9 Secrets on How to Live Well to 100

Dr. Hinohara was born in 1911 and passed away on July 18, 2017, in Tokyo. He served as the honorary president of St. Luk’s International Hospital and chairman emeritus of St.Luke’s International University.  He treated victims of the firebombing in World War 2, treated victims of a subway poison gas attack in 1995, and introduced wellness physicals into the Japanese national medical system.

Among other accolades, Dr. Hinohara wrote a children’s musical at 88 and a best-selling book when he was 101.

Dr. Hinohara came to understand that he was treating people and not diseases. He insisted on fully understanding the whole of an individual as much as one would the illness.  He came to believe that curing illness would involve the use of visual and liberal arts in addition to standard modern medical treatments.

During his journey of 105 years, Dr. Hinohara crafted a philosophy to help others and himself live longer healthier lives.

  1. Energy comes from feeling good, and not from eating well or sleeping a lot.
  2. Make efforts towards everyday fitness. Take the stairs, carry your own packages, walk to your destination. Even if you have to start by walking to the mail box. We all start somewhere.
  3. Remember that doctors can’t cure everything. Challenge your doctor and ask them if this is the treatment they would advise for their son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, or father.
  4. Music and animals are a powerful medicine.
  5. Never retire, but if you must do so much later than 65.
  6. Stay busy. Dr. Hinohara worked 18 hour days, 7 days a week until his last few months of life.
  7. Keep a schedule well in advance, he was looking forward to visiting the 2020 Olympics when he passed.
  8. Find time to give back. Share your knowledge, expertise, skills, or time.  Dr. Hinohara gave 150 lectures a year even in his old age has given some 4500 lectures throughout his life.
  9. Enjoy yourself.

These are not hard and fast rules to be obeyed.  He had an often quoted philosophy on rules,”We all remember how as children when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe we can keep that attitude as adults– it is best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.”

 

The Most Popular Course in Harvard History

 

Tal Ben-Shahar, a Ph.D. from Harvard University, taught the most popular course in Harvard history.  Some refer to his course as Happiness 101, but it is actually Psychology 1504, “Positive Psychology.”   

Ben-Shahar says, “People are looking for ideas that will help them to lead better lives.” Depression and anxiety are reaching epidemic proportions across all industrialized countries. Suicide rates surged to a 30 year high last year.  We are checking our emails every moment of the day.  We are constantly tied to our professional and social media networks.  Our work days grow longer, our tasks more complicated, the pace of work is accelerating.  Competition is on the rise for professionals and students alike.  Students especially are having to contend with higher expectations and fewer prospects.  

This is not your father’s psychology class.  Positive Psychology hones in on themes like flow, optimism, resilience, courage, virtues, energy, flourishing, strengths, happiness, curiosity, meaning, subjective well-being, forgiveness, and joy.

Harvard Professor of Psychology George Vaillant explains, that the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, the clinical “bible” of psychiatry and clinical psychology, “has 500,000 lines of text. There are thousands of lines on anxiety and depression, and hundreds of lines on terror, shame, guilt, anger, and fear. But there are only five lines on hope, one line on joy, and not a single line on compassion, forgiveness, or love.”

The mind healers of the past were singularly focused on where humans went wrong, how we responded to pain and pleasure, on flaws and weaknesses, and depraved behavior.  We were in Freud’s view struggling to keep it together under the torment of deep, dark drives.  It was the job of the psychologist to work with pain because it was thought our minds could not face these issues alone.

This is not Tal Ben-Shahar’s message or approach.  Positive Psychology rests on looking at personal strengths, building competencies, seeking pleasure, pursuing happiness, growing your potential, and leveraging creative tension.  Positive Psychology aims to ground concepts from a generation of self-help humanistic psychology with research and reason.

Their lab experiments might seek to define not the conditions that induce depraved behavior, but those that foster generosity, courage, creativity, and laughter. Their departure point for achieving greater happiness is not in addressing humanity’s flaws, but to focus on people’s strengths and virtues.

He also works at bringing research from the ivory tower to a more accessible place where it can be applied by real people.  “Most people do not read the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  In fact, one of my colleagues at Harvard did a study, and he estimated that the average journal article is read by seven people. And that includes the author’s mother.”  

