Lessons Learned from Longevity

My first job out of college was as a city reporter for a small regional newspaper. I covered everything that went on in the area, including the birthday parties of local centenarians. These events were some of my favorites, because I got the chance to ask these seasoned veterans of life what they believed to be the secrets to their longevity. Their answers varied, but if there was one thread that ran through them all, I would have to say it’s consistency.

I probably interviewed five people who made it past the age of 100 and when asked what helped them endure throughout the years, there was always one thing they did or thought that never changed. For one woman, it was a strict avoidance of tobacco — ironically coupled with a daily shot of whiskey — to which she attributed her iron health. A 105-year-old man believed the hypochondria he suffered from since childhood kept him one step ahead of his doctors. Another man claimed his lifelong love of crossword puzzles maintained his mental faculties and kept him youthful. Not one of these individuals claimed a quick fix or miracle remedy helped them live so long. It always came down to something they’d been doing or believing consistently their entire lives.

The same can be said for Star Rentals, the subject of our business profile in this issue. This company was founded 110 years ago and, like the centenarians noted here, has a core set of values it’s held since its inception over a century ago. To find out more, see the article on page 18.

The concept of doing anything consistently over a lifetime can be mindboggling. But when we analyze anything over the very long term, whether it be business trends or the life of a human being, we begin to see threads of consistency. The trick is to pick out the right threads and play to them effectively.