Are you wasting your time? (The Age Clock Concept: In Time with your Lifespan)

We are continuously developing throughout the time of our lifespan and most of us will go through the same system or already established foundation as a child.

I strongly believe however that once we enter into the phase called adulthood, these changes become less predictable and based on the choices we make, the outcomes are more diverse.

In Time

As an adult the major markers in life are closely linked to personal, social and cultural forces or events that take place.
Unfortunately, there are events or crisis in life which were never planned for and this often alter the decisions that we make going forward.

In most cultures the most popular milestones are starting a job or career, getting married, or having a child. Please note however that not all adults progress along the same common path or structure according to “one big common plan”.

Some people marry very young and others do not marry at all. Some young adults have few options and are forced to begin jobs and become independent immediately after high school, while others have the luxury of continuing their education until they have attained their Ph.D., DSc, LP.D., Ed,D. Psy.D or M.D. just to name a few.

Some people may have several children at a young age while others may make a conscious decision to wait until their 30’s or 40’s to have children. Some adults may want children but regrettably cannot have children or perhaps due to their careers in life, they decide not to have children at all.

Despite the various lifestyle choices, we make as adults, there is a form of internal timing that we each use as a measure of our adult development.

In Time

Henry Hamilton has over a century (100 years) on his age clock and in the movie, it is said that he was worth thousands of years.

According to my research, the concept of the age clock is often relied upon to identify the different stages of our adult development.

Age clocks lets us know when certain events in life should occur, relative to standards considered typical of the culture in which the person resides.

If important life events or milestones happen too early or later than expected, some people may experience distress or what we can refer to as a “crisis” and based on what that event is, they may not receive the typical peer support when such developments are normally accomplished.

Biologically, a young woman normally cannot conceive after menopause; and if you think about it, psychologically a young adult might not be prepared to handle the stress and constant pressure of a complex and high-level job.
I firmly believe it’s a fine balance all adults must create in order to shape their lives according to their lifespan.

Speaking of lifespan, the most significant historical change affecting the life course of many people is the increasing length of their lifespan.

For example, perhaps in the 1900’s only about 13% of people were expected to reach 80 or older, now more and more people are expected to reach that age. These developments and others like it have changed how we now define our age clocks and how each culture has adjusted the responsibilities most people are likely to encounter at various points in their adult lifespan.

In the Bible, we have an example of Adam’s family age clock and the written account of his family line in the book of Genesis, Chapter 5.

1. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.

2. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.

3. When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.

4. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters

5. Although, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

Further on in the same chapter between verses 21 to 27 we have an account of the oldest man in the bible.

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.

22 After he became the father of Methuselah. Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.

23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.

24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech.

26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters.

27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

Wow! I wonder what the environment was like back then? What did the air smell like? What did the food taste like? What were their lifestyles like in order to preserve and extend their lifespan?

As fascinated as I am by the fantasy of such an extended lifespan, I take heed to what the Apostle Paul said in the bible, in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 3 verses 18 and 19,

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”.

The Apostle Paul writes that this new world in its present form is passing away, but that the Corinthians can give themselves fully to the work of the Lord since their labor is not in vain.

He gave us practical advice and great insight as we each seek to take up our roles in the world today.

1 Corinthians 1:19,

19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate”.

And the Bible continues from verses 20 to 25 to state:

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,

23 But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

24 But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greek, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile”.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

28 God choose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are,

29 So that no one may boast before him.

30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord”.

So, as we each continue to age or grow older, I believe its important and certainly relevant to create a Professional Portfolio.

The concept of portfolios comes from professions in which the portfolios are used to showcase examples of work or art to prospective clients and employers.

I believe professionals and students alike should be taught how to prepare a portfolio, were they are guided in the selection of materials to be included, they are taught how to recognize the types of capabilities sought by prospective clients and employers and they are shown how to select their best work to illustrate each of their capabilities.

Professional portfolios play a collective or cumulative role and when structured appropriately requires no additional time to be associated with the creation of new products.

In this new technologically advance age, we have become a global society with a global culture and instant communication is now the “new normal”.

In developed countries, knowledge no longer needs to be passed on the traditional way from parent to child, or older adult to an upcoming younger trainee.

Instead, we now have the internet or world wide web- which is changing our work life, making communications between cultures more effective and assisting greatly with trade, business and commerce on a global scale.

Global technology has now provided the necessary bridge to cultural and economic development. Many young adults have been able to make the leap from developing countries to other developing countries through the use of online education and online research of all types.

How do you think computers are affecting the course of our lifespan development? Do you think we have become too dependent and therefore have more time to waste? Or perhaps it’s created more time for social bonding?

I fervently believe however, that whatever your perspective may be, the major milestones in our life are closely linked to the personal, social and cultural choices we make as we move forward in life.

World of Dance

Dancing away the Depression: Discovering your unique Talents

The creative art of dancing is a beautiful way of self expression and is just one of the many ways we were gifted by the Creator.

In Exodus 31:3, The Lord spoke to Moses saying,

“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of workmanship”

In the same way God has placed amazing talents within each of us, but it is our responsibility to discover them.

