Live twice as long

Thomas Breydo
3 min readNov 1, 2020
A small green sprout with 3 leaves falling into an open hand
Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

You probably have at most a century to live. So, what are you supposed to do with this time?

That is a question everybody stumbles upon. Some philosophers dedicate their lives to the study of it, but we have yet to figure out the answer.

One way for you to embrace our inability to understand the purpose of life is to live longer. The more time you spend alive, the more time you devote to the pursuit of a “successful” life.

If you are like me and do not yet know what a successful life looks like, then living longer will give you more time to figure that out.

Can we live longer?

An hourglass
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

There does not yet exist a mechanism by which we can live for more than our allotted time of around 80–100 years. While scientific progress slowly increases the human lifespan, that research is mostly out of your hands.

Still, there is something that you can do to prolong your life.

Instead of trying to find a way to postpone your death, you can find ways to do more during your lifetime. For example, whenever you are consuming content, such as watching a video, do so at twice the speed (“2x speed”). This will increase the rate at which you get through content, letting you learn double the amount of information.

It could also give you more time to live your life. That podcast you would have spent an hour listening to may give you more time you spend with your family. This is what I am referring to when I say that it is possible to live twice as long.

Faster than twice the speed

For content in which people speak slowly, you will save even more time by listening at rates beyond just twice the speed. YouTube does not offer that feature, which is why I use a Chrome extension called Video Speed Controller, which lets me increase the speed of any video up to sixteen times the speed (“16x speed”). Of course, it is difficult to gain any value from content played at nearly 150 words per second. But two-and-a-half to three times the speed (“2.5–3x speed”) can be manageable, and that is what makes this extension useful.

I find this extension especially time-saving when I watch recorded lectures or explanations because it lets me increase and decrease the speed by small increments as the spoken content gets slower or faster.

Finally, an aside for those who like numbers

If you only spend around four hours a day consuming content, doubling your speed would not let you live twice as long. Rather, it would increase your free time by just ten percent. So, “live 1.1 times as long” may be a more mathematically accurate title for this article. Nevertheless, the more you speed up your content, the more time you win back for yourself.

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