Seriously, Have Fun…You are only as old as you feel; having fun keeps you going, staying curious, and maintaining a childlike wonder about yourself. Having fun has many benefits, such as warding off disease, more energy, lowering our stress, improving memory, better sleep, boosting our creativity, and helping keep us youthful and supporting overall well-being, and who doesn’t want that? Try out something new, maybe a game night with family and friends, how about bowling, mini-golf, sight-seeing, skipping (yep, I said skipping, try it), going on a picnic, participating in a paint night with friends, the possibilities are endless, and only limited by your imagination. I read a book a few years back that asked, “When was the last time you played” and that hit me hard, as fun or play wasn’t front of mind for me. It is now!

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 Terrie Nathan.

Terrie Nathan is an International Best-selling Author, Positive Psychology Executive/Wellness & Life Coach, and Founder of Strong Girl Enterprises. She coaches clients to improve their overall wellness, lives, relationships, and ability to perform in business by focusing on what causes people to thrive and flourish, including setting & achieving goals while building practical positive daily routines.

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

I would love to! They say superheroes don’t exist…but I was blessed to have my Grandma Ruby as my SUPERHERO as a young girl.

I was insecure, bullied, and lacked self-confidence as a young girl.

My Grandma somehow knew what was happening to me; she never said anything but instinctively knew my self-image was fading.

She would always call me her Strong Girl and fill my head with encouraging words and stories of strength. She taught me how to feel secure, build resilience, have the capacity to act independently and make sense of self-worth.

She embodied Positive Psychology and the “Strong Girl Spirit” in my brutal world. She was ahead of her time! She is why I feel called to coach and help people build their overall well-being and carry that torch of support and positivity.

She was a shining example of overall wellness, she lived a fantastic life well into her 90s, and I am here today because of her beautiful mentorship, love, and support.

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

I’m sure you have all heard the Chinese Proverb…” The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a single step.” Staring at an entry-level position and working my way up to a director position with a Fortune 200 company, I thought this was where I would retire. However, we never know where life’s journey will take us. Approximately five years ago, I was told I would need to relocate to another state. Being newly married and loving where I currently live, I had to make a decision. Would I give up my 18 years with this company or take a chance on myself?

I felt a nudge to do more for a few years and impact differently. So I decided not to relocate; you could call that retirement from that role anyway.

While the decision was tough, I wondered if I had gotten complacent and too comfortable with the mundane. Had I gotten comfortable inside my box? I thought I was too old to make this move, but that was an excuse.

I took a chance on myself and embarked on the climb of entrepreneurship, new terrain, and views, with many potential cliffs. Along my rise into new territory, Strong Girl Spirit was born. They say the best view always comes after the most challenging climb. However, I have been in some tough climbs before and wouldn’t let that stop me. This mindset has kept me successful throughout my career, and I knew it would be, especially now.

It was a time of uncertainty, loneliness, and fear, similar to what we ALL can go through at different times of our lives. Protecting my mental wellness was critical, especially in this time of change. Here’s the thing, no one can do it for you; you are in control of the success you so desire and the perspective you take along the way. The takeaway is that while this seemed like a big jump (and it was), I was willing to listen to my inner GPS. I left knowing my previous life/business experiences would be the rope I needed to stay in the climb on an entirely different adventure. Take all the excuses out of it and do it anyway.

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?

While I have had several people who helped me, my biggest supporters and fans continue to be my Husband, Adult Children, and family. That being said, I had a leader early in my career named Gary, and he, even to this day, was that role model, that person, that influence who set the tone for what “good looked like.” There was no judgment, no what were you thinking, no this will never work kind of talk…ever! I remember early in my career under his leadership when I felt ineffective in my role; I still hear him saying, you are still learning; permission to be human and keep learning. He consistently provided support, mentorship, a shoulder, and a positive perspective. When self-doubt starts knocking on my door, it is answered by one of these fantastic people just in time. My family and friend Gary are that life jacket in the sometimes stormy sea of life.

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?

Absolutely…Gratitude, Zest, and Love of Learning are my top three.

Gratitude…For most of my life, gratitude has always been a part of me; I thank my Grandmother for that. Without gratitude, it is easy to focus on what we don’t have vs what we do have. It’s hard to pick just one story, as I use it daily. One of the top moments was my departure from my 18-year career; gratitude helped me realize that I had met so many amazing people and had the opportunity to stretch myself in ways that I may never have done if I hadn’t leaped. I used gratitude as the stone to step on as I went down a new path vs. throwing rocks and carrying a grudge. There is always an upside; you have to look for it.

