Call to Action #1: Live a long, healthy and happy Current Life

The longer you live, the more likely you’ll someday experience an Eternal Blissful Life. That’s the simple truth. You’ll be more likely to witness the Singularity, more likely to witness the development of adequate rejuvenation biotechnology, and more likely to witness a society in which longer lifespans are expected and accounted for. 1(click me)

If you die an untimely death, you’ll have to rely instead on cryonic suspension. The later this happens, the better the outcome you can expect, since there will have been more progress in techniques for cryopreservation of the human brain. 2

Therefore, the first of my three calls to action could be rephrased as:

Increase your life expectancy as much as possible.

Conveniently, practically everything that increases your life expectancy will also improve your well-being in your Current Life. Thus, the desire to increase your life expectancy is merely an extra reason to do what’s good for you regardless. There are two distinct ways to increase your longevity: Take care of your body, and take care of your mind.

First method: take care of your body.

This one is simple. Try to live as healthily as possible, and avoid any overly risky activities! It’s a simple and effective approach, which I made a strong commitment to myself. Since I began to take care of my body, I:

  • Quit smoking. I used to smoke as many as 20 cigarettes a day!
  • Became a lot more mindful about the amount of alcohol I drink.
  • No longer mess with my circadian rhythm, and ensure I get regular amounts of sleep.
  • Committed to having a healthy diet.
  • Exercise almost every day, in one form or another.
  • Make a conscious effort to reduce risky behavior. For example, I now wear a helmet every time I ride my bike, and avoid speeding when driving my car.
  • Get regular health checkups with my doctor.
  • Use sunscreen to reduce the risk of skin cancer. And I don’t visit solariums anymore. 3

There is nothing particularly special or original about this list; the point is that most of it is already obvious to most people, yet they resist making the necessary changes to their lives. But I want to mention an important distinction.

Living healthily has always been quite important to me. 4I would often eat healthy meals, and feel quite chuffed with myself for doing the right thing. But ever since I began viewing the notion of “eating healthily” through the lens of an Eternal Blissful Life, it began to feel considerably more rewarding. The same is true for everything else in the list above. I now have a much stronger sense of why taking care of my health is so important. And to be clear about why you’re making positive decisions is a source of true satisfaction. It also helps you stick to your course of action when you’re absolutely convinced of its necessity. It now seems that my brain has successfully tricked me into thinking that healthy food actually tastes better!

It feels good to make a healthy choice when you have so many excellent reasons to do so.

It’s a similar story with smoking. I always knew, of course, that smoking is awful for us – but as a healthy 25-year-old, lung cancer seemed like a pretty remote possibility. I half-heartedly tried to quit a few times, but was never successful. So what made me quit, then? It was realizing just how massively it would suck to die from lung cancer a few years before the Technological Singularity. The horror of that scenario made it easy for me to quit. These days, a ten-year difference in life expectancy doesn’t simply mean dying at 80 rather than 90 (it was hard for me to truly care about that). It might be the difference between dying at 80 of smoking-related complications, or living an Eternal Blissful Life.

Second method: take care of your mind.

The second way to increase your life expectancy is less obvious, but equally important. You should make every effort to avoid stress and live a happy, fulfilled life! A recent review of the relevant literature concluded:

Happiness is positively correlated with indicators of superior mental and physical health. Happiness, as well as the concomitant experience of frequent positive affect, likely plays a role in health through its positive effects on social relationships, healthy behavior, stress, accident and suicide rates, and coping, as well as possible effects on immune function. (source)

According to this study, the risk of death over a specific time period is 14% higher among those who are not happy compared to those who are very happy.

In short: if you aim to make your Current Life as interesting, fulfilling, and happy as possible, you will live longer as a result. And this in turn will increase your odds of experiencing an Eternal Blissful Life.

a happy couple having fun together
Aim for many happy moments like this one in your Current Life. They increase your odds of experiencing an Eternal Blissful Life!
But can you really control your psychological well-being? Apparently, you can! Research has shown that about 50% of our happiness is determined by genes, and 10% is determined by life circumstances. But the remaining 40% of our happiness is within our power to change.

Now, we all know that chasing happiness directly usually backfires; it’s better to focus on creating the necessary conditions for it to appear. But even if you’re already fairly content with your life, it’s still worth making some conscious effort to get the most out of that malleable 40% of your total happiness. It’ll increase your life expectancy – and besides all the other advantages, it’ll obviously make you a happier person!

