Are you getting ready to leave (life)?
Which way are you moving/running toward?
Or will you consider my invitation into a new possibility?
Even when I talk with friends or acquaintances who are in their twenties or thirties, they don't seem to have the same anticipation of an open-ended future and amazing possibilities for themselves that I do.
It's almost as if they would easily laugh with a bit of recognition at Woody Allen's sentiment when he said, "Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon."
Understandable. Because how could you possibly have excitement and anticipation of an open-ended future full of possibilities if you felt like you were just "trying to get through life"?
That's why much of AskDwightHow is focused on how people can to learn to love the living of their life now.
But there's a possibility beyond that which can add even more verve and vim to the living of our lives.
The possibility of living with vitality and enthusiasm for at least another 99 years
First off, let me reassure you that it's not necessary to step into this new possibility in order for you to have a great life today.
And even more first off, I should address the issue of whether or not that's even possible to achieve this for me or for any one else (who's over the age of 25).
I'm not talking about "having faith" or "believing in miracles" in order for this to be thinkable. I'm also not talking about "living forever in a blissful afterlife" either. I am talking about the possibility of you living with vitality and enthusiasm for at least another 99 years in this lifetime!
Why do I say it's possible (what is the evidence?)
When I say "possible" I don't mean that it is guaranteed or even likely. I also don't mean that it's possible for everyone, even if those people were able and willing to do whatever they could towards that end. Some people whose health/life condition is so dire (for example those currently in hospices for the terminally ill) could not reasonably consider another 99 years as a possibility for themselves.
What I mean by "possible" is that, if you were able and willing to take consistent actions in alignment with that intention, then you would not be able to bet 100% that you would not be successful in that intention. You would have more than a 0% chance that intention would be fulfilled (you would be kicking ass 99 years from now).
And even if there were only a 1% possibility for you to live that 99 more years (with energy, vitality, and happiness), it could be a possibility that might be fun and worth going for, right?
But again, where's the evidence that you and I might even have a 1% possibility?
If I just consider all the current scientific evidence of how long humans can live and what the current state of science and medicine seem to be regarding people being able to live a healthy and vital long life, then neither I nor anyone else has any reasonable chance of living much beyond 120 years old (not even addressing the issue of "with vitality and enthusiasm"). The current age record for a human (based upon the relatively modern practice of keeping accurate birth and death records) was made by Jeanne Louise Calment, a French citizen, who died in 1997 at 122 years of age.
The possibility of me (or anyone else over the age of 25) living for at least another 99 years (especially with vitality and enthusiasm) would be nil if we didn't take into account a well-validated fact indicated by longevity expert Ray Kurzweil by the subtitle of one of his books, "How to Live Long Enough to Live Forever."
Let me explain. The persistent, highly documented, accelerated advance of science and technology (that kicked into high gear from the beginning of the industrial revolution and has continued unabated through wars and depressions ever since then) gives most longevity scientists reason to believe that our ability to stop aging (and then even begin to reverse it) will occur "soon." How soon soon is open to some debate.
In 2017, Aubrey de Grey, one of the most respected aging scientists, said that "for the next 20 years advances will increase incrementally." He estimates that, by 2037, we have a 50-50 chance of reaching "escape velocity." This term means that, for every year that someone gets older, science/medicine will have advanced enough to add at least one more year to that person's expected vital lifespan.
Ray Kurzweil, another anti-aging expert, is more optimistic. In 2018 he estimated that escape velocity will be reached in 10-12 years (that would mean by 2028-2030). That's as early as seven years from now (I am writing this in March, 2021).
I suspect Aubrey and Ray are talking about the escape velocity for the "average" person in developed countries. For those of us who include ourselves in vanguard of making use of these coming advancements, we might reach "escape velocity" a few years before these estimates.
Current facts about myself that validate the possibility of accomplishing my 99-year intention
Even though the risk of me not making it to another 99 years is arguably higher than others who are years or decades younger than I am (I was born July 18, 1944), currently I am the healthiest person of my general age that I personally know about. Therefore, if I keep myself in fairly good shape for the next 15-25 years, then the possibilities of me making it to 2120 and beyond much more likely.
And the same would probably apply to you. Assuming you were able/willing to take consistent actions to support that possibility of you living with vitality and enthusiasm for another 99 years, then taking on that intention could be a very reasonable thing to do.
Woody Allen said, "You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred."
Many people have this sentiment. When my clients and friends hear about my eating, exercise, and supplement routines, they say it would be impossible for them to do that (meaning they can't imagine their Now being willing to do that even if their Next was interested in the possibility of the results they would get from doing something similar to what I do).
It's a valid concern. And, until one has achieved a certain level of Now-Next integrity (including the area of eating and nutrition), it's unlikely that taking on this possibility would be palatable (pun intended).
But what many of you may not yet realize is, once your Now and your Next become more and more happy together, then opportunities and possibilities (of cooperation between Now and Next) begin to open up that neither your Now nor your Next would have previously thought of or considered. Frankly, I myself am amazed at how agreeable my Now is currently willing to "support" my Next in his interest of living for another 99 years. Yet, I am also not amazed. Because my Next has become very respectful and careful with my Now. He never blames Now or tries to push him when Now is reluctant to do what Next thinks would be a good thing to do. My Next either backs off or works together with my Now to find ways they are both happy with.
