The bottom line is that life is not short when you are truly living.
Life is too short. No need to tell it to the consensus. Most people would not disagree with such a statement. Although, let us put it in perspective: Is it really true?
What constitutes a short life? Some people die at birth or a very young age. There are others who do not outlive their parents. The truth is that what defines a short life is actually subjective.
Tupac Shakur died at 25 years old. Almost everyone would agree that he lived a short life. What about someone who died at the age of 35 or 40 years old? Still, a significant amount of people would argue that they were short lives, too.
The average life expectancy of an American male is 76 years old. If we look at longevity rates abroad, there are a few countries that are known to have longer life expectancies than the United States. Some of these countries are known to have the greatest number of centenarians in the world.
Can you imagine telling a centenarian that life is too short? I can bet you that someone who has lived over a century will disagree with you. Living 100+ years is no short life.
It is true that we have not lived as long as our Paleolithic ancestors. Although, when you consider our modernized food supply and mobile devices, it should not be a surprise about why we are living shorter lives.
Please consider that healthcare technology is the primary driver that is keeping us alive longer. It allows hospitals to use chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer patients. It allows clinics like Tiger Smile Dental to successfully treat patients with temporomandibular disorder. While it helps many people live longer, they are not necessarily living healthier.
When I hear the majority of men repeat that “Life is too short” statement, I often wonder about the quality of their lifestyles.
I am fully aware of the fact that we will die someday. Although, why not mitigate your chances of being a victim of some unfortunate accident? After all, you are in full control of everything else.
- You do have control over your response to your experiences.
- You do have control over your exercise routine.
- You do have control over your dietary lifestyle.
Your lack of control permits stress, obesity, and other health problems to enter your life. Getting your life under control will not make you invincible, but it will mitigate or prevent many problems.
I find that many men who repeat that four-word statement have one of the following dilemmas. They do not truly value their life or have too most stress in their lives. Commonly, they will try to justify it by telling you that this is life. It is their life, but it is surely not mine.
Stress is encountered in three ways: visually, auditory, and kinesthetically. What we see, hear, and do can bring us stress, but we can always control how we react to these experiences.
Life is not short if you are truly living. Truly living is enjoying life with the conscious intent that living longer is only possible when you take a holistic approach to living.
I am not advocating that men strive for perfection. For instance, I do not go to the gym every day, but I do stretch daily and walk 10 miles a week. I do not count all of my calories and carbohydrates, but I do follow the Paleo diet for the majority of the year. I do not live a stress-free life, but I do mitigate my stress by living according to the principles in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements.
My examples are not suggestions about how you should live your life. Everyone has a different biochemistry. So, you may prefer a different exercise routine, dietary lifestyle, and personal development approach.
I would say that being raised by a health conscious grandfather, and later studying nutrition in college, has had a strong influence on my view of life.
Stress, exercise, and diet are the three factors that will greatly determine whether you will live a long or short life.
My brand, Reaching The Finish Line, is not limited to careers and entrepreneurship. I sat down with Ben Fuchs (Host of the Nationally Syndicated Radio Show, The Bright Side). We talked about what I shared here in this article and much more.
The bottom line is that life is not short when you are truly living. Moreover, that starts with a holistic approach!
Photo: Flickr/ Javi Sánchez de la viña