Go 'Monk' on life (or should I say 'Nun')
I fully expect to be learning new Shaolin-Do forms when I am 80 years old. In fact, it is my secret weapon of longevity. Grandmaster Sin has said this countless times. He told us that the real reason to study Shaolin was to increase the length and quality of our lives. I remember his stories that came from his teacher of the temple life. He told of a classes of 70 year olds being taught by a 90 year old master. Or even masters over 100 actively teaching the Shaolin art. Was this a 'story' or could we actually look forward to this type of active old age. Well I recently found a study done in the 1990's on about 700 nuns in Mankato, Minnesota. It turns out that I heard bits and pieces of the story years ago but never read some of the actual findings. Amazingly, the nuns had an average life expectancy at least 10 years higher than the average American woman. In addition, they suffered much less from dementia, Alzheimer's, or other brain degenerative disorders.
Fortunately for the rest of us, the sisters of that order donated their brains upon death, for the betterment of all of our lives. A researcher from The University of Kentucky looked at all their health parameters before their passing and even had access to their diaries and could determine what their basic personality was. What he found was powerful but in light of Grandmaster Ie's story not surprising.
The Sisters with a more positive mental attitude (optimistic) tended to live as much as 10 years longer than the nuns with negative attitudes. He concluded that thoughts of health, happiness and prosperity produce the very same conditions in the body. He conversely found that thoughts of depression, disease and negative emotions create disease and weakness in the body. WOW! There you have it. You might think that by being a cynic, that you are being a realist and facing the cold world. You might even think this makes you sophisticated, but this study shows you're just killing yourself early. It actually makes sense. If you're miserable in life, your body is just helping you to end the misery a little earlier. In his book, As Man Thinketh, James Allen states this concept with ultimate clarity. Unfortunately this is a tough pill to swallow for many people. It essentially says that if your sick, in some indirect way you caused it to happen. A further reason to be optimistic. Virtually 1000 studies involving a half million people, conclusively show that optimistic people are more productive at work, earn more money, get more promotions and do better in literally every measurable way to pessimistic, or 'realistic' thinkers. Foregoing judgment about which way is right or wrong, it just makes more sense to be jolly and happy about life. The biggest surprise in all these studies was, that optimistic thinking can be learned and that pessimists can change. I recommend you read or listen to Steve Chandler's book, 'Reinventing Yourself'.
Their brains had many more dendritic connections than the average senior. This reflected their attitude about lifelong learning and growth. The leader of the order insisted that they always remain busy and learn new skills or subjects to their very last day. This most likely contributed to the lack of dementia and Alheimer's disease. Since this in itself shortens many lives it contributes to both the length and quality of life.