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Poll: How Many Years?

This weekend I spoke on the phone with a man who told me he was  years old He thought he had another 20 in him. “Still wouldn’t be long enough,” he told me. “I’m still having a good time.”

I also met plenty of people in the last week who are so miserable that the thought of one more day of life seems horrible.

And whenever I’ve lost someone, life always seems too short, no matter how long their life was.

Me? I want to live forever, and not in that lame Twilight way. Or at least with less brooding and sparkling. I’m not sure how I’ll swing it, but that’s the plan.

How about you? How much is enough?


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  • Sid Savara April 12, 2010, 12:52 am

    Hey Josh,

    You know, this is something I think about a lot. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always been fascinated (and sometimes, struggled with) the ways we make decisions. I tend to make a lot of my decisions thinking 5, 10, 20 years out – with no real guarantee that I’ll live that long

    Personally, I don’t think anything will ever be enough – I don’t think I could even read every blog post.,watch every TED talk, read every book I would want with the amount of time we have – let alone experience everything 😉

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:29 pm

      Sid, I try to live in the present, but I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. And as to the books, I try only to read books I love now and not plow through things I’m not enjoying–there are just too many out there.

      • Brad Johnson April 12, 2010, 2:33 pm

        Josh, my grandmother is a librarian, and she says the exact same thing about books.

  • Kris Wragg April 12, 2010, 4:19 am

    As long as it takes me to reach all my goals, which is likely never to happen because I keep setting new ones when the old ones go flying by!

    I’d like to break 100, that would be an awesome PR! I would hope that I grow old gracefully, I wanna be one of those old guys that are still pottering around at 100 causing trouble!

    If I get to 100 and I’m bed bound and unable to be active or read or anything then kill me right there and then, because if I can’t read or listen to music or potter around aimlessly then life isn’t worth living anymore!

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:30 pm

      me too. Me too.

      • Piers McCarney April 16, 2010, 11:56 pm

        I’ve said to workmates for a long time, “I don’t train physically for how awesome I can be now, I train for how awesome I plan to be when I’m around 80+”.
        I’m totally gonna be that cheeky old man that always has a spring in his step and a funny story. I can’t imagine a better way to end your life.

        Put a figure on it? An even century, so the Queen or whoever it is at the time will have to send me a letter. I dunno why, since I don’t care about the British royals, but I still really want that letter.

  • Dave (MisterGoodGuy) April 12, 2010, 5:55 am

    Provided I stay in good health I’d like to live long enough to see each of my children have children (if that’s their eventual wish). That of course that would be horrible if they all had children at 15. Firstly they’d be having children at 15, which would be a shocker, and, as my youngest is only 3, I’d only have another 12 years left and as a young 41, I don’t fancy that idea much. 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:31 pm

      Hopefully they’ll take it slow and you won’t have a bunch of grandkids before it’s time:) congrats on a young 41.

  • Todd April 12, 2010, 6:11 am

    I’ve just never worried about it. When my time comes, it comes. I can’t do anything about it, so why fret? I want to live as long as I am permitted to be here. Until then, I savor every moment.

  • Daniel O'Connor April 12, 2010, 6:25 am

    I think what Kris said is the key. Being active and sharp far into my later years is my goal and what I work towards. On one hand I agree with Sid that whatever I have left will not be enough. However, I would think that there has to come a time when we feel that we have given what we can, learned what we can and now it is time step it up a notch and move on.

    For me, I live my life to come to that point at 150 years old. Unreasonable? Maybe, but if I do not live my life now with that end in mind it will certainly never happen.

    And Dave, I have seen my children have children and trust me that ain’t the time to end it. It is another great beginning.

    • Dave (MisterGoodGuy) April 12, 2010, 7:30 am

      Daniel, you’re totally correct of course. Seeing any future grandchildren into the world wouldn’t be enough, I’m selfish enough to want to be part of their lives :). Trouble is, that future seems so far removed I can’t even imagine it yet. My eldest son is only 8 and with any luck he’ll wait until his late 20s to have children!

      • Daniel O'Connor April 12, 2010, 8:40 am

        Dave, It goes by in a flash. This is a time worn phrase but so so true. Build your bonds now. If you are working all the time to “provide for your family” what will it gain you?

        Look at a 25 year old guy on the street and imagine he is your son. Will he stop by for a beer and a chat on a weekend.

        Will you be the first one he calls when he learns he will be a father?

        Trust me you will want these things-a lot. Your children are not your possessions. They are small people who will one day be big people that can decide on their own whether or not you are an important part of their life and their children’s lives.

        • Dave (MisterGoodGuy) April 12, 2010, 3:59 pm

          Daniel I know what you mean. The last 8 years have flown by. If the next 8 do the same I’ll have missed it all.

          Luckily I made a decision to sideline my career and stay at home with the children. My bosses didn’t understand my decision, but I don’t regret it and I know I never will.

          You finish on a sobering thought but you’re absolutely right and it pays to keep that in mind.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:32 pm

      Dave, my parents said the same thing when my son was born. Being a grandparent looks pretty special.

