The Secret to Being Timeless – Advice from a 105 yr old Japanese Doctor

Is it possible to be timeless? I know 20-somethings who are afraid to turn 30; I know 70 year olds who have made 25-year plans. Age was never an issue for me. Regardless the years, between my fitness and my Asian genes, I frequently am assumed to be much younger than I am somehow. Looking at digits alone, I would technically be in the realm of middle-age. In my mind, I’m in my mid-thirties. Recently I started seeking the advice of a TCM practitioner and acupuncturist. She hooked me up to her fancy TCM instruments and concluded that my body’s age was currently 34. Ok. Now my goal is to drive that down to 30. Though, don’t get me wrong. I don’t fear age. What I’m concerned about is decay.

I guess I’m thinking about this because travelling with my elderly mother this week make me think. Mom recently entered her 70’s, but I can see the regression. Someone who was once vibrant, and beautiful, is now fragile, constantly stressed out, and negative. Her outlook in life is one of fear, futility and ruin. She constantly looks for symptoms in her body that might closely resemble a stroke, heart disease, or other. That frustrates me. What you seek, you shall find.

Very serendipitously, Perry, my Inspired Parent Insights podcast partner, posted about a Japanese centenarian medical doctor, who only recently departed at a youthful 104 years old. If there is anyone from whom I want to learn about longevity, it’s this guy. This is the start of a series of posts where we can deep dive into his famous 14 secrets to longevity:

 

via http://www.ny.us.emb-japan.go.jp

Mindset is Key

As supported by Dr. Robert Anthony, the most beneficial thing that we can for ourselves is to feel good. All the time. It’s irrelevant how much you sleep, or how much you eat. If you feel like crap about yourself, you’re literally taking years off your life. To me, feeling good is supremely important. If you can hold a happy thought in your head for at least 17 seconds, and feel the warmth of the happiness that it brings, you can turn your day around completely. Personally, I swear by this. I know for a fact that it works. The trick is to have the discipline to get your mind out of the gutter. When I say gutter, I mean the literal mental crap that you let into your head from all the negativity around you. It also stems from how hard you are on yourself, and how defeated you let yourself become. I get it. Everyone feels defeated sometimes. The trick is to employ the discipline to turn your mind around. This is what separates the winners from everyone else.

How to do this most effectively?

 

Move your Body

This should be a no brainer. Let the endorphins get you out of your funk. It’s the best way. I get that sometimes it actually feels good to wallow in self-pity for a while. Hal Elrod was paralyzed from a devastating accident just when his sales career started to soar to new heights. The doctors concluded that he would never walk again. Yet he surprised (and even un-nerved) the medical team with his optimism and zest for life. Everyone thought he was downright delusional! They thought he was in denial about this situation. The urged him to seek psychiatric help. But when his dad confronted him about it, he told his dad that his company taught him this: In first 5 minutes, he can feel bad for himself. But after that, it’s time to move on. Leave the negative emotions behind. It’s time to re-build.

Hal is so inspiring. I personally need a little longer than 5 minutes. But the point is that you wallow. Then be done with it. Start creating your life the way you want again.

 

via http://worldclassmagazines.com

Listen to your Anthem

I don’t mean the national anthem. I mean your anthem. Your personal anthem. What’s the song that you sing in your head when you experience victory? You don’t have to have just one. I have a few. One of my top favourites is Tao Cruz’s ‘Dynamite.’

… I’m gonna take it all,
I, I’m gonna be the last one standing.
Higher over all,
I, I’m gonna be the last one landing.
‘Cause I, I, I believe it,
And I, I, I, I just want it all…
I just want it all…
I’m gonna put my hands in the air!
Hands, hands in the air!
Put your hands in the air!

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes,
Saying AYO! Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life,
Saying AYO! Baby, let’s go!

 

 

If you don’t have one, I invite you to find your anthem.

In fact, I’m curious to know what it is. Tell me what it is here.

Always Plan Ahead

It’s no surprise to you that I’m once again re-iterating the importance of goal-setting. If you read any one of my many posts on goals, you’ll already know that it’s a given to define yearly goals, if not 3 year, even 5 year goals. Now, it’s time to up the ante.

Dan Sullivan, one of the world’s most influential entrepreneurial coaches advocates his students to have a 25 year plans. They always work in 25 year timeframes regardless of how old they are. Most of us over-estimate what we can do in one year, but under-estimate what we can do in 10 years. Think of the possibilities that can happen in 25!

 

via http://strategiccoach.com

 

The good doctor says plan; I say vision…. As in have one. I don’t think that we need to have a step-by-step implementation plan about our future… (very few of us do). But I think it’s of utmost importance to have a clear vision of your accomplished future. This would feed in nicely with daily meditation. After all, the key to bringing things to fruition in your life is to see your vision in utmost clarity on a consistent basis.

 

Dr. Hinohara Doesn’t Believe in Retiring, and Neither do I

Let’s be clear. I believe in retiring from work that is meaningless to you. I believe in doing everything you can to build your fortune so that you can spend the balance of your life creating meaning for you and in your community. I don’t mean that we need to keep running a business, or staying in our profession. Money isn’t even necessarily the driver. There are the people who can’t retire due to financial reasons. We are often quick to feel sorry for them. But thinking about it a little more, it might be an implicit driver for longevity. As Dr. Hinohara says, “If we live to work, we will live longer, so that we can work longer.”

Here’s the thing. I don’t think he meant working in a dead-end job that brings you zero satisfaction though. Financial reasons aside, it makes perfect sense to me that the longer humans feel needed, and feel that they need to contribute, the longer they would live, so that they can contribute. We are, after all, a social society. We are hard-wired to thrive in groups, in communities. Each of us has the drive to do our part to make the world a better place for our future generations. That is what ultimately fulfills us as humans. Call it legacy (that, to me is more ego-driven); call it making the world a better place when we leave than when we entered it. I truly believe that this is what each of us strives to accomplish in our lives.

 

 

Making a world a better place could have so many different definitions. Not all of us needs to find the cure for cancer. Making the world a better place could be caring for our grand-children. It could be teaching fitness to a bunch of people. It could be creating a product or service that serves others positively. Each of these things makes someone else’s life better. That’s the point.

Looking forward to our chat next week as we continue to study from Dr. Hinohara. Live long and prosper!

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