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I've Decided to Live 120 Years

Ive Decided to Live 120 Years

How long do you want to live? Do you want to live a long life?

Have you ever seriously asked yourself this question? If not, then why not do it now? Is there any age in particular that comes to mind? If there is, then try thinking, why that age. If you keep asking and answering this, you'll realize that it's an extremely powerful question: "How long do I want to live?"

Not everyone thinks the same way about longevity, and most people don’t have a longevity plan. For those who are now living greatly troubled and without any hope, the very thought of a long life could be painful. For independent, enterprising young people, it's easy to view old age as a time of weakness and dependence, and they may think that they want to keep old age as short as possible. But the desire to live a long, healthy life is natural and widespread.

Just a few years ago, I thought, Wouldn't it be enough for me to be active and in good health until I'm 80? My father is 95 this year, but he lived an active life up through his early 80s. Knowing a lot about Eastern thought and feng shui, he had spent his time counseling townspeople on the sites of their homes, graves, and on life in general. Past the age of 85, though, he became much more frail physically and has ended up almost never leaving the house. It was probably seeing what was happening with my father that led me to think that I, too, should get ready for the end of my life after the age of 80.

In 2008, I wrote a book, In Full Bloom: A Brain Education Guide for Successful Aging, with Dr. Jesse Jones, director of the Center for Successful Aging at the University of California, Fullerton. In this book, we introduced the Jangsaeng lifestyle, which is about living in health and happiness as you realize your dreams, not just living a long time. But, even then, I had never thought I could live beyond the age of 100.

Several developments have caused my thinking to change. A few years ago, I had an opportunity to golf with one elderly gentleman in Korea who was 102 years old. Despite his age, he was very clear minded and vigorous enough to play golf. Moreover, he was so optimistic and witty that he really made things enjoyable for those around him throughout our game. It made me think, "He has really aged well!" After that, directly and indirectly, I met many impressive people who were living healthy and active lives and also using their wisdom to help others even past the age of 95. I started to really sense that the era of the centenarian has actually come, and that many people are already living that way.

Golfing with Jongjin Lee, a 102-year-old gentleman

I've spent a lot of time in Kerikeri, New Zealand for three years now. I'm receiving new teachings from nature here every day as I focus completely on the work of building Earth Village, a community for realizing the living culture of Earth Citizenship. One day I was walking a trail at Earth Village when I found myself thinking, "I will live to be 120 years old." It wasn't a result of calculating my current state of health or anything like that. It wasn't a conclusion reached after long deliberation. The thought just came to me like an inspiration or message. It wasn't a mere pipe dream to live that long, nor was it a premonition that I would live 120 years. It was a very sudden but calm, firm choice: "I will live to be 120 years old." Intuitively, I understood that this was a big idea and, from many perspectives, a crucial choice. How did this idea and thought change my personal life?

First, the way I think about about my age changed greatly. My initial thought was to live to the age of 80, so that would make my present age of 67 being close to ending the stage of an 80-year life. But, thinking in the scope of living 120 years, 67 is just t barely past the halfway point! More than 50 years are still left to me! How, then, will I live during that time? What will I live for? This change of thinking provided me with an opportunity to confirm again what was important in my life and to newly design my remaining years.

Second, I've come to manage my body and mind more actively. If I'm going to do more than just live a long time and if I'm going to achieve my dreams and help others as I live 120 years, then health is fundamental. So I exercise whenever I have the opportunity, and, thinking that I should maintain enough fitness to lift my own body, I do 10 push-ups in a handstand against a wall once a day.

Third, my brain was stimulated so I'm working more passionately than ever before. I'm diligently searching within for ways to change my thought patterns and habits, constantly demanding of myself things I should correct, and I've started pouring out new, creative ideas. I feel that my mind and body are in an optimal state right now, and I'm working for my dreams with hope and joy.

I've started actively talking about my choice and these changes when I give public lectures as well as in private settings. Additionally, I came to meditate and think deeply more often about the social as well as personal significance of living 120 years of life.

According to the experts, the average lifespan of the human species is currently 79 years, and, growing three months longer per year, it will reach 100 years by 2080. I think that humanity's centenarian age will come much more quickly than that and many people will actually live 120 years.

Our bodies are designed biologically so that we can live to be 120 years old. Many ancient texts of the East say that humans can live in good health to be 120 if they live in keeping with the principles of nature. However, most people fail to achieve that potential lifespan. Many social and environmental factors affect this and are little influenced by personal effort alone.

