I’m currently listening to the book The Longevity Project by Leslie Martin and Howard Friedman. Their study is a one of a kind as it has gone on for 80 years. Be careful of what you are told by gurus and the medical profession on how to be healthy and live a long life. This study busted some of our common day myths. For example, recommending of a consistent exercise program is not beneficial. Cheerful children tend to die younger. Playing with pets is not health promoting in the long term. New Year’s resolutions don’t work. Women who got divorced often thrived. And my favorite those that work the hardest in challenging jobs live the longest.
I am often told to slow down, relax and take it easy. I was happy to hear in this study it isn’t those that are happy go lucky that thrive it is the persistent. There are many personality traits that lead to a long and healthy life. Here are some behaviors that can help you live a long life.
Those that are dependable, reliable, organized, persistent, hard working and prudent lived the longest.
Those that had challenging and stressful careers that they were fully engaged in lived the longest. Having accomplishments in your work leads to fulfillment. Many had no desire to ever stop working. If you persist in constant learning and meaning in your work you will thrive.
Build Relationships with the right people
Many self-help writings encourage building relationships with family, friends, spouses and the community help you create a fulfilling and happy life. In general this is true. However, if you build relationships with friends that have unhealthy habits this could lead to a shorter life. If they all smoke and drink you may not want to hang with them.
Worry a Little
Good cheer and eternal optimism don’t necessarily lead to a long life. Those that worry take a few less risks and plan better. Cheer up and live long is not the best advice. There are more productive ways to lead you to happiness and long life.