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The most important factor to living longer, according to Jay Shetty

Ever since inception humans have been obsessed with immortality.

We have always been fixated on how to live longer.

These days, it’s all about eating healthy and doing exercise.

Thousands of books and other media are created about how to live a longer life – that it has actually become an industry.

And they are not entirely off the point. The key to a longer life includes keeping your body healthy.

25% of your ability to live longer is based on genetics.



75% of longevity is based on lifestyle. 

Lifestyle involves keeping your body healthy, that’s true. However…

There are two types of longevity

(1) One is increasing the years in our life

(2) Second is increasing the life in our years.

The first involves what you’re all already familiar of – keeping your body healthy. It’s about eating right and exercising regularly. It’s about conditioning your body to the best that it can be.

But what good is a healthy body if everything else isn’t?

Today, we’re going to talk about the latter.

How to increase the life in our years

Let’s take the people of Sardinia for example.

It’s one of the only 5 places in the world considered as a “blue zone,” which means it’s a place where people are known to live for more than 90 years old. Some even surpass 100 years.

But what exactly do Sardinian people get right?

For one, they truly live off the land. They grow and cook what they eat themselves, even only eating what grows during the season. They have a completely organic diet. Couple that with great weather and living in such beautiful surroundings, there’s no doubt why people have such high-quality living.

But that’s not what makes Sardinia different.

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The number one reason for longevity in Sardinia is social interaction and the value of community.

The Power of Community

It’s easy to overlook how the power of those around us can affect our health both ways.

But studies now show that community well-being significantly impacts your longevity.

According to Yale University lead researcher, Dr. Anita Arora,

“We see this substantial variation in life expectancy in the U.S., and it’s not just determined by socio-demographic factors. But it’s also how people feel, how happy they are, whether they have basic access to things like safe housing.”

If you lived in a community that doesn’t promote healthy living or a place where you have no access to physical exercise, your life expectancy is much shorter to the communities who do.

But it’s not just about having access to better living. It’s also about a sense of belongingness and purpose. It’s about having healthy social interaction with your community.


Let’s take Sardina, for example – a country that stays rooted in its tradition and culture that is somewhat isolated from the rest of the world. They’re farmers or shepherds who live on a Meditteranean diet of vegetables, beans, grains, and very little meat. But that is not the only reason why these people live longer than 90 years old.

How is it that the proportion of centenarians in the population is twice the rate considered normal for the rest of the world?

One could argue that it is because Sardinians live in a community that is collective in its desire for health, simplicity, and social interaction.

Their people all have an active role in the community. A role that provides them with meaning and purpose.

The power of community is to help create health in a far greater way than any physician, clinic or hospital.

It’s this power of community that leads to better communication, leading to better understanding of its people.

It leads to a deeper sense of intimacy that ultimately promotes mutual value.

And all of these things cannot be found in hospitals or gyms. No self-help book or health course can bring you what a good community can.

The power of community is something that can give anyone a feeling of connection and responsibility for living life together that nothing else can.

It’s about people who are bonded to each other with a higher purpose and deeper meaning.

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Notable replies

  1. ACD says:

    I noticed that you have lived as a monk. Is this where you formed your idea about the relationship between longevity and community?

  2. We know that a person on a spaceship at nearly light speed will live a hundred thousand years of keen anticipation while we on the ground will still be paying the development cost, generation after generation. And the life of a free climber, no matter how short, will be full of exciting activity and no disappointments. There are indeed a lot of people in the Ideapod current demographic that needs to be part of a community. A place they can seek the help they need coping with life as they have a multitude of issues. In a community, they will be much more likely to find others that can help them with their creative efforts, that which sets us apart from life consumers. Fortunately, the internet has enabled those physically disconnected to be part of a community, a community such as Ideapod where help is always available.

  3. ACD says:

    This may be true up to a point but virtual community is a poor substitute for the real thing. Is this not what we are witnessing trajically with people retreating from society into social media?

  4. For me, if I am sharing a room with a person that I meet in my community, I must leave 90 percent of what makes me, me, out of the conversation. When I was in the Army, 1965-67 I had been put with a group of people who could do the technical stuff that was needed to be done. These hand selected people were brilliant and reasonably imaginative. One became my best friend. We still communicate over the phone. But in the rest of my life, I found a profession and work that I enjoyed, but never found a mind, in person, that had any creative imagination. It was frustrating, here I was, ready to discuss five different things (all at one time naturally) and no one to talk to. I discovered anime and through that found two friends, both very smart, and we became good friends and talked a lot. Unfortunately, both had no imagination, and they both admitted that. So, I do the best I can, looking for those on the web that can tolerate me and carry on a conversation. I have found a few, but they for the most are prisoners of their worlds, they made them so comfortable they don’t want to come out and play. Sad.

  5. ACD says:

    I do think that cyberspace can be an important and effective first step toward building a personal or community-based relationship. But it can only take you so far.

  6. How are you going to find people that you can have meet Joris if you limit it to a normal human social community? Not a university group, just regular folks you meet. They would think you quite mad.

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Written by Jay Shetty

I'm Jay Shetty and I'm all about making wisdom go viral. I'm an Award Winning Host & used to be a Monk.

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