ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

Can you answer the Sphinx’s riddle?

By Marcus Santer


Have you ever heard the story of the Sphinx’s riddle?

In the story the Sphinx guards the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes.

To gain entrance, travellers had to give the correct answer to her riddle and it went something like this:

“Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed
and two-footed and three-footed?”

Do you know the answer?

Travellers that didn’t were strangled and then eaten.


So what is the answer?

Here’s one version given by Oedipus, yeah, that guy:

“Man – who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then uses a walking stick in old age.”

After being beaten by Oedipus the Sphinx then either devoured herself…

…Or threw herself from her high rock and died.

Either way the story is said to be a “victory of man’s culture over nature gone wild.”[1]

How about that then?

A bit of culture for you on the weekend.

Don’t say I never spoil you.

However the real reason I mention this story is it’s a simple version of how we humans age.

But there are others.

You see, a few weeks back this question started rattling around inside my noggin.

“What does it mean to age well?”

It seems like a pretty straight forward question really doesn’t it?

Interestingly, as I dug into it I was surprised to find it’s far more complex than it might appear and if the Sphinx had chosen it as her riddle, I think she’d still be guarding Thebes today.

But I digress…

In the process of finding answers to my question I made a rather disturbing discovery.

It came about as 5 years of researching the pillars of successful ageing crystallised into something I’d never properly considered before: The challenges your country is going to face as a result of an ever increasing ageing population.

Now you know I try to be an enthusiastic voice with a positive message.

But the future I’ve seen has genuinely frightened me.

There’s no way of sugar coating it.

And it’s convinced me more than ever of the importance of the work I’m doing and of doubling my efforts to get it into as many hands as possible.


I’ll be revealing all my findings and solutions in April’s ZEN+ Journal, so you can prepare now and avoid getting caught up in the ‘Perfect Storm’ that’s heading our way.

I call it preparing for your second life.

Because it’s not just about being strong, healthy and independent anymore (though I now believe this is more important than ever).

There are two other elements you must consider too.

Elements which will ensure your longer life is a blessing and not a curse.

Okay, time for Louis morning walk.

Bye for now


P.S. If you’re not a ZEN+ Journal reader yet, you can find out everything you need to know here.

[1] The Sphinx and Oedipus Rex http://people.hsc.edu/drjclassics/texts/Oedipus/sphinx.shtm

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