I hope to live a long time and I am trying to create a lifestyle that will help me do that. It is estimated 90% of how long we will live is determined by things we control every day. Central to that are the obvious elements like diet and exercise, but less obvious (and far more important it turns out) are other elements like spirituality, friends and our mental outlook.
I really enjoyed this TEDTalk by Dan Buettner who, together with National Geographic and Blue Zones, studied different lifestyles around the world in an effort to better understand how people live long and happy lives. I have included the 20-minute Talk below and this image to the left which is one of my favorite parts of the video.
We all have a thousand and one choices on how we are going to live and why we want to get up in the morning. Sometimes, honestly, it's a bit too much. Everyone is telling us the newest, fanciest packaged choice and we feel the need to buy a different vision a month: Atkins, Oprah, Blue Zones, 7Habits, Dr. Phil, and on and on. They try to sell us happiness, even with the best intentions, and often we end up with several dozen different books sitting on our shelves half-read while we end up on the couch with a confused look on our face. We just want one answer, not fifty. I hear ya.
My thoughts (not neatly packaged and not even for sale as a matter of fact) are to take a step back and simplify our lives. We don't need to get more stuff, we need to give away more and get more deeply involved in what we already have. We need to be deeper friends, deeper family members and deeper partners. It doesn't cost money to be a better person or develop the 9 areas in that triangle above. I don't even have to tell you what those 9 areas are, you intuitively know by looking at the pictures and they are easier than you think. Move naturally and more often, be clear about your purpose, take time to refocus your life and your mind, eat less and more variety, drink a little, create a strong support community around you, be stronger in your beliefs and love others more deeply. Our lives and happiness are simpler than we think.