NYC, Personality types, Societal musings

Retaining your Individuality (An Introvert in NYC)

Susan turned on the heat and immediately heard the faint hissing sound of the air seeping through the vent. The stillness in the apartment was juxtaposed by the cacophony on the streets of Times Square, where her apartment building stood. The muffled sound of the heat and the ticking of the clock was only broken by my fidgeting on the couch. She attempted to write but her evil brain won the debate and she sprang up to grab a bar of chocolate. It had been a long week at work and surely she could treat herself on a Friday. Through previous mistakes, Susan had learned not to make plans on Fridays. As the work week drew to a close, she could sense the energy seeping out of her, just like the chocolate melting through her fingers currently.


An introvert, Susan preferred to stay at home and read over shouting in loud bars in New York. Besides, she was never cool enough to be socially comfortable and it was only on high-energy days that she could be merely average. She was the type to eat healthy (salads), workout, meditate, take interest in neuroscience, go on long runs, and have deep and nerdy conversations. In short, she was the ultimate definition of a party-pooper. However, Susan was charmingly affectionate and despite or perhaps because of these dorkish qualities, most people liked her.

The most admirable quality in Susan was that she was always her authentic self and retained her individuality.

Philosophy, Societal musings

Where Did Open Debate Go? (ft. Ayn Rand)

Where did open debate and discussion vanish? We now seem to live in a society where it’s difficult to openly talk about “controversial” or “sensitive” topics. Ayn Rand is a good example where a lot of people automatically dismiss her writing just at the mention of her name. People simply associate it with dislike and are not willing to engage in a deeper conversation and truly understand her philosophy. Even if we do not agree with her philosophy, why is there so much hesitation to even talk about it?

Cancel culture has overtaken society and polarization has increased. 

It’s okay to have divergent viewpoints. In fact, if everyone thought the same way, we’d live in a homogenous bubble and creativity and innovation would be stifled.

Sure, there might be some objectivity to a lot of viewpoints but if we don’t even discuss them in a healthy manner, we shall never arrive at the objective answer.

I hope we can once again begin to have healthy discussions and debates with people who do not share our viewpoints.

Note: This post has been adapted from the original post on my other site Live Longer World.

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Learning, longevity, Personality types, Philosophy

Learning Something New

As I sat on my couch sipping my morning coffee and trying to get myself to be more awake, my sleepy brain began reflecting on the last few years and how my life has been enriched from all that I’ve learned. It always amazes me how much there is to learn, how learning never stops (as the cliché goes), and how much joy one can derive from making space in their lives to learn something new.

Learning something new doesn’t always entail long-term commitments such as picking up a new skill or sport. It could be as little as a 20-30 minute time commitment of reading a Wikipedia page on something new. It could be chatting with someone and picking their brain on something you can learn from them.

Learning something new is exciting, wonderful and enriching. Oh, how fascinating the world can be to a curious soul!

My reflection spurred in me the desire to pen down a few of the things I’ve learned in the last few years and how my life has been so thoroughly enriched by each of them. And since writing this blog is on the list, I’ll dedicate this post to one of my first blog pieces 2 years ago! Here goes:

Writing:

No surprises that this is first on the list! I started writing this blog about 2.5 years ago simply because I wanted to write more and pen down my thoughts. I had been writing privately in my journal and for some classes in college for about a year before I started this blog, and I had a hunch that I’d enjoy writing more. But I had no goal in mind of writing for someone else or growing an audience, and till date this blog is mostly posts I’d want to write for myself! As I started writing more and more, I realized that writing helps me think better. In fact, I’ll often write notes and “realizations” to myself that are not made public. These notes clarify my thinking and help me get a better sense of myself.

Over time something happened that I didn’t expect when I initially started writing – I fell in love with writing! I began to experiment with new styles of writing, finding my own style, and eventually decided to write a short book documenting lessons I learned from my father growing up. The book is a tribute to all father-daughter and parent-child relationships. Writing the book was difficult, but it was also one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences I’ve had. I had been wanting to document my memories with my father for quite some time and I’m so very glad I finally did it.

