Living “The Life” of 100 Years
Part 1, Learning Years
Have you ever considered living a life time of 100 years? What does it really take to do such a life feat? What type of planning should be involved? You may think you will never live that long, but what if you do? What if the Lord blesses you with long life? Will you be ready for your golden years, mentally, physically, spiritually, financially? Have you been applying the knowledge you learned in life to improve your life so far?
100 years is 36,525 days (365.25 days in a year x 100 yrs). Even in today’s terms, that is a long time. However in an earlier time, a time discussed in detail in the Bible, individuals lived much longer. In Genesis 5:27, the Bible says, “Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died”; Methuselah, being one of the oldest long lived men on record, if not the oldest. Can you just imagine the type of planning that would be needed to live that long in today’s time?
Consider also, that God later in Genesis 6:3 mentions man should live to be approximately 120 years old. Given that information, along with living a healthy lifestyle, consistently working daily at some God pleasing task and being assisted with the correct balance of pharmaceuticals it is very likely we may live close to being 100 if not longer and we should all plan accordingly. What is your life long plan for your future?
How foolish is the thought of retiring at the age of 65 when you consider possibly living to the age of 100…much less 969. It is true that many of us do not make it that long, but what if you do? An article appearing on the Huffington Post website in November, 2013 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/us-life-expectancy-oecd_n_4317367.html tells today’s story of long life and to what age men and women are living too on average, around the world. In the USA, women average around 81 years and men around 76 years and increasing year by year.
As I write this article, I have two children that have both completed over ¼ of their 100 year life; they are still in what the life line above shows as the “Learning Years”. I myself have completed ½ of my 100 year life and am in what the life line above refers to as “Earning Years”. Both my parents have almost completed ¾’s of their 100 year life and are just entering their “Yearning Years” phase. Depending to what age we actually will live too, we will move through all phases mentioned above; starting on the far left with learning, then moving right to earning, then still farther right to yearning.
In the “Learning Years” we spend much of our first 30 or so years learning; first from our parents, then from teachers and educational organizations and then on our own. Our first 10 years of life, our first decade, is spent heavily under our parents constant care. Here our learning starts with very simple life skills and communication and then progresses as fast as our parents and educators will teach us. In our second decade, from 10 – 20 years, we start our process of moving beyond our parents care and their education and on to others ideas and concepts. Here we begin to have a glimpse of whom we think we may become. Our first 20 years of life, although viewed by ourselves as our entire life at that age, is really small and somewhat insignificant when compared to whom we may really be in the world as we age. We simply may not be aware of this yet and may not fully see our potential for many more years. By the time we hit our next decade, the 20-30’s, we are young adults and the childishness falls away from “most” of us and the world takes a firm hold of our life. Many of us are still learning…learning about the opposite sex, serious dating, marriage, owning a home, having children and raising a family, a full time job or career, sharing and balancing our finances and how to handle our many responsibilities; but still learning.
This learning phase is very important. An education comes from many areas and not only from schools. In today’s time, we can literally learn almost anything we would like and have the aptitude for. The knowledge we learn is important, but applying what we learn is more important and persistence in applying what we learn more important still. Many of us have failed to learn why we learn in the first place and then how to apply what we did learn. Failing to apply what we learn, not applying discipline in our lives and not finishing something once we start it will have major impacts as we age and move through the upcoming decades of our 100 year life. To live a successful life, we simply must have the discipline to apply what we learn and be persistent on obtaining those life goals that matter to us.
Sitting down and constructing a life plan at this point in your life will be very helpful to you and your future. Continuously working on a life plan from year to year with professionals throughout your life after the age of 25 or so can help you have an even more successful impact. A life plan and use of professional coaches will help you apply what you learned and provide a more disciplined structure for staying focused as well as persisting when things get difficult. A disciplined focus and attention to what matters most will help you with your relationships, assist you in building a retirement nest egg and provide balance in all other areas of your life (spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally), while creating positive memories and joy in your life.
I look at the 100 life line and see where I was 25 years ago (where my children are now – learning) and where I may be 25 years in the future (where my parents are now – yearning) and ponder how best to advise my children, learn from my parents and continue to apply what I have learned so far in my own life.
Are you applying what you have learned to improve your own life? Are you learning from your parent’s successes and mistakes? Are you still advising your children on suggested paths they can take, or not take?
Next week we continue this three part series, Living “The Life” of 100 years with part two, “Earning Years”.
Gary J Kiecker