Find Your Common Ground By David Williams

In a world increasingly challenged by differences, success often comes through finding common ground. It’s not just a human characteristic. Many species benefit from getting together – flocks of birds, schools of fish, herds of elephants all find advantages in working together. Successful human teams reflect the benefits of shared learning, values, and behaviour.

Time is the most basic common ground we share. It moves at the same rate for each of us although we’re very different in how we use our time. A time plan for the rest of our life - our longevity - provides a foundation for many of our major decisions. As our time frame changes, our other decisions move to reflect it.

Longevity success is dependent on how effectively we find and make best use of common ground. The doubling of average longevity over the last two centuries is a major achievement of developed communities, Longevity planning helps us to make the best of what we are learning about increasing longevity, through the common ground of time. Three articles in our Knowledge library support this theme.

Interacting With Others

Interacting with others is a basic need for a healthy life. It becomes increasingly important in the later stages. During the pandemic we quickly turned to the internet to redress the negative effects of social distancing. Longevity planning helps us to interact with others – including friends, family and advisers - by sharing what we know about who we are and where we are heading.

Not Feeling Useful

Feeling useful is another importance need. Engaging with diverse opportunities can lead to positive outcomes for health, greater self-sufficiency and longevity. The Japanese concept of ‘ikigai’ – a sense of purpose – underpins the uncommon longevity of Okinawan islanders.  Reviewing our rationale for continuing useful work – paid or otherwise – provides a balance to the ‘entitlement’ of retirement that our own community is inclined to persist with. Volunteering – with a new national strategy just released - and the benefits of grandparenting are also in the frame. with some suggestions on how pets could also contribute.


With a growth mindset, we take the view that every situation may provide an opportunity for a worthwhile return on effort. With a fixed mindset, we tend to react negatively to opportunities and are unwilling take them up because of the fear of failure or criticism.

Engaging with others who share a growth mindset about longevity is more likely to be mutually productive.

The importance of partners

From midlife, people in enduring relationships benefit from reflecting more closely on their shared common ground. With their own longevity plans, they are in a strong position to compare their immediate and longer-term plans and to maximise the synergies from planning together. This process is especially valuable as a prelude to seeking professional advice.

To support this, each Subscriber to the Longevity Plan service is now able to request a free Longevity Plan for their partner following their investment in this service.

Professional advisers

No one knows it all, and ‘all’ is rapidly increasing. That’s why more specialists within different disciplines are surfacing to help make the best of it ‘all’. The key disciplines are health, financial and estate planning.

A personal longevity plan clearly frames our longevity and our responses. Each professional adviser can use this to add value in their specialist advice in how to make the best of the future, with their views coordinated for each person and their partner by their longevity plans.

Harnessing common ground

The impact of increasing community longevity is playing out in diverse ways. This makes it difficult to make decisions without a common framework under which they become consistent with each other. Longevity planning – a 21st century development - harnesses the common ground of time in order to seek out the opportunities – and meet the threats - in making the best of the rest of our life.

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