Aging Expectations

Ted Talk – Ari Wallach

At first glance, this Ted Talk does not necessarily align with my normal aging selections. It is not directly related to aging.

However, I love this one. Ari Wallach is funny, adept, and smart.

He is talking about planning for the long term, which sounds exactly like preparing for aging but he actually targets other types of problems (politics, wars, hunger, safety, etc.).

Ari’s insight into solving problems and being prepared is amazing and, in my opinion, hyper-focused as it relates to aging.

In the video, he asks you to consider shifting your mental models to update your thinking. He provides three ways we can make that change in our minds. Here is my summary:

Transgenerational thinking – As the name suggests, this type of thinking deals with understanding how what you are doing today effects future generations. Of course, you can immediately see how this effects global issues. If we don’t take care of the environment, it won’t be good for our grandkids.

However, this is very specific to aging. How you deal with aging sets up your kids and grandkids (at the very least) in how they think about aging. If your example shows them that anyone over the age of 65 is frail and unable to care for themselves, you are setting this example in their minds. It is going to take something powerful to change their mindset.

Where do you stand on this? Have been setting a good example for them? Don’t stop now!

Have you been setting a good example for them? Don’t stop now!

If you haven’t, it is time to make a change.

Futures thinking – Ari suggests not only seeing things through the dominant lens. There are various ways to tackle a problem. In his example, our first thought is to solve our problems with technology because that is where our minds go immediately. Is that the only answer? Shouldn’t we think through a variety of ways to get to a good answer?

As it relates to aging, most people immediately think their future is based on their genes. We’ve been raised to understand our makeup is determined by our DNA. That is true but it’s not the whole story. There are other ways to increase your health as you age and increase your longevity too.

You can exercise, you can eat better, you can increase your social network, you can show gratitude, you can visit your doctor more regularly…the list goes on. Open your mind to multiple ways to solve any aging issue.

Telos thinking – In the last mind shift, we want to understand the ultimate aim and ultimate purpose. Begin by asking, “to what end.” Ari wants you to start to define what comes after you solve the problem. Instead of thinking short term, go out 20, 30, 40, 50 years.

You know I love that!

I completely agree as it relates to aging. Don’t just think about making it to 60, 70, 80. Think about getting there and beyond and not just getting there but thriving there. See yourself happy and healthy. Decide what you are going to be doing at those ages. What you can achieve and accomplish?

Because, honestly, it’s not about just living longer.

It’s about living longer so you can dream and achieve even more!

So watch the video below and let me know not only what you think but I want to know, “What is your long path”?


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