I think the barriers are mostly innate (or learned – I dunno – can get hard to distinguish). Sometimes I can see clear path to possible goals but include some solutions that would require me to put aside my right/wrong stuff. I can bend them pretty far but where there’s breaking points, I just can’t go those routes and have to be ok with that.
Ah – the long life vs happy life conundrum.
Well, death is almost a given regardless. On your grave / life records you get “birth year – death year”. You didn’t choose your birth year and barring suicide, you don’t choose your death year.
So, forget those. First probably isn’t picked. Last is only picked if you suicide, otherwise, it isn’t picked either.
You’re the “-” right now.
What’s gong into your “-“?
Is it going to be a long -?
Is it going to be a happy -?
Is it going to be a short -?
Is it going to be a tortuous -?
Whichever directions you choose, it’s still going to be a -.
Even with a so-called “poor lifestyle”, your genetics generally give you the upper range. For most people, even with a poor lifestyle, they live much longer than they expect to when young. Most people make it past 30, past 40, past 50, past 60. I forget the average lifespan for men in the USA – but when you see, say, “Average lifespan: 72″, that means 1/2 will die younger than 72 and 1/2 will die OLDER than 72.
So, it’s *probably* going to be a very long time for most choices, whether you choose “happy” or “long”.
Maybe “happy” will reduce the length of the – by a year. Or five years. or ten years.
Maybe it’ll mean being on kidney dialysis for the last few, or getting foot amputations or something from diabetes, or a new liver.
But maybe it won’t. The human body is amazingly resilient to the stuff you throw at it. Most ailments are common enough and come from wear and tear whether you do “happy” or “long”. Arthritis is common – they got pills for that. Lifestyle changes can usually be made *decades* down the road. if you tend towards an average lifespan at minimum and they can make up for earlier damage.
But, should you life your life in fear of problems towards the end? Will you have to make huge sacrifices to your happiness just to avoid the *possibility* (not certainty) of end-of-lifespan issues?
One awesome thing about the human body is pain.
Pain tells you when it’s time to stop something.
So, it’ll let you know if you’ve pushed too far and to avoid the pain at that time, you’ll probably stop doing the thing that was causing it.
So, I can’t do a green light/red light here. Sometimes I went for the happy. Sometimes the ‘something’ inside of me that says, “Dude, no, don’t” was logical enough that listening to it was right.
Happiness can be a misleading thing. Life satisfaction is a better metric that can be used worldwide in every culture, even in cultures where “happiness” isn’t one of their cultural directions. Life satisfaction can be happiness or it can be something else.
What makes life satisfying? It’s probably just about the most subjective question possible.
The quick answer for the tl;dr of it would be: quality over length. I don’t like doing things that would make me feel stupid later – but I’ve always been that way. I’ve done stupid things and keep doing stupid things but they’re part of my quality of life and they’re worth it.
I also do things that might lead to longer life – might not -but I do them because they’re also part of my happy.
Things I’ve avoided that could drastically shorten my lifespan I usually avoided because of the “I don’t want to feel stupid later” factor but I never regretted those things I avoided, nor do I regret the things I’ve done that probably are decreasing my lifespan. Quality’s a hard thing to define because it’s so personal.