I recently read genetics is only ~ 25% of what makes a long-liver from a short-timer. Thems who live to be 100 don’t do so just because they have ‘good genes’. This is good news for folks who want to make such a goal. It turns out the key(s) to achieving 100 gets down to five factors. Happily four of them aren’t too difficult to do if you are determined to do so.*

First of all let’s get rid of the rubbish, the things 100 year old folks did NOT use towards seeing your one hundredth birthday cake:

Complicated/zany diets

Mega doses of vitamins



Goop advice

Going to the gym


Abstinence from alcohol

‘Success’ in life

The world’s communities with lots of 100-year-olds members were interviewed and they consistently don’t do anything of these things.  What a blessing to know!

Here be the five: 

1] Be active.  None of these folks went to the gym or ran marathons.  Rather they had active lives. Their work kept them moving. They walked to places; they took the stairs. 

Advice #1 – take the stairs, park further away and walk a bit to the store. Get up and move lots. Get in a daily dose of thirty minutes of action. 


2] Take time to chill. On the other hand they did not work themselves to death, double tasks or freaked out over a wasted minute. They all had some sort of ‘down time’ each day to take a siesta, have a tea break, gab whatever. They also got enough sleep, valuing  sleeping time over getting one more thing done.  Their vacations were the type for sitting and reading and talking – not running amok trying to do a lot and see all the sights.

Advice #2 – Take some time off each day to unwind in meditation, prayer, whatever. And turn off the techie things to get some sleep.  Forgoing sleep from ‘fear of missing out’ is bad bad bad. 


3] Eat right and eat less.  These sages never did silly diets; they had a dietary lifestyle. They did not stuff themselves; they would eat just enough to start feeling full and then they would stop. They ate little meat (not none!) and what they ate is mostly plants.  Nobody abjured butter or booze or bread; they just ate little amounts. They also spent time to eat – and with others. No drive-through dining here.  

Advice #3.  Common sense eating (type and amount) consumed slowly with friends and family is the best diet there is. 
4] Belong to something.  The 100 years folks did not live alone or in a vacuum. They lived in communities that helped each other out and tended to each other’s welfare.  They had privacy and personal times but they also ‘us’ times and places. 

Advice #4.  This is the one of the five that is most difficult to remedy. Somehow you need to be part of a family, a community, a church, or a club. Don’t do Life alone. 


5] Meaning. “What am I waking up for?” sort of questions. None of them lived cosmic or fabulous or infamous lives, but their lives had meaning. This was in their work or their art, or what they do for their family, friends. 

Advice #5. Make meaning in your life. I can not tell you how I can only tell you it is vital. 

There. Long life isn’t complicated or bedazzling. The list isn’t in line with todays’ society belief it is fame, power, and money that will get us long and happy life. 

Even it you don’t live to 100 you are likely to live well. 


*It is a fair question whether or not making it to 100 years old is a good goal. This is not the point of today’s entry.