People have been searching for ways to extend their lifespans since the dawn of existence, and to our credit, we’ve made a lot of progress. Our modern advances in science have helped extend the length of our lives by decades.
In the Middle Ages, you would be lucky to live to 40, while for many people today, 90 or even 100 isn’t out of the question. If we continue on this track, who knows what the distant future holds?
One man not only figured out the secret to a long life, he also might have been the oldest person to ever live. And when you hear his story, you’ll be totally captivated!
For centuries, people have tried all sorts of things to extend humans’ natural lifespan. All sorts of stories have been written about people searching for the Fountain of Youth and other mythical locations so they can live forever.
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But, it seems that one man may have found the secret, and his story is sure to blow your mind! This is Li Ching Yuen. According to a 1930 article from The New York Times, he reportedly lived to be 256 years old…
In 1928, professor Wu-Chung Chieh of Chengdu university discovered documentation congratulating Li on his 150th birthday in 1827, and even more documents congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1877.
Dunedin NZ / Flickr
According to the Times article, the old men in the neighborhood claimed that Li was already a grown man when they were just children. It appeared as though he was aging faster than everyone around him!
Li began his career as an herbalist at just 10, and for almost forty years, had a diet of mostly herbs, goji berries, lingzi, wild ginseng, he shoo wu, gotu kola, and rice wine. He continued this for the next 100 years of his life.
At the age of 71, in 1749, he joined the Chinese army as a martial arts instructor. You wouldn’t think that a 71-year-old man would be able to engage in such a physically grueling activity, but Li was in far superior shape than his younger trainees.
He was a beloved member of his community, and reportedly married 23 times, fathering some 200 children in the process. But supposedly, he wasn’t even the oldest man that he knew, which is nearly impossible to believe!
Jason D’ Great / Flickr
One of his disciples claimed that Li once met a 500-year-old man that taught him important Qigong exercises and showed him a special herb-rich diet that can help people live extraordinarily long lives.
When asked about the secret to his long life, Li had this to say: “Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon, and sleep like a dog.” These are the words of wisdom from a man who clearly was living his life to the fullest extent.
Basically, Li was telling us to take care of ourselves, and try not to let stress come in between us and a long, rich life. It sounds easy when you hear it in those words, but the truth is that it takes time to master. Luckily, we all have the ability to do it if we so desire.
James Hartshorn / Flickr
Whether or not you believe the story, that certainly sounds like sage wisdom. We could all stand to take a page from this incredible man’s book!
Share this valuable advice with your friends and family below!