Oh, to live to a hundred and enjoy every single year of your long life! 104-year-old Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara is Japan’s oldest practicing clinician and educator who was born in 1911, just before the first World War.
The founder the “New Elderly Movement,” and author of 150 books, including the best-selling “Living Long, Living Good,” which sold 1.2 million copies, Dr. Hinohara has 14 valuable pieces of advice to live a long, healthy, and happy life:
#1. Energy comes from feeling good, and not from eating well or sleeping a lot.
Like children who have lots of fun until they feel hungry or sleepy, eliminate strict time-regulated rules over when to eat and when to sleep, and you’ll be more energetic and happy about yourself.
#2. Do not be overweight.
Always careful about his food intake, Dr. Hinohara takes coffee, orange juice and a tablespoon of olive oil for breakfast; milk and cookies for lunch; vegetables, fish, and rice for dinner, and a treat of 100 grams of lean meat twice a week.
#3. Always plan ahead
Possessed of a busy schedule filled with lectures, appointments, and hospital work, Dr. Hinohara has learned to plan ahead to enjoy life better. He’s looking forward to attending the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and has already penciled it in his schedule.
#4. You don’t have to retire.
Dr. Hinohara believes you don’t need to retire if you love the work you do.
#5. Share what you know.
Dr. Hinohara, shown here sharing lessons on war and peace with school children in Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture, gives 150 lectures a year in business communities and schools. Most of these lectures are done standing up for up to 90 minutes, a practice which the doctor says keeps him strong.
#6. Don’t believe everything your doctor says or recommends.
Words from the doctor himself, who recommends asking your physician point-blank whether he would perform the same procedure or prescribe the same medication for his loved ones, before actually agreeing with his course of treatment.
#7. In order to stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff.
Dr. Hinohara, who still takes two steps at a time climbing the stairs, is a firm proponent of carrying his own weight.
#8. Be inspired.
Dr. Hinohara continues to find inspiration in the world to motivate him, such as Robert Browning’s poem “Abt Vogler,” which describes the beauty of music.
#9. Pain is mysterious.
According to Dr. Hinohara, the best way to forget pain is to do something fun. At the Seiroka International Hospital, which he founded, they have animal and music therapies, as well as art classes to help patients manage their pain.
#10. Don’t be crazy about amassing material things.
Despite his age, Dr. Hinohara has a fatalistic attitude towards life, and enjoys his possessions without being overly acquisitive. He knows can’t take anything with him when he goes.
#11. Science alone cannot cure or help people.
Dr. Hinohara believes in the uniqueness of each individual person, with most diseases connected to the state of their hearts. Helping cure illness would involve the use of visual and liberal arts, not just medication and surgery.
#12. Life is unpredictable and filled with incidents. Don’t worry too much about it.
In 1970, when he was 59 years old, his commuter flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. Dr. Hinohara spent a total of 4 days handcuffed to his seat with the rest of the other passengers under 40-degree heat, and was amazed at how his body slowed down to adapt to deprivation.
#13. Find a role model.
Dr. Hinohara, who looks up to his own father, would often ask himself what his father would do when he finds himself facing a problem.
#14. It’s wonderful to live long.
Dr. Hinojara has used his longevity to continue serving society. He continues to volunteer, and still works 18 hours a day, seven days a week, enjoying every moment of his long life.
What about you?
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