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Definitions matter

I started reading David Sinclair's book, Lifespan, today. In the book, he expounds on the latest research on aging and how to prolong it, and possibly even prevent it and reverse it.

One of the arguments he makes in the book is to start recognizing aging as a disease. Because, we spend billions of dollars on fighting heart disease and cancer while nobody even thinks of fighting aging as we accept it as something that is natural and inevitable. If we start defining aging as a disease, then given how many people are afflicted by it (all of us) and how many years of lives can be added by fighting it, it will command a far higher share of research efforts than it does today.

This is quite true at the work place as well, where unless we define something as a problem, we don't end up tackling it. Even when it comes to our own health and well-being, or to up-skilling ourselves and learning new things, we don't end up doing anything unless we explicitly recognize something as a problem or an opportunity.

As we enter the last month of the year, it is a good time to start defining such problems and opportunities that we'd like to focus on.

After all, definitions matter.

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