People are always trying to find the holy grail of living a long and healthy life. We’re told to eat more meat. Eat less meat. Don’t ever eat meat. We’re told to eat full-fat dairy. Eat non-fat dairy. Why are you eating DAIRY?
You name it and guaranteed there is contradictory evidence out there to tell you that whatever it is you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong.
But finally, one woman seems to have figured out the secret to living a long life and luckily for us, it’s NOT kale.
99-Year-Old’s Key to Longevity
99-year-old Mildred Kirschenbaum is just shy of turning 100. She’s literally been around longer than sliced bread. (Just in case you want to know, the first automatically sliced commercial loaves were produced on July 6, 1928).
And while she may be tapping on centenarian’s door, she still lives alone, drives, and never misses a happy hour.
So what does she credit to making it this far? It’s all about attitude.
And she’s not taking any prisoners. Including her friends.
Attitude Is Everything
“I want to share a thought about attitude,” she begins in the clip that’s garnered more than 2 million views. “I will be 100 years old in August. It’s only a couple of months away, and yet I have friends who are 20 years younger, 15 years younger — and their attitudes are going to cause them to not survive to my age.”
(Obviously, she has no issue with telling it like she sees it.)
She blames her friends’ lack of gratitude “for anything,” for sending them to an early grave. She says that they complain about everything, from only seeing their kids once a week to the food they’re served. “Their attitude is not acceptable.”
Instead of focusing on the negative, Kirschenbaum believes you have to flip the script and reframe your mindset.
“If the food isn’t quite right, so, have an extra dessert.” Which, I gotta say, is solid advice. If the key to living a longer life is eating more dessert, sign me up!
“If you hear from your children once a week, that’s fine. They call you once a week, you call them once a week. And be grateful that they are enjoying life.”
She sums it up in just a few words, saying:
“Look at the positive side of life. I think that’s what got me this far.”
And while Kirschenbaum’s daughter hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with her mother, she does agree with her on this.
Gayle, a forgiveness coach, captions her mother’s reel on Instagram with, “Our attitude, our mindset, our thoughts affect our actions and our actions create our life. Focus on what you have in life. Not what you don’t.”
Obviously, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
Think Positively and Enjoy Life
In addition to Kirschenbaum’s “attitude is everything” philosophy, the 99-year-old also believes that you need to genuinely enjoy life.
In an interview with Fox News, she shares, “You’ve got to enjoy life. You’re only walking through it once.”
“If you’re up there in years, do yourself — not your children, not your friends, not your world — YOURSELF, a favor: Enjoy everything. Don’t sit home and moan and groan and say, ‘All I do is walk to the refrigerator.’ Do something.”
For Kirshenbaum that something means playing bridge or canasta with friends, embracing technology, texting her loved ones on her iPhone, going to the gym to do a 20-minute recumbent bike workout, and hitting up her community clubhouse for happy hour.
It also means going beyond the surface; seeking forgiveness from her daughter for her failings as a mother, and finding peace and forgiveness for herself.
Whether or not Kirshenbaum’s attitude of gratitude and zest for life is truly the “secret” sauce to living to a hundred, she’s definitely onto something. And you have to admit, it’s better than kale.
More from Goalcast: