Jimmy Carr on Healthy Aging


Cutting one-liners, that unhinged laugh, and…. and… timeless advice on healthy aging?

Listen to this excellent podcast conversation between Jimmy Carr and Steven Bartlett (A Diary of a CEO) and you’ll find it impossible to disagree.

I’ll admit to being a fan of Jimmy Carr’s thinking.

His shows, book and long-form interviews are sharp, deep and show a genuine humility. The latest podcast is not about healthy aging. Topics are wide-ranging. Bartlett is an extraordinary host, able to bring out the innermost thoughts of his guests while keeping the conversations flowing.

I took five healthy aging insights from this podcast. They cover the physical, mental, and philosophical sides of life’s rich journey.

There is also a bonus Nietzsche quote to spice things up.

Read on for Jimmy Carr’s timeless advice on healthy aging:

Jimmy Carr Healthy Aging from Diary of a CEO Podcast

#1 – You’d Give Up Every Single Material Possession 25 Years from Now to Have Today’s Healthy Body

Jimmy opened the conversation with a healthy-aging sledgehammer.

He challenged Steven Bartlett to disagree.

This idea is that you’d give up every material possession, all your money, property, and investments 25 years from now in exchange for young healthy body.

Pause to think about this deal for a second (especially those of us in middle age). Review your priorities, habits, and your lifestyle – are you optimising for the right things?

Nobody needs to live in healthy poverty. In fact, that 25-year horizon for a healthy body is the result of tiny habits which compound over time. Carr’s challenge is to prioritise health now, not when it is too late.

Jimmy Carr at 92 (according to DALL-E

#2 – Doing a Small Favour for the Tomorrow You

This insight is an interesting variation on the ‘future you’ type thought-experiment, with a shorter timeframe.

Jimmy raised it in the context of career goals. It’s easy to see how it relates to healthy aging too.

What simple things can you do today, that you’ll be grateful you did tomorrow?

This could be a phone call you’ve been putting off, some nagging administration tasks, or even cleaning the house.

For healthy aging, the benefits can feel distant.

Try framing a quick workout, avoiding that toxic sugary snack, extra glass of wine, or prioritising sleep quality as a favour for yourself tomorrow.

Do it often enough, and the results compound – exactly what you need to stay on the path to healthy aging.

#3 – Kindness Operates on Different Timescales

This healthy aging idea came up in a discussion between Carr and Barlett over problems experienced by young men – especially teenagers.

The idea is that kindness right now is not always kindness at all on a longer timescale.

According to Jimmy, gaming, social media, and porn are poor proxies for careers, in-person socialising and sex. That parents being kind in the short term by allowing 24/7 access to these inferior substitutes are being unkind on longer timescales. When it comes to adulthood, transitioning from proxies to reality will be a gigantic challenge without the life-skills needed to navigate it.

Back to healthy aging and it is easy to see how what feels like kindness on a daily, weekly, or even yearly basis is unkind on a decades-long timeframe.

That delicious pastry, skipping your workout or those extra drinks feel kind in the moment. You’ll get a dopamine hit along with delighted tastebuds.

Yet you are being unkind to your future self. That same you in 25 years’ time that would give up everything you own to have a younger and healthier body.

Of course, there must be some balance (see the section on mindful living below).

Bonus Nietzsche Quote:

Jimmy mentioned one of my favourite Nietzsche quotes in this podcast.

Healthy Aging Quote

Of course there are exceptions. For the rest of us, the message about owning your outcomes is both harsh and poetic in the way that only Nietzsche can be.

#4 – Blue Zones are Not Just About Olive Oil

I disagree with Jimmy about the olive oil, though his thoughts on the importance of community in longevity are harder to argue with.

Community, purpose, and strong interpersonal bonds are scarce in the modern world. Carr and Bartlett noted that religion provides community bonding separately to the specific theology involved.

When you look at Blue Zones, where people live statistically far longer and healthier lives – they have strong community ties. The sceptical scientist in me would like to know where people have a strong sense of community without longer lives. Nir Barzilai covered this in his Age Later book (my review here).

But the point stands.

Olive oil (and a healthy, balanced diet including a wide variety of wholefoods), now that is one of the bedrock habits for healthy aging that I’ll debate any time!

Olive Oil

#5 – Enjoying the Journey by Living Mindfully

Jimmy Carr strongly believes that you’ll waste life’s most precious moments without deliberate mindfulness.

Pleasure comes in moments as we traverse life’s journey. Not at the end or sporadically whenever a major goal can be celebrated.

This habit is far too easy to overlook. Yet by focusing on the journey, you’ll feel more alive than ever – every day.

Nobody summed this up better for me than the late and great Kurt Vonnegut:

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. ‘


You’ll find a lot more to Jimmy Carr than just cutting humour.

Follow his Twitter here: @jimmycarr

You can find Steven Barlett’s Twitter here: @StevenBartlett

A Diary of a CEO YouTube is well worth a bookmark: Diary of a CEO

Oh, and don’t forget to follow me for more sideways looks at healthy aging habits: @MarkAWT


Mark’s Blog





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