When I’m 100

“When I’m 100 I’ll be able to lift car!” -A three year old

My girlfriend is a teacher and she hears funny quotes all day. This one was hilarious, but also quite profound.

To me, this says a lot about our tendency to view progress as linear. When you’re 3 years old and growing quickly, it seems like you’ll be superhuman if you can grow at this rate for the next 97 years. Obviously no 100 year old would be able to lift a car, but if we got stronger at a constant rate for our entire lives, it would possible.

In reality, most relationships exist on an inverted U-curve. Age leads to more strength, up to a point. Then, more age leads to a decrease in strength once you get past that point.

Every U-curve has a peak. It’s easy to see in retrospect, but hard to feel in the moment. Things don’t always get better and better, so cherish this while you have it. When you’re 100 years old, don’t be disappointed that you can’t lift a car. Be happy that you didn’t wait that long to try.