The Journey to 100

The Journey to 100

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What is it, to live a long and healthy life?

Mark Twain famously said “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” I remember the day I found my ‘why’. It was November 4th, 2010. I had an epiphany – creating such a surge of energy within me that it took me 6 months to come down from the ceiling afterwards.

In that one moment, I realised that I would only achieve something in this world by being true to who I am. In a single moment of realisation, I accepted myself and committed the rest of my life to making a difference in the world – by just being me. It was, without doubt, the healthiest day of my life.

That was the first day I truly wanted to wake up and take part in the world. For as long as I remember, before then, I’d had a long and silent battle with myself, trying to find the motivation to get through each day. It is hard to put into words what it felt like. I’d had a 30-year journey of inner struggle and loneliness, trying to work out how my feelings inside did not relate to how the world was, on the outside. Behind my outwardly jovial mask was a human being struggling to stay afloat: a person who battled a hedonistic relationship with food and alcohol. It was all numbing me from the pain I felt inside.

Everything changed for me in a single moment – and now, almost 7 years later, my life and path is unrecognisable. My journey in life and my health are fundamentally intertwined. The more I choose my true north, the healthier I feel. The more I follow life’s flow, the more I have the energy to look after myself and to give energy to those around me. My guide to living a long and healthy life is tuning in to how I feel about life. It is also my guide to making impact in the world.

Many of the good things in this world are being built by those who are deeply connected with their ‘why’: their reasons for being. Okinawa in Japan has extraordinary life expectancy and they have a word for this:Ikigai.

In 2014, I wrote a blog post including a diagram on Ikigai that has been seen by millions of people, that equated extraordinary life expectancy – living a long and healthy life – with people finding their purpose in life. I had the idea of connecting these two otherwise disconnected worlds in this way.

 

Ikigai

If we are truly going to answer the question ‘What is it to live a long and healthy life?’ we have got to ask ourselves:

  • Who are we, really?
  • How many of our children are taken down a path that isn’t theirs to walk?
  • How many people are living a life that isn’t theirs?
  • How many people retire after a long, hard existence and ask: ‘What was it all for?’

If we are to transform the world and transform our health systems, these are the real questions we need to answer.

Guernsey, where I live, has the 7th highest life expectancy in the world (82.5 years).

On June 30th, we launch our most ambitious project yet: a 10-year initiative called Journey to 100 – for the island nation of Guernsey to become the first country in the world to break the 100-year life expectancy barrier.

20 speakers are coming from all over the world to talk about how we can achieve this extraordinary mission.

Underlying all the talks on healthcare and ageing reform, food-system transformation, revolutions in biotech and beyond, you will see 20 people who have found their purpose in the world.

20 passionate people on a mission to make the world a better place.

20 people who are drinking from the fountain of youth.

Stay young.

Marc

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  1. Wise words as always Marc!

    I found my epithany whilst in Guernsey, but it has been more of a journey, rather than a moment.

  2. It’s great to see this concept again in your blog – thanks for the reminder – perfect timing!

  3. Patrick says:

    Thank you so much Marc, for your words, for sharing this moment, and for reminding us of the Ikigai diagram. All the best for your June 30th launch!

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