You are an Evolution

Motivation


You might find it hard to believe, but not all organisms on earth age the same way humans do. Some organisms age slowly or not at all. These life forms are called “longevous organisms.” Certain pine trees live for thousands of years. Naked mole rats live to be about 30 years old without aging and scientists haven’t quite figured out what causes them to die. The bowhead whale lives up to 211 years—longer than any other mammal.

Humans have a predictably shorter lifespan, but are living longer with each generation. As humans age longer than they have previously, new predicaments arise, like how people process feelings about aging.

Although physiology changes with aging—your joints might crack more than they used to or it might be harder to lose weight than it once was—aging itself does not make you unable. If you’re feeling like age is catching up with you, check in with your feelings about growing older.

If you look around you, you’ll notice that aging athletes are still able to accomplish incredible athletic feats. Some of the world’s most prolific authors are well into their retirement years. Many of the world’s leaders are considered “seniors.” Some of your favorite musicians are probably well into their 60s and still touring, rocking out shows in front of thousands of people every other night.

If you find the concept of aging is getting you down, reframe the idea as an evolution of your life rather than a loss of ability. Read this mantra and repeat it to yourself as you need it:

“My life is an evolution. I am an evolution. My body is an evolution.”

References

  • Buffenstein, R. (2008). Negligible senescence in the longest living rodent, the naked mole-rat: insights from a successfully aging species. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 178(4), 439-445.
  • Flatt, T., Partridge, L. Horizons in the evolution of aging. BMC Biol 16, 93 (2018). doi: 10.1186/s12915-018-0562-z
  • Menard, D., & Stanish, W. D. (1989). The aging athlete. The American journal of sports medicine, 17(2), 187-196.