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Agenomics: 70+ presidents and is it possible at YOUR age to achieve those Best Life ambitions?

In a previous life as a tabloid feature writer I was paid to be nosey for a living, probing other people’s more interesting lives.

Among the titles I had the pleasure of being published in was The Sunday Sport, with your bashful correspondent sometimes found pretending he wasn’t at all fazed at the prospect of speaking to strangers in a state of partial undress. 

Those conversations sometimes strayed into sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll territory, as I’d charm people into talking about times when they’d taken their pants off.

Few subjects were ever off limits and the reality is that the question most likely to spark controversy was a seemingly innocuous one: can you please tell me your age?

So much so that I’d developed a patter to deal with the look of incredulity such impertinent questioning would summon.

“It’s about benchmarking,” I’d say. “People want to know whether they could still make it as a millionaire global football icon/glamour model/president of the United States…”

‘Isn’t it true that we all compare our achievements based on what others have achieved by our time in life?’

Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But I stand by the supposition. Isn’t it true that we all compare our achievements based on what others have achieved by our time in life? It gives us a sense of what’s still possible and where we’ve missed the boat.

I’m grateful that I graduated beyond titillating people on a Sunday and have had the pleasure – and sometimes displeasure – of chatting to all types of high achievers. I still believe passionately that we care about how old people are.

Sometimes, that’s tinged with sadness. A former colleague died from cancer only a week or so ago and one of the things I can’t get out of my mind is the line from his obituary stating: “He was 54.” That’s five years older than me.

Sometimes it places additional emphasis on the achievement. We admire Greta Thunberg partly because she’s an adolescent with the presence of foresight of a genial old global green trooper like Sir David Attenborough.

Age defines us, if we let it, and also if we defy it. As we’re all here to understand how we can enjoy our best life, I thought it would be fun to kick around the concept of Agenomics. (That’s the words age and economics stuck together if you’re struggling to keep up).

‘Am I too old to ever become a self-made millionaire? Could I play for United? Is there a good or bad age to start a business?’

It’s a chance to ponder some of the wondrous conundrums that sometimes leave you tempted to key a Rolls Royce in the street, or properly resent people who can afford to do all their food shopping at Booths.

Am I too old to ever become a self-made millionaire? Could I play for United? Is there a good or bad age to start a business? Do you have to be a septuagenarian to become president of the United States?

I’ll come back to you with the facts about becoming US president, but let me know if you have an Agenomics riddle for me to solve for a future column.

Pic by @jontyson for Unsplash

Simon Donohue
Simon Donohue is a professional storyteller and content strategist who loves to work with words and video. As a journalist and editor, he has covered business, media, motoring and personal finance, but mainly it’s all about people.

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