OK… I’m not talking about physically living forever, a la Highlander or even living for an incredibly long time, Methuselah or Dorian Grey fall into this category, but more, being remembered after death…. yes, I know they are all fictional characters etc….
I guess what started me off on this line of thought was reading that in the not too distant future, well 2050, the USA will be home to 1Million centenarians. At the same time in the Niger Delta and other parts of the world life expectancy has dropped to 40years of age.
In order to live long apparently as many of the following points should be adhered to
1. Be physically and mentally fit.
2. Have a close and meaningful relationship with others, partners and friends
3. Don’t be overweight
4. Drink moderately
5. No Smoking
6. Have good genes. (OK this one is a lottery that life says you’re a winner or not)
7. Eliminate unnecessary stress
8. Finding satisfying, meaningful work or a hobby, that gives purpose and value to your life.
9. Live simply as possible without burdens
I think the ‘Be happy’ point is the most important and apparently Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky has broken this down to 12 sub sections.
1. Express gratitude2. Cultivate optimism
3. Avoid obsessing over things
4. Practice acts of kindness
5. Make quality time for friends
6. Develop coping strategies
7. Learn to forgive
8. Immerse yourselves in activities
9. Savour life’s joys
10.Work towards meaningful goals
11.Practice religion and spirituality
OK, so now following the hints for a long life (I got 6 out the first list and 8 on the second) we are all going to live past the four score years and ten..
But how do we get true immortality?
A. For me and we would all have our own answer … it’s got to be helping others achieve their potential (and live a decent lenght of time to boot).
How many CEO’s of the oil companies and other big corporations are going to be remembered after they die? How many are going to wish they did more for others when they are drawing their last breath?
As Dickens’ Jacob Marley says to Scrooge in A Christmas Carol
Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!
How many ghosts of big business are going to be wandering the earth wishing they did more, do you think?
P.S. The picture in the middle is of Alfred Nobel. In 1888 Alfred’s brother Ludvig died and a French newspaper erroneously published Alfred’s obituary. It condemned him for his invention of dynamite and is said to have brought about his decision to leave a better legacy after his death. The obituary reported “The merchant of death is dead” and went on to say, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”