Let me ask you a question. If you had to rate your HEALTH on a scale from 1-10, what would it be?
What if I told you that you could jog EVERY day, drink a gallon of water, and eat only the healthiest organic stuff, and STILL be a three?
I know what you’re thinking. “….Whaaatt?!?!” But hang with me for a second!
The truth is, being healthy is a balancing act. There are actually THREE areas: physical health, spiritual health, and mental health. A lot of us focus on our bodies, and think we’re good to go. For example, maybe you have a physical trainer and you go to the gym every morning, noon and night… That’s great! But are you also maintaining the other two areas?
Other people spend all their energy on staying mentally buff. They obsess over it. They want to be the smartest person at the company, the best of the best–they want to blow everyone else out of the water. Striving to reach the “top” is a very worthy exercise. BUT a friendly warning.. Don’t let this ONE part of your life eclipse the other two!
To achieve personal health, you have to make a commitment. You have to commit to developing yourself physically, spiritually and mentally. My advice is to make small life adjustments in each area that will allow you to make progress. Then, stay conscious of which areas are zooming ahead, and which ones are lagging behind.
Let’s look at the three areas more closely.
1) Personal health: The body you’re in is the ONLY one you’ve got. So, if I were you, I’d be taking really good care of it. That means different things for different people. These are simple, SIMPLE steps that lead to a much higher quality of life. Fill your body up with good stuff rather than filling it up with junk. Drink a lot of water. Get in the habit of being active. Whether that means going to the gym or taking the stairs instead of the escalator–only you know what’s best for YOU. Dentistry is very physically demanding (as you are aware) and people in your field–MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE–need to be especially good to their bodies when they aren’t at work.
2) Spiritual health: Spirituality isn’t tied to any certain religion. Spirituality is your heart health, your emotional health… It means examining how you spend your life, your purpose, your values and ethics. And it is going to be different for everyone! But whether you’re attending church every week or a mosque, writing poetry or volunteering at a shelter–your spirit is what makes you who you are. Choose activities that nurture it!
3) Mental health: What are you doing to develop your brain every day? For instance, I create a new reading list every year. I figure out things I want to know more about and I actively research them. Do you realize that if we had read one hour per day for the last five years on the topic of our choice, we could be EXPERTS on it by now? Just think about that. Be honest with yourself–is your brain getting flabby?
This year, I’d like to challenge you to step it up and commit to giving time and effort to each area. It will have an ENORMOUS trickle down effect on your entire life! Remember: the changes don’t have to be HUGE, they just have to be consistent. Being physically, spiritually, and mentally healthy will improve your relationships, your productivity, your Practice’s success, and your impact on the world around you.
Until next time,