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The Lost Art of Doing

the art of doing

 

Why do we struggle so much at the game of health when we have so much access to it?  This is the question I’ve asked myself repeatedly…

After much contemplation, research, and experience, I’ve come to conclude that the answer lies within my question.  Too much access IS the keystone reason for our continuous struggle.  As a result, we appear to have become creatures of entitlement and complacency.

Our relative ease of accessibility to health, fitness, and wellness leads us to see health/wellness and fitness as options to be exercised at will.  We’ve all convinced ourselves that good health is always obtainable if and when we want to at our convenience.  Such luxuries are only fathomable in countries like ours where clean water flows abundantly, well-paid desk jobs are more common than not, and riding a bicycle is seen as an endurance sport rather than a mode of everyday transportation.

Our state of societal lack of health has ironically bred a sense of entitlement for even our personal health.  We have an expectation to be full of health when we have not consistently lived a disciplined-life of wellness and balance.  Only when we have reached our latter decades of life do we come to realize that health has to be earned.  Unfortunately, many of us come to this realization when it’s too late.

There are two looming addictions ingrained into the social fiber of America:  Inactivity and food.  Our jobs, lifestyles, and leisurely “activities” are predominantly inactive in nature while food has become more about culinary indulgence than life-supporting sustenance.  The sheer quantity and poor quality of food consumed by the average American continue to feed the perpetual cycle of addiction.  Widespread habits of inactivity have led to epidemic levels of obesity and chronic disease in both adults and children.

You may be wondering if there is hope for us.  Can a life of long-term health be achieved with so much mounted against us?  The answer is a definite YES.  However, it won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination.  It may arguably be the most challenging personal goal achieved in your life.  Contrary to what the media and even the health industry say, true long-term health and balance does not become our norm without consistent practice day in and day out.  Just like most meaningful things in our lives which we hold in high regard, we have to work hard for our health.  There has to be significant time, effort, and resources invested into the physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual.  If you want to be great at anything specific, it needs to be practiced enough to become habit.  Those who pursue excellence at the game of health require repetition in practice just like pro athletes and concert musicians do as they refine their respective skills.

The final but critical piece to all of this is for us to undergo a critical perspective shift.  We must come to fully appreciate the full extent of opportunities we have to reach our respective levels of health & wellness.  There are too many people in this world who simply desire to live another day because water, food, and housing are often unobtainable luxuries.  Considering fancy gyms, health fads, cleanse diets, extreme workouts, and vanity are incomprehensible for many in such dire life predicaments.  Only in a society full of distractions, luxuries, and conveniences do we need such “fuel” to reach our respective health potential.

To undergo this shift in perspective, we need to extinguish our propensity to often profess excuses when faced with life’s challenges.  It becomes habitual for us to let excuses overflow into all areas of our lives.  We don’t even realize how often we say…”I don’t have time”, “I don’t have money”, “I’m too tired”, “it’s too hard”, “I can’t do this”, “I’m not good at this”, “this isn’t for me”.  If and when we continue to lack appreciation for all that we take for granted, especially with our health, we fail in more ways than one…and, perhaps, much more significantly at the bigger game of life.

May you ultimately gain understanding, hope, perspective, balance and true health as you begin this journey of owning a spirit of appreciation and an intensely active pursuit of your health.

Let’s all continue to discover the lost art of doing and be exceptional in consistent practice!

practice