Seize the decade

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Seize the decade was the message from Ren Lexander at the Sunday April 8 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club. Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg introduced Ren, whose topic was about “The Rest of Our Lives.”

Ren at his birth was named Garry Ross Sargeant. He was born on a small farm in Toongabbie, to the west of Sydney, Australia. His mother managed the farm. His father was a truck driver. His only sibling, his elder brother, Bruce, had cerebral palsy with epilepsy. By the age of 26, Ren had a PhD in philosophy with a thesis topic of ‘Objectivity’.

This week’s speaker, Australian author Ren Lexander, addresses the common issue of the misperception of time; how we always overestimate how much we can get done in a day or a week, but underestimate how much we can get done in a decade.This week’s speaker, Australian author Ren Lexander, addresses the common issue of the misperception of time; how we always overestimate how much we can get done in a day or a week, but underestimate how much we can get done in a decade.

At the same age, he embarked on a quest to understand the meaning of life. That quest took him through a study of experiential psychology, philosophy and Gnostic spirituality. He is the author of several books and has various levels of qualifications in Jungian sandplay, hypnotherapy, dreamwork and breathwork. He also has a black belt in Aikido.

Ren started his presentation by noting that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a day, a month, or even a year; but they invariably underestimate what they can accomplish in a decade. The reason, he believes, is because of one’s perception of time.  When we are young, time moves slowly, but as we grow older, it moves more quickly.  Of course that is not correct, time is a constant; what changed was our perception of it.  As an example, Ren explained that to a small child, a 10 baht coin is large, but not so to an adult. The coin is the same size; it is the perception of it that differs.

He then displayed some charts on longevity showing anticipated life expectancy based on when you were born.  But, he pointed out that the longer you live; your life expectancy will go up. For example, if you live to age 60, your life expectancy will be to age 84.  If you live to age 80, it will have increased to age 89.  However, this is based on having a good lifestyle; if not then at age 60 your life expectancy will be 73.

Open Forum MC Al Serrato prepares to hand the mike to Frugal Freddy CEO, ‘Hawaii’ Bob Sutterfield, for this week’s drawing of gift certificates from some of Pattaya’s better value restaurants.Open Forum MC Al Serrato prepares to hand the mike to Frugal Freddy CEO, ‘Hawaii’ Bob Sutterfield, for this week’s drawing of gift certificates from some of Pattaya’s better value restaurants.

What is a good lifestyle for achieving a longer life?  Ren said he follows the four “W’s” – Walking, Weights, Water, and Waist. Ren cited a study of 70 year olds. It showed there was a noticeable difference on living longer for those that exercised by routinely walking at a pace of 5km per hour for at least 30 minutes. The use of weights is also very beneficial according to Ren. He called this the lazy man’s exercise.  It doesn’t have to be done in a gym or on a daily basis. The primary goal is to increase the number of repetitions each time (or increase the amount of weights used).  He also emphasized the importance of hydration saying that in a climate such as Thailand, you should consume at least 2 liters of water by lunch time to maintain proper hydration.

The fourth “W” was for the waist.  He said you should control your weight and eat healthy.  He gave several examples including eating nuts for breakfast as they provide excellent nutrition.  He did point out that peanuts are not really nuts. Peanuts are a legume. Also, he pointed out that dark chocolate can help curb your appetite.

Ren said it takes the brain 20 minutes after the body is full to get the message and stop wanting more food. He suggested eating a small quantity of dark chocolate as the taste remains with you for those 20 minutes; thus the body thinks it is still eating during this period waiting for the brain to catch up. He also gave several other pointers that have a bearing on proper nutrition including don’t bring bread or sugar into your home, the advantages of selenium and how human growth hormones affect your body.

In conclusion, Ren said that you should not follow the motto, Carpe Diem (seize the day); but rather follow the motto “Seize the Decade.”

After Ren answered several questions, Richard Silverberg called on Al Serrato to conduct the always informative and sometime humorous Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand, Pattaya in particular.

The Pattaya City Expats Club meets every Sunday at the Amari Orchid’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant. Read more about the Club’s activities on their website at www. pattayacityexpatsclub.com.