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do you know the seven-year rule?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Allow me to be a nerd for a moment:


According to Ken Saladin, a former professor of microscopic anatomy, every seven years our cells experience something called "molecular turnover." This means all the molecules in our cells are essentially reconstructed at the seven-year mark (approximately). It's still the same cell, he explains, but it's not constructed from the same molecules it had seven years ago.


The internet has reduced this interesting phenomenon to something less nuanced but still inspiring--that, basically, every seven years, you are a "new" version of yourself. My own life experience tells me there's something to this.


For example, seven years ago, at age 24, my first essay was published. It was, funnily enough, an ode to Rocky and boxing. That milestone marked the beginning of my writing career (and you can read it here, if you're curious).


Seven years before that, at age 17, I was pondering that dreaded question: What do I want to be when I grow up? "Teacher" was always my go-to answer, but my heart whispered the truth. "You're going to be a writer."


Okay, ready for the weirdest part? Seven years before that, at age 10, I was sitting on a couch in my parents' basement watching a movie for the first time--a movie that really shouldn't have changed the entire course of my life but somehow did. Guess what it was?


As I ponder the pattern, I think it might be more accurate to say that every seven years we are not "new," but that we are "revised." Because every good writer knows that the only reason you have the new, better version of a story is because of what you started with.


But, Carmen, how does this apply to *my* goals, you might ask? For my more practical friends, try these two exercises:


1. What revised version of yourself would you like to be in seven years?


2. Write down what that revised version of yourself does on a daily basis. Congrats, those are your new goals.


Mysteriously, the "revisions" are already happening, whether you realize it or not. You might as well get involved in the process.


And speaking of goals, check out my boxing progress!




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