Over the past year I’ve had several people I know, including me, experience an unexpected medical event. I also work at a hospital, so I’m constantly reminded of the infections, injuries, and illnesses that can plague our health. While this may all sound gloomy, I think there’s’ a bright point to keep in mind:
While there are enough bad things that can happen to us that are beyond our control, there are significant actions we can take to increase the likelihood of a healthy life.
It’s amazing how so much of what we do, over a long period of time, has an impact on our health. Consider the following healthy habits:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking lots of water
- Enjoying food in moderation
- Visiting the doctor for any health abnormalities
- Getting preventative checkups
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, these healthy habits, when done together, over years and decades lead to good health. And here’s the cool part… we get to choose whether or not we do them! No one gets to decide whether or not we live a healthy life. That decision is totally up to us!
We also get to decide, consciously or not, if we want to observe unhealthy lifestyle choices. By not deciding to take care of our health, we are essentially deciding to neglect it and choose poor health as an alternative.
Why would we voluntarily choose to surrender our good health to sloppy decision making. There are enough outside forces at work against our health. Let’s not allow our own apathy toward our good health to become one of them.
“The older I get, the younger my teachers become.” ~Unknown
As a life-long learner, I’m grateful for the people who have been (and currently are) willing to teach me. Whether they’ve written a book I’ve read, created a podcast, or sat down next to me to explain something, their willingness to teach me has enriched my live. I’m especially grateful that these teachers are often younger than I am.
As someone who’s been around for over half a century, I couldn’t imagine how adversely impacted my learning would be if I only listened to people who were older than me. If I carried the belief that there’s nothing I can learn from anyone who’s younger than me, I’d be willingly disconnecting myself from the wisdom and knowledge of a significant portion of the world population. What an awful way to move through life!
If sense a negative attitude bubbling up when you have the opportunity to learn from someone younger, check yourself. You may be on the cusp of throwing away a perfectly good learning experience.
How foolish it would be to miss an opportunity to learn something valuable, simply because pride and ego deafen your ears to voices younger than your own.
Several years ago I got a birthday card from my co-workers. It was a nice card filled with kind words of birthday cheer. Of all the notes written, there was one encouraging message that really stood out. It simply read, “Make the most of the next 12 months, for you will never be this age again!”
I’d never thought of birthdays like that. Sure, I know how the calendar works, but I‘d never really considered that we get the privilege of being a certain age for only 12 months. This encouraging note reminded me that I get to decide how I want to spend the next 12 months of my lives.
It’s easy to think of birthdays as a reminder that we’re getting older, but my co-worker’s wise words continue to remind me that we have a role to play in what we do with the days between our birthdays. We can choose to become “old” by complaining that we’re getting old, or we can choose to be grateful for the days we have and get about the business of living them well. It’s absolutely up to us.