SILVER LINING CHRONICLES - THE LONGEVITY PROJECT by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. and Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D.

Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 NRDS ID#641625055

The Silver Lining Chronicles - The Longevity Project by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. and Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D.


As long as I can remember, I've always had an unusual fascination (okay - some might call it an obsession) with the passage of time. I don't really mean this in an anti-aging sort of way, although, with the arrival of this new decade, it has become less pleasing for me to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror. Should you happen to stumble upon the fountain of youth, well - hey! help a sister out! This Boomer will greatly appreciate it, but I digress...

Philosophically speaking, just how many years does each one of us get to accomplish what we were put on this earth to do? Again, I stray. 

This book does not attempt a response to this question.  Jill Sackler, NYS RE Agent, SRES

It's just something I've wondered about.

I was drawn to this book because of its significant eight-decade study, the longest of its kind.

In 1921, a Stanford University psychologist, Lewis Terman selected approximately 1,500 intelligent boys and girls to take part in a study. Dr. Terman was interested in the origins of leadership potential and he wanted to see if he could identify these factors early on in life. The children were around 11 at the time and quite a few were still alive and in their 90's, eight decades later. Dr. Terman, himself, died in 1956, in his mid-70's, but the work was carried on by others and then finally picked up by the two above-named authors.

Who participated in this study and the data that was collected from these individuals was kept strictly confidential but some of the members did choose to step forward later on in life and proudly proclaim their involvement with it. Jess Oppenheimer, creator of I Love Lucy and Get Smart was one of the most recognizable.

Dr. Terman's investigative methods were careful and deliberate and remain relevant to this day. Not much has changed at all since the beginning of this study in 1921. While he began by looking for indicators of future success, the study broadened to include the key ingredients to a long, healthy and happy life. Some of the original group had committed suicide by mid-life, some died in their sixties or seventies. A couple of them, I believe, made it to 100. What upbringing challenges, traumatic events, or environmental differences were responsible for these various end results?

It turns out that indicators of longevity in childhood continue to be accurate even in adulthood. The #1 predictor was the biggest surprise of the study. Was it exercise, nutrition, education or an easy, stress-free environment? In our American tradition of feeling that if some is good, then more must be even better, you may be tempted to run a marathon or suddenly and maniacally eat broccoli at every meal, but this will not add years to your life.

While no one should argue with the benefits of any of these individually, they turn out not to be answer we're looking for. Conscientiousness is the real predictor according to the authors.

"The young adults who were thrifty, persistent, detail oriented and responsible lived the longest."

What you must do is follow your own path in life and always make a concerted effort to rebound from painful or difficult life-altering situations.

In 1986, a questionnaire was given to those participants of the study that were still alive. Overwhelmingly, the results showed that it wasn't so much about what had gone wrong in these people's lives that mattered the most. For the most part, they were happy. It was only the lost opportunities they regretted.

Let that be our take away from this study. We should actively pursue our passions while we still have the time to do it. This, alone, is enough to keep us young.






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CHARLES RUTENBERG REALTY INC.  *****  516-575-7500  *****



Jill Sackler, NYS Real Estate Broker Associate based on Long Island's South Shore

Sunny Isles, Fl 

       Specializing in Lifecycle Real Estate 

"When your family doesn't fit your family home, I can help."


©Jill Sackler 2010


Comments (8)

Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

"The young adults who were thrifty, persistent, detail oriented and responsible lived the longest."

Jill, that's me....I guess I can look forward to a long life.  Sigh.  That is a good sign.  Thanks. 

Jul 20, 2011 10:30 AM
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Jill, your gonna keep me running to the your topics, live well live long and healthy!

Jul 20, 2011 02:17 PM
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

sounds like an interesting read.. I will add it to my list, but my list has gotten so long I don't know when I will ever get to all the books on it.

Jul 20, 2011 04:20 PM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Ron, I couldn't be happier that this book describes you perfectly.

Ellen - thank you and the same to you, of course.

I know what you mean. My list of things to read and write about has also gotten long.

Jul 22, 2011 12:36 AM
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Jill - That is why I try to always say yes to life and the opportunities it presents.  I don't want to have too many regrets when I come to my end.  I chase my passions every day.

Jul 22, 2011 11:03 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Norma - It sounds like you're doing all the right things with what you're able to control.

Jul 22, 2011 12:20 PM
EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat
Russel Ray Photos - San Diego, CA

I wonder how he chose the 1,500 "intelligent" boys and girls. Back then it was usually white people who were considered intellingent.

Jul 22, 2011 04:57 PM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

They actually address that early on. To start with, I believe it was by teacher recommendation. I don't remember all the specifics about how they conducted their scientific analysis but the authors say all the same results would hold up to this day under all sorts of conditions.

Jul 23, 2011 03:02 PM

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