Another thing that you might not fully realize is this. "Step by step" is amazing. I could never be where am I today without step by step, even though it seems so far from where I was, even just a few years ago. And that step by step includes the fact that what Now finds palatable and is willing to do now can change over time.
Don't copy me
If you wanted to consider taking on this new possibility, I strongly advise you against trying to copy what I am currently doing. You need to customize the journey to yourself and your current circumstances. You always start from where you are, not were you think you "should be" or "what you should be able to do." It will be an exploratory path and journey, just deciding on the direction and the next step in that direction. After you've taken that step and noticed what happened and what you learned, then you take on the next step. As simple and easy as that.
"But the idea of living a really long time doesn't attract me. Why would I want that?"
I'm just presenting this possibility as something you might want. But maybe it doesn't occur as something you want because of your assumptions about what it would look like and what it would involve, in the process and in the results.
For most of us, when we look at people around us in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s, noticing their deterioration year by year, if we imagine ourselves at that age (if we're not already there), it's not an imagination that inspires us. A lot of the "longevity" that been achieved in the past several decades has been a not-dying longevity, without the vitality, health, and energy being maintained or even increased. Who wants that? My grandmother died at 88 years old. She was bedridden and mostly "out of it" for the last eight years of her life. My mother, who dearly loved her and was her caretaker, said, "It would have been better for her if she had died eight years sooner." My mother died at age 90 in 2012. Up until the last few years before her death, my mother's life was pretty good. But she was VERY ready to die by the time she died. And I was so happy when she died because I knew she was in a lot of suffering and she wanted to die. Her "goal" had been to die on Halloweens' Day when she was 88 years old. It would have been better if she had.
My Plan B
Nobody wants that. I'm not talking about that. Even though my longevity/vitality goal of 99+ more years is something that I am and have been very intent on, I've got a backup plan (not recommending this necessarily for others). If I reach a point in my life (whether it's within the next few years or way out), where I'm not happy to be alive and I see no good chance for that to change within any reasonable amount of time, I've got a lethal amount of phenobarbital stored in a safe in my apartment. Once I mix it in a glass of water and drink it, I will doze off within five to ten minutes and that will be it. I had a great life! This backup plan is consistent and supportive of the fact that being happy (and avoiding unhappiness/suffering) is the "goal" of life. Sometimes the only way to achieve that goal is to end your life.
Although the ten grams of phenobarbital is a lethal dose,
to ensure a full knockout I will get myself soused
on some whiskey first. I hate the taste of alcohol,
but all for a good cause! LOL. Here's a mostly full bottle
I'm just putting into the safe along side the phenobarbital.
This is what I'm saying is possible right now for me (and for you)
Notice if you're happy enough in general right now so that you'd like your life to extend at least another year. Okay, if that's true, and assuming that in the next year it was just as happy and healthy and maybe even more so, would you want it to extend for another year after that (with the possibility that it could get even better)? Of course you would. And another year after that? Of course, why not!?
Other objections and concerns
"I don't want to have to suffer through friends and family dying and leaving me while I'm still alive."
This is not an issue that is unique to what we're talking about in this link. And you may not know necessarily that they would "die before you." That issue is important to address regardless of whether or not you take on the possibility we're talking about here. I just talked with my brother-in-law Sven yesterday (February 28, 2021). His wife Karen, my sister, died three months ago. I have never known about or seen two people who were more consistently and deeply in love with each other than they were for over 40 years. He shared more deeply with me yesterday (what he had been sharing with me in a few emails over the past three months). He told me about the daily process he has followed/led himself through in allowing himself to cry and "talk" with Karen, learning what there was to learn and to heal his broken heart. Yesterday he told me that, after three months, that process is nearing a completion and he is "starting" his new life with "Karen's" encouragement and blessing. I am inspired by Sven. If this is an issue for you, go to Dead, but not Gone.
"I'm not optimistic about humanity's future. With all the discord in the world, with the coming AI, with the climate catastrophe, I think things are going to get worse and worse. I don't want to be around for that."
Yes, you might be right. And you might be wrong. Frankly, even though I am generally optimistic about humanity's future, I agree that it could all fall apart (which would even wipe out any chances of the longevity breakthroughs that scientists are currently confidant about).
On the optimistic side, apocalyptic projections have been made throughout the centuries (remember Malthus or, more recently, the Club of Rome's original predictions in 1972), many of those made by respected scientists. So far, I'm not aware yet any date-specific apocalyptic projection/prediction/prophecy (where the date has already come and gone) that's come true. Of course, that doesn't prove for sure that one such prediction will not happen.
And, worst case, if it gets rough (or too rough) and assuming that you're staying in your own business (see Are you Messing in Another's Business?), you'll always have the option to "opt out." Deciding what to go for now, based upon the fact that it could not work out at some time in the future, is not life. If you have an issue with that, it needs to be addressed regardless of whether or not you take on the 99-year possibility. Go to the CCC toolkit.
