How to Live to 300

No one knows how long they’re going to live for. Nonetheless, when I ask almost anyone what age they think they’re going to live to, they give me a number. We act as if we’re going to live to 65, or 85, or 100, and this belief changes everything about how we structure our lives. It is as if we know the overall shape of our lifespans, and we pour our imaginary futures into those shapes. If I think I’m going to live to be a certain age, then I’ll probably also believe there are activities I’m too old for, accomplishments I should have achieved by now, a schedule my life ought to follow. Scheduling our lives along imaginary timelines limits us.

I’ve got a proposition for you about your lifespan. Since you don’t know how long you’re going to live anyway, how would you like to hang around with me for the next two or three hundred years? My job will be to grant you an unusually long life with good health (provided you take good care of yourself). Your job will be to decide what to do with your newly expanded life. If you’re going to live to 300, what do you want to do with your time? How might you spend the next year, or the next ten years, given this new development? How can you start now?

About the Author

Steve Bearman, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He founded Interchange Counseling Institute in 2002 and is the lead teacher of Interchange's San Francisco-based year-long counseling and coaching training. When he's not counseling people, leading workshops, and advocating for social justice, Steve climbs mountains, adventures in the urban wilderness, explores the edges and limits of what's possible, deconstructs everything, and finds new ways to put it all back together.