Earlier this year, I also started writing another book which would be a fictional story depicting a more sovereign world and sovereign individuals, but that’s on pause for now. Perhaps I’ll pick it up later.

Longevity Science:

Many people ask me how I got interested in longevity science and eventually started writing on it! I’ve been into fitness for a few years now, but it all began with a high-protein spread that I was trying to make in my kitchen to satisfy my protein needs post weightlifting along with my taste buds. As I was trying to figure out how to position my protein spread, I came across the ketogenic diet and started reading up on all its benefits. I was blown away by the fact that there is so much scientific research done on the ketogenic diet and how its benefits went beyond weight loss. This led me down the path of nutrition science (I know that a lot of it is very personal, but I do think there are some generalizable rules such as sugar being toxic or cruciferous vegetables having anti-inflammatory benefits). Anyway, one thing led to the other and I found myself geeking out on longevity and aging science, which more recently has advanced to longevity biotech too.

I love writing about longevity science and my goal is to write about it in the simplest manner possible such that even a child can understand it. I really want to spread the word on it because I strongly believe that understanding some of the science-backed benefits will help people take better care of their health and realize how some of their actions may lead to onset of age-related diseases such as cancer. As such, I write about longevity science and practical tips to slow aging in the form of conversations, stories and graphics / comics. If you wish to take better charge of your health and learn a bit about longevity science, my newsletter Live Longer World is the place for you! You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter where I post quick tips on optimizing health and slowing aging.

Vipassana Meditation:

I did my first 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat in the summer of 2019 and it had a profound impact on me. My first retreat was therapeutic and coming out of the retreat I felt a lot calmer and happier. I had always been one to introspect but it probed me to observe my mind further. Hands down, it was one of the most difficult experiences. Following the retreat, I continued my practice of meditating on a fairly regular basis and it helped me a ton in understanding myself better. I did a 2nd retreat in December 2020. The 2nd time was a lot different – instead of my mind constantly going to my past, I was more in the present. Since then, I actually haven’t been great with my practice partially because I haven’t made time for it, partially because I sometimes just don’t feel like it, and partially because all my hiking adventures (which I’ve been doing quite a fair bit – see below) are meditative in themselves.

Finance to Startup world

I worked in Investing for 3.5 years post my undergrad in Finance. While I did enjoy parts of it, over time I started to realize I didn’t really love it and my work (and life) philosophy is borrowed from Richard Feynman who was a huge proponent of people working on something they love. I was constantly starting side projects and coming up with new startup ideas, so I knew I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial. Earlier this year, I finally made the leap. I now work at a Series A startup called SafetyWing and it’s a lot more aligned with what I enjoy doing!

I have to say that culture, work styles, and ways of thinking and making decisions is very different in the Finance vs. Startup world and it’s been quite interesting to make note of that and also learn new startup-y ways of doing things.

NYC to Nomadic life

Living in a big city is very different from living a nomadic life and camping at national parks! I lived in New York city for 3.5 years before I decided to move out in the summer of 2020 (during COVID). At first, it was supposed to be a month-long trip on the West coast and at national parks. But that one month turned into over a year! In the past year, I’ve camped at 10-12 national parks and forests in the U.S., been home to India for a bit, visited quite a few different cities in the U.S., and even spent over a month in Europe! It’s been quite an adventure and I love camping, hiking and jumping in lakes and waterfalls! I’ll probably be settling in Miami for a bit come the end of the year.

