A 106-year-old’s secret to a long life:
In a word: optimism. I look at the good. When you are relaxed, your body is always relaxed. When you are pessimistic, your body behaves in an unnatural way. It is up to us whether we look at the good or the bad. When you are nice to others, they are nice to you. When you give, you receive.
I know a man. In a conversation one evening — the sort of conversation where you look up to realize everyone else stopped talking yet you’re still there, talking as loudly and directly and connectedly and fiercely and overlappingly as when you started when there was water and food and plates and people — he said something that I can’t forget even today. He said: I live by three things. If you want time, you must give time. If you want to be wealthy, you must give wealth, however you define it. And if you want love, you have to give it.
On a previous evening, not dissimilar, this man, on a wrinkle-y-red-wine napkin, handed me advice that I still use today. It said three words, “Bird by Bird.” I’ve learned to trust him entirely.