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Motivational understanding by Michael R. Mantell, PhD

My heart was touched recently in my favorite local deli in San Diego. No, it wasn’t the Reuben sandwich I treat myself to once a month, nor was it the sour pickles. It was an unexpected birthday party that I found so moving. “Would everyone please join us in celebrating Mary’s 102nd birthday?” the hostess’s voice sang out. I looked up and there was Mary, sitting next to her husband and beaming with excitement, joy and fulfillment. .. Of course, I asked her what she called “the million-dollar question”: “What’s your secret to your longevity and obvious happiness?” “Son,” she replied, “I choose to be happy, and regardless of any interferences, I’ve always been active.” ... How did these exemplary role models become, and apparently stay, motivated to choose happiness and remain focused on being active, when behavior change is so difficult and takes so long for so many? Part of the answer lies in understanding not only the generations that people come from, but also the key models that can explain the success and failure of change efforts.

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