How We Don’t Know Our Lives Even Really Until We Reach 50

The best thing we can do to create the healthiest lives possible is to get all of us off of the couch and into activities, places, food and everything else that can spark life. We’re often too busy trying to fill time on our own in our 20s to think about anything outside of that. But we’re not just trying to fill time: The average American lives 1,846 hours in their lives, on average. That’s nearly 10,000 hours we’ll spend, at our leisure, between birth and death.

You may remember one of the quotes from a recent article in the NYT: “You’re going to die! It could be any minute!” No matter what, there will always be some day, some moment, some life that is cut short.

The key to creating a healthy start can also be found in this recent study which found that the more people plan for a long life (even 50 years), the more likely they are to actually enjoy it. People who look at an extended career as a goal, or as something they want to achieve someday, are more likely to look back fondly, and look forward to what’s coming.

How to start living a longer, happier life: 

A long history of experience in something you love – This seems rather obvious, but many people don’t feel the way they do about what to do after they are gone. It’s often something they feel “no one else likes” or something they would like to do, but that hasn’t actually happened yet. But with just a little hard work, it’s possible to build a deep-rooted love for a goal that may change your life forever. You will have a better chance if you can plan for something that will be there at least for a long time. It’s possible to choose to achieve this by putting some money or effort towards something you love, but that may not actually be a huge commitment. It may feel like a sacrifice, but it will never be a compromise. Plan to be in one place throughout your life –  You never know when you are going to change your mind. Your decision to do something may be to start a new business, to do a book, or to help a community. Plan where you can be at a given point in your career, and don’t start off too large or big, as you will want to have plenty of time over your entire life to start something else. 

The important thing is that you build things together. Get out and have fun! Life is too short not to go out and have fun. Make an effort to start new projects and passions, or get back into old ones. You will be surprised to hear about the amount of money you could be earning! Learn a new hobby (something you can’t live without, like cooking, working with your hands, or just being around nature or kids). And if there are a lot of things that interest you, consider a new hobby. It will be interesting to see how far you can pull it back off the ground. Don’t get caught in the “if I have to start this new thing I can never leave my current one” trap. 

Your best friends forever – Everyone has their own “best friend”, or they’ll end up getting lost in the herd of best friends they’ll have. So it’s important to have them with to help you find things that interest you (as opposed to to you trying to find someone else’s best friend to befriend). If you want friends, you will inevitably end up having more friends than the people you might “have planned” to hang with, but that shouldn’t ruin your fun. A big problem is finding all the right people. The person you are really meant to be friends with will become your best friend, as they’re probably someone that would never be friends with you when you were younger. 

It’s OK… to be happy.

The point of this article isn’t just that you can live a longer, happier life, or that you will stay healthy and strong all your life. It’s that you have choices. You have a life! You have a past. You have a future. You can achieve your life goals. And that is the best part about living life to the fullest.