Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes is the President of the Adizes® Institute and is recognized as one of the top thirty thought leaders in America by the Leadership Excellence Journal. He is the author of 20 books and has received 18 honorary doctorates. He has worked as a consultant to everything from Global 100 corporations, to prime ministers, presidents, and governments, to startups and middle market companies. Suffice it to say, his resume is impressive. And now, at the age of 77, he tackles the subject of the life cycle, aging, and longevity in an article for the Huffington Post.
Dr. Adizes states that the idea came to him when he was writing a book about corporate life cycles. He noticed that in corporations, as in people, the level of energy appears to wane over the course of the lifespan. This led him to wonder why energy seems to decrease with longevity, and whether there was a common factor that caused some to experience longer lifespans than others. Since he has already successfully managed to rejuvenate businesses and governments to improve longevity, he began to wonder if he could apply some of this experience to people as well. He notes that, at 77, this topic is increasingly relevant to him.
He looks at longevity as energy combined with the concepts of integration and disintegration. The energy level is fixed at any point in time, so it must be divided between keeping the parts of a system (body) integrated both internally and externally. The theory is that, when we are young, we are more internally integrated, so the available energy goes to external integration, which is why younger people are more outwardly energetic. However, as the tissues in our body start to break down (disintegrate), as all materials do, energy has to be applied to combatting this disintegration, so it gets redirected from external to internal. This is why energy seems to wane as we age. It is not that the level of energy goes down, it is just no longer externally expressed.
So, how can we slow down this process? First, try to reduce factors that increase disintegration, like stress, poor diet, sleep deprivation, and all of those common knowledge things. But Dr. Adizes adds one more to cut down on: hate. He notes that people filled with hate seem to age more quickly. Hate disintegrates.
The second step is to increase factors that improve integration. So good diet, proper amounts of sleep, low stress, etc., will increase longevity. And then add the last integrating factor: love. He observed that people who are in love look younger and more radiant than those who aren’t. So his key to longevity is to find love in your life, big and small. Love your partner, your family, job, car, home, shoes, whatever. “So the way to retard aging, not to prolong life but not to die younger than the genetic code provides you with, is to love.”
It appears The Beatles may have been on to something; maybe “love is all you need.”
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