The following is the Philosophy of Life by 104 year old Jack boss.
I interviewed Jack for my upcoming book featuring the lessons and wisdom from the oldest and wisest among us.
If you know an elder with a story to share, I’d love to meet them.
HOW TO ENJOY A LONG HEALTHY LIFE by Jack Boss
FORGET ABOUT AGE
We live from the day we are born to the day we die. The object is to enjoy the rest of our time to the fullest. Here are some of my recipes how to do it.
Enjoy every minute, every hour and every day of your life. It is a mental attitude of awareness that you must develop, to enjoy everything around you at all times. When you awaken in the morning, you open your eyes and you see the light. Say to yourself, another day of delight, of pleasant things to do, people to meet, things to learn, etc. You brush your teeth, wash your face and, when you look in the mirror, say to yourself, there is only one you in this world like you and you are going to enjoy this day and no one is going to stop you.
When you pick out the clothes you are going to wear, pick clothes that will make you feel good, because they are comfortable and the colors are pleasing to you. If you surround yourself with things you like, it will elevate your mood. Now go downstairs, give your loved one a hug and a kiss because they are the best friend you have or will ever have and showing your love will give you such a good glowing feeling that it helps get your day started off right.
Now you have breakfast and enjoy it because eating is a pleasure. When you go out, go out with your eyes wide open to be aware of the beauties of nature, the color of the sky, the trees, the bright shining sun, the flowers, grass, birds, animals, the smell of the air; just looking at them and admiring them is uplifting and a rejuvenation in itself.
This I have found has been one of the most important things that has helped me enjoy life: a positive, inquisitive attitude towards most everything. When you are going to do something new, have rose colored glasses on, look at the good things and make them larger in your mind. If there are bad things, minimize them. Notice I said when you are going to do it, that means you have carefully analyzed it before you decided to do it. If your judgment is against doing it, then don’t do it. If you develop your thought processes in this area properly, you can get so much enjoyment even before you get to doing it. With the proper attitude your mind can develop the situation to the point where you will be euphorious with the anticipation and living what is going to happen before it happens.
WORRY AND/OR STRESS
If a problem arises and you can do something about it, get off your rear end and take care of the problem. If it is in someone else’s hands and you have NO control of the situation, then forget about it until the end result. That is the time you can have input and you take care of what is presented to you.
When you have a number of things to do, make a mental or written list and set them up in order of importance. The most important item is #1 on the list and #2 is the next most important and so on down the line. When I say the most important, I mean the most important at the moment of making the list. It may not turn out to be the most important when you get around to doing it. You may do one from the middle of the list first because that became the most important due to timing or necessity. Making this list helps you do things in an orderly fashion and gets them done on or before the time they should be done.
The things we do and the way we think is 98% habit. These habits are created subconsciously. Such as: we have to make a decision. Once we make that decision we have started a habit. The next time we have to make a decision in the area we made the first decision, we will no doubt do the same thing we did the first time. Because the habit was started, we will then be making the habit stronger, more entrenched. The object, of course, is to create good habits. These little philosophies are good habits. If you can learn and practice them, I am sure you will enjoy life as much as I have.
An example of creating a habit: as kids grow up, they want to be like adults and do what adults do such as smoking. When kids hang around together in a group, they all like to be like the others. They are afraid to be thought of as different. This is known as peer pressure. So when a few start smoking, the rest feel they have to follow. It is the wise and strong who knows his or her own mind and knows what is right and what is wrong. At first when you smoke, it is terrible, it tastes awful, it burns. When you continue, you get used to it. After a while it becomes a habit and it is very difficult to stop. It even becomes automatic. There are some people who will take a cigarette from a package, light it and not realize that they did so. Every time you smoke a cigarette, the habit is becoming stronger and deeper and therefore more difficult to break. The object, of course, is to create good doing, thinking, and health habits. They will become automatic and you will always be feeling good and elated because most everything is going your way. You are healthy due to the proper habits you have established and, when you are healthy, you have no aches and pains to take away from feeling good.
