Queen Elizabeth's dad, King George VI, was famous for smoking a lot. He would smoke over 30 unfiltered cigarettes every day. This continued during World War II, and he often coughed a lot.
His health started to suffer when he was in his late 40s. He got lung cancer and had to have one of his lungs removed. Despite trying everything to stay healthy, he passed away at 56.
A top surgeon in Britain said that 90% of his early death was because of smoking and that his face should be on every cigarette pack as a warning.
I often wonder how people who get lung cancer from smoking feel about their choice to keep smoking. Do they regret it? Do they feel really bad about what they've done to their own health?
One of my coworkers used to work for famous rock bands in the 80s. He had lots of wild stories, partied with groupies, and tried all sorts of drugs, including some I'd never heard of.
One day, as we were leaving work, he told me, "Yeah, I used to be a heavy smoker back then. I went through 2 packs of cigarettes a day for many years."
I was surprised because he seemed healthy and didn't have a cough when we were at the office.
I said, "Well, at least you didn't get cancer."
He replied, "Not exactly. I have COPD."
I felt bad for bringing it up. COPD is a lung disease that can't be cured and eventually leads to death.
Everything we do today is connected to our future selves. Drinking alcohol excessively is like borrowing happiness from tomorrow. Eating unhealthy food is like making a bad investment in your weight and energy levels.
I've tried to think about every decision I make with my future self in mind. Bad choices are like wasting your money, but the good news is that you can change them and make your future self proud instead of disappointed.