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Well, it’s official. According to science, we’ve wasted our lives. But at least thanks to a handy body of research, we can know exactly what we’ll never be as good at again.
Think you’ve reached peak happiness, and it’s all downhill from here? You’re probably right.
Science has a knack for solving some of our biggest mysteries, while simultaneously taking away some of our greatest joys.
Whether it be the question of where we came from, whether or not the moon really is made of cheese, or whether our cats really do just use us for their eating habits, science brings humanity to a closer understanding of itself and the world surrounding, just as it brings us down to the uncaring harshness of reality.
Not content with taking the surprise out of life’s little things, science has now set its sights on perhaps the most significant part of life: life itself.
Specifically, science has now uncovered when you can expect, objectively speaking, life’s greatest achievements, and in doing so, gladly reminds you that you will never be as satisfied with your life as you were at 23.
That is until you reach the ripe old age of 69 and have no doubt found a new sense of satisfaction derived from being able to write those very numbers at any and all times.
But it’s not all a case of ever-falling happiness with your state of being in the intervening 46 years. You can expect to find your greatest chess abilities at age 31, you have your best chance at making a Nobel Prize-winning discovery at age 40 and you become best able to understand other people’s emotions at age 51.
Life as a whole seems dotted with peaks and falls, with your ability to learn a second language in best form at around age 7 or 8, but your best arithmetic abilities only being gained at age 50 – both of these in spite of brain processing power peaking at age 18.
This not-so-expected ride of self-ability and self-satisfaction is especially interesting when you consider that psychological well-being as a whole peaks at about age 82, while both men and women are most likely to feel best about their bodies after turning 70. Indeed, these findings are almost definitely already shaping high school philosophy class discussions on satisfaction versus happiness as we speak.
Of course, it should be remembered that not all science is equal, and that many of these numbers are determined by averages in the middle of age rangers, or derived from surveys, not controlled trials. This equates to findings that may not actually be the most statistically accurate.
But then, where’s the fun in mapping out life’s highs and lows – and when having peak bone mass occurs – when you’re looking at it from a purely statistical point of view?
As much as it may be the more responsible approach to tell you to take this with a grain of salt – and to seize the day, no matter what the age – it is doubtlessly more enjoyable to try and plot life out as a series of attributable events.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am apparently due to “settle down” in a little under three years, and really should get working on that.