February 4, 2016
Does Having a Career You Love Help You Live Longer?
You don’t need to ask a social scientist to know that having a meaningful career makes people happy. Doing good in the world, helping others and contributing to society are all basic human desires, and a major way we find these outlets is through work. So sure, a great career definitely helps you feel more fulfilled.
But can it even help you live longer? Lately we’ve seen a barrage of news items about hairdressers and barbers outliving their peers and enjoying unusually lengthy careers. So we asked ourselves why. Could it be possible that loving your career has anything to do with living longer?
Well, Anthony Mancinelli may be proof that loving your job can keep you alive a good long while. This New York barber has been on this Earth almost 105 years, and shows no signs of quitting the cutting business anytime soon. He got his start when he was 12 years old, Chicago’s WGN TV reports, and has been at it for more than 90 years. That’s staying power. The secret, he says, is he never gets tired of it.
Possibly working at something you love is what does the trick, or maybe it’s the joy of giving people something they need. Clay Tankersley, a resident of the Lexington, Kentucky area, is an example of a do-gooder. In addition to running his own barbershop, he cuts hair at nursing homes in the area. While some residents pay him, he never worries too much about the money. It’s giving a good haircut that matters to him.
And then there’s that whole being part of a community thing. You know, the thing that matters to all humans unless they’re total hermits? Joe “Uncle Joe” Montalbano knows all about that thing, and showed his appreciation for his customers and friends when they bought him a new barber pole to celebrate his 67 years in business providing awesome ‘dos.
There’s something to be said for starting fresh, too. Instead of retiring at age 65 and enjoying the sunset years as most do, Rose Dow chose another career instead. She went to cosmetology school and spent a further two decades cutting hair. She’s now a hundred years old, and attributes at least part of that longevity to an energetic approach to life. As PressConnects reports, “For Dow, the secret to a long life is simple: ‘Don’t lie down.’” Cutting hair, in Dow’s case, was a way to celebrate life and career much longer.
So you never know; finding a job you love could be the secret to long life. It doesn’t have to be cutting hair… but if that is what you love, don’t give it up. Those scissors and combs, sprays and hair dryers may just keep you young. When it comes right down to it, we don’t have all the facts. We can say with assurance, though, that loving your career – loving what you do everyday – sure doesn’t hurt.