This I think of more strongly than anything else (my father taught me moderation). In the things you do and think, if you are somewhere near the middle of the road you won’t get hurt. You will find the times you are apt to suffer is when you are being extreme. Too much drinking, driving too fast, diets that are too stringent, getting too far away from the conventional, just do not stray too far from the center.
When you meet people, have a smile on your face and a pleasant manner. I have found that people usually are a mirror of you and they reflect the way you act towards them. Should your attitude be nice, they will be nice. If it is curt and gruff, they will respond in like manner. It is much nicer when people are pleasant with one another rather than arguing, barking or creating unpleasantries. It makes everyone have bad vibes and takes away from enjoying your day. I don’t mean to say that when you have to defend yourself or fight for your rights that you don’t argue or bark (just no biting). There is a proper time for all things.
You are going to learn that all people are different than you are and if you learn early in your life, you will be less hurt. By having this knowledge, you will be able to handle these differences much better. At times you are going to think that other people are as kind, intelligent, loving, caring, honest, truthful, have as much ability as you do, but this is not so. We are all different. The object is to know this and to be able to accept the fact that they cannot be as nice as you are.
YOU LEARN MORE FROM LISTENING THAN TALKING
That sentence, if you practice that all your life, you will find you will have less trouble and be more appreciated. Usually, when you do a lot of talking, you say things that at a later date will be used against you. Most people, when they talk, talk about themselves and like to have an audience that listens. So, if you become a good listener, people will like you and, in listening, you will learn many things that will be helpful to you.
Learn how to control it, somewhat like a TV set, you will be able to change your channel of thoughts. Many times we get disturbing thoughts at a time we would rather think of something else. If you do not train yourself, you will find yourself disturbed with frustrating thoughts that you cannot get away from.
It will be a rare thing if, in your lifetime, you will have three real good friends. If so, you will be extremely fortunate. Everyone else will be acquaintances. In a true friendship it is a 45/55 affair. Let me explain. You are both unselfish. You both put into the friendship 55% of giving and take out 45%. You almost care for the other person more than yourself. One other thing: Respect. That word covers a lot of ground. You respect their likes, dislikes, moods, viewpoints, thoughts. You can go on and on with things to respect, but all these things are the essence necessary for people to be friends.
Learn to concentrate on what people are saying to you and on the things you do. If you learn to do that, you will be successful and make few mistakes. By concentrating on people when they are speaking, you will understand the full meaning of what they are saying and will understand them fully instead of understanding part of what they said and guessing the rest. If you concentrate on the things you do such as homework, cooking, sewing, golf, cleaning, bowling, skating, baseball, carpentry, gardening, or whatever you do, you will find that almost everything will come out to your and everyone else’s approval the first time you do it. If you don’t, a lot of times you will have to do it over. This means a loss of time and at times a loss of money because mistakes cannot be rectified such as sawing wood, putting proper ingredients in cooking, and so on.
LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES
Some people get the stems, some get the pits, and some get the fruit. If you learn to do the things I suggest, you will be the one who gets the fruit.
How to slow the aging process: When you become 65 years old, have one birthday every five years.
C H A R A C T E R
Every individual should THINK, use your brain; before you talk or do something:
DO YOU FORGET?
From the time we are born we begin to store knowledge in our brain. We also develop many pathways to that knowledge that gives us the ability to recall that information quickly.
Around middle age some of the pathways start to die and we become forgetful. The process of dying continues as we age.
To slow this process and help our memory we have to increase the amount of blood going to the brain by strengthening the cardiovascular system with exercise and eating a nourishing diet.
IT IS YOUR BRAIN – USE IT OR LOSE IT
SIMPLE BASICS OF GOOD
HEALTH AND LONGEVITY
Your body is made up of cells. The stronger they are, the stronger and healthier you will be. These cells are constantly reproducing and dying. They require three things: oxygen, nutrients, and water. These should be of the finest quality.
These items are brought to our cells by our bloodstream which also carries back dead cells, toxins, anti-oxidants, carbon dioxide, and all matter to be excreted. For the blood stream to do its work effectively it must have a strong cardio-vascular system, which means devising a proper diet for yourself and an exercise program to fit you.
This is the simplest explanation and method to make yourself a healthy person and live longer. Start doing this NOW and you will OWN a healthy, strong body and will have WON the battle over ill health and aging so quickly.
