I invest a large proportion of my energy and resources into my health and well-being. I prioritize good quality, healthy, home made organic food over many things. I would rather forgo a few trips to the cinema/pub every month in favour of ensuring that what I eat makes me feel well, happy and healthy both physically and mentally.
Much of what I read helps my personal growth, and I try to exercise and stretch regularly to keep myself in reasonable shape, and to avoid stiffness and back pain which I can get from sitting at a desk all day. (Notice the ‘try to’…there honestly are days when I can’t be bothered and so my little body scrunches up in to a crippled chair shape until I am literally forced to un-scrunch my self again with a brisk walk and some yoga!)
I know that not everyone has these priorities in life, which I respect. But also know that many people have looked at my lifestyle choice and wonder why I bother. I mean I do spend a silly amount on fresh, health giving food, I go without many things for sake of the environment, and I seriously narrow my job prospects for the sake of not working for obviously ‘evil’ companies that harm my health, the health of others, the environmental or animals.
I think that some doubt the usefulness of investing in their physical and mental health for the future. One person justified their lack of investment in their health by saying ‘Life’s too short – I could get run over by a bus tomorrow’. Indeed that is true, and we must live with this in mind. Not to be depressing, but we need to remind ourselves that life is short and the years tick by so quickly that if we don’t live the life we want to live now, then it may be too late.
But I am not just investing in my future I am investing in my now. If I eat non-supportive food today and don’t exercise for weeks then I feel the negative effects immediately; not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally. It’s not just about giving myself the best chance to avoid illness later in life. It still may happen, but if my todays are good then my tomorrows are more likely to be good too. If I have a clear mind (which eating mostly raw food and plenty of greens does indeed give me) I will more likely make better life choices today. Today is my future.
The ironic thing is that when this person told me that life was too short – that he might get run over by a bus tomorrow, so there was no point in stopping smoking – he was working as a cleaner in the office where I worked. My instant thought was: if this guy thinks he may die tomorrow then why the hell is he emptying bins and not living his life to the max spending time with his kids or fulfilling that dream he had always had?
I fully appreciate the commitment and challenges it takes to shift one’s life from a place of bad health to good health, but if we discover that the benefits will be felt immediately then perhaps we would be more motivated to make these changes. After all, someone may live a healthy life and feel great on a daily basis and still get seriously sick at age 80. Someone may abuse their body and mind with bad food, cigarettes and lack of self respect and live till they are 100, but every day might pass with them feeling low in energy, unenthusiastic, unhappy and with a foggy mind. Thinking short term and looking forward to a shift in our well-being in the immediate future may seem more motivating than doing it to prevent an unimaginable, bad thing that may or may not ever happen.
Personally, I know that if I am looking after my physical and mental health it gives me more clarity, strength, creativity and passion to get on with the things I really want to do in life. It’s an investment that gives amazing returns. So even if I end up having to empty bins to earn a living, at least I can do it with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.