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Living Well and Healthy on the Way to 100

January 20, 2017 by  
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I would like to share with you some more thoughts about life and living and, yes, a few more things that you and I can do to increase our chances of living to be 100.

First, let me tell you about my super crazy few days this past week. The day after I wrote about how important it is to have great health I suddenly got very sick. It started with a severe case of acid reflux but then I could not eat or drink anything without huge chest pains and throwing it all up. I began to feel better after 3 days and so got some time in on beautiful Poipu beach. However, there I witnessed a guy being pulled from the ocean by a lifeguard just 20 or 30 feet from where we were relaxing and just having a good time.

Five paramedics went to work on this guy. They pounded his chest, did CPR on him, and shocked him many times–they worked on him for 20 minutes. Everyone on the beach just froze and watched as they tried to save this guy’s life. Many people were in tears, but even with all that effort and skilled professional work done by the paramedics, the guy did not make it.

The mood of all of us beach goers changed dramatically. We went from fun, games and joy to quiet and very somber. It is amazing how so many people care deeply about a person they do not even know. The young lady next to us broke down in tears. I was fighting back my own tears. The loss of life is a sad thing and, yes, we will all get to that point eventually. But this was a reminder that it is so critically important to live life to the fullest every single day, to do virtually everything we can to stay healthy and extend our lives —yes, to like 100 years old–in good health.

With that said here are a few more of the 100 Wonderful Ways to Live to Be 100:

  • Find reasons to laugh.
  • Do unto others but do not forget about yourself.
  • Do not dread getting older.
  • Get busy and stay busy.
  • (This one alone can add an average 7 years to your life.)
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Eat less.
  • Practice positive self-talk.
  • Use your brain–engage in games and intellectual stimulation.

Let’s not wait until illness or some unexpected tragedy makes us realize how valuable our life is. We can honor this gift we have, every day, by doing everything we can to not just live, but live well and healthy. And to live, yes, to be at least 100.

The Tragedy is in Not Moving On

September 5, 2014 by  
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Tragedy is a word that none of us are fond of.  But you know what, virtually everyone on this planet has tragedy in their lives and if they haven’t had it yet, it’s almost certainly on the way. I don’t care how rich or how poor a person is, tragedy strikes everyone if they live long enough. We all were certainly shocked a few weeks ago when we saw that the loveable, talented and very successful Robin Williams had died by his own hand. This tragedy, as distant as he may be from most of us, touched so many of us nonetheless.

A couple of weeks ago, while talking to a large audience of really great people, I shared the sad, sad story of the biggest tragedy in my life–the death of my sweet, wonderful, 16 year old daughter, Kristin.  Even though that was many years ago, I’ve learned the hard way that you never get over it–that’s the bad news.  The good news is you can learn how to deal with it in a positive way.

After telling the audience about Kristin and how she died, I asked folks to raise their hands if they had has lost a child.  About 3 or 4% of the group slowly raised their hands.  I wasn’t trying to sadden the mood of the group but I was making a very important point.  That point was that if we as human beings are going to prosper and make the world a better place we must learn how to deal with tragedy since we all have or will have tragedy in our lives.

Too often I have heard people complaining and in essence saying, “Poor me. If you had gone through what I’ve been through you would not be able to do any good and great things for yourself or your family let alone strangers and other people out there.” These people are basically saying that because of their unique tragedy, their lives are over and they’ve given up because they have no choice.  If these people would step back a bit and take a look at the big picture and look beyond the facades that nearly everyone puts on, at least to a degree, they’d see that all of us are in the same boat.   And all of us really do have a choice.  We can learn how to deal with the tragedy and move on with our lives. Many times because of that tragedy we’ve had to work through, we can become better people and can be of greater help to those around us. Face the truth–tragedy strikes everyone and none of us will get out of here alive!

Think about that. And please share this message with others that you see that are in need and have not been able to move on quite yet.

Death is Part of Life

March 8, 2013 by  
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 I got a very shocking and sobering email from the wife of a very dear friend a few days ago, a good friend, who is a doctor and in excellent health. His urine had turned very dark and his skin was jaundiced. At the hospital he found out he had a tumor in his bile duct that leads out of the pancreas. Not good! A few days ago he had a very complicated 9 hour surgery in which they took out part of his pancreas, stomach, duodenum and the gall bladder. It was shocking to hear this since my good friend kept himself in great shape. He has, from all his friends and family, wonderful support and encouragement. We know he’s a tough guy and are hoping and praying he’ll be ok.

Quite naturally this got me thinking about my own health and that inevitable end of the road for myself and yes, every one of you who are reading this blog. “Ouch,” you may say. “I don’t want to think about that.” But we all do—and we should—only there is a good way and a bad way to think about death. One way helps you and the other hurts you.

In the book “Super Brain” Deepak Chopra and his co-author Rudolph Tanzi write “If you are afraid of death, it is bad for your body– not because death looms so darkly but because the fear of anything is toxic.” They go on to say “Some cultures, such as Tibetan Buddhism, offer extensive preparation for death and a highly detailed theology of various heavens and hells.” Which they use to help people face and accept their own death.  The authors say the path to making peace with death might look something like this:

1. “I don’t think about death. It’s pointless.”
2. “The main thing is to live your life right this minute.”
3. “Anyway, I secretly don’t believe I will grow old and die.”
4. “To be honest, I don’t think about dying because it’s too scary.”
5. “I’ve seen death of a friend, family member, or pet. I know I have to face it someday.”
6. “I am beginning to feel calmer about the whole issue. I can look at death without running away.”
7. “Dying happens to everyone. It’s better to approach it calmly with eyes open.”
8. “I’ve felt the first serious twinges of mortality. It’s time to face it.”
9. “I find I am actually interested in what death is all about.”
10. “It’s possible to embrace dying as a natural stage of life–and I have.”

As you the read through these stages of thinking about death, try to think back to when you were young (assuming that you are no longer in that category) and notice how close these 10 stages may come to your own thinking back then and now. Have your thoughts changed dramatically?

The bottom line is you don’t need to fear death. It will come so fearing it is rather pointless. Instead, focus on the now, on what you are doing every moment of your life, filling it with purposeful, gratifying thoughts and activities. Living a good life makes fearing death unnecessary.

Next week, we’ll talk a little more about what Deepak and Rudolph have to say about keeping your mind young so you can get the most out of every moment of your life.