A 103-Year Old Woman’s Two Unusual Secrets to Longevity

She didn’t eat healthily and she didn’t follow her purpose.


Jordan Gross

3 years ago | 3 min read

“It’s not about purpose. It’s not about healthy eating. It’s not about rest, or relationships, or religion or exercise. I only have two secrets that helped me live to 103-years old.”

The woman on the tv screen was mesmerizing. My dad and I sat together smiling, hanging onto her every word. She lived on this earth for more than a century, but her face was barely wrinkled. She stood without a hunch. She spoke without any slurred speech or delay. Mentally, she seemed as fit as I am.

There must have been something that led to this kind of sustained presence. If it wasn’t exercising or nutrition or people, then what could it possibly be?

The woman made sure the reporter held the microphone close to her mouth, and she made sure the viewers at home were listening loud and clear. She had a tremendous smile on her face as she spoke.

“If you want to live as long as me, then you have to do just two very simple things. First, eat a piece of dark chocolate every single day. Second, go to mass every week. Those are the only things in my life that have remained constant for as long as I can remember. Those are the only things you have to do.”

My dad and I smiled with her as the news story came to a close. Then, we had a little discussion about why these two recommendations for longevity were so important.

1. Eat a Piece of Dark Chocolate Every Single Day

Your mind may jump immediately to the health benefits of dark chocolate. They’re a powerful source of antioxidants, they may lower blood pressure, they may reduce heart disease risk, and they could improve brain function. But, the 103-year old made it very clear that her advice had nothing to do with nutrition. So why was this important to her?

My dad had a great theory on this. He said that the most important part of her advice was that she ate it “every single day.” This meant that she always had something to look forward to. She had something that remained constant every day of her life. She had built up a habit, a streak that she never wanted to end. She’s been consistent in her commitment and dedication to this daily routine.

So, whether it’s dark chocolate, a gratitude practice, or a daily run, it’s critical to have something you know you can expect every day of your life. It gives you a small win and sense of certainty in such an uncertain world. Commit wholeheartedly to one thing every single day, and this habit will help bring great longevity to your life.

2. Go to Mass Every Week

Your mind here may jump to religion. Maybe this woman is promoting her belief in God? Maybe she is a devout Christian? But again, she clearly stated that her secret was not about her religious beliefs. So, what did this one mean?

My dad again went to the phrase “every week.” Just like with eating chocolate every day, this woman had a weekly habit that she practiced consistently. She always knew that her week would end with mass. But I thought it went even beyond this.

Going to mass every week to me is a representation of having faith in something. It’s about having a belief in something greater than yourself that gives you the everlasting will to continue living. It’s something to always look forward to.

Whether it’s mass or temple, or mosque, or even a weekly matinee, believing in something so deeply has the power to push you beyond the normal life threshold of those around you.

One More Thing You Must Know

In actuality, I don’t think this 103-year old woman’s secrets to longevity were about eating dark chocolate or going to mass.

Her secret was about having a secret in the first place.

She believed deeply in two things that were contributing positive value to her life. She practiced them consistently with joy and pride.

This to me, was her secret to longevity. It’s not about believing that the secrets we have are right or wrong, but rather, it’s the willingness and courage to believe that there is a secret in the first place.

Believe in your secrets. The longevity will follow.


Created by

Jordan Gross

Sharing personal development through creative storytelling







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