Zest/Optimism…Approaching life with excitement, enthusiasm, and energy carries me through my journey. I ALWAYS RETURN TO THIS TRAIT when I feel tired, down, or defeated. If I can lean into whatever is dragging me down with Zest, I can quickly return to a place of excitement and curiosity that helps carry me through. I know optimism can be challenging; however, I find it to carry the necessary energy to move me forward. It’s not that I bury my head in the sand; I choose to look and see if there is another way of looking at something.

Love of Learning/Adventurous…I believe we are always learning, whether on our own or formally. It helps me enjoy my work more because I am open and optimistic about change and discovery. For the past five years, I have made it an annual goal to learn something new, and at times I even step outside the box of work-related learning. Last year I completed my WSET (Wine/Spirit/Education/Trust) Level 1 Certification in Wine. It is such an exciting industry that while I enjoy a glass or two on occasion, the newfound knowledge behind it plays well to my adventurous side. I have discovered a passion for the wine industry because I decided to learn something new. There is no age limit when learning, so step outside your comfort zone, be adventurous, and learn something new.

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?

Although youth is often associated with beauty, the reality is that beauty transcends all seasons of life and is internal. It’s a beautiful combination of Body~Mind~Spirit.

Turning 60 this year was not a big deal; my head said it’s only a number…it’s my chronological age according to my birth certificate. However, I am not my age; I am my energy. And that energy is not 60.

It’s comforting to know that our spirit/energy has no age because it’s ageless. And that means we can give our spirit whatever age we want — young or old, depending on how we feel.

When we hold our energy in our mind as our life force, we can transcend negative beliefs about age or aging. It’s like we become pure spirit and not a number. I embrace this new season with open arms. Self-care takes top priority in my daily routine as it is the foundation of my business and helps me navigate the challenges of being a busy leader. This is the approach I use when coaching and working with clients. Often we let that number get in our way. Our relationship with ourselves is paramount and begins with self-care inside and out.

As a Certified Positive Psychology Coach, overall wellness is at the top of what I coach/teach/support. This research-based field explores what enables people to thrive and prosper in both their personal and professional lives. Then by applying these findings in practical ways, we can all discover the inner fountain of youth and cultivate daily habits that promote well-being.

Throughout history, seekers 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.

Yes, it has. I have most recently been studying Ayurvedic Health. Like most things, this practice came to me when I needed it. So I decided to get certified as an Ayurvedic Health Teacher (my love of learning). I am and continue to be intrigued with this way of healing.

Before science made these exciting discoveries, Ayurvedic physicians taught their patients the principles for living a lifestyle that cultivates health, happiness, and longevity to prevent diseases we may be prone to. That is why we call Ayurveda ‘the original lifestyle medicine”. Ayurveda shows us how to make conscious, healing choices about our diet, exercise, sleep, emotions, and all other aspects of our lives. The approach is personalized, preventative, and practical…it’s the “Science of Life.”

It has given me a fresh perspective on longevity and vitality, and I look forward to passing along all these learnings to myself and others.

