How old are you?

I was flipping channels on the television, and landed on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight when Morgan was interviewing Dr. Oz. The conversation went something like this (not verbatim quotation):

Morgan: How old are you?/Oz: I’m 52./Morgan: Oh, you look 45 to me.

Then the conversation went on to Dr. Oz talking about his 7-minute routine every morning doing stretches and push ups to stay young and healthy…

I have given seminars on aging in Hong Kong and in Canada. I usually begin by asking the audience to answer a few questions: 1. How old are you? (give your chronological age) 2. How old do you think you look? 3.  How old you do feel like ? 4. How old do you wish you were now? My audience have ranged from university students to middle-aged adults, to seniors. Invariably they are surprised that the answers to the four questions are not always the same. Which one matters the most then?

There is a fear of aging in most societies to day. Trying to stay fit and healthy as one ages is one thing, but going out of the way to get a young-looking face is another. Japanese author Haruki Murakami is also a long distance runner. He honestly reveals  in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (2007) his struggle to come to terms with the reality that after he reaches a certain age, he can no longer improve on his time no matter how hard he trains. The marathons take on a new meaning for him, after Acceptance. He continues to race, to try the best he can, to feel good about himself and sheer race time no longer matters.

It is not how old you are or how old your appearance suggests that matters.  Even the body (referring to stamina as well) cannot stay young forever. It is how you feel inside–and you are the only agent who can control that.  You already own the fountain of youth as long as you have an eagerness to learn, a curiosity for adventure, and an urge to expand your horizon. Above all, the sense of well-being and balance between your inner and outer self is ageless.

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