With the hope of reaching more than seven readers here are Tal Ben-Shahar’s 5 Tips for Flourishing and Happiness:

1. Accept painful emotions as part and parcel of being alive.  When we open ourselves up to being human, that is to say invite the entire gamut of human emotion, then we open the door to all the positive emotions, too.

2. Stop texting while you are with your friends.  A very big predictor of well-being is time affluence.  The time we have to sit down and be with our friends.

3. Exercise!  3 times a week of 30-40 minutes of exercise is as powerful as some of the most powerful drugs in dealing with sadness, depression, or anxiety.  

4. Express your gratitude daily–in writing.  People who write down 3 to 5 things for which they feel grateful (big things or little things) are happier, more optimistic, more successful, more likely to achieve their goals, physically healthier (strengthens your immune system), and are more generous and benevolent to others.

5. Simplify.  Do less rather than more.  We try to cram more and more things into less and less time.  We pay a price in the quality of our work, and in the quality of our relationships.

Top Ten Things To Remember This Summer

10. Don’t leave your children in the car, ever.

Thirty-seven children die each year of heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. It can happen to anyone. TIPS: Have your daycare call you if your child doesn’t arrive. Leave one of your shoes in the back seat.

09. If a child is not old enough to communicate that he/she is hot, or thirsty, then they should not be outside.

Babies are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke. Their bodies still have difficulty regulating temperature. Signs of heat-stroke include; hot but not sweating, hot red dry skin, rapid pulse, restlessness, confusion, dizziness, vomiting, rapid shallow breathing, lethargy. TREATMENT: Move to a cool area immediately (shade or indoors). Remove clothing and wipe you baby with a damp cloth while fanning them. May consider cool bath to bring the temperature down. Go to doctor or emergency room if not improving.

08. Stroller + Blanket = Furnace.

Covering your stroller with a blanket can cause poor air circulation, increased temperatures, and difficulty seeing the status of your child. TIPS: Consider carrying a parasol or umbrella to block the sun. Look for strollers that have large canopies and incorporate netted material to allow air to flow.

07. Big ‘No!’ to jumping in muddy puddles. This is not an episode of Peppa Pig.

Stagnant, or standing water, is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, host to all manner of pathogens, bacteria, protozoa, and helminth (parasitic worms), and can often be contaminated with chemical and biological toxins. TIPS: Educate your children about microbial life with a microscope and water samples.

06. Mosquitos are the most dangerous animals in the world.

Mosquitoes carry West Nile, Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, parasites, and more. In other parts of the world Dengue and Malaria are common. Pregnant women and their sexual partners should avoid areas where Zika is spreading.

Insect repellent is the best way to avoid mosquito bites. DEET was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 and is still effective. The CDC recommends 10%-30% DEET for children older than 2 months of age. The effectiveness is similar but higher DEET lasts longer (10% = 2 hours, 30% = 5 hours). Although, the EPA and CDC endorse DEET as safe scientists have recently suggested the DEET may be linked to seizures and neurological damage in a laboratory environment.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol (PMD), is a natural alternative. Important to note that oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD) is a highly refined and intensified product that is far more concentrated than the natural oil from the same plant. Oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD) carries a label that warns, “Do not use on children under the age of 3.”

Finally, Picaridin was created by Bayer in the 1980s as a synthetic compound from a plant extract related to the black pepper family. It was available in Europe since 1998 and in the US since 2005. Picaridin has been found to be as effective as DEET, but due to its relative newness,  we have yet to understand long term health effects on humans.

05. Repellent, showers, and tick checks can stop ticks.

A handful of viruses, parasites, and bacteria are carried by ticks and all of them are on the rise. There were 115 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Florida in 2015 up from 85 in 2014. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass. Walk in the center of trails. Wear hats, use insect repellent (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus), apply permethrin on clothing. Shower after coming indoors and perform a body check including under arms, in and around ears, and especially the hair. Place outerwear directly into the dryer on high for 10-15 minutes to kill any ticks brought into the house on clothes.

04. Playgrounds: Stay Vigilant.

Beware of molten lava slides that have been baking in the summer sun all day. Give slides a hand check before allowing your littles to put their delicate skin down. Consider visiting a playground with more shade, or a splash area, for a special park day.

