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The fastest-growing segment of the world population? The very old.

 

My father was well beyond the danger point of a dive when a weight slipped from his jacket and spiralled downwards into the gloom.

We had arrived at the quayside to discover our Red Sea pleasure boat laden with US soldiers on leave from peacekeeping duties in the Gulf. The platoon’s NCO proved to be a seasoned diver. His charges were novices. A 19-year-old private from Arkansas, paired with my father, then 70, for the safety check and first dive of the day, failed to secure the weights that are essential in controlling a diver’s surfacing speed.

The mishap illustrated one of many rules that the sea subverts: on dry land a healthy teenager will invariably outperform a septuagenarian in any physical exercise. Underneath the waves, age is as fluid as water.

Confronted with a problem, the soldier lost control of his buoyancy, flailing like a fish in a net, while the older man, an emeritus professor of theatre history, calmly recalibrated their dive plan, communicating the change in the limited vocabulary of scuba sign language. Only once we were back on board was the natural order restored, as the senior grouched about the teen, who stretched out in the heat, blithely unaware of the animus he had attracted.

But the natural order is itself in flux. My father still dives in his 80s, still lectures, researches, writes books. People are living longer, sometimes much longer. Across the developed world the average lifetime has lengthened by 30 years since the beginning of the 20th century.

The fastest-growing segment of the world population is the very old, with the number of centenarians up from a few thousand in 1950 to 340,000 in 2010 and projected to reach nearly 6 million by 2050. You might have thought we’d use all that extra time to squeeze in a few additional stages of life – from the seven ages of man observed by Shakespeare, when life expectancy at birth was below 40, to maybe 10, 12, 15 stages now that a man born in Stratford-upon-Avon looks forward to an average span of 76.9 years.

Here’s the crazy, counterintuitive thing: the ages of man are actually eliding. Youth used to be our last hurrah before the onset of maturity and dotage, each milestone benchmarked against culturally determined expectations. Those expectations are now swirling and re-forming like glassfish in a current. What that means is that the premises on which our governments legislate are outdated. Our economies are based on data that no longer applies. There is a profound disconnect between how we imagine life and how it actually unfolds.

The meanings of age have become elusive; visual clues untrustworthy. Children dress like louche adults. Their parents slouch around in hoodies and trainers. Rising phalanxes of Dorian Grays rely on exercise, diet and cosmetic procedures to remain transcendentally youthful. Glowing teens and twentysomethings are propelled by some of those same procedures into a semblance of premature ageing, their sculpted, frozen faces timeless rather than fresh. Female celebrities don’t grow old; they vanish.

And there’s another reason our perceptions of age have come adrift: the disappearance of death in the developed world. If we’re lucky we may be in the middle of our lives before we see death up close and then it’s usually medicalised.

Polite societies don’t dwell on death; we’re expected to dab our eyes and get on with the business of living. In the absence of legitimised outlets, our orphan emotions attach to public bereavements, depositing flowers at the gates of Kensington Palace and composing Facebook tributes for total strangers. But there’s also a growing trend to believe we can control death. Assisted suicide is becoming just another lifestyle choice, at least in the abstract. Moreover, science has already added decades to our lives and must surely be on the verge of adding many more. Barely a day goes by without a media report of a breakthrough that seems to promise another lifestyle choice: to defer death altogether.

Things change. Amortals don’t, not at the core. These are the swelling ranks of people – and I am one – who live agelessly, doing and consuming many of the same things from teens into old age. For us, the concept of age-appropriate behaviour has little meaning. We don’t structure our lives around the inevitability of decline and death because we prefer to ignore it. Perpetual motion is a hallmark of the condition; we are prone to overwork, to adventuring. Nothing banishes those pesky intimations of mortality more effectively than illicit sex or emotional drama or some high-octane combination of the two.

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By Catherine Mayer, Author of Amortality: The Pleasures and Perils of Living Agelessly

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Posted by on November 21, 2017 in WISDOM

 

The New Frontier Is…Getting Old – Old Is the New Young

Salespersonaaa

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Do you want to live to be 100?

If your immediate answer was yes, here’s a follow-up question: if you could live to 100, what conditions would you want to accompany your longevity?

