Monday, September 13, 2010

A Longevity Secret


As I travel the country I run into people all the time now who are really old in age yet youthful in thought and outlook on life. Yes, many won the gene pool so they have longevity on their side, but others did it by having curiosity. They often tell me that having an active mind and body led to a more fulfilled and engaged long life experience.

One such person died last week. John Kluge was at one time the second richest man in America. He died a billionaire, but not one of the richest. He stayed active until his health failed. I never met him but was intrigued to discover that he had offered his longevity secret to The New York Times when they were preparing his obituary for the paper when he was 72 years old.

"I love the work because it taxes your mind. (Remember he was the founder of MetroMedia)Years ago, I could have taken a few million dollars and joined the country club and gotten in to this pattern of complaining about the world and about the tax law." But he didn't. He wasn't just into business. He grew flowers and collected paintings, African sculpture and Indian, Chines, Greek and Egyptian objets d'art. In other words, he had hobbies. He had cultivated interests, something I am constantly suggesting in my speeches.

I am pleased to say that I have met many more people lately, with a lot less money than John Kluge, who are exploring hobbies and interests as a way to constantly rewire and stay engaged in life throughout their life. No matter how busy you are take out some time for yourself.

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