Research shows that the average life expectancy is 78 years old. How do people live longer than that? The answer lies in vitality, which is the capacity to live and develop the power of enduring. Vitality keeps us going because it makes us feel alive and strong. Learn the secret sauce to vitality with Carolyn who walks us through them, sharing the significance of why we need to apply them in our own lives. Discover as well some of the notable persons who has lived longer and the common thing that made them thrive.
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The Secret Sauce to Vitality!
I am excited about our show. I had such a busy week. It was the premiere of Survivor season 38. That is crazy. It’s been on for nineteen years. When I think back, I was on a few years ago. I can’t even believe it has been so long already. I went to this watch party in Orlando. We had 65 people come out to watch the show. There were eight past Survivor contestants. I love those nights because everyone loves to talk and ask questions about Survivor. How great is that if you’re a Survivor fan? I went to a Working Women of Tampa Bay luncheon and met some fabulous women. It is refreshing to see women thriving and building their businesses and working together to help one another. That is what I’m trying to push for in everything that I do. People helping people succeed. My daughter is getting married and we are down to almost a month. We had our wedding dress fitting and she looks so fantastic. I can’t even wait. It’s one month away from the wedding. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be fabulous.
I did a speech for high school kids at Freedom High School in Orlando. It was great. These kids are going to change the world. They came into school and I talked about what it takes to succeed, how you’ve got to push yourself, take risks, and stay focused. I had this breakout session on problem-solving and how to work with other people. Try to identify how do you know what skills people bring to the table. It was great because they gave me great feedback. If there are any high school teachers or administrators reading this, it would be a great day for your kids as well so go to my website at CarolynJRivera.com. Send me a message so that we can talk. I love working with kids because they’re the future. They’re the ones who are going to change the world, take us to the next level, see what’s happening. We’ve got to almost hand it over to them soon enough.
I talked with Angelina Keeley. Angelina went through a lot being a contestant on the show Survivor. She got a lot of hate thrown her way on social media and we talked about how damaging that is. I don’t know if people realize how bad those comments that they post make other people feel. My message is to think before you post. Think about whether or not what you’re writing would make you feel good or bad if it was said about you. Try and put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Before you click send, take a step and think about what you’re doing because all of those things affect other people. What’s the point to post something nasty based on watching a TV show? You don’t know the person you’re talking about. Most of the time, those people feel the need to tag you in that nasty post. That feels bullying. There is no reason for that. When I was on the show, I got not even a lot, but a small bit of hate from my season. I used to look at those posts and then reply until my son stopped me one day. He said, “Mom, don’t respond. Don’t read them. Who cares what they’re saying?” Sometimes your kids say the smartest things to you.Do what you need to do, not what you want to do. Click To Tweet
The message that I want you to walk away with is you shouldn’t post anything that will hurt somebody else. Talk to the person and work it out. That was one thing. We talked about social media a little bit. I wanted to reiterate that because it was something that she dealt with a lot of and it was harmful and it wasn’t necessary. What I did want to talk about Angelina was she quit her job, she started a nonprofit organization called Ready to Run. The website is SheIsReadyToRun.org with the mission to inspire and prepare girls and young women to run for leadership positions in their schools. The goal being is to increase their likelihood of running for elected office later in life. That is such a powerful goal. It’s a great thing to focus on. If you missed that show, go to iTunes podcasts or iHeartRadio. Type in the Carolyn Rivera Show and listen because that was a great show. It’s a great charity.
I was doing some research to understand what makes people tick. What keeps them going? I saw this Carl Reiner show on HBO called If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast. What he meant was every morning he starts his day by reading the paper and he looks at the obituaries. If your name doesn’t appear there, then eat breakfast, start your day and keep on moving. Carl Reiner is 96 years old. The HBO special looked at people who live a long life. What he was trying to do was identify the things that all of these people had in common. I thought that was a great and fabulous thing to talk about. This show is the secret sauce to vitality. What is vitality? When you think about that, it’s the capacity to live and develop the power of enduring. You feel alive and you feel strong. It’s what keeps us going. Research shows that the average life expectancy is 78 years old. How do people last longer than that? It’s not about lasting, it’s about living.