Why taking on the 99-year possibility could be the most valuable thing for you to take on for your life (no matter how long it ends up lasting)
First, there's a huge benefit that you almost assuredly will get regardless of how long you end up living: increased energy, aliveness, and vitality now. Assuming that you get your Now on board with whatever you take on in this "project," all the things that you'll being doing towards the 99-year possibility will, as a "by-product," make your life now better and better.
Second, anything that you're doing or wanting to do for your health (or looking good) already will most likely be easier to address in a more sustainable, integrated way than when more narrowly focused. For example, instead of focusing on eating to lose weight, you will focusing primarily on eating for more health, energy, and longevity, which will have you lose weight as a natural and healthy "by-product" (maybe I should say "by-process").
Third, this new 99-year intention will "lift all boats in your life." It's so foundational that it will make everything else in your life better, including having more and more healthy and energetic time to do and experience all the great things that you'd like to do and experience.
Fourth, I find for me there's a specialness about making this declaration and taking the daily supportive actions that infuses and enlivens the doingness of everything else in my life. You'll likely discover that this will be true for you too.
But where and how would I start?
You must start with a declaration of your intention, whether to really go for the possibility of 99-more years, or, at minimum, to explore further the option of whether or not to go for it.
I have declared and I re-declare my intention several times a week to re-program the machinery of my mind (part of which is my sub-conscious mind). And, who knows, maybe this is also "re-programming" the universe to support me in this.
Here is that vision that I declare (along with energetic, inspiring music in the background). This vision is customized for me. You would author your own tailored-made vision for your life.
My Vision for the Next 99 Years
My being, my body, my mind, my spirit are infused with the vigor, the vitality, and full life expressions for my raptured anticipation of living with enthusiasm for at least 99 more years. What adventures, discoveries, breakthroughs, and connections lie before me! What journeys and explorations I will experience as I ride the wave of mankind’s trans-humanist expansion into unfathomable unknowns and possibilities! What depth of feeling and understanding will I immerse and transverse on my odyssey
into the infinite!
I bring awe, play, adventure, and connection in an ever-deepening expression of aliveness and vitality…day by day, year by year, expanding, creating, and expressing in a burgeoning spiral of unbounded passion.
Through this journey of 99-plus years I will be paragon, both for myself and for others, of passion, wisdom, creativity, insight, romance, play, adventure and come-along-with-me. I will inspire myself and others to flow with and create playful, adventurous journeys of engaging and enjoyable processes, letting go of attachments to goals and results, yet using those desires, intentions, and inspirations to provide the foundations for designing interesting, inviting, and pleasurable adventures and unfoldings.
My expressions, my contributions will flow outward, suffusing all the people of the world with a new and playful knowing of what is possible for each one of us. Stepping with the times, taking advantage of new availabilities for self-expression and creation, I will profoundly influence others to presence their dreams
in the already now.
I will discover and provide breakthrough upon breakthrough in letting go of the age-old paradigms of, “No pain, no gain,” duty, and obligation and stepping into the new paradigms of, “More joys, more toys” and mutual selfishness. I will be a living example, for myself and for others, of how it’s possible to live a life of ease and play along with a life of accomplishment and full self-expression.
Come join me on our journey together forever and the next 99 years!
My 99-year diorama
Something else I did (not that this would necessarily fit you) is to create and maintain a diorama that inspires me to look at every day.
Just choose the next step, the next action
You can't (and shouldn't) do a lot of planning at this point. Just take a next step. Then from there, decide on the next one. It's naturally going to be very exploratory at the beginning. And, make sure you keep your Now and Next together on this as you proceed. Otherwise it has no chance.
Later, you will probably be able to do a little bit more planning. Don't rush it. It's a long and fun journey!
If you want my help or collaboration...
Let me know. We could explore that or I will see what I can do.
Go to my Nutrition-Fitness-Sleep page. It will give you some ideas you may want to experiment with.
Viva la Fantástica Vida!
Addendum: putting my money where my mouth is
It goes without saying (and I'm going to say it anyway). Whenever I share about what I'm doing, take it as some information that may stimulate you to think about or take action on something that fits you, in your current circumstances, using your own assessment.
That said. On October 31st, 2011, I purchased an annuity with a one-time payment of $25,000. If I die before November 2nd, 2031 (I'll be 87 then), I will get nothing. Nobody else will get anything. The insurance company will get it all.
However, as long as I am alive from November 2nd, 2031 forward, I will receive $23,363 per year. If I fulfill my goal of living for 99 more years from November of this year (2021), then I will have received a total of $2,079,307.
On November 5th, 2015, I purchased a second annuity with a one-time payment of $25,000. If I die before September 21st, 2034 (I will be 90 then), I will get nothing. The insurance company will get it all.
However, at long as I am alive from September 21st, 2034 forward, I will receive $20,645 per year. If I reach my goal of living vitally for 99 more years from September of this year (2021), then I will have received a total of $1,775,470.
No scrimping on health now
I would not have invested this money if it weren't "extra money." After investing it, I still had all the money I needed to spend on nutrition, supplements, devices (or whatever) to maximize my health and longevity now. Current investment in my health would always take priority over any other monetary investment for my future.