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10 Secrets to a Long Life, from Japan’s 105-Year-Old Expert

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10 Secrets to a Long Life, from Japan’s 105-Year-Old Expert

We all want to live long, happy and healthy lives. Most of us can list off a few things that are associated with longevity: Eating well, exercising, taking care of your mind and body, etc. But, hearing what can really make a difference from someone who has ‘lived through it’ is like taking a glimpse behind a very important curtain!

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara was one of Japan’s most prestigious doctors, authors, and an expert in what it takes to live a long and fulfilling life. While Dr. Hinohara passed away in July 2017, he was 105 years old at the time. When he was the ‘young’ age of 97, he gave an interview to the Japan Times, outlining several characteristics of what it took to live a long and full life.

Of course, none of us have every little secret to living longer. But, Dr. Hinohara was clearly an expert in that particular field, as well as both mental and physical health. His suggestions on longevity should not be taken for granted. Below, you will find several of his tips that you can put into practice in your own life immediately.

1. Eat for Life

You are probably not surprised that ‘eating well’ is high on this list, but you may not realize just how important it really is. Dr. Hinohara suggested that all people who live a long life take pride in their diet, and are not overweight. Enjoy your food, and don’t be afraid to treat yourself, but be conscious of what you are putting into your body.

2. Go the Long Way

We live in a world where it is far too easy to take shortcuts and look for quick fixes. Instead, take the scenic route in every possible way. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, make multiple trips to and from your office by foot, etc. Anything you can do to get your body moving throughout the day will benefit you.

3. Plan Ahead

One of Dr. Hinohara’s best tips was to stay busy. This is not to say you should not take time for yourself, but don’t relax to the point of complacency. Plan ahead, keep a schedule for yourself, and set goals so you can always stay busy and be active.

4. Keep Working

People are retiring at a younger age than ever before. According to Dr. Hinohara, retaining a strong work ethic is extremely important. Retirement is fine, but it should not be something that’s taken advantage of at a young age. If you are mentally and physically able to keep working, Dr Hinohara recommended to do it for as long as possible!

5. Give Back

Whether you work or not, and no matter how old you are, contributing to society is essential. If you are retired or don’t have to work, why not consider volunteering? No one is obligated to make constant contributions to the world, so doing it by choice consistently is what makes it such a powerful thing.

6. Share the Wisdom

Life is about continual learning, and some of the best things we learn come from other people. If you have already lived a long life, or if you have been through certain experiences that could help others, don’t be afraid to share that wonderful knowledge. Wisdom that gets passed down from person to person can stick with someone far easier than something that they read from a book. There are some life lessons that can only be taught by people who have experienced them already. Spread your knowledge to others as much as possible.

7. Trust More Than Medicine

Even though Dr. Hinohara spent years studying medicine, he strongly believed that we should focus on, and see the value in multiple disciplines. This includes liberal arts, visual arts, languages, and more. Science itself may not be the answer to every question in the world, and it is important to recognize that throughout our lives.

8. Let Go of Materialism

If you spend your life obsessing over material possessions or how much you can ‘get,’ there is a good chance that you will always feel unfulfilled. You can’t take anything with you, so why hold onto so much in life? Resist your urges to acquire more and more. Instead, find other uses for your wealth and possessions that might feel more rewarding in the long run.

9. Find Your Heroes

Everyone should have a role model or inspiration to look up to in life. Dr. Hinohara was that inspiration for many people, but he, too, had his own role models. By finding someone whom you trust and look up to, you can consistently use him or her as a guide. Whenever you are feeling stuck, uninspired, or in some kind of trouble, you can use that model’s words and advice to help you to get you out of your rut.

10. Have Fun

Dr. Hinohara believed in the childlike aspect of fun, especially when it came to things like healing and recovery. In the hospital he worked for, they played music and offered things like animal therapy and art classes. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of ‘being a grown up,’ that we often forget to include more areas of fun in our lives. But, a little bit of fun can go a long way for both your mental and physical state. Give into that childlike wonder every now and then; you may benefit from it more than you think!

Because of his age and experiences, Dr. Hinohara was certainly an expert in longevity and living a fulfilling life. While you can take his suggestions as opinions, they certainly shouldn’t be ignored. By following a few simple life lessons, and perhaps making some changes to your own life, you can find fulfillment in your everyday routine, and hopefully live a long and happy life.

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

Have you ever had moments where you feel completely inadequate? Maybe a specific situation comes up and you think there is no way that you would ever be good enough to do what is needed. Or, maybe you feel that way all the time and you can’t seem to get past it.

Thinking that you are not good enough and having low self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, but they are slightly different.