Carl Reiner at 96 soon to be 97 talked about those people in their 90s that are thriving and he wanted to see what it was that made them thrive. What did they all have in common? When you look at Carl himself, he’s a comedian, an actor, a director and an author. His career lasted over 70 years. That alone is amazing. He’s from The Bronx. I lived in The Bronx until I was in seventh grade. When I was in seventh grade, I then moved to Queens. Carl Reiner wrote five books in his 90s. This man has not skipped a beat. He has not stopped at all and that’s amazing. It took me three years to write one book. Imagine he wrote five books in his 90s. It’s quite an accomplishment. What do you have to do? You have to live. You have to get up and enjoy life. You have to find something to contribute. What are you doing to help move things forward in one direction or another to feel like you have a purpose and to focus on the things that are important to you?
We all have had things in our lives that have not gone well. It happens to all of us and it’s the same process. What do you do? Do you pout and become depressed? Do you let yourself be down in the dumps or do you shake it off? Do you learn from the experience and move on? Do you use it as a learning tool and focus your efforts on what you’ll do next? We all have had that. We’re going to talk about what is the secret sauce to vitality. We all want to live a long life. We want to have fun, we want to enjoy, we want to spend time with our family. What do we need to do? I also was reading about this concept that I loved. It was called over and next. When something is over, you feel a little bit let down because it was fabulous. It was something where you thrived. You can do one of two things. You can get depressed because that fabulous thing or event that you participated in is over and you feel lost or you can plan what you will do next. You need to go forward and look to create that next best thing that’s going to happen. It’s a mindset.
If you’re a recording artist and you have a number one hit single and it’s on the charts for weeks, they are super excited. Sometimes they have more than one hit single on the charts at the same time. Ariana Grande has three on the charts now. What happens? Something else comes along and moves them into second place, into third place, and down to twentieth. They’re off of the chart. They still need to create their next hit. They need to get themselves focused on what they’ll do next. They can’t live in the past. It’s the same thing with every single one of us. We all have things that are great and then they end. You must prepare and create your next. There are five secrets to vitality and Dan Buettner spent years looking at people and cultures. These are cultures and people that are living longer. He went and studied to find out what they were doing and he looked at these pockets of people around the world. What he found was that those people didn’t have a goal of living longer. They did. It was based on how they lived their lives every day naturally. It wasn’t some fad diet or exercise plan that some people follow and then they stopped doing it.
He looked at how they lived their lives, what they did every single day, and he identified the common elements. He took his findings to see how he can help Americans because the US was not one of those places in the world where people lived the longest. Japan was on the list. Italy was on the list. Costa Rica was on the list to name a few. What are those five secrets? We’ll talk about them one by one. The first is to eat mostly plants. That doesn’t sound fabulous. Your diet is critical to your health. It’s funny because I never focused on my diet before. Let me explain a little bit because I always watched my calories. I always focused on not overeating, but I ate what I wanted in smaller quantities. I was the hundred calorie queen. I would eat all the processed food and snacks.Think before you post. Think about whether or not what your writing would make you feel good or bad if it was said about you. Click To Tweet
I was talking to a friend and she had changed her way of living. She changed her body. I was looking at a picture and I was like, “What happened? You changed everything.” My kids have also become much more focused on healthy eating. My son is a vegan and my daughter is a vegetarian so I was forced to change and I did. I cut out all processed food and I do eat mostly plant-based except for chicken. I do eat chicken, I love chicken, but I don’t need it all the time. I eat it enough, but I don’t go crazy. What I found was that I was eating more often and I lost five pounds simply by changing my diet and focusing more on healthy eating. I do believe that healthy eating is a must. It doesn’t mean that I never cheat. The key is that let’s say you eat healthy 80% of the time. You can still be healthy. You can give yourself 20% of those some off days, but it can’t be a chore. It must become part of the way you operate every single day because fad diets, they come and they go but they don’t stick. You fall off the wagon and then you go crazy because you’re craving all of these other foods. That is not something that is your normal every day behavior.
