Hacking Your Longevity

Today is my father-in-law’s 94th birthday. I love this guy for a bunch of reasons…none the least of which is he brought my bride into the world and raised her with the values and perspective on life I obviously adore.

He’s in the hospital quite frail from a bout of the flu and I’ll visit him this evening. His long life, optimism and sharp-as-a-tack mind, ability to just ignore things that would’ve knocked down lesser men (blindness in one eye, knee replaced, mild emphysema from decades of smoking) and just plain goodness is an inspiration.

My own father just turned 81 after a similar life so I’m optimistic about my own chances of making it a few more decades. But after reading extensively on what Ray Kurzweil is pursuing to extend his life and the perfect timing of happening upon this Wired article called Hacking the Human Life Span, it got me to thinking: am  I doing enough to strategically prepare myself to live until, say, 100?

I eat right, exercise, meditate, am a happy-assed optimist (the glass is *always* well over 50% full), and always thinking of taking calculated risks and pushing against the membrane of the future in order to grow my spirit, knowledge and become more enlightened. Is that enough? Should I be taking 50+ supplements per day like Kurzweil? Exercising two or more hours per day? Kick heroin and stop BASE jumping from tall buildings? (Yeah….I’m KIDDING on that last question).

Is it Doug’s genetics that have predisposed him to make it this far? Probably…but he had siblings with Alzheimer’s and this guy isn’t missing-a-beat mentally. He’s always been a tall, lanky guy with virtually no body fat so that undoubtedly has held him in good stead. No question too that the advances in medical science have minimized formerly life-threatening illnesses.

Doug is like the Energizer bunny…he just keeps going-n-going. This man worked two jobs, raised 8 kids with his wife, Alice (deceased for some time), leapt into the stock market at 50 with great success, still plays golf three days per week during the season (and kicked my butt well into his 80’s!) and has remained a delightful guy even when life and family members placed obstacles before him. If there is a poster child for Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, Doug is it. Maybe that’s Doug’s lesson: Keep moving, doing, learning, pushing, loving, enjoying and optimistically viewing life.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.