You know the advice to live each day as if it were your last? It’s usually associated with making the most of today, or staying in the present moment, or living your life to the fullest.
Today I listened to an interview with Kevin Kelly, the founding executive director of wired.com. He discussed the idea of living to be 1,000 years old with interviewer Stephen Dubner. He compared it to taking on a huge endeavor such as building a cathedral.
Living to be 1,000! Wow! For the past decade or so I’ve considered living beyond 100 — which would give me 30 more years. I ponder such questions as, What do I want to accomplish in those 30 years? Can I continue to make a difference in the world? Will I be healthy and strong enough to do it? In some ways, it seems like a very long time. In others, it seems like not nearly enough.
The idea of living an entire millennium boggles my mind. What would I do if I had the time and the resources to create a personal monument? Kevin Kelly said he would compile a physical library of all the world’s knowledge, a real place.
Now, living in the present moment comes fairly easily to me. I don’t dwell on the past and for most of my life I’ve been lazy about the future. For the past decade or so I’ve used my birthday to think about the year ahead. Only lately have I tried to put time and energy in perspective to come up with an actual plan. I’m finding it a real challenge to think about making the next 30 years meaningful and rewarding. To imagine what I’d do with 1000 years feels life-changing.
So, here are two questions for myself (and possibly for you): 1: What will I do today to make today meaningful? 2: What kind of cathedral would I make of my life if I had a thousand years?
Look at the world with wonder and at yourself with warmth.