You would probably want your healthspan to match your lifespan—that is, you’d want your body to be fit, your mind to be sound, and your friends and loved ones to remain close to you.

According to award-winning author and entrepreneur Ken Dychtwald, more people than ever before are now contemplating these questions—and the number is only going to grow, because we’re in the middle of a longevity revolution.

If anyone has the authority to make that claim, he does. Dychtwald is founding CEO of Age Wave, the nation’s foremost thought leader on issues relating to an aging population. He served as a fellow of the World Economic Forum, was a featured speaker at two White House Conferences on Aging, and has twice received the American Society on Aging Award for outstanding national leadership.

In a talk at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine summit in San Diego this week, Dychtwald asked the audience to “take all the things you currently think about aging, health, and longevity, and just park them.”

The New Frontier Is…Getting Old?

Dychtwald pointed out that our quest for longevity isn’t a newfangled idea by any means; on the contrary, humans have been trying to crack the code of eternal life for centuries. “Ponce de León, 700 years ago, was not looking for farmland. He was looking for magical fountains of youth,” he said.

But just because people have always sought longevity doesn’t mean they’ve found it—until now. “Throughout history most people didn’t age, they died,” Dychtwald pointed out. “In the 1850s couples didn’t say, ‘Gee, honey, what would you like to do after retirement?’ Because you’d be dead.”

He explained that throughout 99 percent of human history, the average life expectancy worldwide has been under 18 at birth. Growing old before dying, in fact, is still such a novelty that two-thirds of all the people who have ever lived past 65—in the entire history of the world—are alive today.

“This has never happened before,” Dychtwald said. “Never. And it’s not over. People think the new frontier is tech or what young people are going to do next—but the new frontier is longevity.”

MindTrip MagazineOld Is the New Young

So if we’re living longer than we ever have before, how do we know when we’re actually old? The retirement age is set at 65, so we’ve come to take that as a benchmark—but we see 60 and 70-something retirees picking up new hobbies, doing vigorous exercise, traveling, and producing creative work, and it doesn’t quite seem accurate to refer to them as ‘old.’ Dychtwald told the audience that 65 was designated as ‘old’ by Otto von Bismarck in 1880s Germany, when average life expectancy was 45.

He then shared the following anecdote: “I was invited to provide commentary on CNN when John Glenn announced he was going back up into space at 77. I watched his interviews and there were a lot of young reporters saying things like, ‘Aren’t you a little old for this? What if your head blows up? What if your arteries explode?’ And Glenn turned to these reporters and said, ‘Just because I’ll be 77 doesn’t mean I don’t still have dreams.’”

When we think of people with vivid imaginations and bright new ideas, we automatically think of kids and young people—and our society and markets are set up to meet each and every need those kids and young people may have. It’s seemingly most profitable for the market to shape itself around a young demographic, but the truth is there’s enormous opportunity to meet peoples’ needs at every stage of life—and the opportunities going most untapped are those for the over-65 demographic.

Dychtwald offered a relevant example from recent US history: the creation of new housing developments outside cities, also known as suburbs. At first, he noted, people thought building housing far from cities would never work; who would want to live there? How bored would they get? But suburbs were built anyway, and lo and behold, they grew in value by 500 percent in one decade.

Dychtwald added, “It wasn’t just the houses, it was all the stuff: the refrigerators, the carpeting, the telephones that populated these young families because of this baby boom.”

Making Lifespan = Healthspan

If we turn a forward-looking eye to this phenomenon, then, what do the business opportunities—and the human opportunities—look like? How do we match health span to lifespan? Dychtwald broke the solutions down into three categories.

1. Longevity-Ready Health Professionals

Among over 120 medical schools in the US, there are only 13 departments of geriatrics, Dychtwald noted. On top of that, 95 percent of doctors and nurses who graduate this year will not have taken one elective in geriatric medicine.

“People often think of the big ones,” he said. “Like, ‘let’s go after cancer.’” But, he continued, chronic conditions and multiplicity of chronic conditions is the new normal in an aging population, and these conditions need more attention. Our medical system must become more skilled at dealing with degenerative diseases of aging like adult onset diabetes, osteoarthritis, or Alzheimer’s.

2. Wellness Marketplace 2.0

People over 50 are only 44 percent of the adult population, but they account for 52 percent of personal care product sales, 55 percent of physical therapy sessions, 63 percent of surgeries, and the list goes on. Companies commonly build their brand by celebrating youth—think of any athletic wear, beverage, or snack commercial. But do any brands come to mind for companies celebrating being 60 or 70?

“I was in Nairobi a few months ago, and they refer to older people as elders, with great stature. Younger people are called junior elders, because they’re people who want to be elder. We don’t even have language about 60, 70, and 80-year-olds,” Dychtwald said. The wellness marketplace needs to be reconceptualized to be inclusive of and respectful towards the aging population.

3. Crowdsourced Solutions

One of the biggest fears people have about getting old is losing their minds. Diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia are frightening, unavoidable, and, as they stand, completely incurable. To address this challenge, Dychtwald and Peter Diamandis launched the Alzheimer’s XPRIZE.

“Our goals were to activate the crowd to unleash innovation, to find the bio targets that are pre-symptomatic to stop this disease before we even experience it. We want to stop Alzheimer’s, and match brain-span to lifespan,” Dychtwald said.

Crowd sourcing has a unique ability to breed new kinds of solutions by bringing together different disciplines and perspectives—so why not harness that power to cure ourselves of a devastating disease that’s only going to become more prevalent as the population ages?

“We are in the midst of an evolutionary moment,” Dychtwald concluded. “In the decades to come, due to exponential technologies and ideas, we’re going to see the explosion of longevity and a global tipping of demography from young to old. The question is whether we grow old with productivity, dignity, and health, or with disabilities, suffering, and pain. It’s up to you.”

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By Vanessa Bates Ramirez / Singularity Hub

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2017 in WISDOM

 

TO TEST A MAN’S CHARACTER, GIVE HIM POWER/TAKE HIS POWER AWAY.

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NEARLY ALL MEN CAN STAND ADVERSITY, BUT IF YOU WANT TO TEST A MAN’S CHARACTER, GIVE HIM POWER OR TAKE HIS POWER AWAY

 Abraham Lincoln

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What very few people fully understand is that they have been involved in an ongoing “power struggle” since the day of their birth. There always has been and there always will be people that play some kind of controlling role in your life.

A child is obviously virtually powerless when he is still young and dependent on his parents. Almost everything he does, gets involved in, wears, eats is decided by his parents. Because there is very little he can do about his disposition, he is forced to accept a submissive role until he finally one day is big and independent enough to leave home.

Children often feel that they will be “free” once they escape the enforced control of their parents, just to discover to their dismay that there will always be a range of people that will play or attempt to play a fairly dominant role in their lives. When a girl runs away from home to escape the claustrophobic control of her parents she often discovers that her boyfriend is even more controlling and demanding than her parents ever were.

When a boy enters the adult world he soon notices that his professor, boss or bank manager also has serious control over him. We will forever have people that are in power positions that “rule” or control certain areas of our lives. There are people that are appointed or gained a controlling position over us that are empowered to police all our actions.

These people are policemen, politicians or employers etc. A title, office or uniform provides them with power over us. A piece of paper, a certificate, skin colour, money or just being born in the right family gives certain people “power” over us. It should be obvious from the above that there are hundreds of people with real or artificial power positions that attempt to play a major role in your mental and physical freedom.

Most people under these circumstances tend to take on a submissive role and allow such people to dominate and intimidate them. The champions of life never bend their knee to nobody. They are strong and proud and never allow any person, notwithstanding his title, position, status or office to intimidate or dominate them. They remain strong and proud and never feel powerless in any situation.

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I WILL ALWAYS SELECT THE MOST APPROPRIATE ATTITUDE WHILE AT WORK OR PLAY

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I believe that you must remain strong and keep your dignity in tact notwithstanding your status in life. You do not need lots of money, rich parents or a uniform or certificate to retain your self-confidence. You can walk tall and keep your dignity in tact even when in the presence of kings.

You are the one that hands the power to people. If your knees buckle when you enter your bank manager’s office, you will be at his mercy. If you become clay when your lover, husband or boss talks to you, he or she will control you like a puppet on a string.

If you swoon, cringe; become agitated or uptight when you think of a certain person he or she has too much control and power over you. You must never allow any person or situation to hold an unfair advantage over you. If you are currently dominated by any person or party you are the one that empowered this person and you are the one that must dismantle or modify his or her power position.


Rene

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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in WISDOM

 

WAKE UP AND SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE.

 

batterycharger

POWER TOOL

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SAVE TIME, MONEY, FRUSTRATION, YOUR MARRIAGE OR RELATIONSHIP, YOUR JOB AND LIVE LONGER BY KNOWING WHEN TO CUT YOUR LOSSES. THERE COMES A TIME WHEN YOU NEED TO GRASP THAT SOMETHING YOU ARE DOING, SAYING OR INVOLVED IN OR WITH IS JUST NOT WORKING TO YOUR OWN OR FOR THAT MATTER ANYBODY ELSE’S ADVANTAGE. THERE COMES A TIME WHEN YOU MUST PUT SOMETHING DOWN AND MOVE ON (WALK AWAY) WITHOUT LOOKING BACK TO WHAT COULD OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN. WAKE UP AND SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE. THE PRICE CAN JUST BE TOO HIGH – FINANCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY. WHAT YOU PUT IN MIGHT NEVER ACHIEVE THE FANTASY OUTCOME THAT YOU DESIRE. IT WILL TAKE REAL COURAGE, BUT COULD ALSO EXTEND YOUR LIFE. THERE COMES A TIME WHEN YOU WAKE UP TO THE REALITY THAT A PERSON THAT YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH IS JUST NOT WORKING OUT. YOUR SPRING SEASON MIGHT NEVER COME. YEARS AND LIFETIMES ARE FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET CHASING AFTER ILLUSIONS OF MAGICAL CHANGE THAT YOU HOPE MIGHT ONE DAY WASH OVER SUCH PERSON. 

Rene

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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in WISDOM

 

The fool stubbornly clings/things long after their expiry dates.

 

“Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.”

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Everything in life has it peaks and declines. Wisdom is to know when to ride the wave and when to get out of the game. The fool stubbornly clings to things long after their expiry dates. There is a time to join and a time to walk away in life. Wisdom is to know when to accept and when to reject.

Rene

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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in WISDOM

 

THE OH S&!T MOMENTS WE ALL FACE PERIODICALLY!

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2017 in WISDOM

 

Disappointed? Did someone fail to act according/the scrip you wrote for them.

The best defense for insomnia may be preventing a sleepless night from occurring in the first place.

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An interviewer once asked me what I would select as the most self-sabotaging thing people do. I never really gave this question much thought, but responded in the following manner.

 

I am convinced that the “mind reading” habit that most people develop must be close to the top of our self-sabotaging hit parade. I explained that we have no clue what is going on in anyone’s head. We speculate, guess and randomly make up stories what we think depict what others are thinking at any given moment in time. We think we know what our partner, friends, children, the bank manager, our neighbor, our dog, cat and canary THINK and then act or react on our conclusions as if it’s the truth. We think we know what a person is thinking while we drive to work. We think we know what is going on in politicians’ heads. We think we know and understand what our sport stars and celebrities are thinking. Most of our problems that we face daily can be traced to this fallacy. The sooner we understand that we actually have no clue what is going on in anyone’s head the quicker we will get rid of this habit of jumping to conclusions.

 

We read a story in a newspaper and think that we are now well informed. We see an advert on TV and think we now have a good idea about of product or service. We look at the news or read someone’s blog and think we know what there is to know about the owner. It is imperative to discover that nothing and nobody is what we see superficially. Everything and everyone is made up of many layers. We see selectively because our “filter system” (belief structure) blocks important data from reaching our objective and rational mind. People in turn only show us the layers of their personality that they think would create the best impression. Can you see that you are more often than not flying blind with your filtered detection system and the many un-revealed layers of everyone or everything else. Nothing my friend is as it seem. It will thus be most beneficial if you live your life one moment at a time. We must also stop writing fantasy plays in our head about people and places. Our biggest disappointments come from people that fail to act according to the scrip we wrote for them. Dare to enjoy the moment, but remain vigilant because nothing that you see or experience can be deemed as real and sustainable. All you have is what you have in front of you right now. Deal with it and stop speculating or making up stories that might be based on fantasies or myths. 

Rene

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Posted by on November 19, 2017 in WISDOM

 
 
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