We need the best and purest of these three things:
Water – distilled water
Oxygen – air that is filtered
Nutrients – food that is without chemicals, pesticides,
We are bombarded with toxins (poisons) from all directions at all times.
NOSE: The polluted air we breathe is loaded with toxins (poisons)
MOUTH: Everything we put in our mouth has toxins (poisons)
EARS: The harsh sounds we hear – car crashes, screaming, arguments, explosions, loud music, loud unexpected sounds, create toxins (poisons)
EYES: When we see disturbing things such as accidents, people who are hurt or suffering, etc., it creates toxins (poisons)
SKIN: Everything we put on our skin is absorbed into the body – perfume, sunscreen, medications, and all else create toxins (poisons)
NEGATIVE THINKING: Dislike, hate, fear, etc., create toxins (poisons)
These toxins (poisons) roam about in our blood stream looking for weak cells to kill. We then develop illnesses. Our immune system, the good guys, surround the toxins (poisons) and escort them out of our system before they can do damage. When the toxins (poisons) are stronger than our immune system, they can do their damage and we suffer.
Minimize the toxins (poisons) we put in our body and strengthen our immune system.
NOSE: Get an air purifier for your home
MOUTH: Learn more about the chemicals in our packaged foods. Drink distilled water, eat fruits and vegetables; don’t smoke
EYES: Wear sunglasses, avoid disturbing sights
EARS: Avoid loud sounds and loud music
SKIN: Keep the skin as clean as possible, wash often
POSITIVE THINKING: Slowly create the habit of thinking positively. Be a positive thinker
EXERCISE: Increases the flow of blood and eliminates the toxins (poisons) quickly, plus it strengthens the cardio-vascular system allowing you to enjoy life more
HUMOR: One of the best eliminators of toxins (poisons)
CHEMICALS: Avoid chemicals as much as possible – in home, on skin, or breathing
OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
GET HAPPY AND YOU’LL LIVE LONGER
Ever envy those Pollyanna types who skip around with a smile on their faces? While some people may be born with sunny dispositions, happiness isn’t necessarily based on genes or luck. Psychologists now believe it’s a learned skill, almost like knitting. In fact, Harvard’s how-to-be-happy course, with more than 850 enrollees, has become the university’s most popular class. It’s first lesson? Embrace your failures and frustrations. “When you give yourself permission to be human,” says course instructor and psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar, “you are more likely to open your-self up to positive emotions.”
And better health. Nearly a dozen studies show that happier people live longer. They’re also less likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes, and pain from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Plus, Carnegie Mellon researchers last month found that people who express positive emotions come down with fewer colds and flus after being exposed to the viruses than those who express negative emotions like anger, sadness, or stress.
Set Point While moods can change day to day – even hour to hour – psychologists used to believe that life satisfaction levels remained stable over time, always returning to a “set point” after a traumatic or happy event. A recent study from the University of Illinois, though, suggests that this set point can shift over the years. What’s more, there are ways to push the needle on the gauge toward happy. In fact, experts – who refer to themselves as positive psychologists – have found that such simple acts as being grateful for what you have can help improve your outlook. “We need to look for happiness in the right places,” Ben-Shahar says.
Those places don’t include Tiffany’s or a BMW dealership. The joy in acquiring objects of desire dissipates quickly. “Like French vanilla ice cream, material things are great at the first taste, but then after a while they lose their flavor,” says happiness researcher Martin Selig-man, who started a positive psychology master’s program at the University of Pennsylvania. Through his studies, he identified specific steps that can help increase happiness over the long haul.
** Go for real goals. It’s better to think of happiness in terms of leading a meaningful life. “It’s about being in the flow, completely absorbed by your work, the pursuit of your goals, the people you love, and your leisure activities,” says Seligman.
** Make a gratitude visit. Deliver a thank-you note to someone who’s been especially kind or helpful but never properly appre-ciated. When you feel thankful, you get pleasure from remembering a positive life event. Plus, you’ll strengthen a relationship that may bring you future happiness.
** Focus on the good things. You probably spend more time each day thinking about what went wrong rather than what went right. Jot down three things that went well each day and explain why. “this will help you feel more grateful for what you have and more hopeful about the future,” says Seligman.
