Living Longer and Prospering

Living Longer and Prospering

by Jim Stovall


Among the most consistent desires of people from all walks of life around the world are to live a long life and to live well.  Living to an advanced age is only a bonus if we are living well in every way. 


In a recent joint study conducted by research teams at universities in the United States and Italy, there were some common emotional, psychological, and personality traits that were exhibited by people who lived long and lived well.  The researchers studied individuals between the ages of 90 and 101.  They found that people who lived well throughout the better part of a century were positive, had a strong work ethic, had a stubborn personality, felt a connection to family and the land, and had a component of faith in their lives. 


Ironically, these elements are basically within our control.  Too often, people assume that how long they live or how well they live is a function of luck or random selection. 


Even if an individual’s life is cut short due to an accident or fatal illness, the traits exhibited by successful, elderly people in the study can help us all live better.  A great life is much more a measure of quality than quantity. 


Being positive is simply creating the expectation for favorable outcomes.  If we expect good things in our lives, we are more likely to find them. 


A strong work ethic helps us to live longer and better.  This does not mean that we necessarily continue to work at our same career, but it means we stay active, busy, and relevant.  There are few things that create more of a sense of wellbeing than feeling productive and needed. 


The researchers found that being stubborn helps individuals live long and live well.  In this context, stubbornness does not mean disagreeable or obstinate, but instead, denotes persistence and a commitment to never quit.


A strong bond with family is important for wellness, but we must consider the fact that our family is not simply the people to whom we are genetically connected but extends to people with whom we share a common interest, quality time, and love. 


People who have a connection to land and an element of faith in their lives are more grounded and less fearful of the future.  The ability to recognize there are things in the universe bigger than us creates hope and perspective. 


If you want to live long and prosper, you don’t have to guess about how to do it.  You just need to follow the leaders.


As you go through your day today, consider both the quantity and quality of your life.


Today’s the day!


Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.  He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at; on Twitter at; or on Facebook at