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Business executive Abilio Diniz, 81, shared his life story at the official launching of Plenae – a free digital platform he created to disseminate healthier life habits and practices for everyone. Let’s not forget that he’s had an admirable trajectory, marked by always starting something new, regardless of time and age.

The event occurred at Teatro Santander in São Paulo, in May 2018, and included the participation of several special guests, researchers and specialists who also took the stage to share their knowledge.

Abilio kicked off the event talking about the importance of having a clear purpose to ensure a long and healthy life. After all, if aging is not an option, doing it with quality is.

“We need to think that we can exist among 7 billion, but we’re all unique. We determine what we want to be. We define our path and develop our trajectory.” Abilio said that ever since he was a young kid, he had a dream of doing something different, where he could be the best. He dreamt “of being a winner”.

“When I was young, I planned to catch a penalty kick in a full Maracanã stadium –Brazil’s biggest –, in Rio de Janeiro.” As an adult, he changed the soccer dream for heading a big company. This dream came true when he took over supermarket chain Pão de Açúcar.

“Having perspective is also important. What use is it to define long-term goals and abandon them in face of momentary unsuccess or fear of failure,” said the business executive. “It’s important that we not be affected by the facts that occur during life.”

“You must decide what you want and fight for it.” His personal slogan is “to be better than yesterday, and tomorrow better than today”. Abilio also said that conflicts and obstacles will always exist, and that the most important is to not hold grudges and continue moving forward.

Happiness. As example, he reminds the audience of when he stepped down as chairman of the BRF board, which owns Sadia and Perdigão, due to disagreements with the partners. “The secret of happiness,” he says, “is to focus less on conflicts like this and more on simple moments, like watching a soccer match with your youngest child.”

Balance. Another aspect that Abilio points out is the need to maintain roles and activities in balance. When a certain area performs poorly, it is possible to rely on the others while you restructure the affected one. For this, constant learning is necessary. “To learn is to be open to the new. Be certain that nobody knows everything. Be humble and respectful. Knowing how to listen and sharing with others is fundamental.” He talks about the pleasure and importance of sharing, of feeling that you’re doing something for others.

Faith. Spirituality plays an important role in Abilio’s life, but he said that you can’t depend on God for everything. “Before asking, you need to be sure you’ve done your part. God has been a best friend to me, but I only ask him to protect my health and that of my family because the rest I’ll resolve.” It was from the idea of paying back what he’s gotten in life that came the idea of creating the platform. Last year, when celebrating his 80th birthday, he held an event on longevity and well-being in Sintra, Portugal. This was already the initial Plenae seed. “I hope everyone can find things in the platform that are important for their lives.”

Click here to watch the full lecture.