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13 Ways To Guarantee you will die prematurely – Funeral Directors Aren’t exempt

In the style of Jonathan Swift, I offer an immodest proposal. Here are 13 ways to almost guarantee that you will die prematurely. And, premature death can have a variety of benefits. It ends the need for long term retirement planning. You probably won’t outlive your money. The concern of having to come up with new gift ideas each year for your spouse, children, grand-children and other loved ones disappears. And gone is the worry of staying productive and alert in old age.

Premature death is easier than most people would think. Science knows much about its causes. I’ve assembled a “Top 13” list for easy reference. Here they are. To increase your chances of dying prematurely:

  1. Ignore genetics, especially if your parents died young.
  2. Don’t exercise, avoid aerobics the most.
  3. Be careless and absentminded. Don’t wear seatbelts. Text message while driving, don’t use a hands free cell phone, and daydream when using dangerous tools and knives.
  4. Smoke two packs of cigarettes a day.
  5. Be a loner, avoid family or other strong social support groups.
  6. Drink alcohol excessively.
  7. Be angry, hostile and aggressive at and about everything. Blame others. Take no responsibility for your situation.
  8. Ignore nature’s warning signs like chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, and numbness.
  9. Be a pessimist. Convince yourself that nothing will go right for you. Look forward to being taken advantage of, again.
  10. Multi task and have a strong sense of constant time urgency. This will help you cultivate number 7, being angry, when someone gets in your way or slows you down, or a traffic light changes before you make it to the intersection.
  11. Over eat especially high fat, high sugar junk food. Work to become, “morbidly obese.” Since we are what we eat, strive to be a Twinkie.
  12. Worry constantly, even in the face of contrary evidence. This often helps to make being a pessimist easier. It is an effective way to weaken your immune system making you susceptible to disease; you have to die prematurely from something!
  13. Believe in no power higher than yourself. Faith in God is a part of longevity in many studies. Doubt and denial help increase resistance to Faith.

Really study this list. How many of these premature death risk markers do you already engage in? With a little effort, how many more could you do?

If the goal is premature death, it behooves you to engage in as many of these as you can. Also, this is not a complete list. Space limitations restricted it to just 13. How many more can you think of?

If, for any reason, premature death is not your goal or intention, you could simply do the opposite of each of these risk markers. Doing that would significantly increase the odds that you would actually live longer than your normal life expectancy, if you wanted to. For instance, not smoking and exercising aerobically at least three times a week lower your chance of dying prematurely from heart disease by more than 50%.

The choice is yours. The simple way is to plan to die prematurely because it takes so little effort. There are no guarantees though. You could diligently follow all thirteen risk markers and still live to an old age. If you choose to ignore these risk markers and do their opposite, I have one warning. Make sure that you properly plan for a long, healthy, alert and enjoyable retirement, since your chances of dying young will be very small.  For some effective help with this use the B.R.E.A.D.S Formula.

About the Author
Timothy J. O’Brien, M.S. is the Director of The Institute for Stress Management & Performance Improvement, in Tallahassee, Florida. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress and a Life Member of the International Society for Performance Improvement.

For 14 years, Tim wrote a column for Knight Ridder Tribune News Service and has published more than 400 print articles. He gives presentations on grief, compassion fatigue, stress management and performance improvement.

He has two Grief Support Programs, one for Human-loss and one for Pet-loss.

With a focus on business, Tim co-authored the 2010 Amazon.com #1 Bestseller in the Work-Life Balance category: If You Have Employees, You Really Need This Book.

He has also produced Achieving the Dynamic Balance , a systematic, action-oriented 2 CD audio program designed to help listeners regain control of their lives and improve their performance.

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  • Henry

    Believing in a higher power isn’t the same thing as believing in God… just sayin. Atheists don’t have a higher death rate do they?