1.Introa.Hooki.How much is your health worth? Is anything more important than well being? ii.Is it worth more than your money? Could you enjoy your money without your health?
Maybe you’ve heard the saying that in the first part of our lives we use up our health getting money, and then in the second part we have spend all our money to get our health back iii.Most of us live how we want until our health interferes – then we want ASAP to escape the disease that came from our lifestyle so that we can hurry up and get back to the same way of life that made us sick. iv.Good living requires more than generally ignoring your health and occasionally running from disease.
Good living has to include well being, an even higher standard of comfort, peace, and physical and mental capacity. v.You might easily agree that well being is important, but do you have have realistic goals for achieving more well being? Have you put these goals high on the daily priority list? b.I want to suggest three things to you – that you:
i.Face the facts about what wellness is, and your state of health ii.Create wellness goalsiii.Achieve themc.Hopefully, we share some Common Values, Beliefs, and Wisdom: i.Self improvement is essential to a satisfying lifeii.Persistence and Discipline are keys to success in any endeavor iii.I’d like you to apply your interest in self improvement to your well being, and do it with discipline and persistence. 2.Preview
a.Tonight, I’m going to give you some insight on the difference between avoiding disease, and striving for well-being. b.I’m going to clarify for you what well being is, and what the benefits of striving for it are. c.I’m going to make it crystal clear why it’s common sense to live in a way that prevents disease. d.Finally I’ll give you examples of wellness goals, and then tell you how to increase your chances of achieving them. 3.Stories
a.First, let’s talk about a writer who had a life-changing experience. i.Norm Cousins was the editor of the Saturday review for 40 years, and wrote a dozen books and 100’s of essays. ii.In the ‘60s Cousins was stricken with a crippling and life-threatening disease. iii.Western medicine had no solution for him, so he devised his own healing regimen that consisted primarily of laughter.
He watched endless episodes of Laurel and Hardy, and Abbot and Costello, and laughed his way back to health. He wrote a book about this experience called Anatomy of an Illness iv.He subsequently participated in a UCLA task force to examine the impact of positive emotions and attitudes on human illness, and out of that grew a mind-body research center named after him v.It took a life-threatening disease to turn Norman Cousins’s interests and priorities toward prevention and well being. vi.
But one of the marks of wisdom is the ability to learn from other people’s mistakes without having to make them yourself vii.We can learn start putting well being first right now. We don’t have to wait for a life-threatening, or quality of life-changing disease. viii.Besides, if we did, there’s no guarantee that if we did wait, we’d be able to recover as Cousins did.
Our very life may depend on getting it right the first time. ix.According to Chinese medicine’s oldest book, from 200 B.C., “The sages of old didn’t treat the sick they treated those who were well… If a disease has already broken out and is only treated then isn’t that like waiting for thirst before digging a well or waiting until the battle begins to make your weapons?”
b.One objection to living preventively is this: Everyone wants to bring up the old farmer who ate 10 pounds of sausage and eggs, smoked 4 packs of cigarettes, and worked 10 hours in the fields EVERY DAY and finally died peacefully in his sleep at age 99 – Obviously, I’ve exaggerated some things- but these people with strong constitutions who can live however they want and still feel good are rare, and notice in the example, he did physical exertion 10 hours a day!
The rest of us don’t get much exercise, and sit in chairs and on couches most of the day, so we’re more sensitive to stress and what we eat. As Plato said, “We have made of ourselves living cesspools and driven doctors to invent names for our diseases.”
c.But what about the weak constitution? Is there any hope for them? One of my favorite movie quotes is from the 13th warrior – a weaponless arab swordsman teams up with a group of friendly Vikings who give him one of their swords – he says, “I can’t fight with this- It’s too heavy!”
The Viking Leader laughs and declares, “Grow Stronger!” Young Theodore Roosevelt was a nearsighted, asthmatic, frail bookworm. Because of his frequent asthma attacks, he also loved the outdoors and fresh air. He always took numerous hunting and camping trips. When he was twelve, his father challenged him to develop his physical stature, and he responded, spending hours in the gym. In college, he rowed, boxed, rode horseback, and camped.
He became a cowboy, and then a sheriff. At 40, he resigned from his Navy post to lead the “Rough Riders” a volunteer cavalry unit, in the war against Spain and became known for his heroism in battle.
He was mountain climbing when his vice-presidency ended with McKinley’s assassination, and he won re-election after that term. After presidency, he went on an African safari to hunt big game, and then immediately toured Europe. He was shot while campaigning at age 54 – the bullet had punctured his right lung, but he still gave his scheduled speech before going to the hospital (remember that next time you think about bowing out of your TM commitment!).
A year later, he explored the River of Doubt in Brazil. He died of a heart attack at age 61, but in those years he lived more life than 3 average men, and live more vitally because of his devotion to exertion. d.What is wellness? Most of my patients come to see me because they’re desperate to get relief from some pain or disease – these are great motivators! But sometimes I get others who go through my health questionnaires for some other reason, and they invariably realize they had more health problems than they had thought.
