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117 Years Isn't Such a Long Time

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 08/03/2015

This week, Misao Okawa celebrated her 117th birthday, making her the oldest woman in the world. Born in 1898, she holds a Guinness World Record but says that her life didn’t seem that long and that she is very happy to be 117 years old.  

In fact, there are actually five people born in the 19th Century that are still with us and they are all women (USA Today). Okawa is Japanese, three are from the United States and the fifth is a spritely Italian. Each of these women has seen the turn of two centuries, witnessed two World Wars and the Spanish-American War, and seen Queen Victoria on the throne.  

Most of them have extended families stretching over at least two generations and are surrounded by supportive, loving communities.   So what are their secrets to a long life?  

Misao Okawa
Good genes, regular sleep, exercise (she was doing leg squats at 102!) and...sushi!  

Gertrude Weaver
Bible study, wheelchair dancing, and kindness. She says to “Treat people right and be nice to other people the way you want them to be nice to you.”  

Jeralean Talley
Staying active and eating well. Talley played slot machines at casinos, bowled until she was 104, mowed her own lawn at 105 and still goes on yearly fishing trips with a friend.  

Susannah Mushatt Jones
Fancy lingerie, barbeque chicken and bacon.  

Emma Morano
A daily glass of homemade brandy, eating habits that include raw eggs every day and a good night’s sleep.  

So, by eating well, sleeping soundly, and staying active, it’s no surprise that these women have lived long, happy lives - and don’t seem to feel that they’ve been around for that long either! What’s your secret to a fulfilled life?