Currently, lifespans of over 120 years are individual cases that are extremely exceptional. Community culture and the earth’s environment must change for this to become a kind of social phenomenon. Unless we have a healthy planet and caring communities, it is impossible for many people to live a healthy life until the age of 120. Life extension will not necessarily be a blessing unless it's supported by the overall social culture. Who would want to live a long life without satisfaction, just waiting to die?

I'd like it if many more people, despite this, would choose to live 120 years. Why? Not only is this a choice to create a life longevity plan, but it could also lead to the will, conviction, and effort to create caring community cultures and a healthy global environment.

Of course, we can't control life. We've received life from nature, and all we can do is use that life during the time we've been given. My choice to live 120 years is an impossible task without the blessing of nature. What is certain, though, is that when we make this choice, we can live happier and more satisfying lives by examining them and planning and managing them from a long-term perspective.

Many people have encountered an era of greater lifespans unprepared. Having 30 or 40 years of life remaining after retirement is an unprecedented situation. This has never happened in the history of humanity. Many people don't know what they should do in the time they have left. I believe that we can discover important insights and alternatives for any future for humanity for a peaceful, sustainable world. Additionally, depending on how we accept and use this era of longevity, we can personally live with great satisfaction and happiness at a ripe old age. I'm putting these thoughts of mine in a book I'm preparing, I've Decided to Live 120 Years. In several future posts, I will share with you some key ideas from the book.

What do you consider successful aging? How long would you like to live? Are you ready to live 120 years?

Click here to get Ilchi Lee's book, I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation
Written by Ilchi Lee
A visionary, educator, author, and founder of ChangeYourEnergy.com, Ilchi Lee has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves. Lee has created Body & Brain Yoga, Brain Education, and hundreds of other wellness programs and methods. A model for the self-improvement he teaches, Ilchi Lee is continually changing and continually creative. Keep up with Ilchi Lee on his blog at http://www.ilchi.com.
12 Comments Tell us your thoughts
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God has promised us 120 years!  I see He is making this known to many others. I plan to live a healthy and exciting life until 120 and I don't plan to die sick. Thank you for sharing!! 
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Thanks for the insight!

I surrender my life to the source of life that is the source of our breath, nature, and the universe!

May my heart be humble and sincere to receive his guidance while I am in this body!
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Thank you for this thoughtful blog post Ilchi Lee. I am inspired to change my way of thinking and living to prepare to be 120 years old!
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I deeply appreciate this article!!!
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Thank you I have been waiting for someone to have this conversation. what a blessing to have you in our lives at this time.
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Yes, I want to live to 120 years old too😊 Thank you for creating hope, inspiration and tools for a healthier society that anyone can practice  ❤️
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Thank you for this message of Hope and Dreams. I consider successful aging as aging while Hong-Ik acting and supporting people around me to create a heavenly life. I would love to create happiness and loving care for each other during the rest of my life. I would love to grow older and become a wise old lady.  I would like to live 118 year old.
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Thank you for giving us the inspiration for living to 120.  As long as the person has a vision for creating a better world and making a contribution to that effort and remain healthy, anything is possible.  I look forward to reading your new book so I can copy you.  
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I've recently turned 40 and I've questioned this subject many times in the past. Previous to the space in which I exist now, I really had a hard time dealing with my perception of aging. All around me I saw aging people in various states of bad health, semi good health and so on. Some had no one to care for them. Some had family who just didn't care. I also didn't want to be a burden on my friends or family. I would always say to myself, "May I leave this world with a clear mind and sound body. May I not be a burden to anyone. May I not die old and sad." These days, my perception of the world and time have changed. I know that time is not a linear concept and that it's spherical. In this perception of linear time I know that what I think shapes the reality I exist in. I have also given it up to nature.

When it is my time to go back to source then so be it. But while I am here, i will enjoy every moment that I am gifted. I will shape the reality that I want. I used to want to die in my 80's. Now I am OK with dying when nature sees that my task on this earth is done. if that means 120 years, then so be it! My answer may change in another 40 years but I know either way, I want to be in good health and to have the ability to pass on the knowledge I have gained through that time period. Great insight! 

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Great insight: regardless of age! I was told once by my grandmother WHAT IN ESSENCE MEANS: 
"live your life as if you are living forever, and also as if you are dying tomorrow!" 
This always helped me to review my behavior almost on a daily basis when I was young, and to do what need to be done in this world without despair as I am growing older! 
So far, 77 years in this world!
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