Two Key Qualities For a Healthier, Happier and (Probably) Longer Life

My wife Dawn and I are sometimes asked about the most remarkable health recoveries we have ever seen in our 34 years in the health field. Our response is quick and in agreement.

It is without doubt the recoveries we have witnessed in people aged well over 80. If someone had told me this 40 years ago when I started my career I would not have believed them. I thought then that healing was confined more to the younger person, that age was a barrier to major health improvement.

What a revelation this has proved, and how lucky I was wrong.

This is testimony not to me as a practitioner, but to the remarkable powers of self-healing that resdide in us our entire lives.

Two qualities are required for us to improve our lives at any age in any area, health included.

One is a willingness to learn, and the other is a willingness to change.

Don’t Imitate Yourself!

The basic reason people do not improve their lives, or their health, is they imitate themselves day after day, year after year. When nothing changes, nothing changes! This confirms the popular adage: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

The people in their 80’s who remarkably turned their health around (even to our surprise) were all willing to learn and willing to make some changes to their daily habits. They wanted to live as long as possible in better health and were fed up with their ailments. All considered their ages a total irrelevance.

They understood that imitating themselves had been a strong determinant of their predicaments in the first place, and that they needed a new game plan.

Another large obstacle to improved health is believing that someone or some thing can bestow health upon us.

For example, the person who suffers severe reflux goes to the doctor wanting to be “fixed”. The doctor prescribes nexium to him (a proton-pump inhibitor which reduces gastric-acid secretion) to alleviate the discomfort, and then goes home and eats the same food and drink he’s been doing for 30 years, pops the pills and waits for the “magic” to work.

If nexium doesn’t “work” the doctor gives a different pill and life goes on. The only thing that changes is the brand of drug.

Self-imitation is a barrier to growth in every area of our lives, from our health to our careers to our relationships.

Learning from Experience:

When we have a desire to grow, to become better people and to be healthier and happier, we need to learn not only from our own experiences, but from others as well. This is called OPE (other people’s experiences). Wise people learn from others and their own experiences.

I recall a famous business philosopher Jim Rohn say one day at a seminar that he would pay good money to hear someone give a lecture on how they have completely mucked up their own lives! He would take copious notes and then go and do the opposite. The comment was intended to be humorous but was a good teaching hook.

Such “growing” attitudes make life less complicated and far less difficult. Problems shrink and health and happiness grow. We become more open and trusting of ourselves, others and the future. We have less fear and anxiety. We become more empowered.

Our attitudes can lubricate our lives and allow them to flow more smoothly with less resistance, or they can be a hindrance to our well-being, causing us repeated and unnecessary physical and mental discomfort. Sadly, many people become self-sabateurs, becoming their own worst enemies. They stick to attitudes and habits of living which become “mooring lines”, keeping them stuck in ruts and preventing them from sailing to “new seas and vistas”, metaphorically speaking.

Our attitudes are the only thing we can each fully control, an insight so beautifully written in one of the great books called Man’s Search For Meaning by Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl.

We would all benefit by learning from those in the 80’s who turned their health around by being open to new ideas and changing what was necessary.

We are never too old to become healthier, grow and improve!

The choice is ours.