Imagine that you have turned 120 years old. What activities would you like to engage in at this stage of life? This might sound a bit unusual, as we rarely think about life in such a distant future. But what if I ask you to imagine what you will be doing in 200, or even 300 years? Such figures may seem incredible, as we are used to limiting our life expectancy to average statistical indicators.
However, if we do not allow ourselves to think about life beyond the generally accepted framework, our brain, as it were, programs our body to expect the end at a certain point in time. Your life goal, your vision of your future directly affects how long you plan to live. Your cells, as it were, strive for this time horizon. Therefore, the further you look into the future, the more goals you set for the long term, the more chances that your brain and your body will strive for this.
This idea is not just a philosophical assumption. Research in the field of epigenetics shows that our thoughts and expectations can affect how our genes are expressed and function. This means that our thoughts and expectations can affect our health and lifespan at the cellular level.
Scientific research also shows that our cells have the potential for a significantly longer life than we usually assume. For example, studies conducted at the University of Utah have shown that the cells of living organisms have an amazing ability for long division, recovery, and self-reproduction. This is confirmed by numerous scientific studies, including recent works published in 2022.
Some organisms and cells do not even show signs of biological aging, or their aging is so insignificant that it can be ignored. For example, biogerontologist Caleb Finch introduced the term “negligible senescence” to denote organisms that do not show signs of biological aging.
Scientists from the University at Buffalo have created adult stem cells that can be continuously grown in culture. This discovery may accelerate the development of treatments for various diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, immune disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Thus, if cells are provided with a suitable environment and not interfered with, they can divide and reproduce indefinitely or abnormally long without accumulating errors in DNA. This is confirmed by research showing that the activation of certain pathways, such as the AMPK/mTOR pathway, can improve survival and reduce aging of adipogenic stem cells.
Our limited vision of our future is what makes us expect the end by the age of 80. However, if we expand our vision and set a goal to live 150, 200, or even 300 years, our cells may adapt to these new expectations and continue to function throughout this time.
Today, I want to offer you an unusual exercise. Take a piece of paper and a pen, get comfortable, and start recording your goals. But not just goals for the next year or the next five years. Try to set goals for yourself for 100, 150, 200, even 300 years ahead. Think about what you would like to do, what achievements to be proud of, what dreams to fulfill if your life were so long.
This exercise may seem strange, but it helps to expand our vision of the future and breaks the generally accepted program in society that limits our life to average statistics. When we set long-term goals for ourselves, we are kind of telling our brain and our body that we plan to live long and fully.
And the more people do this, the better. Because collective intention also works. If we all strive to live 300 years, then every newborn child will grow up with the understanding that his life is a long and interesting journey, not a short walk to the inevitable end. This will change our attitude towards life, health, education, career, relationships. We will start perceiving life as an infinite field of possibilities, not as a countdown to the inevitable end.
So let’s take this step today. Let’s set ambitious, long-term goals for ourselves and start moving towards their achievement. After all, our life is what we make of it, and only we can determine what it will be.
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