They either weren’t paying attention to them, or they had unknowingly lowered their standards to match their slowly eroding quality of life. So, even people who don’t think they have any diseases still may not experience optimal wellness. e.What’s the difference between disease treatment and wellness? One means ignoring reality until a negative thing happens, then running from it. The other means envisioning a positive, and striving to attain it.
Our own experience teaches us how miserable a life is that consists of sticking our heads in the sand and then putting out fires. Hopefully, you also have some experience with making positive goals and achieving them, and the school of hard knocks has taught you it’s the better way. f.If you haven’t committed to wellness, created health goals, and aren’t striving to achieve them, then you’re just waiting for your health to disappear.
g.Thomas Edison said, ‘The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition,” and a co founder of Johns Hopkins University and one of the most influential and exemplary MD’s ever, William Osler said, “One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.”
In Chinese medicine, we look at acupuncture, herbs, drugs, and surgery as medical interventions for disease, to be used as a last resort- when they are needed, it means we already failed to live well. The norm these days is that almost everyone is so out of balance that they need some degree of medical intervention.
No one ever taught us how to live well, to safeguard our energy, to balance ourselves with the seasons, etc. h.Albert Schweitzer was a doctor who spent 50 years in Africa fighting leprosy and sleeping sickness, and for that won the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize. He once said, ‘It’s supposed to be a secret but I’ll tell you anyway. We doctors do nothing. We only help and encourage the doctor within.’ He also said, ‘Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will—his personal responsibility.” Most of us have given up some of our power over our own well being.
We want the physicians and scientists to solve the problem of health for us. Instead of changing our exercise and eating habits, we try the next miracle pill. To be sure, drugs are necessary in many situations, but only because our lifestyles took us to a place of disease. As Schweitzer says, we need to take responsibility for our own health. You have more power than you think over your well being – take responsibility for it, and make it happen! i.Car maintenance
i.If you never changed the oil in your car, the engine wears on itself, and eventually can seize up beyond repair. The common sense of preventive measures is why we have schedule maintenance check-ups, 6 month dental cleanings, and yearly physicals. ii.However, most medical checkups are too short, and are focused on disease, not wellness. They aren’t thorough enough to help you live in optimal health.
4.How can you fact the facts about well being and the state of your health? a.I’m putting a lot of information in the Prevention and Optimal Living book I’m writing. To help you measure your state of health, and see how constructive your lifestyle is or isn’t, I’ve created a series of quizzes – they’ll also be in my book, but I’d be happy to get you the rough copies if you just can’t wait.
b.But you need to know what you can expect from wellness: Comfortable breathing, no pain anywhere in your body, the ability to go into any reasonable environment without getting a cold or flu, a reasonable appetite, perfect digestion, the perfect bowel movement – comes out easy, doesn’t smell, and doesn’t require a whole roll of toilet paper to clean up, no PMS, perfect vision and hearing, easy, restful, restorative sleep, staying asleep all night, and waking up refreshed and invigorated, staying alert and energetic throughout the day, emotional balance, serenity, peace, patience, and an open heart and mind
5.What are some Examples of the Goals I want you to set for yourselves?
a.The most important things you can change to improve your wellness are your eating habits, exercise, rest, and emotions. b.I’m going to exercise 3 times per week, or even more primary:
I’m going to try every form of exercise I can until I find the ones I love to do. c.I’m going to eat the foods that Chinese medicine says will balance out my patterns of imbalance. d.I’m going to do a relaxing or spiritual activity for a half an hour, 4x per week e.I’m going to have a peaceful dinner with friends or family at least 3 times per week. f.All of these will help you achieve greater well being and prevent more disease. 6.How Can You Achieve Them?
a.With persistence and discipline. We’ll never be perfect, so the most important thing is that you make progress. John Wooden, the most winning college basketball coach in history said, “Success is being as prepared as you can possibly be- being the best you that you can be.” He also said, “People usually know what they should do to get what they want. They just won’t do it.
They won’t pay the price. Understand that there is a price to be paid for achieving anything of significance. You must be willing to pay the price.” But don’t get overwhelmed- If you don’t start, you’re continuing to fail. Just pick one thing to work on, and get started. Just do it! b.Another key is teamwork.
If you find someone, a group of people, or even just one person who also wants to commit to well being, you can meet weekly to talk about your progress and help each other. If you have trouble during the week, you can call them. Just knowing there are others with the same purpose will refresh your enthusiasm.
c.Cicero said, “Men decide far more problems by hate, love, sorrow, joy, hope, or fear, than by reality, authority, or any legal standard.” So, get to know what well being is, and learn to love it. Identify your unhealthy habits, and develop a seething hate, a real disgust for them.
Healthy people like healthy people, so you’re more likely to find love and romance when you nourish your own well being – unless you’re looking for a really sick partner, or a partner who digs really sick people,. Think about what a pity it is that some people are killing themselves day after day, whether intentionally or out of ignorance, with their poor lifestyles.
Develop a positive and hopeful picture of your future and how important well being is to it – most likely, every dream and goal you have already assumes that you will feel well enough to enjoy it once you achieve it.