      • Dave (MisterGoodGuy) April 12, 2010, 4:00 pm

        Josh, I sometimes chuckle to myself I imagine what it would be like if each of my four children had four children. LOL

  • Eric | Eden Journal April 12, 2010, 6:39 am

    How old is Yoda? That’s what I’m shooting for.

    “When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not.” ~Master Yoda

  • Heather April 12, 2010, 7:15 am

    Josh, your sparkles are on the inside. . . . and just for the record, vampires suck. . . . . ha-ha-ha. . .. look, man, I’m just going to keep on doing what I do, for as long as I can do it. I used to worry about dying in my younger day. . . what a waste. But that’s just me. If you live every day like it’s your last, it just makes it that much more satisfying. Keep sparklin’! :p

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:33 pm

      I am a dim stone. No sparkle, no glitter, all rough edges and dull, dull gray.

      • Picsiechick April 12, 2010, 2:19 pm

        That’s not what I see from here! You *shine*!

      • Piers McCarney April 16, 2010, 11:59 pm

        I didn’t know kryptonite came in gray.
        Seems to come in all other colours though, so that makes sense.

  • Michelle April 12, 2010, 7:32 am

    I agree with Todd. I’m not scared of death, nor am I wishing for it. I don’t care as long as I live as long as I have a happy, quality life.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:33 pm

      From what I’ve seen, you’re doing pretty well on the happy and quality part.

  • Andrew Lowry April 12, 2010, 7:35 am

    I turned 50 in June 2009. I said at the time, ‘First 50 down, second 50 to go!’

    Now that does not mean there can not be another 50 after that. 🙂

    Keeping fit, strong, active and lean are part of my strategy to getting there. I am also working my mind and keeping socially connected.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:38 pm

      You sound like a master strategist:) Most people that I see hobbling around are older than they need to be, because they have become weaker than they need to be.

  • Jenn April 12, 2010, 7:58 am

    I’d like to die at 102 by being thrown off a horse. I’ll keep taking care of my body so if I’m granted those years I’ll be able to ride. My older friends have clued me in that by that time (if not sooner) I’ll be ready to go to join my deceased loved ones at the afterparty.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:41 pm

      I’ll see that and raise you. I’d like to die at 1000 years, at 2000 feet by being thrown off a horse as it jumps out of an airplane.

      • Picsiechick April 12, 2010, 2:20 pm

        Will we have horses then? Or airplanes?

  • Susan Giurleo April 12, 2010, 8:32 am

    My grandfather (my son’s great g’dad) turned 92 last week. Still lives independently, runs his local senior center cribbage team, still shovels his own driveway and knows he can drive to the corner store, but not on the highway. I give him to 100+.

    I’m happy I have good genes :-). Lovin’ life right now and want to keep going.

  • Paul Kaiser April 12, 2010, 8:33 am

    Hard to put a number on it. When pressed, I’d say 250. I’m ready for when death comes (“I’m prepared to die Mr. Jones, are you?”) but if I have a say in it, I’d like to put off that appointment as long as comfortably possible. I have 4 kids and hope to be with them well in to their adult years.

  • Srinivas Rao April 12, 2010, 8:43 am

    That’s a tough one. But, the way I see it is the day I can’t ride anymore waves and I’m just too weak to keep going and just too tired to stand up, wake up, and face the music, then I”ll be ready to call it. But, if we keep making advances in technology maybe that won’t happen. But at some point I think would be unnatural to disrupt this kind of flow of life.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:42 pm

      As I keep telling you, a giant squid is going to snatch you off your board and make the decision for you. You’ll see.

  • Giulietta the Muse April 12, 2010, 9:02 am

    Hey Josh,

    If I ever stop loving my life, perhaps that will signal I’ve had enough. At the moment, I look forward to getting up and learning something new or meeting new people or power participating in juicy living mode some other way. It’s a far cry from my twenties when I didn’t understand how simple it is to learn how to love life.

    Much thanks,
    Giulietta, Inspirational Rebel

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:43 pm

      I know. I thought I had problems when I actually had none. Now that life is not quite carefree, I appreciate those uneventful days much more.

  • Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire April 12, 2010, 9:31 am

    I have to agree with Kris on this one. I think that it’s not necessarily a numbers thing versus a quality of life. If I have to eat through a straw and breathe through a hose, just unplug me please…

    But if I still have to stick a number on it, breaking 100 would be super duper.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:43 pm

      Kris is going to get a big head from everyone agreeing with him.

  • Steph April 12, 2010, 9:51 am

    Same here, I want to live forever. No pseudo-philosophical intellectualising for me, just forever, plain and simple.

  • Matt Cheuvront April 12, 2010, 9:51 am

    Very good question Josh…man, that’s tough. To say I’m not afraid of death would be a lie, I think to an extent we all are – but it’s also inevitable. I just want to die happy – it sounds silly and cliche, I know…but that’s what it comes down to. I need to do what I need to do in life to feel fulfilled – some of that’s selfish and about ‘me’, some of it’s about my soon-to-be wife, my future family, hell, even my dog…I’m afraid of dying before I can achieve what I want to achieve, but I also know that if I continue down the path that’s currently in front of me, I’ll be able to leave here with a smile on my face.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:44 pm

      Congrats on your engagement, Matt. I’ve been aware of it for some time, but don’t think II ever told you so. You’ve got a lot to smile about, hold onto it all!

