Longevity is not as rare as you may have been led to believe
There was a man in China who reportedly lived to be 256 years old. Some records have him being born in 1677 -- the year Milton wrote Paradise Lost. He was 12 years old when Peter the Great became Czar of Russia, and over 100 when the Declaration of Independence was written. He was 200 after the American Civil War, and would live on to see electricity, cars, planes, and even World War.
He lived an active life until his death in 1933, working as an herbalist. He lived off a diet of lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola, and he drank rice wine.
There's a Nigerian man who is believed to be 170 years old, and an Ethiopian farmer claiming to be 160. A man in Indonesia has official identification showing his birthdate to be 1870.
The world's oldest woman (on record) lived to be 122, and remained mentally intact until the very end. She smoked two cigarettes a day, had a diet rich in olive oil (and also used in on her skin), drank port wine, and ate over two pounds of chocolate per week. She attributed her longevity to remaining "calm."
There are many others from all parts of the world, all nationalities, and living in all climates and elevations. Many of the oldest people do not necessarily eat the healthiest diets or exercise beyond their normal daily activities. Many also drink alcohol.
Ancient writings speak of people living to 800 or more -- though these are dismissed as mere myth.
There are those in the scientific community frantically working to create nano machines to repair cells and reverse the aging process. Still others are desperately trying to figure out a way to transfer human consciousness into a computer, so their minds can live on indefinitely.
Like so many pursuits of modern man, these technological solutions to biology are fool-hearty.
It is accepted by most in the medical profession, as well as by academics studying such things, that the three major contributors to death are stress, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Three things that our contemporary society forces upon us.
From an early age we are forced to sit in classrooms for the better part of the day, and fed foods high in sugar and fats. As children we are taught that life is a struggle and that we must achieve, succeed, and win. From scholastic competitions to climbing the corporate ladder, there's no end to that struggle. We are taxed and charged fees and interest that create more stress -- dealing with debt and more debt.
Ultimately, most people die of heart disease caused by the stress, poor diets and a sedentary lifestyle.
This is no great revelation. It should come as no shock to anyone. The fact is, our societal structure is killing us; and if there ever are any technological breakthroughs in longevity, they'll never trickle down to the average person, the same way that the bank bailouts never trickled down to the wage-slaves and taxpayers who footed the bill.
My advice to those seeking a long, fruitful and happy life is to get out of the rat race as soon as possible. Find a place where you can live relatively inexpensively. Get rid of all the extra clutter -- those things you carry around with you everywhere. Eat healthy, take more walks, and avoid stress at all costs.
It's all about experiencing life as a human being. Feeling the sun on your face, looking up at the stars at night, having face-to-face (in the flesh) conversations with other people, and just having fun.
You don't need vitamins, a credit card or an SUV to live a long and happy life, you just need to rediscover your humanity.