by Dr. Timothy J. Maggs, © 1999
For those tired of only doing something about your life after you've hit bottom, read on. There comes a time in life when you have to take a step back and assess your method of operation. If you're happier than anyone else you know, as healthy as you want to be and don't live from medication to medication or therapist to therapist, this article may not be for you. But for most of us, we need to read on.
New Scoring System
In this country, we have grown to believe the only time you call a doctor is when you're sick. That philosophy has extended over into our financial life as well as our legal life. I've heard most lawyers don't have wills. If this is true, it confirms my point. The reason for this is simple, most of us live life on the defensive rather than the offensive. We never address problems until they are active, real life problems. By this point, you're fighting an uphill battle and getting control of a situation becomes far more difficult.
But fight you must to get into a position of strength and offense with regard to how you run your life. Our new scoring system is not going to recommend help only when you're sick or broke or confused. It's going to talk about doing necessary exercises everyday in your life so that the cumulative effect over 50 years produces a more fulfilling life rather than one that never quite reaches a level of health, wealth or happiness.
We see health at three levels:
- Vibrant health is the highest level of health and should be sought by all of us. We should work hard everyday to reach this level.
- Declining health in the absence of symptoms is the second level.
- Symptomatic life (Code Blue) is the third and lowest level of health.
We need to incorporate those habits that will continually improve our health in that undying effort to get back to vibrant health and to stay there.
8 Secret Steps
- Nutritional Supplementation - It is time to accept that none of us will ever eat the perfect diet, so do the next best thing, supplement your diet. We all have very specific needs and there are hundreds of products out there to choose from. If confused, talk to an authority.
- Sleep - I consider death is the only "cure-all" that God has given us, but sleep is the closest thing to a "cure-all" while still offering us an opportunity to enjoy our future. A good 6-8 hours a night on a quality sleeping surface is a must if you hope to reach that ripe old age of 80. Nothing in life can be good after a lousy night's sleep.
- Exercise - Exercise should not be looked at as excitement nor should it be looked at only for vanity reasons. Exercise is the essence of life. It personifies the Pain Theory, which states that all of us will be much happier in life if we voluntarily include some level of painful activity on a daily basis so that we're better prepared for unexpected pain when it comes. It also strengthens many parts of the body and mind and gives you a good reason to feel more comfortable when drinking a post-exercise beer!
- Chiropractic - This has nothing to do with me being a chiropractor. I don't even practice anymore. This has to do with the fact that the nervous system is the electrical system of the body. If nerve energy has restrictions or interference in the spine, i.e. the joints of the spine become locked up, known as a subluxation, then we're going to experience some level of dysfunction. This can either be pain, tingling, numbness, weakness or reduced vitality of organs, glands, muscles, etc. Chiropractors specialize in locating and correcting these subluxations of the spine. As runners, the abuse our backs take and the joints that lock up make a good chiropractor a runner's best friend.
- Diet - Just because it's tough to eat a good diet doesn't mean you shouldn't continually work on it. The difficulty in eating a good diet will never cease, but the benefits are huge and well worth a gold medal effort. I try to live by the 85/15 Theory, which states that you should do the right thing 85% of the time and do what you want to do (within reason) 15% of the time. The critical part of this theory is to overwhelmingly enjoy yourself when you're cheating. If you feel guilty, you're not following this theory and if you happen to become sick, alter the ratio until you're well again. Finally, read Nancy Clark's column every month. She'll keep you on track.
- Attitude - you are what you think. Cheer up!
- Great Music and Good Humor - Listen to Livingston Taylor if you don't know what I mean.
- Medication - Only when the above 7 steps didn't do the trick.
Finally, remember that health and happiness takes effort. Good habits will get you there the quickest. Follow the above the best you can and you'll soon qualify as the happy man in Mark Twain's saying-- "Someday you'll meet a happy man with nothing and realize you paid too much for your whistle".