  • Project Swole April 12, 2010, 10:43 am

    I’m interested in living as long as I can stay healthy. If I am ever stuck in a wheelchair, can’t feed myself or wipe my own ass, I am all set. At that point, someone can do everyone else a favor by giving my wheelchair a strong push off a short pier. Many people seem to stay strong and mindful into their 90’s so I guess that would be OK by me.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:45 pm

      Only if you’ll give my wheelchair a strong push out of a helicopter over the mouth of an active volcano first.

      • Project Swole April 13, 2010, 2:23 pm

        Come to think of it, I’d much rather be incinerated by lava instantly than drown to death. Good call.

  • Boris Bachmann April 12, 2010, 11:42 am

    It is always amazing to me how people live their lives always looking towards their next vacation or when this or that happens, or when they finally have money, when they have more time, when the kids move out, when they retire…. DAMN! I mean it really is like Dr. Seuss’ waiting place!
    When are they going to stop waiting and start actually enjoying where they are right now? (which, btw, has almost everything to do with the “tools for awareness” Adam presents in the DVD… I’ll have a review up late tonight).

  • Larissa April 12, 2010, 11:51 am

    “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
    Philippians 1:21
    I’ll agree with the Apostle Paul and live for Christ here on earth, but look forward to the day when I will be forever in the presence of the Lord. 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:46 pm

      Hey Larissa! How’s Ethan doing?

      • Larissa April 12, 2010, 4:47 pm

        He amazes me everyday. . . this child of mine has some crazy determination. 😉

  • Logan Christopher April 12, 2010, 12:51 pm

    The research in longevity is actually moving quite fast. People are saying if you live another twenty years you’ll have the opportunity to live another 50. Of course you got to do things right so the quality is there with the quantity.

    Two hundred years sound good to me. But when I get there I may want to go longer!

    Someone I’ve learned a lot from, David Wolfe, has a goal to live 3000 years. You have to challenge beliefs in order to get amazing results right?

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:46 pm

      If watching The Island taught me anything, it’s that you only have to wait long enough before you can clone yourself and harvest your clone’s organs.

  • Janette Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:19 pm

    I have agreed with Josh that I will not die before him, and given his proclivity for healthiness these days, we’re going to be around for some time, barring some future kettlebell catastrophe. (Really, you want to learn to juggle them?)

    Whenever it happens, will you (meaning Max, since Josh will already be gone, per our agreement) freeze me in carbonite just like they did to Han Solo and to that Geisse fellow on 30 Rock?

    • Josh Hanagarne April 12, 2010, 1:47 pm

      It would be more fitting and in keeping with your character for you to be baked into a delicious cupcake and fed to an army of baby chicks.

  • Picsiechick April 12, 2010, 2:26 pm

    Sad that so many of you would give up sunrises, birdsong, a light breeze against your skin, the touch of a loved one….just because you don’t have control over every bodily function anymore. Life is in all those little things just as much as it is in the grandiose gestures, the daily duties, and the measures of our success.

    What will be, will be, and I intend to relish every moment of it!

    Hugs and butterflies,

  • Brad Johnson April 12, 2010, 2:27 pm

    Josh, I do not joke when I say that I fully expect to live AT LEAST another 1000 years. I see this not as a philosophical jumping-off point, but as a design challenge.

    With what we already know about health, we should manage to live at least to the age of 100, which allows between 50 and 80 years for most readers.

    Considering the rate of technological innovation – the ever-faster-increasing technological curve – it seems likely that someone will come up with a technology to increase lifespan by some amount within that time.

    With that extra time we should be able to develop further life-extension, and so on ad infinium, with ever-decreasing waiting periods between innovations.

    As usual, only our belief-systems (abbreviate: BS) hold us back.

  • Debbie Ferm April 12, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I have to live long enough to make sure my kids are grown and happy. Other than that, I guess I’m ok either way, not because I don’t like living, but because I’m at peace with what I’ve done so far. Also, because so many people I love are gone – parents, grandparents, brother, etc. and I believe that I will see them again.

  • Amy April 12, 2010, 3:51 pm

    I’ve always wanted to live to the 2nd of September 2100. I will be 120 and 4 months old when that day comes. I know it’s weird to have such a specific date. I see it as totally possible goal.

  • Marti D April 12, 2010, 7:17 pm

    When the good Lord means too but not a day before! =)

  • James April 13, 2010, 9:00 am

    I am on the 100 year plan. Almost 31% done.
    Hope my plan jives with the big one!

  • Jennifer le Roux April 13, 2010, 12:18 pm

    For some reason, I have always thought I would live until 114. No one in my family has made it that far ( maybe 102) but as long as I am healthy, and have my mind I would like to live as long as I can. Every year I am alive gives me that much more insight into life. I know enough to know I don’t know….