So what can you do to improve your psychological well-being? This article is by no means intended to be a complete guide, 5 but I’ll discuss some simple rules I follow as part of my own longevity strategy. These are the low-hanging fruits on the road to becoming a happier person.

The first one is NOT doing anything recommended in this video:

To summarise:

  • Don’t stay still! Be active, explore, go outside. Don’t stay in bed all day. Just do something with your body!
  • Don’t mess with your sleep. As frequently as possible, try to fall asleep and wake up at a consistent time of day.
  • Don’t spent too much time in front of a screen. Limit social media, Youtube, TV shows, mindless surfing of the Internet etc.
  • Don’t bother to much about big unsettling problems that are completely out of your control. These will merely put you in a bad mood and make you feel helpless. Limit your news intake – unless you actually plan to use the information.
  • Do have SMART, not VAPID goals.
  • Don’t pursue happiness directly.

Another important aspect of call to action #1 is to prioritize your friends and family. As explained in this TED talk (about lessons learned from the longest ever study on happiness), the factor that seems to contribute the most to happiness and longevity is maintaining good relationships with friends and family.

Regular physical exercise is also a huge contributor. Exactly how much exercise you should be doing depends on your age and other factors. Check out the UK National Health Institute exercise recommendations  to find out what’s best for you.

Meditation is another easy way to improve your overall well-being. I recommend Headspace, a science-based meditation app.  If you need some motivation to get you started with meditation, check out this short video by ASAP Science.

More generally, call to action #1 requires that you frequently reflect on what “a happy life” actually means for you – and actively search for ways to get there. The end result of such a thought process might be giving up a lucrative but stressful career in order to spend more time with your family, for example.

Sometimes it’s all too easy to sabotage your own life merely by staying on autopilot. If you’re too passive about your existence, you run the risk of getting stuck with toxic relationships and with the wrong kind of friends. You’ll procrastinate over important decisions, or mindlessly pursue the wrong goals. Please don’t do this! Make an effort to turn autopilot off every single morning. Your future self will thank you for it.

Other things you can do to increase your life expectancy.

The strategies mentioned above are inherently worth pursuing, because they’ll improve your Current Life. If you want to go beyond this, and focus specifically on making your life longer, there are a few more steps you can take:

  • Read Ray Kurzweil’s book Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever. Besides what I’ve already mentioned in this article, Kurzweil recommends talking regularly your doctor, doing all kinds of frequent medical tests, and taking supplements 6 A similar book worth reading is this one.
  • Check out the Forever Healthy website, which has lots of tips on how to extend your life.
  • Track your biological age using apps like Young.AI or this one. I get the impression that this variety of apps is still in its infancy, but I’m sure it’ll become a much bigger thing in coming years.
  • Check out this “roadmap to immortality
  • Check out this summary of all the things most centenarians have in common.
  • Adopt a caloric restriction diet or do intermittent fasting. For example, check out this article, and this one by Scientific American.
  • Support anti-aging research by promoting it, donating or participating. Start with these links:  SENS and

For an example of someone who pushes the idea of “taking care of yourself” to unprecedented heights, read this article by Silicon Valley millionaire Serge Faguet: “I’m 32 and spent 200k on biohacking – became calmer, thinner, extroverted, healthier, happier” (link to article).

It’s also worth visiting the website of Serge’s personal doctor, Peter Attia. It’s full of useful health advice. 7

Last but not least, I highly recommend watching this talk:

To summarize: If you believe an Eternal Blissful Life is possible, and you want to increase your chances of having one, you should make it a priority to take care of your physical and mental well-being. Of course, this is important regardless of whether you believe in an Eternal Blissful Life – but holding that belief gives you an additional reason to strive and stay motivated. Yoga becomes much more appealing when you’re doing it to stay healthy, feel better, AND increase your chances of enjoying an Eternal Blissful Life. For me at least, this additional motivation can make a big difference.

Also, the strong feeling of “being on a mission” – a mission to live forever – adds meaning to my life and improves my self-esteem. It no longer feels that I’m mindlessly going about my life; instead, I have a specific destination to work towards. Favorable winds are all the sweeter when you know which harbor you’re sailing to. 8 We all quite rightly yearn to be the “master of our fate, the captain of our soul” – and having achievable goals is the first step towards this.

The mission to increase my life expectancy is my first meta goal, overhanging all the smaller sub-goals I have for my Current Life.

I’ll explain my second meta goal in the next article.