Eating vegetables helps
Everyone is the same, and we always have been.
We all begin life with wide eyes and a curiosity about what’s going on around us. Everything is magical and wondrous! The simplest things are hilarious! OMG are we at a PLAYGROUND?!? Wooo!!!
If you’re lucky, this enthusiasm for life can stick around for all your years. But, just like everyone else, one day you’re going to notice you’re less energetic than you used to be. That your annoying knee or back pain never seems to get better. And that you start saying things like “Can you pass the All-Bran?”
A moment will come, if it hasn’t already, where it hits you: You’re going to die one day. Everyone you know and love is going to die!
What a bummer :(
But what if, 300,000 years after the human species emerged from Africa, after millenia of myths of immortals and fountains of youth, we’re finally about to figure all this stuff out? What if it’s possible you’ll soon be able to not only live a super long time, but also… enjoy it?
Apparently — yup — it’s a thing. Scientists say they’ve just about figured out how to add dozens, if not hundreds, of years to our lives. The question is: will these healthy, happy years be added to your life, too?
Here are five signs you’re probably going to live long enough to celebrate a terrific 200th birthday!
You’re Already Young 🔗
Aubrey De GreyThe first person to live to 1000 has already been born.
Ray Kurzweil, who has been predicting tech innovations for a long time now, expects that soon we’ll be extending our life expectancy by more than a year, every year. This means that for each year you live, medical science will add an extra year to your life. So, technically you should be able to live indefinitely.
He has a concept called "Longevity Escape Velocity” that he got from the physics of air travel. Basically, if you just toss a plane off a cliff, it’ll smash into the ground without going far. Even if you turn on the jets, it’ll crash if it’s not moving fast enough. Crank those jets up, though, and the plane will have enough velocity escape the power of gravity and start to fly!
The same, he believes, is possible with longevity. To date we’ve been able to extend how long humans typically live from an average of 32 years old in the 1800s to 73 today, with the number of centenarians rapidly going up.
However, it seems we can’t really live beyond about 120 years of age. Some scientists think it’s impossible to live past 150, but Kurzweil and others disagree. They think we just need to turn the jets of longevity research up enough to push us past that barrier, and then — ZOOM! — we’ll all live forever.
Thing is, you’re going to want to be alive when we get to that point. If you’re already an oldster with a few years left, you’ve got your work cut out for you. But if you’re relatively young, though, you’ve got a flying chance.
Thankfully, Kurzweil thinks we’ll cure aging this decade, and that means even people 70+ years old could make the cut. So make sure you and your folks are taking your vitamins!
You Eat Your Greens 🔗
Let’s face it: if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not likely to live very long even if scientists create a wonder drug. It should be obvious, but for some reason living a healthy lifestyle can be really hard to do.
Maybe it’s because the most convenient foods are filled with addictive toxins like sugar. Or maybe it’s because drinking a beer sounds more fun than making your way to a gym to lift weights until you can’t lift them anymore.
Whatever the reason, if you’re doing what your mom always told you (hint: “Eat your vegetables!”), you have a head start. Other top tips for healthy habits include: cutting sugar from your diet; moving your body everyday; and maintaining a few strong relationships.
Do these few things on the regular and you’re halfway there!
Your Glass is Half Full 🔗
There’s something that all successful leaders seem to have in common: they believe that it’s possible to achieve great things. That makes sense, because when you believe something is possible, you’re a lot more likely to go after it.
Just think about it: do you get inspired by people who say things like “No We Can’t!” or “The only thing to fear is… pretty much everything!”? Probably not.
The same thing goes for your health. If you are convinced that you’re going to get sick and die — that things are always going to go sideways, or that the worst is yet to come, then why would you even try to live a long time?
Optimism is a helpful trait for longevity. When you see the best in situations, you’re more likely to expect exciting opportunities or entertain unexpected ideas. If a new medication or therapy comes along to prevent a disease or improve your health, you’ll be more likely to try it out.
You’re Always Curious 🔗
My three-year-old son’s favorite word is “why?”
3yr old sonDaddy, why are we in the car?
DaddySo we can drive you to daycare without having to walk in the rain.
3yr old sonWhy?
DaddyBecause rain makes us wet.
3yr old sonWhy?
DaddyBecause it’s a liquid.
3yr old sonWhy?
It can drive me bonkers, but I’m going to keep giving real answers to my kiddos because being constantly curious is how they learn how the world works. If they stay this way for the rest of their lives, then they’ll do great.
A life of constant learning is a powerful way to keep your brain in top health. Having a sharp mind is going to be super helpful as our world continues to change rapidly. It’s one thing to live a long time; it’s another thing altogether to be able to function in a futuristic frontier where we’re required to work with robots on the regular.
At the very least, you’re going to want your wits about you when your friends throw you that surprise 200th birthday party…
You Dream Big 🔗
Back when I was a young buck starting my first full-time job, I mapped out some goals for myself. I had a few “typical” ones like get a house and marry someone special, but I also wanted to do a couple of fun things.
So, under the “50+ years from now” heading I put “Travel into space”. At the time it sounded whimsical or naive; back then, space exploration was rare and only for super-smart career astronauts.
But I believed we’d eventually get to a point where spaceships were hurtling regular people out past our atmosphere, and high enough “up” to look back and see a round blue orb. Fast forward to today and we are deep into a new space race, with companies now putting civilians on spaceships sometimes.
It’s still not easy or inexpensive (it’s mostly for millionaires). But it really looks like, within a few decades, we’ll be launching normal people for orbital getaways. I want to be around to do that stuff, and it’s shaping my life choices.
If these sorts of audacious ideas motivate you, then you’ll probably also be motivated to take advantage of medical technology that slows or reverses the effects of aging. In other words, if you have a reason to live a long time and are willing to do what it takes to achieve that, then science is on your side.
Til Death Do Part Us 🔗
It might sound fantastical, but the idea of living for hundreds of years is both terrific and terrifying. What’s most crazy, I think, is that it’s probably just going to “happen to us”, whether we want it or not.
It’s not going to be the same for everyone, everywhere, of course. Even today there are countries with vastly-lower life expectancies than others. Access to health care and a healthy lifestyle depend on where you live and what amount of privilege you were — or weren’t — born into.
The same is going to be the case for who gets to live forever, first. But if you see the signs above in your own life, or if you can make some smart decisions starting today, there’s a good chance you’ll live as long as your heart desires.