Each year in the U.S. emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground related injuries. More than 20,000 of these children are treated for traumatic brain injury including concussions. The majority of children are between 5-9 years old. Swings and slides are most dangerous to 0-4 year olds.

03. Lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun and it will hunt you down.

Lightning kills 47 people in the U.S. each year with hundreds more that are severely injured. There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder you are likely within striking distance and it is time to go indoors. Lightning can travel through the electrical and plumbing of your house, so avoid devices that are plugged into the wall and hold off on showers.

If you cannot get to safety, you can slightly lessen the threat of being struck, but don’t kid yourself– you are NOT safe outside. Avoid open fields, tops of hills and ridges. Stay away from tall isolated trees, or other tall objects. If you are in a group spread out to avoid the current traveling between members. Avoid water, wet items, and metal objects. Get to a vehicle if possible.

02. Drowning can happen in an instant.

On average 9 people die from drowning every day in the U.S. Drowning is most common for children 5 and under, but is the second leading cause of death for people age 5-24. Don’t go into the water unless you know how to swim. Never swim alone. Learn CPR. Make sure the body of water matches your skill level. Don’t fight currents, stay calm and float with it, or swim parallel to the shore until you can swim free. Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard. Don’t dive in unfamiliar areas. Never drink alcohol when swimming. Talk to your teens about alcohol. Alcohol is involved in about half of all male teen drownings.

01. Avoid grizzly bears

“All the books tell you that if the grizzly comes for you, on no account should you run. This is the sort of advice you get from someone who is sitting at a keyboard when he gives it. Take it from me, if you are in an open space with no weapons and a grizzly comes from you, run. You may as well. If nothing else, it will give you something to do with the last seven seconds of your life.” — Bill Bryson

Zn (Zinc) The Paul Giamatti of Supplements

Zinc is the Paul Giamatti of supplements – A star in a supporting role.

People are focused on the macro side of nutrition by looking at fats, carbs and proteins that this mineral is easy to overlook. We are quite good at incorporating entire food groups and doing our best to avoid others. Reading nutritional labels to review serving size, calories, fats, sugars, is also a popular health focus. But we aren’t quite so vigilant about vitamins and minerals. As a matter of fact, the FDA notes almost 50% of the US population has a nutritional deficiency. Just like Mary, there is something about zinc. You may look more at closely at this mineral after reading this.

THE ESSENTIAL TRACE MINERAL

There are 24 essential vitamins and minerals, 12 of each. Essential means our body cannot make these so they must be consumed. Intake is absolutely crucial to healthy physiologic functioning. You may become chronically sick and at the least do not feel well, if you are deficient.

Zinc is found in our muscles, bones, kidneys, pancreas, retina, teeth, hair, skin, liver, blood cells, prostate, and testes. You begin to imagine what can go wrong if adequate amounts of zinc are not available to us in our diet.

SOURCES

Zinc is better absorbed from animal than from plant sources. Many plant-based foods contain phytic acid. This substance binds to minerals like iron and zinc and inhibits the body’s ability to absorb them. Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to have zinc deficiencies.

THE TASTE TEST

A quick taste test at home can reveal if you are zinc deficient. Pour about 2 tablespoons of water-based zinc solution into a cup and drink the solution. If it tastes like water then you are deficient. If it tastes metallic or bitter than you likely have adequate zinc stores. You can purchase this zinc solution at most health food stores and we carry it here at our office.

BENEFITS OF ZINC

COMMON COLD

Zinc kicks the common cold’s butt. The duration and severity of symptoms may be reduced by up to 40%.

IMMUNE SYSTEM & TISSUE REPAIR

Even mild to moderate zinc deficiency can impair our immune defenses, affecting macrophage and neutrophil functions. These two types of white blood cells help engulf and digest cellular debris, foreign substances, infectious bacteria, and cancer cells. Studies in the elderly show a 66% decrease in infections when supplemented with zinc.

WOUND HEALING

Zinc plays a crucial role in skin integrity and structure. Studies show that patients experiencing chronic wounds or ulcers had deficient zinc metabolism and lower serum zinc levels.

