07/15/2014 02:12 am ET Updated Sep 14, 2014

Sibling Rivalry Takes on New Meaning

The Huggins sisters from North Carolina are in competition to live the longest. As it stands, all three are strong contenders. Wanna is 101, Delle is 98, and Frances is 96.

These women are in good health and still live alone. Two of the three still drive, and they've even joined the social media pack with Facebook posts.

The secret behind their longevity? They say, in so many words, they have always lived their life joyfully.

Now here's the crucial part: They say living life from a mindset of joy is a decision.

My grandmother lived to 102 and while she didn't make any declarations about joy, I could see that her life was imbued with it.

I agree, whether spoken or unspoken, joy is a full-on commitment. It requires you to be an active participant in creating your happiness. A life of joy is no spectator sport.

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, puts it this way: "Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings."

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