The last hundred years have seen dance become an increasingly integral element of popular culture. From ballroom dancing to breakdancing.

Dance is a beautiful way to communicate and gives way to self-expression. It’s also good for the mind, soul and body.

Now you know you can’t talk about dancing without mentioning Michael Jackson!

In 1983 he was asked to perform alongside his brothers for a TV show to celebrate 25 years of Motown and it was in front of one of the largest TV audiences ever for a variety show, Michael Jackson unveiled a dance routine in which he appeared to move across the stage without lifting his feet from the floor. Later known as the moonwalk, it became his trademark. Cool!

I love dancing, it’s in my blood! It runs through my veins and circulates through my arteries and pumps life, hope and beautiful possibilities of creativity in my life.

As a born Jamaican I am naturally very gifted in this area.

Jamaica is a beautiful country with a rich history and public celebrations are still common occurrences.

Olaudah Equiano, the Ibo ex-slave, wrote in 1789,

“We are almost a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets. Thus, every great event, such as a triumphant return from battle or other causes of public rejoicing, is celebrated in public dances, which are accompanied with songs and music suited to the occasion”.

His statement is still very much true in Jamaica’s culture today.

I also learnt that there was such a thing called the rave and club culture in Britain and it was quite a phenomenon.

According to my most recent findings, the first raves were in warehouses around the outskirts of Britain’s industrialized towns and cities or at secret open-air venues.

These parties were attracting thousands of dancers in the 1988. The rave was more than a simple dance party, it was seeking to lift the audience into an altered physical and mental state.

The mixture of a sensual location, powerful sound systems, theatrical lightening in addition to the recreational use of the drug ecstasy lead dancers into something approaching a trance-like state.

Unfortunately, many drugs such as ecstasy, LSD, PCP and certain mushrooms are known to cause delusion and hallucinations. These mind-altering substances produce temporary psychotic symptoms, either during intoxication or withdrawal.

As much as I believe dancing is great for depression, I strongly suggest no one add any of the above substances to the experience.

Research states that there are four major triggers of human depression- the loss of a loved one, a stress hat can’t be handled, a loss of status, or a feeling of guilt.

When depressed, you are likely to have delusions of unreasonable worthlessness and guilt, delusions of hopelessness and perhaps suicidal tendencies.

Also, sometimes being in an unhealthy relationship can cause depression and other abnormal behaviors.

See my previous article: Smooth Criminal/Love the way you Lie: Traumatic Bonding.

Depression is a serious mental illness and should not be taken lightly and can even be coupled with psychotic features.

For example, a shy eighteen -year-old student from a small town begins his freshman year at a large state university and is increasingly overwhelmed by the workload in his grueling prelaw courses.

Prior to his first set of midterms, he becomes extremely distraught and agitated, develops the delusion that his roommates are plotting to murder him in his sleep, and is fond running naked in the streets to escape them.

Guess what else I found out, childbirth is also another important stressor that can trigger a brief psychotic disorder. It has been estimated that one or two deliveries out of every thousand are complicated by postpartum psychoses.

See my other article “Discover the Yello or “Blues” in You: Royal Labor Pains” where I touched a little on the complications of Postpartum Depression.

Your mental health is just as important as the health of your body and with the latest technology becoming available, hopefully more and more people will be able to afford better health care.

So what is this technology I am referring to you may ask? The Blockchain Technology of course!

Blockchain in Health Care

John Halamka is Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a Harvard University teaching hospital, a position that he has held since 1998. He has also held the position of CIO for Harvard Medical School from 2001 through 2012.

Mr. Halamka recently assumed responsibility as Editor-in-Chief of the new academic journal, Blockchain in Healthcare Today.

However, according to Randy Bean’s interview in the August 2018 issue of the Forbes Magazine, blockchain is ideal for ensuring data integrity where control is decentralized. Mr. Halamka also cited three prominent opportunities:

  1. Medical Records. When a medical record is generated and signed, it can be written to the blockchain, which will provide absolute proof and confidence that a medical record cannot be changed. The integrity of the medical record is ensured. The same concept can be applied to clinical trials. This has impact in legal cases as well where the integrity of the medical record is pivotal.
  2. Consent management. In the current healthcare environment where every state has different privacy and consent regulations, blockchain could be used to record patient consent for purposes of data sharing. Any party seeking to exchange medical data about a patient could check the blockchain for permission to do so.
  3. Micropayments. The idea that patients might be incented is gaining traction. If a patient follows a care plan, keeps their appointments and stays healthy, there might be rewards offered through the blockchain. Similarly, patients might be rewarded for contributing their data to clinical trials and clinical research using the same approach.
Randy Bean

Randy Bean

Randy Bean is an industry thought-leader and author, and CEO of NewVantage Partners, a strategic advisory and management consulting firm which he founded in 2001. He is a contributor to Forbes, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and The Wall Street Journal. You can follow him at @RandyBeanNVP.

So let’s get back to my initial health question, “Are you depressed?” Dancing can help!

World of Dance

World of Dance