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My granny is 92 and full of life. She is a cancer survivor but doesn’t like to be referred to as such. To her, that was just an episode in her long and sometimes difficult life. And she has seen it all. You name it, she tried it. And above all, she enjoyed it. As immortality potion hasn’t been invented yet, we have to resort to alternative methods to prolong our lives. These are my granny’s simple secrets to living longer.

Find a Purpose

When we talk about the purpose in life, we always imagine a big achievement. The important thing to understand is that every achievement matter. There are people who were meant for truly big deeds. However, most of us are regular people doing big deeds daily.

Offering help and support is a big deed. Being someone’s shoulder to cry on is significant. Inspiring others is incomparable. These are all simple, yet valuable things we can do to make a difference and find a purpose. And once we find a purpose, we are a step closer to living longer.

Intuition is the Higher Form of Wisdom

When someone who has been through a lot tells you to trust your guts, you trust your guts. We may question the aspect of intuition and how tangible the entire concept is. However, we cannot deny the fact that we all experience the intuition, the 6th sense, whatever you wish to call it.

For example, we may debate over what doctors may tell you is important to do in order to stay healthy. I can agree that there are some standard guidelines and that we should listen to them. However, we also have to remember to listen to our inner voices and follow our own intuition. Sometimes, our mental strength can pull us through and do wonders.

Likewise, there would be situations when your inner voice would tell you to do a check-up, although apparently everything seems to be in order. Trust your guts.

Know Your Limits

Knowing when to say “enough is enough” is crucial. Being all easy-going and people-oriented is all good. Nevertheless, showing others how serious you can be, sets boundaries. This woman I grew up with is the person always willing to give. There were times I thought people were taking advantage of her. However, she obviously knew her limits.

She hosted close and distant family members and friends whenever they needed a place to stay, whether recovering from a tragedy or simply visiting. Cooking for them, cleaning, etc. was not difficult for her.  Also, she used to give to charity, and people in need, or pretending to be in need. Her answer was always that someone above sees it all and her conscious was clean.

Then, once I heard her turned down a friend who asked for a simple advice. I was puzzled. “Well, darling, sometimes you just need to let others know that you would not take the bullshit any longer”, she said.

She rarely argues. Simply, acts as she finds fit. She listens to doctors when it comes to instructions about her diet. Then, she comes home and treats herself with her favorite meals. She drinks a glass of wine during lunch almost every day. Following her inner compass has rarely done her wrong.

It Is Never Too Late to Dress Up and Go Out

At 92, my granny puts on her best dress when meeting her friends. She always has hair done by a professional when we celebrate birthdays, promotions, have baby showers, or even when we go to a funeral. She dyes her eyebrows in shades to match her hair, and wears perfume.

When in company, she laughs loudly and tells jokes. At her age, she is quite well informed. My books always end up at her coffee table. And coffee always needs to be served in special cups. These are maybe insignificant details that matter to her.

Why am I telling this? Because we all have rituals that we love and stick to. All of us have preferred meals, peeps, and drinks. Most of us like company by default. But we often forget that these small things make our lives brighter. Learning how to indulge yourself is a skill.

The Simple, Most Important Secret

“We are here to teach and give you the sense of belonging. But you should make your own rules and rituals”, she said.  If the generations before us were able to do it, and they matured in harsh times of WWII Europe, what excuses do we have for not trying to look at the world from a positive perspective?

Living longer is the goal today. But, the ways to live life fully should be not just the means to achieving the goal, but the essence of the lesson we transmit to future generations.

I am dying to hear your secrets to living longer. Stay on the bright side!

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