This write-up is inspired by an interaction that I had this afternoon with a young energetic chap in his mid-twenties – who when asked what he wants to do replied “Retire by 40!” After he left, this answer lingered behind for a long time. What also hit me was the fact his fitness seemed far from supporting this intention!
Today a lot more youngsters are falling prey to lifestyle diseases. It looks like economic development has this silent side effect! Slowly and steadily we are falling prey to this silent epidemic. The sad part is there are a lot of enabling factors in the ecosystem that is also encouraging this trend. Food is one of the main culprits! Quality of food is dropping. Food options are increasing – not all of them truly healthy! Fast food almost means we end up accumulating a lot more fat. Eating also has become a break, a reason to get up from the uncomfortable office couch!
The next is orthopedic issues (back, joint, neck, arms, etc). The increasing number of clinics in this space and the numerous paramedical solutions are only an indication of the growing problem. Why is this happening? Simply because we are all working really hard. Working hard sitting at our seats doing so called knowledge work! Think again!
No doubt that our economic returns are increasing by this aggresive approach, but it is also increasing the pressure to enjoy early in life. This leads to people doing things that they could have done over 40 years in 10 years. Hastening life and everything in life is causes stress.
Why not stop for a second and look at what’s happening? As Nandan Nilekani shared during his Ted talk – let us not lose focus and turn out greatly spoken about asset (youth) into a huge liability!
Think! That’s really what’s needed if we are relying on the Gen Next to take us places…