That’s a Personal Optimization Plan to Prevent Aging – I call it “POPPA” for short.
Contrary to what some short-term prepper sites might have you belief, real prepping is a life-long exercise. And, in order to have the long life for life-long you need to structure your day-to-day existence to feed those physical and mental faculties that will decline as you age.
Personal Optimizations 101
Have you ever made a list of items that your body and brain need in order to be functioning in the long-term? This is how you begin the optimization process. Because you need:
- Unprocessed and natural food.
- Sufficient fats and oils to reduce Alzheimer’s risk.
- Clean, unadulterated water.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements.
- An energy-reinforcing amount of sleep.
- Regular exercise.
- Regular sexual activity.
This last may seem an odd thing to mention but sexual activity cycles certain hormones in the human body. And, it’s linked to things like HGH (human growth hormone) and hormones are a critical aspect of long life and high levels of what the Chinese call chi – Life Force Energy.
That takes care of the physical platform. That’s only one level of personal optimization. The second level is brain-building.
Ever make a list of that your brain needs in order to provide optimal service? Here are some of the obvious:
- You need to read – something, hell anything – every day. At least 30-minutes of intense information extraction. The core of my book (The Millennials Missing Manual – see books tab above) was how to see systems and processes and then go on a daily quest for “new recipes.” No new input means no fresh output.
- You need music. There are many books on Amazon about “super learning” and one of the easiest ways to get into the “super learning” mode is to listen to baroque music with a pacing of about 60-beats per minute. The purpose of the music (instrumental only! No lyrics!) is to synch-up the right side (artistic) brain with the left side.
- You need puzzles. Depending on your work, your employer may supply these for you. It doesn’t dawn on too many people that the reason so many murder mystery novels are sold is because they draw people in because they present puzzles to be solved. There are better ways, though… For me, trouble-shooting old vacuum tube radios or designing an optimized metal detector…yeah, great puzzles, those.
- You need new experiences. Pleasure, pain, new vistas and views of things…anything.
- Travel is grand, sight-seeing, mountain drives…there’s a whole spectrum to explore. Hike with nature…though not during deer season!
- Interaction with other humans is critical, as well. Doesn’t take much, but communicating with others it critical. Face to face? A phone call? Emails? Skype….
- Working with a definable output. No, sitting on the couch when you retire is not an output. Set a ton of goals and then reach them all.
- Spiritual research. Doesn’t matter which (if any) religion you’re attracted to. It’s the “bigger than Self” angle that is important. We all go somewhere. This is what drove me to write Psychocartography (again, see the book tab). I think dreams are a doorway to where we go next, but YMMV.
- Personal research: This is where you go out and “pan for a little information gold” for your own peace of mind. Hear a new word? Look it up. Get wind of a new concept? Go research it! My buddy Gaye calls it “the philosophy of inquiry.” If you’re not curious by nature – and have a method to fill in all the blanks, odds are pretty good you’re boring. (Boring people do fewer than 3 searches online per day. they just keep rerunning non-accomplishment!)
The way we figure it, everyone should have a “checklist” for a day. At the end of it, you ought to able to put a checkmark next to each of these topics because you’ve actually engaged in their pursuit. Daily.
Laying Out a Strategy
For each of the bullet points listed, we’ve come up with personal actions that support the goals. The food and physical is pretty easy – a lot of that falls out of not buying preprepared foods. A typical meal for us will be fresh meat, chicken, or seafood. Tossed salad and a glass of anti-aging juice (red wine because that’s where resveratrol is found!).
Of course, as you research resveratrol, you stumble into the whole class of life extending polyphenols and that leads to fisetin and others which have potential life-extension merit.
Over the years, I’ve written a fair bit about “My Body, My chemistry Set.” By keeping detailed notes about your food and supplementation – you can really optimize how you feel. More than 2-drinks a day? Sluggish and out of sorts the next day…so why do it?
You can spend a lot of personal effort going through each of these items and figuring out how to make every day “perfect.” From there, it gets easy. Because a series of perfect days makes a perfect week, and from there, a perfect month, and so it rolls…
Design of a “Perfect Day”
Sunday I decided to consciously build a “perfect day.” Here are some of the elements to it:
- Wrote a column for this week.
- Ate two optimized meals. One of which was a crockpot beef stew.
- Did a lot of research on pyrography for an article coming Saturday.
- Installed a website code update.
- Managed some great activity stacking:
- Pushed a few reps out on the weight machine.
- Walked a mile on the treadmill.
- WHILE listening to instrumental music
- Pausing at times to have Alexa read a few Wiki entries on topics I was thinking about…(wiki entries…she’s/it’s useful for that)
- Made several Morse code contacts on the ham radio.
- While reading on pyrograph and industrial arts
- And while setting up for some pyrography work.
- Elaine and I had an “afternoon delight…”
- Rode my mountain bike up and down the street a bit
- Worked the box frame to ship a piece of welding art to my sister.
- Read a chapter of a book….
Activity Stacking and Clocks
The term activity-stacking doesn’t get its due. Take driving a car, for example. Most times, people get in the car and off they go. No thought in mind other than getting to where they’re going.
BUT the car is a marvelous place for personal growth. Activity stacking that can take place in the car include audio instruction books (college lectures and podcasts of a useful nature) and even learning a new language. OR, you can focus on a new kind of music. Pick a country, or genre, and work your way around the world. One country per day. “Alexa, who’s the top singer in Ghana?” “I’m a fan of Sarkodie…” Do you even know who PSquare is?
Another activity stacking – used by truckers and ham radio ops – is social conversation on the road. There’s usually an east-west bound channel and a north-south channel if you have a CB. Ham radio can be a lot of fun, since we’ve talked to Ecuador, Colombia, and multiple European stations from our car on trips out to California from Texas several years back (At better sunspot levels).
Clocks are a different matter. Elaine thinks I’m a clock-watcher, but it’s more in the vein of Frederick Winslow Taylor…not manic ADHD (maybe a smidge…). I time just about everything because I don’t like to waste the one commodity we can never get enough of. Sure, I can lollygag through breakfast (time: 43 minutes), or I can whip out the meal in 4 minutes, relax and eat for 10 minutes…This uses only one-third the time which can then pushed over into activities I want to get done on the daily to-do list.
There you have the concept of POPPA – a personal optimization plan for preventing aging. Keeping all the “moving parts moving” is key. Seems like a lot of work since we all end up dead anyway, but my research hints the trip through life is a lot more enjoyable if you put some effort into it.
Life’s like a fire that way: You have to put wood and light things up before you get it cooking…
Write when you get rich,