Keep On Moving
Step one is to look at your eating habits and figure out how to begin to change. It takes 21 days to create a habit, to change the way you do things. It consists of 21 days of consistently doing the same thing. Step one in the process is eating healthy and eating mostly plant-based. Cut out the bad stuff. Cut out the processed foods and focus on healthy eating and make it part of what you do every single day because that’s what sticks. The second step is to move naturally. You’ve got to move. You must move. They think they must go to a gym, get this big gym membership and then they get self-conscious about what to do at the gym. They don’t know what to do. Maybe they can’t afford a personal trainer and so they find all the things that prevent them from going. The truth is that you can change your everyday activity to make you move. Move more and move however you move. It can be as easy as walking around the block. Just move.
The difficulty is our culture is built around cars. It’s built around other transportation so we limit our walking. We limit our outdoor activity. It’s a bit scary when I think about the kids now. Are they moving enough? When I was growing up, I was outside every single day playing tag and going to the park. Not only for the kids but for ourselves. It’s not too late to move. Change your habits and get a walk. A walk is as powerful as going to the gym. Ida Keeling is 103 years old. She had some tragedy in her life over the last few years and both of her sons were murdered. They got into trouble with drugs and they lost their lives and she was totally depressed. She was devastated. Her daughter didn’t know what to do. One day her daughter grabbed her and said, “You are going running with me.” That was when she was 67 years old. Her daughter pulled her outside and said, “You’re going running. Let’s do this.” Now she holds the master’s record in the 60 meters and the 100 meters race for women in the 95 to 99 and the 100 plus category.
When I read that, I had to read it twice. First of all, there’s a category for that 95 to 99 and 100 plus. That in it of itself was fabulous. I can’t even imagine that these people are doing that. She inspired me because now I’m going to have to beat her record. I’m going to have to be 104 years old and take that record from her. She found her passion for running and she says that exercise is the key to her success. She says, “Do what you need to do, not what you want to do.” Think about that. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do. What do you need to do to achieve your dreams? What do you need to do to stay healthy? What do you need to do to make your life better? Sometimes we do things that we want to do, but they’re not moving us in the direction that we want to go. Sometimes we leave out the things that we need to do because they’re too hard or we don’t feel like going that route.
Now is the time to rethink that. Now is the time to look at what you are doing and reconsider what you are doing now. Think about the things that are going to make you achieve your goals. I always talk about the three things that keep me going. Believe, commit, achieve. You have to believe in yourself. You have to commit to doing whatever it takes to make things happen, to move your goals forward, to follow your vision and when you commit, you can achieve. Believe, commit, achieve. Those things are real. In all instances, when Carl Reiner interviewed those people who were all in their 90s, what he found was they were all very active. They got up every day and they did something. He mentioned how he walks around the block every day. He said that he makes sure to include that walk in to keep him going. Subconsciously he said that it shows him that he can still do it, that it’s not too much for him. It keeps him going.
I remember when I lived in Queens and my grandmother lived in the building down the block from us. We lived in Rego Park and she would walk from her house to the Queens Center mall, which was about a one-mile walk. This was not close. She did that up until the day that she passed. I thought that was amazing. She could have taken a bus or a train, but she would walk. I do believe that it kept her going and she died at the age of 86, which is older than the average because the average is 78. I do believe that movement, whatever type you do, is important to stay healthy. I know how I feel after a workout. I feel fabulous. I feel great. It makes me feel alive. You people on the couch, go take a walk. Go take a walk as short as it needs to be day one. The more you do it, the farther you’ll get. It’s that first step. Step one is to eat healthily. Step two is to stay active. Those are the things that are critical.Having vitality is not about lasting, it's about living. Click To Tweet
Find A Stress Outlet
We talked about eating mostly plant-based. We talked about moving naturally. I always think about it as the more you do, the more you can do. I pushed myself to keep moving. Plus, I hate sitting around. I have to do something. Step three is to decrease stress. This looks a little different for everyone because you need to understand what stresses you out. It could be work, it could be people or whatever it is, you need to find an outlet to let it go. There are so many ways to do this. It can be a de-stressor to work out, for example. If I’m having a stressful day, I love to go for a run. I put the headphones on, I listen to my music and I feel great afterward. I’m blasting that music. I’m singing while I’m running. It’s just the way it works for me. It works through music and activity. Some people might choose to do yoga for a way to relieve stress and that’s a perfectly great way to do it as well.
