35 pieces of life advice from women who've lived to be 100

Corinne Redfern

Drink lots, have sex and don't take life too seriously



The world's longest living woman reached the grand old age of 116 years old, and advances in medical care mean that more centenarians are not on her heels (/slippers) than ever before. Which got us thinking: aside from discovering you probably can't blow out a century's worth of candles in one go, what do you learn when you celebrate your hundredth birthday? We tracked down some of the world's wisest old women and found out their advice for growing up...

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1) 'My secret to a long life has been staying away from men. They're just more trouble than they're worth.'

2) 'When I was 100 years old, I went to the mirror to thank God that I was still here. And I thank him every morning. He gave me a long life and a good life, and I have nothing to complain about. … You’ve got to have God in your life. Without God, you’ve got nothing.'

3) 'I make myself go out everyday, even if it's only to walk around the block. The key to staying young is to keep moving.'

4) 'I never got married or had a boyfriend either. That probably had something to do with it. I just couldn't be bothered with men.'

5) 'Don't look at the calendar, just keep celebrating everyday.'

6) 'I dress up everyday and I don't wear blue jeans.'

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7) 'Keep going and never give up.'

8) 'Make yourself walk'

9) “I drink the faucet water.”

10) 'Take it easy, enjoy life, what will be will be. Sleep well, have a Bailey’s Irish Cream before bed if you have a cold—you will wake up fine the next morning.'

11) 'I never drank, smoked, or fooled with the weeds, you know, that stuff. And I don’t let anything upset me, especially traffic.'

12) 'I don’t like stress. I can’t stand arguing. If anybody is fussing, I’m gone. I like to be around positive people, people who lift you up not bring you down.'

13) 'Exercise every morning… I have a machine… it’s a cross between a rowing machine and a bicycle… [I do] 150, 200 [rows] every morning. I won’t leave my bedroom until I’ve done that.'

14) 'Be honest. I’ve rarely lied. And when you are honest with people, it comes back to you, and they are honest with you. It’s too much work keeping up with a lie. You don’t need the extra stress.'

15) 'Keep an open mind, and things seem less strange.'

16) 'Always listen to the other person. You’ll learn something. Try to sit back, because you will learn a lot more listening to others than telling them what you know.'

17) 'You have to love what you do. if you find a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.'

18) 'Take naps every day.'

19) 'You get one family, so stick with them. But it depends if these hardships are financial or emotional or other types. Stick it out. Some days are worse than others, and you have to be ok with that. The night is darkest before dawn.'

20) 'I try to take the time to look at and appreciate the smaller things that make this life beautiful. When I do that, time slows.'

21) 'Laughter keeps you healthy. You can survive by seeing the humor in everything. Thumb your nose at sadness; turn the tables on tragedy. You can't laugh and be angry, you can't laugh and feel sad, you can't laugh and feel envious.'

22) 'Mind your own business and don't eat junk food. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated, work hard, and love what you do.'

23) 'Look inside your soul and find your tools. We all have tools and have to live with the help of them. I have two tools, my words and my images. I used my typewriter, computer and my cameras to fight injustice. Whenever I see a possibility of helping people who are in danger, I want to help them'

24) 'Have a good appetite, lots of friends, and keep busy.'

25) 'Keep busy! Do things that you’ve never done before.'

26) 'Be good, don’t complain, just get up and do. Keep on working, keep on going, and have a good time.'

27) 'I had a wonderful marriage for 61 years, was active and danced my whole life, but I believe my life is in God’s hands.'

28) 'Do what you have to do. Don’t analyze it, just do it.'

29) 'Whatever is hard, you make hard, but if you take it as it comes, it doesn’t come hard. Don’t worry, don’t want so much, and be satisfied with what you’ve got. Be willing to share with your friends and those less fortunate.'

30) 'Try to understand the kind of person you are and accept who you are; but if you want to improve your situation, change it. Keep your eye on the stars and try to succeed at what you want to do'

31) 'Keep yourself alert, active and educated. Beat to your own drum.'

32) 'An affair is very different than a marriage because you can break it off at anytime.'

33) 'Invest in quality pieces, they never go out of style.'

34) 'Keep active!'

35) 'I swear the gin keeps me young! I have two at lunchtime, one at tea time with a biscuit and then three more during the evening while I do my knitting.'

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