What if you were told that you only had 24 hours left to live? Once the shock wore off you would urgently pursue, do and handle everything that was important to you in your life.
Would you prepare or acknowledge your most important relationships? Would you do something exciting like parachute from an airplane? Would you meditate or pray to make peace with your maker?
This is a common question that people ask themselves as they make decisions about how they want to live. Here’s another question that is equally important: What if the powers that be looked at you and said something like, “we made a mistake when we told you that you have 24 hours to live. You have 30 days.”?
You might approach this situation differently. You would still feel a sense of urgency but now you would make a longer list and start checking it off. You might take a trip, spend more time with your loved ones or write your memoir.
What if you were given a decade or even better, an entire century? At some point you would realize that you need to find the balance between immediate gratification and planning for the long-haul. Your adventures would be enjoyed while at the same time you were preparing for the future by taking care of your mind, body, relationships, spine and finances. If you didn’t, and you just went at life full speed without the compass and balance of a long-term vision, then you might end up with some incredible stories while your body, bank and relationships become beaten and broken.
One of the most interesting things we hear people say when talking about the possibility of their extended lifespan is “they don’t want to live to 100”. But here’s an important point to consider: You may not have a choice. 100 year old people are the world’s fastest growing group and none of these people planned to live this long. If you have relatives in their 80s, 90s or over 100 years old, then the odds are that you will live at least that long or longer. What will your quality of life be like along the way?
Immediate gratification may feel good in the moment but often compromises your health long term. Medications, for example, can mask pain while causing damage to your heart, liver or kidneys. Be aware and careful not to wear yourself out with quick fix addictions that can cause much more severe, chronic problems.
People start to feel old when they can no longer do the things that they love to do and their suffering becomes chronic. Be proactive.
Find the balance between immediate gratification and taking care of your body and mind for the long-haul. Adjust your lifestyle. Eat healthier, exercise, get plenty of rest and take care of your spine and nervous system. You will enjoy the present more on your way to a sensational century.