Lessons From A 111-Year-Old

My oldest friend was 108 years old when I met her.  She lived to be 111. She was one of the few supercentenarians not just in her hometown of NYC but on the entire planet. 

Of the 7 billion people on earth, there are only around 60 people at any one time who are supercentenarians…110 and older!

To reach that rarified age, you need the genetics. But you also need the attitude. These are 3 lessons I leaned from one of the oldest people on the planet:

1.When I asked this 111 year-old lady for her secrets on health and longevity, she answered, “Sex, vodka, and spicy food!”

We call that “Joie de Vivre” or the “joy of life.” 

It’s so important to take a moment each day to push back from your computer and savor the sunshine, the music, the dark chocolate.  I have a mantra that I call The BFD Mantra. “A beautiful, funny, and delicious moment each day keeps the stress away.”

2. This 111 year-old lady told me she’d been married 5 times!

We call that resilience. 

It’s so important to bounce back from your setbacks. In matters of health or finance or career or relationships, we all get knocked down. Not everyone gets up.  You gotta get up and keep truckin! 

3. When the social worker put his hands on the 111-year-old’s shoulders to help her lie down, she said to the social worker, “Are you propositioning me?”

She had a great sense of humor and wouldn’t we all benefit from loosening our grip on life!

I learned so many lessons from this 111 year old lady but nothing more important than recognizing that the oldest and wisest people have so much to teach us, so much wisdom and history. And yet so many of our elders are isolated, lonely, and dying with their stories in their hearts.

I wanted to do more to bring the old and the young together. So I created a series of events called DRINKS WITH YOUR ELDERS.  I’ve hosted these events in cities across the USA. We open a bottle of wine and have an intergenerational conversation about love, relationships, regrets, dreams, everything under the sun.

The next such event is Thursday, November 8 in New York City. You are invited. Please come. Here are the details.  Its a chance to hear stories from a generation of people who won’t be with us much longer.

  Its a chance to hear stories from a generation of people who won’t be with us much longer.

At this event, I will also share stories from new book, LIFE LESSONS FROM THE OLDEST AND WISEST. 

Launching in November, the book is a compilation of everything I’ve learned from these Drinks with Your Elders events and many years of conversations with the oldest and wisest people in our communities. They have great advice on marriage, divorce, parenting, health, happiness, and finding time for it all amidst the busyness of life. 

I’m excited to see you in a few weeks…

Thursday, November 8, 2018


The Brick Presbyterian Church in NEW YORK CITY

62 East 92nd Street (between Park/Madison) 3rd floor,

Carnegie Room – wheelchair accessible

Please RSVP:212 289-5300