Science Says People Who Are Always Late Live Longer and Are More Successful

I’m a pretty punctual person … for the most part. I might rush to get where we need to be on time, but I’m one of those people who likes to be there when I say I’m going to be there. Obviously, this doesn’t always happen. Kids run on kid time, and short of dragging them half-dressed out the door, sometimes there’s nothing I can do to get their little butts up to my speed. But new research has be rethinking my whole “being on-time” philosophy. Turns out, being late all the time means you’ll live longer and be more successful. So why are we stressing ourselves out so much?!

We all have that one friend, right? The one who can’t seem to get anywhere on-time. And it’s annoying to be THAT friend’s friend. But that friend might be on to something with being late all the time.

ok im late carla tortelli GIF by NBC

Image: Giphy

If you’re a naturally punctual person (I’m sure a few of those exist … somewhere), then this probably doesn’t apply to you. But if you find yourself stressing out over getting everywhere on time, listen up. Research suggests that people who are chronically late have certain personality traits that may help them live longer and be more successful in life. Diana DeLonzor, who wrote the book Never Late Again, says late people tend to be more optimistic and unrealistic. For example, they might really, TRULY believe that they can get the house clean, finish up with work, go grocery shopping, and pick the kids up in time to make it to your lunch date. Obviously, they’re most likely NOT going to make that happen. But they believe they can, and that’s what counts!

A team of researchers at Harvard Medical School found that optimism can positively impact your overall health and life expectancy. The research says, “Optimism helps people cope with disease and recover from surgery. Even more impressive is the impact of a positive outlook on overall health and longevity. Research tells us that an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and a lower rate of death during follow-up periods of 15 to 40 years.”

In addition to having a better overall outlook of optimism, some chronically late people are more passionate about what they’re doing that causes them to be late.

Being late because you can’t tear yourself away from what you’re doing to get somewhere on time is a marker for success (sort of). Lots of successful people, like Oprah and Jeff Bezos, say passion is the key to being successful at what you do. Now, there’s a small caveat here: if your passion for one area of your life makes you chronically late for, say, your job, then your success might hit a speed bump.

So if you find yourself stressing out about being on-time, take a step back and consider this: stress can have really negative consequences on your overall health. So if you have to choose between being late or being healthy, text your friend and tell them to have a drink on you while they wait.

(Image: iStock / grinvalds)

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