Weightlifting:

Weightlifting is probably my first love! Or maybe second only to writing. I started lifting in 2017 and still remember how sore I was after my first session. I’ve definitely come a long way since then and have loved every bit of it. I can’t stop raving about all its benefits and I’m a huge advocate for getting more women to lift at the gym. Beyond making you stronger, it has tremendous cognitive benefits too. Further, as we age, it’s easy to lose muscle mass which further adds to the frailty of getting old. Lifting can prevent that. Please start lifting – it has the potential to change your life! In general, exercise is literally one of the best ways to spend your time and I’ve written a controversial opinion on how it should be made mandatory.

Tennis:

I started learning to play tennis earlier this year in April 2021 and I’ve fallen in love with the sport! (It seems like I have too many love interests…well I do enjoy filling my day with things I love) Growing up I played Basketball for my State in India, attained my Black Belt in Karate, and in general was quite athletic, so I’d been missing the fun of playing a sport once again. Doug has been my partner-in-crime in Tennis and it’s been so fun. I’m in the zone each time I’m playing and always trying to improve.

What Else?

There is more on the list but I think those are the major ones. Some of the other ones include reading new book genres, interviewing startup leaders, learning from new cultures including an egalitarian society Twin Oaks (I spent 3 weeks there), cooking (I actually do not enjoy it), and trying psychedelic drugs!

What’s to Come?

I’m trying to teach myself some drawing / comic sketching so I can do a better job with my longevity comics plus I just want to learn. If anyone has any recommendations on how to get started or beginner tips, I’m all ears! Please message me.

I’m always learning a ton about longevity and longevity biotech. I’m also always trying to experiment with different writing styles and get better at it. And what else? I don’t know! Nothing else planned but we’ll see what I stumble into :). My curiosity is my guiding force. I’ll probably update this post when I think it’s worth adding something else to the list.

People are not single-dimensional

I strongly believe that people have varied interests and shouldn’t bucket themselves into a specific type of person based on their career or particular interest. Lastly, I hope you will follow your curiosities and enrich your life by learning something new.

People are not single-dimensional and they should let their multiple personalities and interests shine. Embrace who you are and let the world see it!

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I’ll be writing a Part 2 to this post on some of my reflections from learning and starting something new, so you don’t want to miss out on that

longevity

Exercise is King: What if it were made mandatory?

The below might be a controversial opinion, but like me, I think a lot of you know the benefits of exercise and how important it can be! So here goes:

  1. Exercise at least 2-3 a week should be made mandatory.
  2. I am not an advocate for governments or other organizations dictating our lives. But if there is one area I’d be willing to break my stance on that is to make exercise mandatory.
  3. People underestimate the overarching benefits of exercise and how it could solve and / or alleviate problems like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, mental disorders, depression, decline in productivity etc.
  4. Indeed the benefits of exercise go far beyond weight loss – helping with health issues, improving cognitive functioning, reducing the burden on the healthcare system, and perhaps even contributing to the economy.
  5. Exercise will make you happier, sharper, and fitter.
  6. Yes, exercise is the king when it comes to solving a LOT of problems.

Note: The above was first posted on here.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

longevity

Why I’m Excited About Longevity Science and You Should Be Too

A few days ago, Doug, his parents, and I, visited Doug’s maternal grandparents at their old age home living facility in Michigan.

“My dear, these pictures are so wonderful! I’m so glad you’ve been able to spend time hiking and visiting national parks. Isn’t it great that you can work and camp at the same time? How times have changed! I wish I could do the same when I was your age,” remarked Grandma as she looked through the pictures of our nomadic adventures from this past year.

After some more chit chat and snacking on celery, we headed down to dinner. As we walked into the restaurant at the old age home facility, we were greeted by a crowd of old people gathered around tables. Some preferred to eat their meals quietly by themselves, while others preferred to sit in small and large groups. But one thing was common across all of them – they had the glow of wisdom and happiness on their faces. I wished I could soak in all the wisdom they had to impart. 


At the end of dinner, a few of the residents came by to say hello to Doug’s grandparents. And perhaps also because they were curious to know who the visitors were.

“Fran, meet Doug and Molly. They are visiting me this weekend and headed to Italy tomorrow!” said Grandma.

