The Key to Longevity

The Key to Longevity

We have done a vast amount of speaking with people our age, and the single commonality our group has is a deep sense of purpose. This is the key, and it is what underlies everything. If there is a purpose, then there is a reason to stay alive longer and to engage in habits that cause that to happen. Fitness for the sake of fitness is entirely self-oriented and, ultimately, disappointing and boring.  But fitness so that one can continue to be useful for as long as possible has power. Just as staying culturally engaged is essential if one wants a sense of agency with younger people and what’s needed.

Usefulness is the key to longevity. There. You want to know how to live a long time and live well? Get focused on being useful. Everything flows from that. It is perhaps easiest to see in people who don’t feel useful: a cascade of low self-esteem, anti-health behavior, avoidance of new ideas, isolation from other people….and a rapid decline. Want a wakeup call? Google the relationship between retirement and death. We have nothing against retirement, but, heads up, the sense of usefulness that one gets from work needs to be replaced with something else, and quickly. Another career, mentoring, church work, looking after a family member, community — it’s all great. What is 100% guaranteed to mess you up is sitting at home “relaxing,” taking comfort, watching television and checking out.

David Stewart
David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

More Stories

Susan Feldman on Starting a Women’s Digital Business in Her 60s

Women our age are leading the push in starting new businesses. We will be having a number of these north star female entrepreneurs speaking...

Tom Roush, 55, Unpredictable Life

The day after he dropped his son off to join the Marines, Tom Roush walked into his boss’ office and gave two weeks’ notice...

Haircare Veteran Takes on the Challenges of Aging Hair

After 25 years working on haircare brands for Procter & Gamble and L'Oréal, Sonsoles Gonzalez knows a thing or two about hair.But when the former...

Your Resume Won’t Get You Hired

Our career columnist,  John Tarnoff is here with this month's insights on winning strategies for landing a job. Struggling with a Job Search? The common threads...

Hidden Treasure: Rappahannock Oyster Bar

AGEIST is located in one of the most difficult to understand cities in the world: Los Angeles. It’s a place where the best Chinese...