vibrant in our later years.
Lean on family – The research shows that when people were able to list five of their close connections with more family members among them had a lower chance of dying. The point is the family is the easiest thing we take for granted but maybe we should pay the most importance to them because when all is said and done we will be only left with those moments to cherish with the family. Of course having 3-5 great friends will always help.
Welcome Aging – The study suggests that a team of researchers at Yale University confirmed that when the people who viewed aging in a negative light were shown to view it in a better light they felt more positively about aging and it even improved physical strength. I think aging is natural and there is nothing we can do about it. While we can try to look younger, get plastic surgeries and mask it we can’t really change the number. I think we should embrace aging and still remain vibrant. The body is always in the process of dying but that doesn’t mean our soul has to.
Lighten up – This is a simple strategy and the basic premise is those people who are relaxed and easy going are likely to live longer than others.  The new findings reveal that to extend your life span you should be outgoing, open to new experiences, good at sticking to goals and not take yourself too seriously. One great example is that of Norman Cousins who was having a terrible sickness and cured that through watching great comedy films leaving him in splits. He went on to write a book titled “The Anatomy of an Illness.” I like this famous quote from him “The tragedy in life is not death but what you allow to die inside of you when you are alive.”
Set Goals, Take Risks – There has been so much research done on this. Bottom line is if you have personal goals for your life you will be more excited about life and even wake up without an alarm. There has been some talk about having goals making you too rigid and inflexible. I think goals give a sense of purpose to our lives and are necessary to get the most out of our lives. Use the SMART terminology to set goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, Realistic and time bound. As it is often said “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Finally taking some risks also increases excitement. Again this doesn’t necessarily mean taking unhinged bets and putting the family at risk. It may be as simple as reading a tough book, running longer than you have, or taking a certification on a difficult subject. The key is to be open to failure.
Expect the Best – I take this to mean that you should look at the bright side of life. Life is never going to give exactly what we want. The power of expectations has been well researched and documented. If you are prepared well and you marry that with expectation you will attain the outcomes you are looking for. The main thing is an overall optimistic stance to life helps in decreasing depression and increasing joy.
There you have it the 6 elements to live to be 100. I am sure if we take care of these we could hit 100 with both physical and mental health.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.


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