I know exactly what my values are and what I love to do. That's worth additional years right there. I say no to a lot of stuff that would be easy money but deviates from my meaning of life.
The secret to longevity, as I see it, has less to do with diet, or even exercise, and more to do with the environment in which a person lives: social and physical. What do I mean by this? They live rewardingly inconvenient lives.
I think we live in a culture that relentlessly pursues comfort. Ease is related to disease. We shouldn't always be fleeing hardship. Hardship also brings people together. We should welcome it.
You rarely get satisfaction sitting in an easy chair. If you work in a garden on the other hand, and it yields beautiful tomatoes, that's a good feeling.
The name of the game is to keep from pushing the accelerator pedal so hard that we speed up the aging process. The average American, however, by living a fast and furious lifestyle, pushes that accelerator too hard and too much.
Of course, Minneapolis, we think, 'Oh well, it's cold there, lethally cold.' But the reality is you adapt to weather... Humans are consummately adaptable creatures.
Exercise, from a public health perspective, is an unmitigated failure. The world's longest-lived people live in environments that nudge them into more movement. They don't use power tools, they do their own yard work, they grow a garden.
Centenarians are still living near their children and feel loved and the expectation to love. Instead of being mere recipients of care, they are contributors to the lives of their families. They grow gardens to contribute vegetables, they continue to cook and clean.
I have always followed exactly what interests me and never really worried about the money. And when you think about it, to be able to travel the world... on an expense account and do exactly what interests you, it just doesn't get much better than that.
The luster of an experience can actually go up with time. So, learning to play a new instrument, learning a new language - those sorts of things will pay dividends for years or decades to come.
We often think about happiness as trying to increase our joy, but it's also about decreasing our worry. So what you get for paying those high taxes is, if you're a parent thinking about putting your child through school, you don't have to worry about it, because all education through college is free.