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

  1. Mindset and Practice of Gratitude…Gratitude may be vital for pulling ourselves and others out of a funk or rebooting a blue mood. Daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves and the world. Research has shown that regularly exercising gratitude can enhance our moods, strengthen social bonds, lower stress and anxiety, and improve overall wellness. Gratitude is a virtue that can help you get through even the toughest of times. You alone control your thoughts and the words you say to yourself. Why not be grateful for what you DO have and plant those positive seeds of gratitude into your life? Building this muscle, so to speak, helps to keep your head out of the negative sand. This doesn’t happen overnight but rather with a daily practice of kindness and gratitude towards yourself and the circumstances around you. This practice sets the tone for my mindset every day. This practice has been so successful for many clients and family members. Nothing is more significant than seeing people have that “light bulb moment” when this practice gets into their daily routine, and they can feel and see the benefits.
  2. Keep Moving…The good news is that it’s never too late to start! Don’t fall for the myth that growing older means you won’t feel good anymore. Exercise can have a profound effect on the brain as well as helping to maintain your strength, agility, and vitality, improving sleep and giving you a mental boost. The benefits are endless. I belong to our local recreation center and have many options that fit me and my mood by the day. Some days I walk, swim, or take a class; moving is critical. A few years back, I started having knee problems; I firmly believe it was due to my lack of movement. Once I started walking and swimming, my knee problems subsided. When I have aches and pains, it is almost always due to a lack of mobility in my day. So what do I do then? I move.
  3. Keep Learning…This is the key to keeping your mind sharp. It doesn’t have to be career-related; step outside your comfort zone for ideas. Perhaps it’s a new language, a hobby, or something you have always wanted to learn; maybe it’s a few new recipes, learning how to golf, or as simple as building a puzzle or doing crosswords to keep your memory sharp. We are engaging our childlike curiosity and desire to know and do more. Next up for me is golf; my husband is an avid golfer, and I had always said no thanks until the other day when I rode with him on the golf course and discovered the serenity, beauty, and nature under one roof. We will see how that works out, but I am willing to take this next adventure with a positive outlook and treat the score I get like my age because I don’t care what the number is. Wish me luck. Hey, it’s part of moving, right?
  4. Stay Connected with Nature and Others…Nature can reduce stress; even having an office with a window can significantly increase overall well-being. Nature can increase your energy and help boost your immune system. So why not take a step outdoors, look out the window, and breathe it in, mindfully savoring the present?
    It’s equally important to find ways to reach out and connect to others, regardless of whether or not you live with a spouse or partner. Along with regular exercise, staying social can impact our health the most as we age. Having an array of people, you can turn to for company and support as you age is a buffer against loneliness, depression, disability, hardship, and loss. This can be spending time with family, volunteering, and making new friends. While this was tough to get back into the swing after Covid, I missed that physical/live connection with people. I quickly joined a few groups and a book club as I enjoy connecting socially. I keep in touch with my kids and grandkids via phone, text, and Zoom, as they all live in different states; this helps me to stay connected and part of their lives.
  5. Seriously, Have Fun…You are only as old as you feel; having fun keeps you going, staying curious, and maintaining a childlike wonder about yourself. Having fun has many benefits, such as warding off disease, more energy, lowering our stress, improving memory, better sleep, boosting our creativity, and helping keep us youthful and supporting overall well-being, and who doesn’t want that? Try out something new, maybe a game night with family and friends, how about bowling, mini-golf, sight-seeing, skipping (yep, I said skipping, try it), going on a picnic, participating in a paint night with friends, the possibilities are endless, and only limited by your imagination. I read a book a few years back that asked, “When was the last time you played” and that hit me hard, as fun or play wasn’t front of mind for me. It is now!

So when was the last time you laughed, played, or skipped?

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

Happiness, Joy, and Meaning are NOT a destination but the journey of everyday positive practices. I start each day focusing on what’s strong vs. what’s wrong, setting a positive intention, and sending love to whoever comes to mind — keeping my perspective open and expansive for what’s coming that day. When my mindset is right, I can see each interaction’s happiness, joy, and meaning, and it builds momentum throughout the day.

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 believe it’s a combination of both. Genes determine who we are. However, our environment influences us; this includes early childhood experiences, how we are raised, our relationships, and our culture. Both can either work for us or against us. It’s important to know that we hold the power to change what influences us; these are personal decisions, and if something isn’t serving you, change it up. Don’t accept it as is. You are the writer of your story, and you hold the pen, so use it wisely.

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

I view all my setbacks as opportunities for future opportunities. While this can be difficult, daily check-in with myself is critical. I wasn’t always this way, but with years comes wisdom and experience. What is important to me today is drastically different from five years ago. The go-go-go and the never-ending cycle of trying to do more, accomplish more, and make more no longer fit into my world. A “setback” is a “setup” for the good that’s about to come. I am cultivating my physical, mental, and emotional health with this mindset.

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

“Today, I refuse to stress myself over things I can’t control or change.” This quote is relevant daily in my life. When I start to stress, I quickly pause, breathe and ask myself, is this within my control, and can I change it? If the answer is no, I can choose to react differently, thus limiting the amount of stress in my daily life. If yes, I can take the necessary action toward change.

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. 🙂

The importance and practice of “Mental Hygiene” for all ages. As we mature (and actually at all ages), embracing and fully understanding the importance of our mental hygiene is equally important. Just as important as taking care of our bodies as we age, the health of our minds is equally important. Your age is just a number; it doesn’t define or own you. We tend not to address this unless something is wrong; why can’t it be a practice for all ages to embrace and grow with? While these help with our mental wellness, we spend a lot of resources and money on our physical health and what we eat; making our mental health equally important to our overall wellness could benefit so many, it has for me.

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

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.