At the first company I worked for after arriving in California in 1991, one of my colleagues turned 40. The folks at work held a party for her: the theme was black, and her cake was the shape of a coffin. The bizarre appearances-obsessed US culture doesn’t handle age well. For me, my 40s were a time of great emotional development and intellectual achievement. I could still run 15 miles before heading to the gym for a strenuous workout and nothing really changed for me until I turned 60, since when I’ve needed to be more careful about warming up and giving myself sufficient time to recover from minor injuries. This is because all my life I’ve exercised strenuously and eaten healthy foods (almost all of which I prepare myself, from raw ingredients). It’s never about weight or years; it’s always about the daily choices one makes in one’s life. I’ve seen 30-year-olds in shit shape and 70-year-olds doing far better. Most people suffer from chronic ailments that are entirely the result of their lifestyles, commencing in their late teens (for example, 22% of US males aged 20 already have cardiovascular disease). It’s all about choices, so long as one is fortunate enough to avoid accidents and major illnesses.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.