To get me into the writing habit, I’ve decided to start putting the rough draft of parts of my book into blog form with the hopes of getting some feedback to shape this venture into something better. I am so excited to begin a written expression of the ideas I have been passing along in some form or other over the past several year. Below is a rough introduction to what I hope will be a life-changing book, a book years ahead of its time, and a book that can help facilitate change not just in the small choices we make everyday, but I hope the ideas in this book reverberate so loudly with wisdom and common sense that it shakes the foundation of the way our society has come to think about health in the last two or more centuries. It’s an admittedly grandiose goal, but I like a challenge. Welcome to my writing journey. I can’t wait to hear from you.
Health, Vitality, Quality of Life: There are few things as fundamental to our ability to pursue happiness as our physical well-being. Put simply, if you don’t have your health, the rest of life is not much fun. Since you only get one body to live in, your knowledge of it and determination to care for it will ultimately determine a large measure of the happiness you will, or will not enjoy. In my line of work I’ve had the opportunity to meet people at very different ends of the health the spectrum. I’ve met and talked with sickly people (young and old), exceptionally fit people (young and “old”), I’ve seen people lost in the hopelessness of illness and obesity, some bitter about life, and some in love with life, and one thing I can tell you that good health is precious. It’s personal, and no one on the planet is uninterested in having it. No one enjoys disease and dysfunction, yet either of these can happen to any of us if the situation is right. In that light, discussing the topic of health puts us all on more of less the same level…the human level. So maybe, in a quest to make the world a better place, coming to understand health, is a good place to start.
So, where do we start this quest? I suppose there are lots of places we could start but I like a quote by the World Health Organization. I think it summaries the modern quest for vitality quite well. It says: “There are two obstacles to vibrant health and longevity: Ignorance and Complacency.” What may be most interesting about this quote is what they did not say. Curiously they did not mention genetics, economic status, or lack of access to medical care as obstacles to vibrant health and longevity. No, instead they mentioned the two things that we as individuals have the most control over: Our knowledge, and our attitude. At least on this topic, ignorance is not bliss, and apathy leads us to an early demise. To be sure, there are other factors that affect our health besides these two, but it is our decision to educate ourselves and take personal responsibility that will ultimately build our health. What wonderful news.
That said, if you’ve spent any time trying to build knowledge about health, you’ve probably found that there is a lot of confusing, conflicting, and sometimes downright wrong information on the subject. In a world with so many competing voices, how do we know who or what to believe? It sure would be nice if we came out of the womb with an up-to-date, 100% accurate owner’s manual. Since we don’t, perhaps the best place to start when seeking to build a solid foundation of knowledge is to learn a bit about the ways things were set up before we were born. By zooming out and looking at health in its historical context perhaps we could find a bit of bedrock from which to make informed decisions. Since every era of history has its challenges, maybe by finding out what challenges are unique to this era we could be better equipped to know who to listen to, and thus, how to live.
What I will attempt to do with this book, with a strong dose of humility, is to present you with what I hope will be seen as an instruction manual for how to live a vibrant life in this era of history, and in particular in a western culture. The idea for this book developed over several years as part of my efforts to affect genuine change in my own life and that of my clients. The knowledge presented in these pages is the hard won wisdom from years of study and thousands of hours working one-on-one with people. To summarize this book in one sentence would be to say that achieving vibrant health is rarely about finding a missing link, but rather it’s really all about synergy.
So, if you’ve ever been frustrated by a lack of results when it comes to making positive changes in your health, this book is for you. If you’ve ever watched someone else get great results with a given health measure yet wondered why the same thing did little for you, this book will likely uncover what you’ve been missing. If you are wrestling with a life-threatening condition, a chronic health challenge, a congenital or genetic challenge, or obesity, this book will supply ample amounts of hope. If you simply have “a few extra pounds,” or a couple “parts” that don’t work as well as you’d like them to, or, if you are among those fortunate enough to currently enjoy great health, you will find this book can give you the confidence to navigate around most of the rampant illness of today.
Something you might like to know at the outset is that I am not attached to defending any particular institution or way of thinking. My attachment is to you being empowered with knowledge, and I find this work to be endlessly rewarding and worth the effort. The first three chapters of this work will be dedicated to coming to a solid understanding of the how we as a society have come to think about health, the reality of our current health situation and trends, and how we are currently seeking to deal with them. The next seven (or so) chapters will be all about the hard won secrets of the healthiest people on the planet. We will explore all the foundational components of great health and discuss how you can make any and all of them a part of your life. So I hope you enjoy, and I look forward to hearing your stories. Put on your thinking caps, but leave a hole in the top so you can keep an open mind. Also, realize that health is a journey, a journey that is rarely linear. A new part of your journey starts today. Let’s begin.