In fact, when I was doing my research, I looked at Tao Porchon-Lynch. She is 100 years old. She teaches six to eight classes of yoga a week in New York. I think it’s amazing. She’s the author of two books. She helps people to focus on how to breathe properly. She says that when she takes a breath, it opens the door to her heart. She’s an example of this ageless body and this timeless mind. She teaches people to let go and to have an exquisite awareness of every moment. What that means is it’s the concept of making every moment count. The one thing that you can never have more of is time. You need to focus on every single moment to ensure that you’re living with intention, that you’re taking advantage of everything around you with intention. Sometimes we feel stressed and we don’t know who to turn to. You need to find someone who you can trust. You need to find someone who will support you through whatever you’re going through. Research shows that one in four Americans say they have no one to turn to for support. That means they feel alone.
Humans are social beings. We need to reduce our stress by helping and supporting each other. We’re social and we like to be with other people. We like to talk, we like to laugh, we like to hang out. It’s important to find people who you can trust. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. How do you find somebody to talk to? How do you find someone who will help you through those tough times? You need to find those people that have the same goals as you do. Find those people who have the same passions because you find a common thread with each other. They’re out there. Sometimes you need to go out and find them. It could be that yoga is your passion. Find a studio and start going. You’ll find other people who are regulars at that same studio and then you can begin to get to know them. It could be painting is your passion. Find a painting club and go there.
When you have things in common with other people, you begin to build those relationships. You get to know other people who like the same things you do. It’s what I was talking about at the beginning, going to a Survivor watch party. Everyone who comes to a Survivor watch party is a Survivor superfan. They go there because we all have that common bond. What we talk about is, “Did you see how they played that idol? Do you think that they said the right things? Are they building the same relationships?” Whatever it is. We have a common goal. We talk about things, we laugh together and it’s fun. That’s the place where you can find people to help you through. Whatever it is, you’ve got to figure out ways in which to lower your stress level because that stress that you put yourself through is definitely something that hurts you in the long run. It can cause a lot of problems.
Find Your Sense Of Purpose
Step four is having a sense of purpose. People want to feel like they’re doing something worthwhile, that they’re contributing to something, whether it’s at work or at home. It links to living out your passions and dreams. Sometimes we keep our passions and dreams in our heads and we’d put off the things that will make us happy because we get stuck in our day-to-day lives. That alone will keep the stress all bottled up inside of us and then one day, we burst. That’s not the right way to do things. Even if you give yourself one hour of alone time where you do something that you love to do to let off your steam, you’ll be so much happier. Statistics show that two out of three Americans hate their jobs. If you feel like you’re doing something meaningful, you’re going to be healthier. It may not be available at work. The best scenario is that you love your job and it links to your passion and you feel a sense of purpose every day. That would be the ultimate success. Sometimes we have a job. We need that job to live, but it’s not the most fabulous job that’s out there.
Find Your Tribe
You have to find your sense of purpose outside of your work. It could be in your community or it could be making a mission trip somewhere to help others. Whatever it is to you, find it and start doing it because the results are real. The statistics show that it can increase your lifespan by seven years. If I found something that’s going to help me increase my lifespan by seven years, I’m going to do it. Find your sense of purpose. The last step is finding your tribe. Who are your go-to people? You become the five people that you hang around most. Are you finding the right people to hang around with? In school, we see it all the time. Who are your kids hanging with? We all learn from other people. We learn from the experiences that we have in life and we get those experiences with the people we hang around with. Are you choosing one with the same goals and objectives as you have? Are you choosing the people who care about you? It’s not always easy, but it’s essential to be able to succeed in life, to live a full and long life that you’re proud of.Focus on every single moment to ensure that you're living with intention. Click To Tweet
Fyvush Finkel is 95 years old and is a singer. He says, “If you can’t laugh, life would be empty. When you are with people that can laugh, you can be happy.” Everyone likes to laugh. You’re having a good time. Betty White says, “Do what you love to do every day.” Ray Olivere died at 93 years old, a portrait painter from New York said, “What motivates me is the desire to create something new. Don’t lose your curiosity.” That’s great advice. I believe that looking for ways to experience new things is what keeps me going. I love to try new adventures and to see new things that test me physically. That’s my passion. You need to find what yours is. You need to find it with the people that also share that same passion with you.