“Headed to Italy? Oh, how wonderful! You must go to Florence,” said Fran. And then she turned to Grandpa and asked him, “Have you been to Italy? You must go to Italy, it’s such a beautiful place!”

Grandpa laughed. “Fran, it’s too late for me to go to Italy now. Perhaps my soul will pass through Italy once I die,” he joked.

Fran responded, “Alright, alright. Anyway, I must tell you – this past weekend I was at my granddaughter’s wedding and it was the most beautiful wedding I’ve attended. The flowers that adorned the tables were bright and intricate. And my granddaughter – oh she looked ever so gorgeous. She came up to me and said, “Nanny, don’t die, don’t leave me please. I’m so glad I was able to attend her wedding. I must show you some pictures later – do they stay on Facebook or will they disappear after posting? They stay? Oh great! Then I’m going to go look at them again. Nice to meet you, Doug and Molly and have a wonderful time in Italy.” And with that, Fran trotted off to look at her granddaughter’s wedding pictures.


We headed back to the apartment after dinner and Grandma looked at me and said, “You know Molly, Doug used to be my investment broker 10 years ago? It was a great way for him to earn side money. I knew he’d go into Investing. He’s been doing it since he was a kid.”

I laughed. “Why am I not surprised? I said. “He will often excitedly explain option strategies to me that pass over my head. But he seems to get them so intuitively,” I added.

“Oh yes, that’s Doug! Doug dear, do you mind looking through my stock portfolio and advising me on a few things?” Granny asked.

“Of course,” responded Doug. As Doug sifted through Grandma’s stock papers, he said, “Grandma, next time, can you please call me up when you have stock recommendations? You should be the one advising me! Your fund performance is better than that of most professional investment funds!”


After a bit, Grandma took us to see the library across from her hall. We started discussing books and she told me how she had been reading a lot of non-fiction and history books recently. “You know dear, I don’t have many days left and I want to learn as much as I can in the time remaining.”


On the drive back home, I couldn’t help but run through the conversations in my head. I thought of how advancements in aging science will change the nature of the conversations. I thought of why I’m truly excited about longevity science. And I thought of how the world would look like with progress in aging science.

Just for a few seconds, imagine with me. Imagine the following world:

Grandpa and Grandma are able to hike and camp with you. They will no longer be saying, “I wish I could do the same when I was your age.” They will be doing the same at their age. Grandpa will be able to visit Italy even in his 90s and later. He won’t have to wait for his soul to pass through Italy. The Fran’s of the world will not only be able to visit their granddaughter’s weddings, but also their great and great great granddaughters’ weddings. 

You and I will have years and years to soak in all the wisdom from our grandparents. Oh, the amount we’d learn! Grandparents will be so sharp even beyond 100 years of age that we will be the ones asking them for stock recommendations! Grandma will have time to read all the non-fiction, fiction, and history books she wants to. And beyond any of this, generations of family members will be able to bond, form deeper connections, and live healthily for years to come.

Wouldn’t you want to live in a world like this? If you think life is beautiful and you can remain healthy in your “older” years, I assume that you would want to live long enough to meet generations of your family to come. And I think this is possible. And this is exactly why I’m excited about advancements in aging science.

Yes, it’s incredible to see the progress that science is making everyday. Yes, it’s incredible to see the progress made by technology and biotechnology. Yes, it’s incredible to see the progress made by brilliant aging scientists. But you know why all of this is incredible?

Because at the core of it, longevity science will enable deeper and longer human connections.

The above post has been taken from my newsletter Live Longer World. If you enjoyed reading this and want to learn more about longevity and aging science as well as science-backed protocols to improve health, make sure to subscribe at https://livelongerworld.substack.com/

THE POSTS ARE IN THE FORM OF STORIES, CONVERSATIONS, AND COMICS TO MAKE SCIENCE MORE FUN AND COOL!