We all want to live a long time. Look at all the health and diet plans. Look at the “gluten-free” craze sweeping the world. We all want to be healthy. Even people who have trouble with it aren’t unhealthy because they don’t care–they’re unhealthy for a whole mess of reasons, mostly having to do with “I don’t have time.”
But living a long life is about more than going vegetarian–which we should all at least partially do, by the way. Beside the point.
Miserable people don’t hit 100. Dumb people don’t hit 100.
People who have a community live a long time. People who can tell you why they get up every morning live a long time. People who trust the world to unfold around them, and to get better, live a long time.
And in the end, it’s not about living to be 100. As a great television character once said, “some people live more in 20 years than others in a hundred.” It’s about living a life that’s full. Learning, experiencing.
Not traveling and seeing the world. Not becoming an expert in 12 fields. Learning more from the things you care about. Drawing joy from the people around you. Understanding intimately the rhythms of your life, and why you live by them.
Living a long time isn’t about health, or sleep, or exercise–although all those things help. Living a long, full life is about becoming wise.
We all want to be “wise.” We want to dispense advice, we want to know what to do when we’re scared. And we don’t do that just by living a long time: we do that by understanding the world around us. By reaching deeper. By learning.
Living a long life isn’t about hitting goalposts. It’s about living now.