Be like Betty White: 9 ways to live a better life

NEW YORK -- When you have lived as long as Betty White, you learn a thing or two.

The comedic staple known for "The Golden Girls," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and "Hot in Cleveland" is celebrating a long and bountiful life, blowing out 97 birthday candles on Thursday.

PHOTOS: Celebrating Betty White's birthday

But what does it take to live 97 years and still maintain the joy and grace that Betty radiates?

Here are nine things you'll want to remember if you want to be like Betty White:

Attitude goes a long way
"It's your outlook on life that counts," White said, adding, "If you take yourself lightly and don't take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives."

White considers herself a 'cockeyed optimist' and that a long life is directly related to accentuating the positive instead of focusing on the negative.

Don't take things for granted
Betty White thinks many people "have a tendency to complain rather than celebrating who we are."

Directly related to the first thing on our list, White said when we talk negativity and forget what is going right in our lives, we are unable to receive more good things, like love and success.

Negativity consumes
Also related, Betty White believes we should consciously choose joy every day.

"Anger tears me up inside... My own... or anyone else's," she said.

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If you don't have a passion, get one
We all have to work to live, but we shouldn't live to work. In fact, White suggests finding hobbies linked to what you're passionate about.

White said she stayed in show business to "pay for my animal business."

The philanthropist and animal rights activist dreamed as a child of becoming a zookeeper, but grew instead to become the "luckiest broad on two feet," dividing her time between acting and working with the Los Angeles Zoo the last 45+ years.

"You can't ask for better than two things you love the most," White said.

Know a woman's worth
Whether you are a woman or you love one, you should remember that she's more than just flesh and bone, White said.

"A lady likes to be complimented on her looks, her eyes, her figure," she said. "But the personality comments are much appreciated."

Remember age is just a number
As a woman nearing 100 years, White said "older women still have a full life," but only if they choose to have one.

White said mental attitude plays a huge part in the aging process, with some people expressing worry and concern about getting older as early as high school.

"Don't try to be young. Just open your mind," White said. "Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won't live long enough to find out about, but I'm still curious about them."

White said she keeps her mind sharp by playing crossword puzzles.

Enjoy your cheat days
"Wendy Malick and Valerie Bertinelli make fun of me," White said, of her "Hot in Cleveland" co-stars, "but I take care of my health, I don't abuse it."

Still, White said you have to remember to live a little.

Her favorite junk foods are hot dogs, potato chips, French fries, and red vines.

Real men practice chivalry
Chivalry might be fast disappearing, but it goes a long way, White reminds gentlemen everywhere.

"If you're walking with your lady on the sidewalk, I still like to see a man walking street-side, to protect the lady from traffic," she said. "I grew up with that, and I hate to see something like that get lost. I still like to see that a man opens the door."

Don't forget to laugh
Finally, and most importantly, make laughter a priority every single day, White said.

"I like bawdy humor," White said, adding, "I love bawdy humor, but not dirty humor."
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