I think time is one of the greatest challenges for humans. The notions of death and end affect many choices in our life. There are many things we do not do because we think they might take too long (or we might not have enough time). We believe it is essential to set our priorities, conserve our energy and choose our battles, but if we could live forever, life would be a totally fascinating ride.
Making the list of 100 things you would do if you could live forever should give you an understanding of how much you limit yourself when you make decisions in life because you believe your time is limited, when in fact, most people live longer than they expect (although not as long as they wish).
When I was born, life expectancy in western society was between the age of 60 and 70 years (only 30-40 in China). Today, life expectancy is between 75 and 80 (70-75 in China – nearly double!). Of course, life expectancy is just an average and it is influenced by the country you live in, your education, the health system and the economy, but there are now 10 years’ worth of old people living who would be dead only half a century ago.
If you want to feel good about what will happen in 10 to 20 years, watch this:
Do you understand what this means?
It means that you have more time to live or at least a lot more than you might think. Do you think that knowing you would live (in reasonable health) to be 100 years old would change some of the choices you have made in life? What about living to be 200 years old? 500?
1,000 years ago, the average lifespan was 20-30 years and people thought that living to be 70 or even 50 years old was far-fetched.
What would you do differently if you could live forever?
Many times, when things did not happen exactly the way I wanted them to, or when they happened much later that my expectation, I felt really bad about it. For example, failing my first driving test was very disappointing and I felt a lot of pressure and frustration. All I had to remind myself was that my mom, who was over 50 at the time and taking her driving test at the same time, was strong enough to try again and again and again and again (I think that was her fourth time at it) to help myself understand it is not the end of the world and I could keep taking tests even when I was 50 years old. It helped!
The first time I really played with this thought was when I started writing my book “Reflections” (still in editing, so hold your breath, because it is coming, hopefully sooner rather than later), where I explored the notion of time using two interesting characters, a young girl growing up to be a woman and an old man.
The second time it hit me hard as I was watching the movie Tuck Everlasting about the life of a family who could live forever. It was very interesting. I highly recommend it.
My third influence was the movie Aeon Flux, where I could see the benefits of having limited time, but at the same time the advantages of living forever.
And, of course, there was Star Trek – The Next Generation with its idea of the Q Continuum and Q’s attempts at belittling mortals and convincing one of the ship’s officers to give up her human life and live with him forever.
If I could live forever
Here are some tips to consider when compiling your list. Remember, this activity is meant to make you rethink all the obstacles you may see as a result of having a limited lifetime. When you eliminate the fear of ending or the limitation of time, you will be able to see your life differently.
If you are tempted to say, “But”, notice you are limiting yourself. No buts. Just do it!
- What kind of relationships would you have?
- Where would you travel to?
- How many years would you work?
- How many kids would you have?
- What hobbies would you have?
- How would you think about your home?
- How would you interact with your family?
- How would you interact with your friends?
- How would you support yourself?
- Who would you like to help?
- What would you study?
- How would your daily life look?
- How would you take care of your health?
- What would you need the most?
- What would you think of failure?
- How would you define success?
- What would make you stressed?
- What would make you happy?
- What kind of problems would you have?
- What would not be an obstacle at all?
- What would be boring?
- Would the school system change and how?
- Would the tax system change and how?
- Would the family structure change and how?
- Would the economy change and how?
- Would the government change and how?
- Would employment change and how?
- Would traffic change and how?
- Would we have more hungry mouths to feed or a bigger workforce?
- How would our world resources be affected?
- How would our lifestyle be affected?
- Would this bring peace to the world and how?
- Would this bring war to the world and how?
- Would this influence science and in what way?
- How would this influence our social structure?
- How would this influence people’s spirituality?
- How would this change the definition of what life is?
- Would we measure time the same way? 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours, 7 days, 52 weeks…
- How would this change handling of the dead?
- How would this change wills and inheritance?
- Would the legal age change from 18 to any other age?
- Would our housing change?
- If we lived forever, would life be more expensive?
- Would this change the birth rate, the age of having kids and the number of kids?
- Would the attitude towards the death penalty change?
- Would it change the attitude towards euthanasia?
- Would living forever make people take more risks? What kind of risks?
- Would this make our society more efficient or the other way?
I answered all these questions as I was writing them and I found lots of exciting new things I could do and some things I am afraid I do not have a solution for, but I am sure that when we get there, we will be able to think of things we do not think of today.
I liked playing this game. I hope you do too. If you would rather do it with other people, for example at dinnertime with the kids, just print the list of questions and try them. It is a good way to get the kids thinking and building their hopes and confidence that technology and science will give them more time to try new and exciting things.
Join me next week for 100 beliefs about kids. This list will be different, because it will be divided into two parts over two weeks and on the second week, I am going to share with you my own belief list.
Until next week, take your time!
This post is part of the series Make a List:
- Make a list: List Making
- Make a list: About Myself
- Make a list: Friends and Friendships
- Make a list: My Lifetime
- Make a list: Things I am Happy about
- Make a list: Childhood Memories
- Make a list: Ways to say “I love you!”
- Make a list: What I like about me
- Make a list: Things to ask for my birthday
- Make a list: Improve My Life
- Make a list: Things to tell my parents
- Make a list: Beliefs about Money
- Make a list: Feelings I Want to Feel
- Make a list: If I Could Live Forever
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids cont.
- Make a list: Events that have shaped my life
- Make a list: Ways to be kind
- Make a list: Be More Productive
- Make a list: Mistakes (and what I can learn from them)
- Make a list: Expectations
- Make a list: Beliefs about Traveling
- Make a list: Rules I Follow
- Make a list: Good Parenting Qualities
- Make a list: Excuses
- Make a list: Quotes to live by
- Make a list: How to use my time better
- Make a list: If I were Santa Claus
- Make a list: If I had one year to live
- Make a list: Things that Make Me Happy
- Make a list: Movies I loved
- Make a List: My Fears
- Make a List: Find your Happy-ism
- Make a List: Inspiring People
- Make a List: Books that have changed my life
- Make a list: Inspiring Movies
- Make a List: Things to be Grateful for
- Make a List: Ronit’s Gratitude List
- Make a list: Life Lessons Learned
- Make a List: Self-Kindness
- Make a List: 100 Ways to Be Kind to Myself