The Why is Most Important

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One of the most profound questions I often ask patients is this:

“Why do you want health?”

They look at me puzzled, usually.

“No really, why do you want to be healthy? In other words, once you have your health, what are you going to do with it?”

Usually an even more puzzled look follows.

Patients come to me to seek health and to get the very best diet, supplements, herbs and natural programs without knowing why they even care to adopt such a lifestyle. They don’t know why they want to live longer and better.

Do you remember William Perry, also known as “the Refrigerator” from the iconic 1986 Chicago Bears champion football team?

Those that know him, including his coach from back then, Mike Dikta, refer to him as one of the nicest guys in football. At 340 pounds back then, he was more like a gentle bear, if you will.

Well, now you should know that the “refrigerator” weighs more than a refrigerator. At 450 pounds, he has apparently given up on life. He has no real relationship with his four kids or two ex-wives, he has squandered millions and spends his days drinking vodka and smoking cigarettes. Here is an expanded version from a  recent article on the current life “the fridge.”

Why do people do this?

That’s exactly it. I suspect Perry does not have a “why.”

What do I mean by this?

In life, your “why” is the reason you get up in the morning, the reason you try to be healthy, the reason you try to extend your life for as long as possible. Your why is that one thing that drives you—it’s behind everything you do.

What is your why?

In the end, a long life isn’t necessarily a good thing unless it’s time well spent. A healthy body isn’t necessarily a good thing if it’s used for the wrong purpose.

I’ll end with this: the one reason you and I want to live longer and better is not to earn more money, or own more things. It’s a whole lot less sexy than that.

After asking hundreds of patients why they want to live longer and better and continuously peeling the fruit to get at its core, I find that everyone has one common answer:

To spend more time with those we love.

The more love we have for others, the better and longer we want to live, and the higher our likelihood of consistently following a health regimen.

When you are thinking of not following through, just think of those people that love you who need your presence in this world.

It’s not about “what” to do, is more about “why” you do it.

– Dr. Geo

(and that, you can tweet)

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by Dr. Geo

2 comments… add one
  • Hy Varon 06/29/2016, 11:12 AM

    Dear Geo,
    What you just wrote about should be the essence for the wish to stay as healthy as possible.
    Something else to look at is, that maturity holds the possibility of a kind of wisdom and understanding of oneself and the world around us that usually doesn’t take place in youth.
    A healthy body can bring a kind of contemplation that could help us see the last part of our life.
    An illness like prostate cancer could help us to rediscover the essence of ourselves.
    Thank you for all your help

    Reply
  • Al 06/29/2016, 11:53 AM

    Hi Dr. Geo,
    what a great article. I have been dealing with a severe
    leaky gut the past 4 years after a nasty whip worm infection.
    I have a host of nagging issues and often feel like I don’t
    care what happens to me. I feel lousy most days and sometimes
    feel okay. But the basis of your article is exactly why I now focus
    on healthy eating and life style. There are people who love me,
    especially my wife and daughter who want me to stay. That is my
    why to the question of living longer and healthier.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    Al

    Reply

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