Health…Your Greatest Wealth-Building Tool
Unless you are an Internet genius, a star athlete, or were born to a Fortune 500 CEO, your best way to build wealth is through your sales career. But in order to work, you have to remain healthy.
Here’s the Secret to a Healthy Life:
Choose your parents carefully.
But short of that…
The fact is: sick is expensive. I believe we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to stay healthy. And yes, I’ll agree that there are some health issues we cannot avoid. In many cases maladies like cancer and heart disease are hereditary. There’s not a lot you can do to prevent someone from T-boning you in an intersection.
On the other hand, many of the injuries and diseases we deal with are self-inflicted. Alcoholism happens when one chooses to drink too much. Some cancers are caused by bad lifestyle choices such as smoking. Sexually transmitted diseases can be caused by promiscuity. Heart disease can come from a lack of self-discipline when we eat badly, don’t exercise, and overwork.
When It All Changed for Me
I was diagnosed with heart disease way back in 1979. They told me to restrict my diet and do regular exercise. But I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. I still overate. I didn’t exercise enough. And, I continued working far too many hours. Then it hit. In February 1992, at age 39, I found myself at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville having five heart bypasses! Whoa!
But in truth, I had earned the honor. I was doing everything wrong.
So I decided to get serious and change some things. I got on a tough diet and lost some real weight. I started working out regularly and strenuously. Today, it’s been more than 25 years since my surgery. I haven’t eaten a full steak since my bypass. I take a bunch of pills. But I’m still going to the gym. But, I routinely travel the world: three continents in the last five weeks. I run at full speed. And I feel great! Thank you, Lord!
Here’s My Point
I learned the hard way (which I hope you won’t have to) that life is precious. I learned that good health is vital for my work…and my work is the only way I can earn, share, and give to others.
This is why I encourage others to do three things: (NOTE: Of course get your doctor’s okay before doing anything that may impact your health.)
1) Get Enough Sleep. As I mentioned earlier, many American adults are sleep-deprived. Experts tell us that a lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of bad stuff: heart disease, some cancers, depression, irritability, and a lack of focus to name a few.
Different people need different amounts of sleep. While a small percentage do okay with four to six hours of sleep per night, many people need seven to eight hours or more. This should be good quality sleep. Unless essential, shut off all of those lights, bells, and beeps on your devices. Get away from the noise. Many people sleep best in a dark room. For some people, a cool room is best. Do what you need to do to sleep tight.
2) Eat Properly. Talk with your doctor or qualified health professional and design a diet that’s right for you. Personally, I lean into the Mediterranean-style diet: lots of salmon, olive oil, and fruits and veggies. While it may not be right for everyone, it’s worked well for me.
Don’t complicate this needlessly. Eat the proper amount of calories. Pay attention to the fats. Watch the 3 Deadly Whites: salt, refined sugar, and flour. In other words, behave yourself.
3) Exercise. Yep, I said it. The bad word. But with all the jokes aside, I’m convinced that exercise is a vital key to good health. Broadly speaking, lots of us have seen real benefit from at least three exercise periods each week. My goal is to, after a warm-up, get my heart rate up to approximately seventy or eighty percent of its capacity, and hold it there for twenty to thirty minutes. Then I do a cool down. Again, get your doc’s advice on all of this before you start.
Here’s the Challenge
To paraphrase the late Coach Bear Bryant, “The trouble with the road to success is it’s filled with too many parking places.”
Knowing what to do and doing it are very different. Setting goals is the easy part. Sticking to those goals is another thing. But remember, you are a professional salesperson. Your stock in trade is mental toughness. When you see a prize (in this case, good health and the ability to earn), you set a laser focus and go for it. Nothing gets in your way.
This is who you are. This is what you do. You can do this!