LEARNING AND MEMORY

Studies reveal that zinc plays a crucial role in regulating neuron communication, affecting how we learn and memory formation.

ADHD

Zinc deficient children and adolescents have positive behavioral and cognitive outcomes following zinc supplementation. Also, zinc facilitates the effectiveness of ADHD drugs allowing for lower dosing to achieve beneficial results.

DIARRHEA

Zinc helps control diarrhea and prevent future bouts of the condition.

AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

Zinc and antioxidants delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) possibly by preventing cellular damage in the retina.

HORMONES & FERTILITY

Zinc plays a part in regulating vital fertility hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

THYROID HORMONES

Most people with hypothyroidism are zinc deficient. Zinc is required to produce thyroid hormone and any inadequacy can lead to hypothyroidism. Zinc increases Free T3, lowers RT3, lowers TSH.

MENSTRUAL CYCLES

Zinc treatment prevents dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramping) and helps regulate ovulation.

ACNE

Zinc blocks excess androgens (testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen) and helps kills bacteria by improving white cell function. Pores open and acne is decreased.

REDUCES INFLAMMATION & OXIDATIVE STRESS

Zinc is a powerful antioxidant. Deficiency of zinc leads to a buildup of free radicals thus exposing DNA to damage and age-related diseases. Zinc supplementation decreases oxidative stress biomarkers and decreases inflammatory cytokines.

SIGNS OF ZINC DEFICIENCY

 

 

BEST FOOD SOURCES

Oysters

Beef

Crab

Lobster

Pork

Chicken

Fish

RECOMMENDATIONS

Age and sex help determine your dietary needs, but other considerations should be made. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers have higher requirements. Athletes may be eliminating zinc in their sweat and will require replacement. Consult your physician before supplementing.

Zinc is widely available as a nutritional supplement.

GENERAL RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCE
0-6 Months 2 mg/day
7-12 Months 3 mg/day
1-3 Years 3   mg/day
4-8 Years 5 mg/day
9-13 Years 8 mg/day
Males 14 and over 11 mg/day
Females 14 to 18 9 mg/day
Females 19 and over 8 mg/day

 

 

Conclusion

Zinc may start with the last letter of the alphabet but this important essential mineral supports the entire alphabet soup of vitamins and minerals that come before ‘z.’  Think of it as the Zeus of your health!

 

What can vulnerability teach us about the future of work? – Special Guest Writer: Monica Parker

(Article Published on Thornburg Pediatrics Blog with the generous permission of Monica Parker)

 

Alongside technological advances, our society is changing rapidly. What do those changes mean for the future of work? Hatch Analytics founder Monica Parker has some idea.

Fun fact: we’re only born afraid of two things – loud noises and falling. Sort of strange, when you think of it. But, in truth, our brains at birth are something of a tabula rasa. A blank slate. Some scientists posit that we aren’t even born knowing how to love, that circuitry only being triggered in our limbic system by our mother’s first caress. But, from those first crying breaths, we know our brains begin to learn. And much of what we learn is what to fear.

Fast forward to adulthood and we fear so much. Deepest set among those fears is the fear of change.

When futurists pull out their crystal ball and talk about the future of work, I find much of the discussion to be doom and gloom. ‘Our world is becoming increasingly chaotic’, they say. It’s more volatile. Uncertainty reigns supreme. In fact, we can never really ‘know’ anything, as increasing ambiguity gives life to everything from fake news to alternative facts. These elements have become known as the VUCA world – a world that is more volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous.

It was the US Army War College that coined the term, and management consultancies were fast to pick it up. Why the US Army may prefer a fear-based worldview is perhaps best left to a whiskey-fuelled debate, but I imagine it’s not a stretch to see why management consultancies are also all too happy to perpetuate it. (No doubt an excellent rationale for needing their services.)

With the development of this innocuous acronym, and folks all too willing to socialize it, we’re all meant to feel less safe and more overwhelmed by change spiraling out of our control.

Much of the artificial intelligence (AI) and automation debate seems to play into this VUCA mindset. Google headlines about AI and you’ll see the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Steven Hawking warning us of the impending AI apocalypse.  My response? Don’t believe the hype.

