Thursday, March 10, 2011

Focus on the Goal

The best childhood predictor of longevity, 
it turns out, is a quality best defined as 
conscientiousness: "the often complex pattern 
of persistence, prudence, hard work, close involvement 
with friends and communities" that produces a well-organized 
person who is "somewhat obsessive and not at all carefree."

The respondents to the study who fared best 
in the longevity sweepstakes tended 
to have a fairly high level of physical activity, 
a habit of giving back to the community, a thriving 
and long-running career, and 
a healthy marriage and family life. 

They summoned resilience against reverses and 
challenges — including divorce, loss 
of a spouse, career upsets and war trauma. 

By contrast, those with the darkest 
dispositions—catastrophizers, who viewed every 
stumble as a calamity—were most likely to die sooner. 

From a review of the new book "The Longevity Project"