Lately, I've been talking with centenarians, and I picked up on a hidden gem of wisdom that was right under my nose. They didn't call it time and energy, but that's what they were conveying.

Without saying it this way, they revealed that turning 100 is much more than just being on this Earth for 1,200 months. It's also finding good use of your time and energy. That's it? Was the simple secret to their longevity good use of time and energy?

When I asked them about how they handled stress in their day, the like-minded answer was "not with drugs," which have made living zombies out of millions of souls. Within reason, they didn't give in to whatever the distress was. Put differently, they didn't use their energy to worry, not even during the darkest times of the Great Depression. That's pretty amazing, seeing that nowadays so many people take their energy and snuff it out during these challenging days.

So up to now, I got half of the formula to living a long life; don't let worry deplete your life's energy. What about how they managed their time? I was thinking in terms of measurement, but they weren't. As I listened closely, they were vocalizing words but I could hear them saying something deeper, that what's ticking away isn't the clock, but our lives.

In essence, my centenarian friends were with one voice saying that since life has a limited amount of time and energy, how one manages the two, determines the quality and happiness of that person's life. All this reminds me of a really beautiful ancient African proverb: "When there's no enemy inside, the enemy outside cannot hurt you."

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.