Yes, I’ve spent 30 years in the health and wellbeing industry. Yes, I spend most of my life talking to people and encouraging them to make better choices about their own health and wellbeing. Yes, I focus every day, and with every decision, on my own health and wellbeing. Yes, my mission right now is to create a wave of wellness all around the world. Having said all of that, health and wellbeing isn’t what I’m passionate about. Does that sound weird? Does that seem like a total contradiction? Are you confused? If I am not passionate about health and wellbeing, what I am I passionate about? Well, that’s an easy one. I am passionate about my life!
I love my life. I love my wife, my family, my mentors, what I do, the things I learn, the people I can impact, the places I travel to, the books I write and almost every single experience every single day. I can honestly say, when I wake up, even before my alarm goes off every morning at 5:30am, I am excited, expectant and passionate about the day ahead. I bounce out of bed. When it comes to my health and wellbeing, I have come to the realisation that, without it, I can’t do or enjoy any of the things I am passionate about to the extent I desire. So, I now know I just need to do what it takes to be lean, fit, and healthy. I don’t have to love it, I don’t have to be passionate about it, and I don’t even need to want to do it. If I want to stay passionate about my life, I just need to do it.
After 30-years in the industry, can I tell you how bored I am about talking about good nutrition and the importance of regular exercise? Can I tell you how over I am trying to convince people to start making some simple changes to improve their own health & wellbeing? Can I tell you how tedious it gets writing about things that people already know? I am talking to myself here, as much as to you. I am just as guilty as anyone of doing things, I know I shouldn’t do, that are actually eroding areas of my life that are most important to me. Am I agitating you a little at the moment? Are you feeling a little uncomfortable? Are you tempted to stop reading any further and go and find something else to do that’s less confronting? Please, for your own sake, and that of your family, please suck it up and bear with me.
Think about your last 24-48 hours. Have you done anything you know you shouldn’t have done, or not done something you know you should have done that is impacting or will impact your health and wellbeing? Have you skipped breakfast, and justified it? Have you hit snooze because you were tired? Have you had a cigarette because you were stressed? Have you cancelled your personal trainer, visit to the gym or exercise session because you were too busy? Have you put anything into your mouth that you know is not great for your physical health? Have you reacted poorly to a situation because you were angry or frustrated, and later regretted it? Have you reacted to a craving with a choice that you felt guilty about afterwards? Well, if you are a human, then you have answered yes to one of more of those scenarios, right?
Wellbeing is not a pillar, it’s the foundation
Why am I so bored with talking about this stuff? Because you and I know it. We have heard it for so many years, and we can; explain it, teach it, preach it, attempt it, ignore it, make excuses why we’re not doing it, mourn the loss of people we care about because they disregarded it, and, suffer the consequences and then regret not having acted upon it. I know what people say, and I know what you may even be saying. ‘Exercise is not fun. I can’t seem to find time. I feel sick eating breakfast. I can never remember to eat. I can’t seem to stick to anything. I don’t like vegetables. I can’t walk at night alone. I can’t afford organic food. Blah, blah, blah, blah!’
The bottom line is, what people, and maybe even you, are saying is; I’m really not passionate about my wellbeing, nor can I find time to prioritise being healthy, and, I’m okay anyway!’ So, I’m here to suggest to you that; you don’t need to be passionate about your wellbeing, you don’t need to prioritise time and if things don’t change, you won’t be okay. All I want to ask you is this; are you passionate about anything? Your partner, yourself, your children or grandchildren, your career, your calling, your church, your financial position, your faith, your hobby or your social life. If you answered no to all of those, you have a much bigger problem than I can deal with here. I’m guessing there are things you are passionate about. So, forget about being passionate about your health and focus on what you are passionate about.
We must realise, as I have, that without your wellbeing, those people or things that you are passionate about will suffer dreadfully. The mistake I had made, and many people make is thinking that health and wellbeing is one of the pillars in life that we get to choose whether we prioritise time for, or not. When we place wellbeing alongside the other pillars, then we believe we have to steal time from other important things if we are to invest in it, and, we see it as something that steals time from those same important things. We can’t give 100% to all of these pillars. We have to prioritise and sacrifice. Unfortunately, many people are compromising and sacrificing their wellbeing, as disturbing rates of mental and physical disease, all around the world is providing evidence of.
When we understand that health and wellbeing is not a pillar, but the foundation upon which all of the most important pillars in our life stand, and, that compromising our wellbeing impacts everything that is important, then, hopefully, we will start to make different choices. The simplicity of understanding this model, is that it helps people make straightforward choices that will not compromise, instead enhance and add value to all of the most important priorities in life.
I hope this blog has made some sense to you. I hope it has made you aware that, without even realising what you are doing, you may be compromising the things and people most important in your life. You don’t have to love exercise, you don’t have to be passionate about eating healthy and natural foods, you just have to be passionate about your life and realise that your health & wellbeing is the foundation upon which it all stands.