Always have something to look forward to for tomorrow.

What is life without a purpose to live? Every day I have something to look forward to. Even now, I lose sleep thinking about the next thing I’m going to build or create. I feel like I will never run out of things to do.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Sal Acosta.

Sal Acosta, founder and CEO of Acosta Sheet Metal Manufacturing. Acosta Mfg. carries a wide array of sheet metal products as well as being the largest special order manufacturer in the area.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

In 1971, I came home with a bad stomach pain–it turned out to be an ulcer. I had been so stressed by my employer at the time, my body was beginning to manifest it. This past employer didn’t have any respect towards others. To today’s standards, he would be seen as an HR nightmare; a complete risk to the business (and everyone in it) on all fronts. He violated every sense of morality and ethics that I held, and it was literally breaking me down.

Once my stress had become a tangible illness, my late wife’s concern turned into a strong suggestion: “Why don’t you start your own factory. You’re doing all the work anyway!”

The next day, I cleaned out my garage, and that was the start of my factory. I never looked back.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

The life lesson from my experiences is to follow your dreams. And let me tell you, starting my own business was truly just a dream. I had no experience running a business, and it wasn’t necessarily ever a goal of mine. I simply knew how to make a great product. And then the business side of things just “happened”. But I believed in myself and my abilities, and let my dreams become reality.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I officially opened up “shop” in my garage in my San Jose (now “Silicon Valley”) home on February 2, 1972, and I waited for business to come. I was scared. I opened my garage door to no one.

Little did I know, people were looking for me. I didn’t make it easy. I didn’t advertise my new business. I didn’t want to “steal” business from my previous employer. But people wanted to work with me.

After a few small, odd jobs (like new pizza pans for the school that my late wife volunteered for), I finally got my big break. A 500 track home job in Fresno. I don’t know if that company is still around, but this was the job that started my journey to where I am today. They sought me out, loyal to me and my work, and I am forever grateful to those two people.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Three characteristics that standout are: valuing people; positivity; and work ethic.

My employees are the lifeblood of my business. Without them, I couldn’t have grown to be where I am today. Their value is immeasurable. And really, the value of all people.

My positive outlook has given me the endurance to survive incredibly difficult times throughout my life. I was never taught how to fail, so my mind is never set on failure.

Having a strong work ethic is critical. I would not be anywhere near where I am today without the work ethic that I’ve had since childhood. And it only grew stronger since then. I am always willing to do whatever it takes. No job was too little, and nothing was too out-of reach to try.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

My most important contribution to the world of wellness is my mindset and generally good mental health. I have also always stayed active in some way and always have a purpose for my day. My positive mindset, however, is the absolute driving force behind everything.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

The truth is, I’ve never “searched” for health, vitality, or longevity. My life experiences, especially that of being orphaned at 7 years old, and as a minority, I was always in “survival mode”. But this has ultimately been the foundation of my longevity: staying positive and staying busy. I am my greatest champion, and I’ve always had to be. I would say that against all odds, being a successful business owner has been a pretty interesting journey. It still is.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”?

My “Top 5 Things” are simple:

1 — Keep busy.

I’ve never been one to have or want a “laid back life”. I’ve also never been one to consider retirement. I still go to work every day. There is always something new to learn, something new to build, something to improve–it’s endless.

2 — Stay happy, and have a happy environment.

Keeping a happy, positive mindset is key. Maintaining this helps if you have a happy environment. I can’t control most things in life, but I can control myself, and choose to be happy every day.

3 — Associate with people that are happy with you.

Negative people will always bring you down and keep you from living your best life. I’ve always done everything I can to be around positive people, and people that look at life with a similar mindset to mine.

4 — Always have something to look forward to for tomorrow.

What is life without a purpose to live? Every day I have something to look forward to. Even now, I lose sleep thinking about the next thing I’m going to build or create. I feel like I will never run out of things to do.

5 — Keep a positive outlook.

I can’t say enough how important it is to keep a positive outlook on life. Life is what you make it. Choose to make it good.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

There are a few things that I can attribute to the happiness, joy and meaning in my life. The most important being a good partner in life (spouse, etc.). For me, having a wife that supports me and helps me has been one of, if not the most important, things for me. That goes hand-in-hand with having a happy family. It can be trying, but it’s worth the effort. I’ve also found it crucial to keep from being very poor (namely “poor” as a frame of mind). I experienced extreme depths of financial poverty in my early life, but I was still happy. A poor, negative frame of mind will never allow you to be happy, joyful, or feel you have a meaningful life. And last but not least, contribute to your community. I’ve never kept my success to myself. Giving back and donating to my community has been a consistent practice ever since I could remember having anything to give.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

I don’t really believe that there’s any “formula”, secret, or genetic attributes to living a long life. To me, it’s either a “choice”, or simply a culmination of how you choose to live your life. For example, I’m 89 years old as of writing this (2023). I’m the last to survive my 11 siblings. I was orphaned at 7 years old, and my parents died at relatively young ages (lack of medical resources for my sick mother, and heartbreak for my father). My siblings passed away at a variety of ages, for a variety of reasons. But in the end, it’s all in how we choose to live, I suppose. Your life choices are the most influential to your longevity. You can’t live like you’re never going to die, because that always finds a way of catching up to you. But then others live a life obsessed with health and longevity, and die from some odd situation. Only God knows the answer, I suppose.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

Mindset: Don’t give up. If you fall down, get back up, and go again. I have been through several excruciatingly difficult experiences and tests in life. I’ve held death in my arms, I said goodbye to my first wife after her years of battling health issues, I’ve attended the funerals of all of my siblings. This list doesn’t even take into account the business-related trials and tribulations I’ve experienced since day one. But I’ve never allowed fear, failure, or a negative mindset control my outlook, and ultimately my outcome. Sometimes it dances on the line of “avoidant”, but that’s the only way I’ve ever known how to make it through.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I’ve lived by the motto, “Yes I Can”, my whole life. “Yes We Can” became the tagline of my business. I’ve lived my life with this sort of lesson: when something is broken, try to fix it, because you might succeed. If you don’t succeed, well, it was broken anyway. If you don’t try, the answer is always “no”.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If it were up to me, I would revive workshops (metal shop, wood shop, auto (mechanic) shop) in high schools. I truly believe that this keeps youth out of trouble. It gives them a purpose, something to do. I credit these shop classes that I took in school for so much, if not all, of my success.

I was hoping to one day be an artist. I never made it professionally, but I had another tangible skill–metal fabrication. And the rest is history. The artist in me has always been there. My creativity is probably the true source of my success. I will always find a way to figure something out.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

My work is my business, and everything about us can be found on or through our website:, and the social media links you’ll find there.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.