Here are some other people that I found fascinating and they’ve also shared their philosophy. Jerry Seinfeld says, “History things are bust your ass every day.” Meaning don’t take the easy way out. Do the work that you need to do. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do. That means committing. He says, “Pay attention.” Pay attention to all the things around you, appreciate all the things you have and pay attention to the details of life because it’s the little things that make things better. His last thing was, “Fall in love with everything.” Meaning to enjoy yourself. Love the coffee that you have every morning. Love the house that you live in. Love the work that you do. Love everything about every day. What that means is finding the good in everything.
I remember when I was applying for Survivor and I got turned down. I wasn’t picked. In my mind, it meant it wasn’t supposed to be. It wasn’t the right time so I kept on trying. When I was picked, I knew it was the right time. Have that positive outlook on life. Don’t look for the things that can go wrong. Find the things that will go right. The last woman that I wanted to highlight is Iris Apfel. She is a cover girl that is 97 years old. She’s an interior designer, a fashion icon and author. She signed a modeling contract at the age of 97 and Mattel made a Barbie doll in her image. She’s the oldest person to have a Barbie doll made with her image. What I loved about her is that she is real. She is herself. She’s not afraid to be who she is. She’s not afraid to talk about how old she is. Many of us are worried about getting older. I’m not going to lie. I’m not loving getting older every day. I still think I’m in my twenties, but I’m not. She’s not worried about getting older. She’s comfortable with her age. She’s comfortable how she looks. She dresses the way she wants to dress, which is eccentric. She is against plastic surgery for herself because she feels good about who she is and she’s fulfilling her dreams every day. She says, “I love what I do.”
Vitality comes from your spirit and your soul and you do things because you move around. You don’t sit still. You keep going. You can’t sit around and mope. She has this can-do spirit that I love. Think about how you operate. What are the things that you do? Are you doing the things that can take you to where you want to go? When you think about it, it’s not only about living longer. It’s about living life to its fullest. It’s about enjoying every single moment of every single day. It’s not about getting through the day. It’s about enjoying it. It’s about living. It’s about experiencing every single day. That’s what we’re there for. Those experiences that we go through every day are the things that we remember because what we talk about with our friends is all the experiences that we’ve had. We laugh about them and we cry about them. Those are the things that make you who you are.
We talked about the steps to vitality being the things that keep us going, the things that keep us alive, the things that make us happy to live long lives. All of us want that. We want to enjoy our lives and feel fulfilled every day. Step one, eat healthily. You are what you eat. Don’t get sucked into those fast food restaurants that are at every corner. Eat mostly plant-based foods. Make it a habit. Not those fad diets because they don’t work. It must be part of how you live your life every day. Step two is to keep on moving. Move naturally, change your lifestyle, create a way to keep moving. The more you move, the more you can move. When you stop moving, you’ll find that you won’t be able to move much anymore. Whether you walk around the block, whether you go to the gym, whether you move with yoga or dance or whatever it is, it’s your choice. Keep on moving.
Step three is finding a stress outlet. Stress is a killer. It’s a killer of spirit and it’s a killer of health. You need to figure out where you can go to relieve your stress. Find someone who you can talk to. Step four is to find your sense of purpose. Why do you exist? What’s important to you? How are you contributing and making a difference every day? No one can tell you what’s important to you. You’ve got to decide that. You must find your own passion. The last step is to find your tribe. Find the right people who will help you achieve. Find those people that believe in what you believe in and the people who will support you when you need them. You are the five people who you hang around with. Are you choosing the right people? We covered a lot of things. It’s the things that will keep us happy and things that will keep us enjoying life to its fullest. We’re going to have another great show for you. The Carolyn Rivera Show is all about you, the audience. My purpose is to research and share things that are on your minds, to talk about the things that you are going through. You may be struggling with things. I’ll help you find ways to help you through it and be more successful in all aspects of your life.
Follow me on Instagram @CarolynRivera14. If you’re ready to ignite your will to win, take that first step towards your own personal growth. If you want to push yourself further than you ever thought possible, go to my website, CarolynJRivera.com and send me a message. I love to hear from my audience because my passion is to help people succeed. We’re faced with challenges every day and sometimes we need that extra little push to get us through them. Believe, commit, achieve is the secret sauce you’re looking for.