HAPPY THOUGHTS MAKE A HEALTHIER BODY
We know being happy makes us feel better emotionally. Happiness may make us physically healthier too. Change your thinking and you may see improvements in both emotional and physical health. Research shows many health benefits from being positive, including:
Lower levels of stress
Better coping skills during difficult times
Lower rates of depression
Better overall physical and mental health
Lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Being positive also helps your brain function better. Being more positive seems to help with memory, speaking, decision making, problem solving, and creativity.
by Jessica Payne, MA, Ph.D.
If you look at people today around the world who have no disease and no illness, there are virtually no common denominators. You can’t look to a person’s diet because they vary so greatly. Some of these people smoke, some of them eat monkeys raw, some of them eat dairy products, some of them are vegetarians, some of them do not exercise, others simply walk. They generally all do sleep very well, but the most obvious common denominator is how they think and how they talk. They are very positive, optimistic individuals, they don’t take life very seriously, and they don’t worry too much. They are optimistic and they are lighthearted. They greet each day in a spirit of thankful-ness. Attitude really makes the difference. Thoughts do affect the body, and thoughts can dramatically affect your health.
From a biological standpoint, what does this really mean? Think of it this way. The body has what is known as the immune system. The immune system fights off any imbalance or disease, virus, germs and bacteria. If your body’s immune system is strong and you happen to catch any bacteria or virus, your body fights it off and you never even notice that you were exposed or had that particular virus or bacteria or germ. When your immune system is very weak, you are susceptible to showing the symptoms of succumbing to that particular virus or bacteria.
People that are the healthiest are people with very low stress levels. The common denominator of the healthiest people on the planet is how they think and what they say. The mind can cause the immune system to be incredibly strong and actually change the genetic DNA structure in your body, preventing disease. What you think and what you say, in other words “stress,” can absolutely cause your immune system to be weakened and cause genetic weaknesses in the body to become active causing you to develop illness and disease. Stress, negative thoughts, negative words coming out of your mouth, all are very powerful in turning your body pH either acidic or alkaline. Remember, if your body’s pH is acidic you have an environment where illness and sickness can thrive. If your body pH is alkaline you virtually can never get sick. By reducing stress, speaking powerful positive words, and thinking powerful positive thoughts you absolutely can turn your body pH to the state of alkaline and reverse – yes, that’s right, absolutely cure virtually every disease in the body all with the power of your mind.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
Compliment 3 people each day.
Look people in the eye.
Treat everyone you meet as you want to be treated.
Say “thank you” a lot.
Make new friends but cherish old ones.
Read the Bill of Rights.
Learn to listen. Opportunity knocks very softly.
Have a good posture. Enter a room with purpose and confidence.
Live beneath your means.
Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade”. Learn the trade instead.
Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
Say “please” a lot.
Use credit cards only for convenience, never for credit.
Never take action when you’re angry.
Pray not for things but for wisdom and courage.
Never deprive someone of hope. It might be all he or she has.
Admit your mistakes.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
Don’t discuss business in elevators. You never know who may overhear you.
Don’t expect life to be fair.
Be willing to lose a battle in order to win the war.
Regarding furniture and clothes: if you think you’ll be using them 5 years or longer, buy the best you can afford.
Choose a charity in your community and support it
Give generously with your time and money
Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”.
Instead of using the word problem, try substituting the word opportunity.
Never underestimate the power of forgiveness.
Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
Never walk out on a quarrel with your wife or husband.
Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his deathbed, “Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office”.
Make a list of 25 things you want to experience before you die. Carry it in your wallet and refer to it often.
Wage war against littering.
Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry”.
Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
Forget committees. New, noble, worldchanging ideas always come from one person working alone.
Don’t procrastinate. Do what needs doing when it needs to be done.
When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you’re going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce.
Never pay for work before it’s completed.
After encountering inferior service, food or products, bring it to the attention of the person in charge. Good managers will appreciate knowing.
When faced with a serious health problem, get at least three medical opinions.
Street musicians are a treasure. Stop for a moment, then leave a small donation.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly.
Call your mother or father.