A former neighbor from Lake St. Louis, Tom Hill (author, speaker, Eagle) sends out his weekly e-zine on Fridays. In the March 30 issue he made reference to a book by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin titled The Longevity Project:.
I’m very thankful to own a Kindle so within a minute I had the book purchased and in my hands. Even though the subject matter is suitable for a scientific or medical journal, it’s well written, organized and readable for your average (Healthy) citizen.
The authors began their work some twenty years ago using data gathered by Dr. Lewis M. Terman, a Stanford University psychologist and a pioneer of the I.Q. test. In 1921 Dr. Terman chose 1521 children that scored high on his intelligence test and followed them their entire lives tracking everything from personality traits, schooling, family life as children and adults, hobbies, relationships, interests, careers, sexual satisfaction in their marriage, health and death certificates to mention a few. In a word, the Terman study contains 80 years of comprehensive data.
The authors wanted to discover what really impacts our lifespan-including friends, family, personality, and work and they concluded that the key personality predictor of longevity is “conscientiousness“.
They offer three reasons for their conclusion.
1. The conscientious take more steps to protect their health and engage in fewer risky activities.
2. Some people have a biological predisposition to be conscientious and healthy. This may have something to do with the natural serotonin levels in their body.
Finally conscientious people seem to find their way into healthier relationships and environments that lead to healthy habits, marriages, careers and create a pathway for a healthy life and longevity.
Here are a couple of my observations from the book.
Most people achieve longevity not because they overcame serious disease like cancer or heart disease, but because they avoided it all together.
Running for your health won’t benefit you as much as running because it brings you pleasure.
Making good choices in life can improve your attitude and your health.
The conscientious do not ignore the guide posts to good health.
Stress increases your risk for illness. Nerve-racking events like divorce, being fired from your job, being arrested, losing a friend, death of a spouse can be devastating.
Part 2 of this article is coming soon, but in the meanwhile think about this
As human beings, we can change our conscientious levels for the better and improve our health by choosing healthier environments and relationships. A conscientious person wears seat belts, flosses, is judicious about calorie intake, practices safe sex, guards relationships, can be social, is active and is aware.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts.