What is the opposite of war? If you think it’s peace, truce, or ceasefire, googles antonym generator would agree with you, but not me. War is an active conflict, which means the opposite should be an active resolution such as a collaboration, partnership or alliance.
Throughout history, countries have either been at war or not. The time has come for us to collaborate on global issues and help build a better future for our children, their children and even ourselves.
With longevity escape velocity around the corner, many of us will live longer, healthier lives. If you think of eighty-year-olds now, they look relatively frail; but we might only be a couple of years away from eighty being the new sixty.
Advancements in technology and research will allow us to start diluting our aging so that it no longer follows the known degradation. This decelerated aging is already happening, with larger proportions of the population living actively into their hundreds. We can already see this happening with people such as Fauja Singh, who ran a marathon at the young age of one-hundred-and-two.
An increased health span will come gradually, but it will go first to those who adopt the age slowing habits we already know about and the technologies we will discover. Eighty will become the new sixty, sixty the new forty and so on until we reach longevity escape velocity [the point at which we gain a year of life for every year of research] and begin to treat aging as the disease it is, rather than treating its symptoms.
There is no panacea to aging, nor is there ever likely to be one. A lifestyle of potato chips and milk chocolate will never be good for you. But, I am hopeful that there will someday be a combination of practices and medicines to help us retain our youth for much longer. In the following weeks, I will write about how that lifestyle would look.
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Are you ready?
In the words of Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility,” or in our case, with an extended healthspan comes the need for better planning. The global population is aging, but unlike previous generations, there are no younger generations to replace them, and our median age is increasing.
This inverted triangle, with many at the top in need of support and few at the bottom to support them, will mean that there will be insufficient workers to pay elderly pensions. As the ratio of workers to pensioners decreases, the age at which we can start collecting a pension will keep increasing until it disappears completely.
At that point, one of two things will happen: either no one will have a pension, or everyone will have a guaranteed income sufficient for survival. With the economic benefits of a guaranteed income as outlined in Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists, I am optimistic that we will soon see the age of guaranteed income.
However, if your goal is to thrive rather than survive, or surtrive, as Kevin Hart puts it, you will need to start preparing for the changing world order. You need to be mentally, physically and financially ready for the world to come.
Accept that you will never be ready.
The first step in this longevity preparation is to accept that you will never be ready for what the world throws your way. Attachment to security only guarantees misery. Meanwhile, coming to terms with the fact that you will sometimes fail allows you to start actively deciding which goals are most important to you.
All financial books have one thing in common, things get better over time. This idea can be generalized to more than money. Some would argue, but I believe that throughout human existence, things have always gotten better over time.
We create problems and develop new technologies to help us deal with those problems. These solutions lead to better problems in an upward spiral of ever-improving problems. We need problems in our lives; they give us meaning. The easier life is, the less fulfilling it tends to be.
Certain levels of comfort are necessary; it’s hard to be happy and jolly if you never have enough to eat. However, as soon as your basic needs are met, and often before, your joy depends more on your ability to choose the hard path than your resources.
To help you prepare for a long life, I will share with you a guide to help you cultivate the habit of consistently pushing yourself further out of your comfort zone. I hope this guide gives you fresh ideas on making the best of your journey as a Sapien.
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