The small island of Okinawa is known for having the highest number of centenarians (people over the age of 100.) Research has been conducted and multiple books have been written on the Okinawans’ secret to long, healthy, and happy lives. I am sure that there are many secrets and tips that we can learn from these individuals, but I learned the most important secret during a trip there in 2008.
One morning while walking on the beach, my family and I observed people out in the wee hours of the morning exercising and doing tai chi and yoga in the sand. There were people walking, swimming, and running, but this wasn’t what caught our eye. What caught our eye were two elderly ladies…
These ladies were fully covered from head to toe with bonnets, life vests, and goggles. They were each at least 80 years old, and they were both swimming and having the time of their lives. At one point, they got excited about something on the edge of the nearby net. They giggled and gestured for us to join in their discovery of a school of minnows. They flirted with my son and blushed at his responses. They were completely lost in the moment and enjoying every second.
This story may not sound very special, but it was. It was amazing and memorable! If you closed your eyes you could have easily thought that these two old ladies were young school girls laughing and playing in the water. The absolute innocence and purity was priceless. What a refreshing lesson about life and happiness. It was a lesson about the power of your thoughts and your state of mind.
The two lessons I learned that day were:
1. Be a child again! Have fun and enjoy life like you did when you were seven years old.
2. Cherish your friendships – they are valuable!
It isn’t about living longer; it is about living a happy and fulfilling life!
If you would like to hear more about my journeys to Okinawa, or about karate (or Ohana Karate), contact me today!