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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Rachmartika Astarini.

Most people won’t buy it when I say my father will be 70 this February. My father came from a little village in Java, where most of the people were farmers. I believe the habits and values he brings from where he grew up play a big part in how he looks now.

  1. Wake up at 4am, and never go back to sleep. Whenever he got out of bed, he will make his own bed, drink glass of water, do the Subuh prayer and start to work on almost anything around the house. From cleaning the garden, wash the car, or fixing the broken doorbell. He sometimes will stop for a while, 15 min maximum, to read the newspaper and get back to work. Whatever it is, I never saw him being unproductive first thing first in the morning. No matter how late he sleep, he always get up at 4 -4.30 am and hustle.
  2. Never skip a meal and eat fruit (papaya) diligently. Always have three meals a day, breakfast 7–8am, lunch 12–1pm, dinner before 8pm. Even if he is not hungry, he will always have something - just 3–5 spoon of rice is enough. He also eat papaya every single day, sometimes before meals, sometimes after. If we don’t have papaya, he will always asks for another fruit. Later I know from an article on how papaya does contribute an anti-aging effect to your body.
  3. Most importantly, always be thankful and sincere. My dad never gets angry. And from his friends and subordinates I often get confirmation on this, that they never ever see him angry or lose his temper. He never blames on anything or anyone and always able to see the rationality behind events.

It is not like my father is free from health issues such as cholesterol or back pain. The actual age of your body can not be changed, but it is all under control and not something that is really interrupting his daily life. Even his back pain is caused by a little accident - he fell when fixing the roof - when he was younger. However, during my 26 years I’ve never seen him acutely sick/bedridden. Only this year he had some kind of internal bleeding on his gastritis because his new back pain meds contain some chemical that is apparently too strong for his gastritis. 10 days in hospital to make sure his bleeding stopped and he’s back in action.

Overall, I think the red-string here is to have some personal discipline and be grateful :)

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