For starters, I think it’s an inherently negative world view, but also, I just don’t think it’s accurate. Don’t get me wrong – there is no doubt the pace of change is greater, maybe even unprecedented, but the assumption that it will lead to the end of days seems unfounded.

Technology and automation have been drivers for change for centuries. The language being used today to describe the future of automation and AI is strikingly similar to that used 100 years ago. (Socrates even objected to the new-fangled invention of his time – writing – claiming it would damage memory and fail to impart information with sufficient depth.)

In fact, 85pc of the jobs held in 1900 no longer existed in 2000. And this trend will certainly continue. 65pc of kindergarten-aged kids will work in jobs that haven’t been invented yet, and a kid that age will have 16 jobs in nine industries over the course of their life. In the OECD, 70pc of young people will enter the labour market in jobs that will be lost to automation in the next 10 to 15 years.

When I hear stats like these, I can’t help but think ‘skills gap’. But if the jobs haven’t been invented yet, what skills do we train them for?

Some would say coding. But do they need to code? I don’t think so. I’ll date myself by saying I did not understand how to program my VCR 10 years ago, and now my TV does it for me. They say computers will be coding themselves in a decade. What I believe is that it’s not the technical skills we need to be preparing people for. Rather, it’s the very skills that make us more human.

The skill we most need? Change management. And I’m not talking about that burning platform, quick wins, top-down rubbish. I’m talking about change management that helps us withstand the sort of big, fat, hairy existential change that transforms people, planets, systems. Because, just in the same way ‘business as usual’ working models aren’t sufficient to face a world of rapid transformation, neither will the old models of change.

So, I have a different, more positive VUCA world I want us to live in. My VUCA is one where we cultivate the change management skills of vulnerability, unlearning, curiosity and awe.

Vulnerability

If kids are going to have 16 jobs in nine industries – some of those job changes coming involuntarily – they’re going to need to be resilient. Now, the word resiliency has a few different connotations, several of which mean tough or impenetrable. But, if you’ve seen Brené Brown’s TED talk, you know that the single biggest contributing factor towards resiliency is vulnerability. Regrettably, vulnerability is not a quality particularly honoured in the corporate world. And certainly not in the male world, where suicide is the biggest killer of young men under the age of 35. Cultivating a culture of vulnerability will help us manage intense change.

Unlearning

This one might sound odd, but even Yoda said ‘you must unlearn what you have learned’. So what did he mean by that? He means that some of the knowledge you ‘know’ to be true may not be true, and could be blocking your vision to new thinking. Galileo helped us unlearn that the world was flat. What other flat-earth ‘truths’ might be obstructing our ability to change our perspective?

Curiosity

Did you know that curiosity actually changes the chemistry of your brain? In a 2014 study from UC Davis, when participants were shown questions that interested them, parts of their brains associated with dopamine release became active. But what’s really interesting is that when people were shown the answers, their hippocampus was triggered, which allowed for the information to be embedded in long-term memory. This means that cultivating a sense of curiosity will help us process and embed greater amounts of information more quickly. Look no further than to Leonardo da Vinci, so convinced with the curiosity and dream of flight that he talked of tasting it. Curiosity unlocks not just adaptability and learning, but hope.

Awe

Scientists at UC Berkeley say that awe is the most profoundly beneficial emotion from a physical and psychological sense. People who regularly experience awe have greater humility, curiosity, innovation, happiness and desire to contribute to the world. And yet, from Hatch Analytics research, we know that 71pc of people don’t even take time out of their workday for fear of being seen as skiving. If people can’t take time from their workday to even think, how can they ever cultivate a goosebump-inducing sense of awe?

Look, I’m not as clever as Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Steven Hawking, so I’ll choose to selectively follow them. While Hawking did say he believed AI could be the end of humanity, he also said that AI is a magnifier. And that, as a tool created by humans to solve human problems, AI could act as a magnifier to all good human intention.

I love that image.

Rather than give in to the very old-fashioned notion of an apocalyptic technology scenario, let’s imagine a world where a quality such as vulnerability is revered and cultivated. A world where our sacred cows can be slayed in the name of adaptive thinking. A world where the altar to the cult of overwork crumbles under the weight of curiosity and awe. A world where we trade our fear of falling with our dream of flying.

That’s my future of work, and I’m sticking with it.