Human longevity. So many aspects to touch on yet so little….time.
Before getting into some of the many ways that humans are working to extend lifespans right now, I think it’s useful to acknowledge that having a time limit on our lives, a deadline, is useful in that it can force us to focus. It can motivate us to focus on the amount of life in our days and not the amount of days in our life.
What if humanity matured beyond needing death to motivate us to truly live, though?
Some wild things are happening in the realm of science right now, but relatively speaking that’s not new. People have been pursuing longevity through technological means for quite some time. We’ve created elixirs, sewn bits of monkey testicles into our own, and, as a last resort we’ve frozen people until we figure out in the future how to thaw them and heal them.
So what makes this time in human history any different?
Frankly, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” – French poet Victor Hugo.
Centuries of pursuit have led us to this moment as humans approach the precipice of massive life extension. Technologies are converging on solutions, we’re transitioning into the next age, and if you’re in the right spots, you’re seeing mentalities around the idea of longevity change.
Something that I think is worth diving into is the idea, the belief that is almost universally held, that we’re all going to die. For many, it’s a foregone conclusion that they can expect to live around the average number of years that we currently live. As such, people structure their lives around this belief and the average lifespan in the US recently decreased.
Generally speaking, we work for a certain number of years with anticipation of retiring and eventually parting ways with this physical existence. We consider this the norm. Yet some cultures and languages don’t even have a concept or a word for retirement.
I don’t think retirement is a bad thing in and of itself. Many people use retirement to launch their next “life.”
I used to work at a place where, when people retired, it wasn’t uncommon to receive an email 6 months later informing us that they had passed away
If our purpose is to retire and we arrive at our goal, what then?
Without purpose here, we leave this place. Some people, tragically, take their own life. Others simply wither away.
But what happens if every single one of us is responsible for bringing heaven to Earth, to experiencing the fullness of this ever expanding physical universe?
Those drawn to creating, stewardship, exploration… love – with identities that embrace such purposes we can live with never-ending reasons to awaken each day.
Biohacking icons like Ben Greenfield or Dave Asprey, for example, have inspired me in recent years. Ben can provide you with dozens of ways to extend your life and your quality of life. While some biohacks can be expensive or time-consuming, some are as unsurprising as eating and sleeping better.
Word to the wise, though – snake oil salesmanship is alive and well. I recommend turning your BS detector on for even the above biohackers.
Nonetheless, through diet changes and improved sleep awareness, my quality of life has skyrocketed in the last year. If I should ever need outside help via stem cells or other medical technology yet to be unveiled, that need has been delayed a long, long time.
Quality of life is so important to consider. I can’t think of any people I know who are interested in extending life span if it means that they are on life support for the next century, unable to live fully.
There’s certainly something to be said about focusing on the amount of life in your days and not the amount of days in your life. But the two are not mutually exclusive.
We can have
I look forward to being a young, old man along with everyone willing to embrace the idea (before it becomes the norm). I’m excited to be the patriarch of my family, seeing generation after generation
It’s a wild time to be alive. So let’s run wild, free from the constraints of humanity’s past.