Many years ago, I took a Signature Strengths test (you can take one yourself for free at www.viacharacter.org) and found out that my No. 1 strength was “love of learning.”
The description read like this: “You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums — anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.”
Well, the survey certainly got that one right. The fact that I was cruising around taking online assessments was probably one indication that I am, indeed, forever looking to discover new things — about myself, about life, and about whatever happens to interest me at the time.
And what interests me at any given time can be a pretty diverse set of subjects. That’s one of the things I love about Experience Life: A whole lot fits within our wide-ranging editorial frame.
We have three primary and rather generously defined “verticals”:
- Health, nutrition, progressive medicine, and general well-being
- Fitness, exercise, activity, active adventure, and body confidence
- Quality of life, including just about everything else that goes into creating a more satisfying, skilled, conscious, and meaningful existence
So, basically, we cover pretty much anything that might help you enjoy a healthier, happier, more rewarding life — relationships, time management, mindfulness, media influences, the environment, sociocultural trends, and more.
Another thing I love about Experience Life is that we strive to cover topics of relevance to both women and men, and to people of all ages and all levels of experience within the health-seeking realm.
We focus more on a psychographic (health-motivated, intelligent, self-optimizing, purpose-centered) than we do on any one demographic (age, gender, etc.). Because the truth is, what helps most people get and stay healthy doesn’t actually vary all that much from gender to gender, or age to age (see “The Big Picture: 5 Fundamentals of Lifetime Health“).
Yes, of course, there are some differences. The fitness routine you have at age 80 is bound to be a bit different than the one you had at 20, but perhaps not necessarily as different as you might assume (see “Forever Fit“).
I would say that about 90 percent of the most essential stuff we need to do remains the same throughout our lifetimes:
- Eat whole, healthy foods, and avoid the eating habits that break down your body (for more on that, see “Food Habits that Age You” and “The Care and Feeding of a Healthy Brain“).
- Move and challenge your body in fun and functional ways (see “All Ages Strength Training“).
- Get enough rest, and respect your body’s natural rhythms.
- Proactively monitor and manage your stress.
- Connect meaningfully with other people, including healthy tribes and supportive communities.
- Safeguard your conscious, positive mindset (page “What’s in a Number?” and “Counterclockwise“).
- Avoid toxic environments, attitudes, and experiences.
- Address the root causes of your physical symptoms — and so on.
- How handy that the skills and knowledge we humans most need in order to thrive are surprisingly universal, and also evergreen.
Which brings me back to the emphasis of this month’s issue, which is about the value of taking a lifetime approach to healthy living.
That means building skills now that pay off immediately and will serve you well forever (the subject of my “Revolutionary Acts” column). It means taking what you discover over time — about yourself, life, the world at large — and progressively integrating it so that you get better, smarter, healthier, and happier with age and experience (for examples of that, see our amazing photo-essay feature “In Their Prime“).
The great thing is, each of us can leverage whatever signature strengths we have to integrate the skills that matter to us. So, whether you’re 17 or 70, I hope this issue of Experience Life holds something of interest, and that it inspires you to keep on learning and sharing the stuff that makes the biggest difference for you.