Create Your Life and Longevity Plan
Each and every one of us can choose how we will use the time and the life that have been given to us. This is the greatest power and right that we have. Unfortunately, though, only a tiny fraction of people make good use of this power. Most people have small plans for what they will do tomorrow, what they will do next week, where they will travel during their next vacation, what they will do this holiday season, and so on. Few have plans for five years or ten years from now, much less an overall life plan for where the current of their lives will flow and what goals they will achieve in each stage of their lives—youth, adulthood, middle age, and old age.
Without a big picture for how we will live our lives, and for what, we end up just going with the flow—allowing our circumstances to determine how things work out. French novelist Paul Bourget said this: ‘We must live as we think, or we shall end up by thinking as we have lived.’
After attentively observing and talking with people who, like me, have entered the second half of their lives, I have reached this conclusion: most people lack a concrete picture of their lives in their 70s, 80s, and beyond. This is true for people who are physically, mentally, and socially active, as well as for those who live passive, isolated lives following retirement.
Even people who spend their old age in busy activities—traveling, engaging in hobbies, or volunteering—have to-do lists that fill their schedules but rarely have a big picture for what they want to achieve. To design your remaining years so they are healthy, happy, and overflowing with joy and a sense of fulfillment, you must have a purpose or goal that gives that time meaning.
In fact, for choosing how long you will live, what should come first is finding a purpose or goal you want to achieve during the rest of your life. Picking a random number that just pops into your head has little meaning; such a number itself won’t motivate you to live to that age. When we have goals that give us meaning, we do our best to achieve those goals, using all the resources we have. When we have a reason for living to a specific age, we work even harder to manage our bodies and minds and to maintain healthy life habits.
How long will I choose to live?’ Ask yourself this question seriously and listen to your inner voice. You’ll find that it is a very powerful question, for it will enable you to realize what you think is important in life. The journey for making the second half the prime of your life begins with this realization.
Today is unlikely to be your last day. But the probability that today will be the first day of the rest of your life is 100 percent. If you reflect on your life so far and plan your future from a long-term perspective, regardless of how long you choose to live, you will clearly be able to have a healthier, more meaningful, more fulfilling life.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Best Life Media, from I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation by Ilchi Lee. Copyright (c) 2017 by Ilchi Lee. All rights reserved. You can learn more about the book at Live120YearsBook.com.
Ilchi Lee is a visionary, educator, and author who has penned more than 40 books, including The New York Times bestseller The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart. He founded the mind-body practices of Body & Brain Yoga and Brain Education and
established the Earth Citizen Movement. His principles and methods have helped millions of people globally expand their true potential. For more information, visit www.ilchi.com.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!