Creativity & Longevity

I received and read the article Optimum Strategies for Creativity and Longevity by Sing Lin, Ph.D.

He is a Member of National Council of Chinese Institute of Engineers – USA/Greater New York Chapter, and Member of Board of Director of the National Taiwan University Alumni Association – Greater New York.


The conclusion of his article reads as follows:


4. Conclusion and Recommendations. The most precious, creative and innovative period in your life is the 10-year period around the age of 32. Plan your career path to use this precious 10-year period wisely and effectively to produce your greatest achievements in your life. The pace of innovations and technology advances is getting faster and faster and is forcing everybody to compete fiercely at the Internet speed on the information super-highways. The highly productive and highly efficient workplace in USA is a pressure-cooker and a high-speed battleground for highly creative and dynamic young people to compete and to flourish. However, when you get older, you should plan your career path and financial matter so that you can retire comfortably at the age of 55 or earlier to enjoy your long, happy and leisure retirement life into your golden age of 80s and beyond. In retirement, you can still enjoy some fun work of great interest to you and of great values to the society and the community, but at a part-time leisure pace on your own term. On the other hand, if you are not able to get out of the pressure-cooker or the high-speed battleground at the age of 55 and “have” to keep on working very hard until the age of 65 or older before your retirement, then you probably will die within 18 months of retirement. By working very hard in the pressure cooker for 10 more years beyond the age of 55, you give up at least 20 years of your life span on average.


His study, based on statistics, was worked out in US corporations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, AT&T, Lucent Technologies and their respective pension funds.

We could interpret his findings in many ways. Whilst we assume that the statistics are correct, they are not translated in each individual case. Looking back in my own life, I reckon my most creative and innovative period in my life where I achieved my greatest achievements, were around the age of 40- 50. At that time, opportunity knocked, all the factors were present for me to catch the opened window. I seized it. Was I a late developer?

On the other hand, what about the longevity of workers beyond the retirement age of 60 or 65, who are coolly collecting their salary whilst not under the pressure of the cooker? I am lucky to have passed my 18 months of retirement. Do I conclude that I was not pressured enough before my retirement?

I have always been skeptical in what people can make out of statistical studies? All told, it is always  helpful and wise to take into consideration the statistical findings in one’s decision making process.


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