A 105-year-old Japanese doctor has a beautiful goal in life, and his goal is to share his knowledge with you about how to live a long happy life!
Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara worked at St. Luke’s Hospital in Tokyo since 1941. He was the man with the vision to place oxygen tubes throughout the hospital. The idea saved hundreds of lives after the cult Aum Shinrikyo used poison gas to attack innocent people in Tokyo’s subway where 13 people were killed and more injured.
He also helped sufferers in the firebombing of Tokyo during WW2, and when Japanese Red Army Members hijacked a Japan Airlines plane in 1970, he was a passenger.
“I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis,” Dr. Shigeaki said about his experience as a captive.
The remarkable achievements of Dr. Shigeaki extend further than the medical field. He also published 150 books since his 75th birthday, including “Living Long, Living Good” which sold more than 1.2 million copies.
And he wrote a musical for children at the ripe age of 88-years-old. It first appeared in Japan, then migrated to Broadway in 2010. He worked up until his death at age 105, helping patients and keeping a date book with allocated spots for five more years of appointments.
His advice is simple yet effective:
1. Eat Healthy
“All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight.”
Nourishing your body allows it to keep the energy that you need to feel great. Hinohara ate sparingly. He rarely ate red meat, only a small portion twice a week. The rest of his meals contained mainly vegetables and rice.
2. Plan Ahead
It’s important to have something to look forward to in life. He said to organize yourself and put into your schedules something exciting for you.
3. Retirement Doesn’t Mean Leaving The Things You Love
“There is no need ever to retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65.”
As everybody knows, “love what you do, and you won’t ever work a day in your life.” This saying rings true for Dr. Hinohara. Society puts pressure on people to retire at age 65. But if you love what you do, you should keep doing it because it will keep your mind sharp and give you a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
4. Share Knowledge
“I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.”
Knowledge is key. It’s crucial to pass on what you have learned. In this way, you offer a positive contribution to society. You can share your knowledge on a one-on-one level and not necessarily give speeches and lectures.
5. Healing Goes Beyond Science
“I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.”
Science likes to put people into categories. But each person is unique and should be approached as such. Hinohara truly believed that to heal people we should look to liberal and visual arts too, not just the medical ones.
6. Take The Stairs And Carry Your Stuff
When you take care of your body, you help to keep your mind healthy as you age. Dr. Shigeaki said that he took the stairs two at a time to get his muscles moving.
7. Find Inspiration
“My inspiration is Robert Browning’s poem “Abt Vogler.” It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles.”
Hinohara said that inspiration could be remarkably influential in creating a happy life. You can also find what inspires you and make you feel alive and motivated. If what motivates you is a photograph, so put it on the wall or at your desk. If it’s a song, take some minutes out of your day to listen to it when you are not feeling so great. Use inspiration and motivation to keep your mind on the goal.
8. Heal Pain With Fun
“Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it.”
A good example for this is children. When a child is hurt, the best way to calm them is to play with them and help the kid forget the pain. All humans love fun, and as adults, the sense of play can often escape us. Combat pain with play.
9. Don’t Be Crazy About Material Things.
Hinohara knew more than anyone that you couldn’t take your stuff with you when you die. Don’t waste your entire life trying to accumulate ‘things.’ Use your precious time and money to collect experiences and knowledge.
10. Find A Role Model
Hinohara’s loved his father, a man who traveled to America to study, and he considered him his role model. Aim to accomplish even more than your role model ever could. If you feel lost, think about what your role model would do in that particular situation.
Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara died at the beginning of this year in 2017, of a respiratory failure. He will always be remembered for all of the accomplishments he had and how he was able to motivate and encourage others with his words. He has gifted us with knowledge acquired over 105 years, through famine, wars, smiles, and tears. In this way, we can savior his wisdom and use it to improve our personal lives.
And as his father said: “Have big visions and put such visions into reality with courage. The visions may not be achieved while you are alive, but do not forget to be adventurous. Then you will be victorious.”