Since childhood, we have seen our grandparents, parents, and other people close to us grow old. Our experiences are full of people becoming frail, their mind weakening, memory gradually impaired, their eyesight and hearing diminished. Then, one day, right in front of our eyes, their bodies “shut off’,” leaving them dead. These are very powerful impressions. Our young and impressionable minds form a picture of how and when we ourselves would become old and die.
All these sensory impressions affect our beliefs and attitudes regarding aging. What we learn about aging “corrupts” us. All the so-called facts, beliefs, and conceptions about old age go in the mind’s databank and are drawn from where the “program” is written about our own aging process. Some scientists in the process of aging say we are just following the “script” written by our mind.
First, we grow old in mind and then we grow old in body. We know what to expect of old age and thus we limit ourselves based on these beliefs. But since we learn these limitations, we can also change them. There is nothing fixed about the life span and everything is inherited. If genes were the sole dictators of our lifespan, how come each generation lives longer than the previous one? A bold theory of aging suggests that if we free ourselves of the self-limiting beliefs, we may stretch our genes to healthier and further frontiers.