We already know that aging takes its toll on us physically. For a while, we can almost fool ourselves into thinking the effect is minimal but this illusion is hard to maintain when we use an objective yardstick to measure the decline.
For instance, I feel like I hit the golf ball just as well as I did 10 years ago but my handicap tells me otherwise. Similarly, I don’t run nearly as fast as I could 20 years ago; not that it feels that way but the stop watch doesn’t lie.
Getty ImagesAt 19, Norwegian chess genius Magnus Carlsen became the youngest player to ever to top the list of champions.
Is it possible that our mental abilities also start to diminish a lot sooner than we think? If we look around us, we can find some objective benchmarks that suggest this is indeed the case. Take playing chess for example, which seems like a purely mental pursuit. Surely players keep on improving year after year with more experience and practice. One would think a wily 60-year-old should be able to trounce a callow 20-year-old who has the same potential. A look at the world chess rankings tells a different story.