Recently, there have been many studies about longevity from around the world. These studies might be subjective in one way or another but they all offer a glimpse into why some people live to be centenarians. I’ve had the first hand experience to know someone who almost lived to 100. My grandmother lived till 96. I often wondered what made her live this long and as I get older I wonder if I knew her really well. First, I read studies on resilience and I thought yes, this is it. She had lived through two major European wars and through several major personal tragedies and many upheavals; yet, she came out unscathed.
Studies have demonstrated that resilience is generally positively correlated with cognitive function, physical health and self-reported health among the elderly, as well as with self-rated successful aging. ¹
Yes, this would describe my grandmother to a “T”.
But what does it really mean? Is it really this simple? When there is a problem, do I just somehow shake it off? How do I acquire this skill or am I born with it? Only recently, have a listened to Deepak Chopra about aging and it started to make sense. The bottom line is fear and how we use it to our advantage. When I look at my grandmother’s life, that’s what she was. She was fearless. John Plodinec from Community and Regional Resilience Institute says that one of the keys to becoming more resilient is to anticipate change. ² And what can hold one back? It’s simply fear. I am not saying that one should take unnecessary risks or jump off of a bridge when a friend dares them but I am talking about accessing that inner center in us that is controlled by fear. I am talking about letting go of our fear when we want to start a new hobby or go for a trip when a friend asks us to join them. I am talking about not giving in to our worries and enjoying our life to the fullest. Every day and every minute, every second!