Should We Try To Predict The Future?

Despite many thousands of years of practice, human beings are mostly unable to predict the future. After failure upon failure, the question arises: should we even try?

From big events to trivial ones, we humans are really inept when it comes to divining what comes next. There are some very basic things — the sun will rise tomorrow — and that’s about it. Jobs are unstable. Health issues can arise at any time. Marriages fail regularly. And of course, the farther out in the future you go, the less certain things get.

Admittedly, as our understanding of the universe grows, some predictions come easier. For example, scientists can predict with great accuracy solar and lunar eclipses.

And yet, even science has its limitations. Predicting exactly when a particular breakthrough will or will not happen is an exercise in futility. Science is, inherently, an exploration of the unknown, which means that progress is inherently unknowable.

None of this stops us from trying to predict what comes next. From taking your umbrella with you when you go out for the day, to selecting the numbers for the lottery jackpot, we can’t help but guess what will happen next.

A lot of time, effort, and money is spent regularly on prognostication. Insurance companies have armies of actuaries. Pundits get paid to sound confident in their predictions of the next election, even if they were completely wrong about the last one. Meteorologists use the latest in cutting edge technology in forecasting the weather.

Could all this time, effort, and money be put to better use? Would our lives be better without the constantly mediocre attempts to predict the future? Or is it the case that our efforts in that direction is what drives us to learn? To make new discoveries that can make our lives better in other ways?

Related questions: What is time? How much does your past determine your future? How do you plan for the future? What is your five year prediction? Ten?

Are You Aging Well?

If there is one thing that is certain in life, it is that aging happens. You are going to age. But are you aging well?

We all age, every day, for years on end. This is true despite socioeconomic background, race, age, political party, or language spoken. We all get older, inexorably, a second at a time.

Given that simple fact, it is reasonable to evaluate that aging process. We all do it, but it is true that some people are going to do it better than others.

But what does “better” even mean, in this context? What does it mean to “age well”?

For some, it might mean doing everything you can to life a long life.After all, if aging means “getting old”, why not do everything possible to stay young for as long as possible? Eat healthy food, stay physically fit, don’t take any unnecessary risks, and in general do what you can to live as long as you can.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘How do you define success?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is happiness the most important purpose in life?’


For others, it might mean taking advantage of every moment, even if that means the total time is reduced. Seize the day! What is life if it is not experienced fully? Taking risks can lead to thrilling, exciting moments of feeling truly alive.

Another definition might be having the greatest impact. If you spread you love, kindness, and generosity to as many people as possible, you will be remembered fondly by a large population. If people are happy you existed because of the way you improved their life, isn’t that “living well”?

Ultimately, the definition is yours alone. You decide what it means to live well, and you also get to evaluate if you manage to meet your own definition.

It also can be done at any age. Teenagers can decide if they are becoming a good (or useful) person. Middle-aged people can determine if they are better than they were years ago. Someone in their twilight years can decide if their body is holding up to the passage of time.

However you decide to define it, are you aging well? What criteria are you using?

Related questions: What is the best part about getting older? The worst? What makes you feel old? What is time?

Exercise: Indoor Or Outdoor?

When you work out, do you like to do so outside, in the elements? Or do you prefer to exercise inside, like going to the gym or running on a treadmill?

Share why if you wish.

Exercise: Indoor Or Outdoor?

How Are Your Body And Mind Intertwined?

We tend to think about our mind as something apart from our body. In truth, the two are linked. Can you think of examples?

It seems natural to separate the mind and the body. If you fall, say, and break your leg, your mind is not overly impacted. You still have your full range of cognitive abilities.

Similarly, as we age, our body and our mind often do so at different rates. A ninety year old who can barely walk might be mentally sharp, while an otherwise healthy older person may be unable to remember the names of people he or she has known for years.

However, this division is arbitrary at best, and actively harmful at worst. The brain is a part of the body. They use the same blood supply. They are impacted by the same hormones. There is every reason to believe that what happens in one has an impact in the other.

This is obvious in certain ways. When the blood sugar drops, for example, it can make it difficult to think cohesive thoughts. Many people know to carry around a candy bar or other source of sugar to ingest in an emergency.

And yet, we may not recognize how the two are linked. Studies have shown that the physical act of making your mouth smile, even if you don’t feel like doing so, can brighten your mood. Changes in diet can be reflected in changes in attitude.

Are there other examples of ways in which you have noticed that your mind and your body are actually two sides of the same coin? How are the two intertwined?

Related questions: Mind or body? What do you do to clear your mind? What does it mean to be healthy? How can you change your attitude?

Treatment Or Prevention?

The old saying says, “A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Is that really true? How often do you seek treatment, versus practicing prevention?

Share why if you wish.

Treatment Or Prevention?