Thankfully, you can work on both of them by changing your thinking habits and banishing some of that negative self-talk from your mindset. Whether you think you are not good enough in certain situations or you have a hard time believing that you are good enough for almost anything, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

Let’s look at a few things you should always keep in mind when those thoughts come in, and how you can start to convince yourself of your true worth.

1. You Are Not Alone

Thinking that you are not good enough can cause a lonely existence. You might not want to put your burdens on others, so you don’t talk about it. You might also think that everyone else is perfectly happy with who they are, and are confident in everything that they do.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is, you never know what other people are fully thinking/feeling. What you can count on, though, is that there are so many others who feel just like you, and are constantly wondering if they are “enough”. Knowing that you are not alone can help you to work through your feelings without feeling so isolated.

2. You Have Your Own Skills

A common reason why people tend to think they are not good enough is because they don’t have a specific talent or skill that someone else has. But you probably have something that person doesn’t, too.

Everyone has their own abilities and things that make them unique. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, keep your mind on your talents and what makes you special.

“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!” – T. Harv Eker

3. You Can’t Be Perfect

Perfection is a fruitless thing to chase. Many people who question their self-worth do so because they are perfectionists.

But, if you set such a high standard for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Perfection doesn’t exist, and while you can strive to be your best, it is important to understand human error and limits. That doesn’t mean the things you do are some how “less” than great. But, striving for perfection is something that can make you feel inadequate.

4. You Are Worthy of Loving Yourself

Love tends to be the answer for so many things, including any pain or turmoil that you might be going through. Thinking that you are not good enough is an easy way to cause yourself sadness and pain. Those thoughts can quickly snowball and you might start to think about more negative things about yourself.

Instead of fueling those negative thoughts, choose love. Love is like a permanent band-aid for the pain that you are going through. It is a great way to comfort yourself, provide reassurance, and get a clearer picture of who you really are and all of the wonderful things that you can offer the world. By choosing self-love, you can start to see yourself in a more positive light, and push those negative thoughts away.

“We must fall in love with ourselves. I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself.” – Mae West

5. Mistakes Can Be a Good Thing

Do you ever find yourself feeling especially inadequate when you “fail”? While that is not uncommon, that word should really be removed from your vocabulary.

Everyone “fails” at times, because again, perfection is not attainable. When you start to consider anything less than perfection to be a failure, it is easy to beat yourself up and think that you will never amount to the things that you truly want.

But, when you start to view your failures and mistakes as good things and stepping stones, you can completely shift your perspective and realize that not only are you good enough, but you are also resilient and strong. Some of the biggest “failures” in history went on to be the most successful people because they learned from their mistakes. They looked at the things that went wrong and considered how they could change them.

It is important to use your mistakes as a way to learn and grow. When you are able to do that, you will find a greater sense of fulfillment when things finally come together and you get it “right”.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordon

6. Gratitude Goes a Long Way

It might not always feel easy to accept and be grateful for who you are. But, it is incredibly important. Instead of thinking about the things you don’t have or areas where you are not “good enough”, choose to actively think about and pursue the positive. Focus on what you are grateful for. The more that you do that, the easier it will be to banish those thoughts of doubt and insecurity. I like to start every day by using my journal and begin by writing down three things that I am grateful for.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Once you really start to think about it, you will find that you have more to be grateful for than you may have initially realized, and that way of thinking can help you to establish healthier, more positive thoughts about yourself that will last a lifetime.

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

What are existential questions?

Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.

They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.

The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.

Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.

I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.

50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

 

1. Are there limits to human creativity?

2. What makes something beautiful?

3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?

4. Who am I?

5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?

6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?

7. Are we given enough time?

8. Is privacy a right?

9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?

10. Are we alone in the universe?

11. What is love?

12. How would you define genius?

13. What do you think your purpose is?

14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?

15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?

16. Why do you think we are here?

17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?

19. What happens when I die?

20. What worries me the most about the future?

21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?

22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?

23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?

24. Does truth exist without evidence?

25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?

26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?

27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

28. Is it more important to love or be loved?

29. What would make the world a better place?

30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?

31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?

32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?

33. What advice would you tell your younger self?

34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?

35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?

36. What is the most important goal every person should have?

37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?

38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?

39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?

40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?

41. Where do you think we go when we die?

42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?

43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?

44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?

45. Is one lifetime enough?

46. What matters most in my life?

47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?

48. What is the meaning of life?

49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?

50. What does it mean to live a good life?

I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

I clearly remember when I was 18, then 25 and in then what seems like a flash, I have recently celebrated by 50th birthday. While some people might dread the thoughts of hitting such a milestone. (more…)

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