Goal

Today I want to discuss why getting sick is a good thing and how sickness can help us be more reflective of and grateful for the life we have.

All About Health

staying healthy

I do all I can to workout and stay healthy.

I love my health. I love that I can walk up a flight of stairs without losing breath. I love that I consume healthy foods that leave me feeling empowered instead of tired. I love that I haven’t experienced a toothache in nearly five years because I always stay on top of my oral health and haven’t had a cavity in ages.

I’m fit and capable. Through a series of wise decisions, I have stayed on top of my health, and I live a full, rewarding life. From the sleep I get to the food I eat, I’ve structured my life in a way that maximizes my wellbeing and thus maximizes my potential and happiness.

As individuals, we have to make the best decisions when it comes to our health and wellness. Irresponsibility or negligence will drain us of our capacity to do better and overcome both small and large challenges.

eating healthy food

Eating healthy food keeps sickness at bay

For example, if we eat fast food, then our body only has empty nutrients to feed on. After we process our fast food “meal,” we’ll feel disgusting or tired. These negative feelings will prevent us from wanting to study, work out, or improve ourselves, causing yet another day to go by without any substantial changes.

Through better health, we can think better, work smarter, excel in physical tasks, increase our confidence, and thrive in the face of challenge. No matter one’s station in life, one can achieve better health. Healthier food options are always available, we can exercise with minimal time and monetary investment, and sleep is possible for everyone.

The belief that we cannot improve our health is a deterministic narrative borne of low self-esteem at best and laziness at worst.

The Humbling Effects of Sickness

medical concerns

Sicknesses are always inconvenient at best and terrifying at worse

However, despite best practices, it is still possible to become sick. Personally, I’ve always been responsible for my wellbeing, yet I still catch a cold once or twice a year. I’ve also popped my knee out of its socket, bruised my arms and legs, and burned my skin while cooking.

Typically, when I become physically sick, I’ve been resigned to the bed the whole day. I’m completely useless and being in such a state is disappointing, annoying, and inconveniencing.

Throughout the years, my annoyance has slowly turned to a deeper understanding and appreciation for my life. The value of becoming sick is that I’m able to reflect on my health and how much happiness it brings me.

sickness

Despite my best efforts, I still become sick and have to spend time in bed.

When I’m confined to my bed, I reflect on how easy it was to move when I was healthy. Furthermore, I think about my health and how much joy it brings me to be physically capable of running with ease. While I’m physically sick, I take the time to be appreciative of how good a healthy life is.

But it doesn’t end here. I’m also grateful for the modern medicine that I have access to. I can take medication for a cold or the flu. If I have a significant illness, I can go to a doctor or see a specialist. Decades ago, diseases that are easily conquerable today were death sentences in, and I am grateful that I live in a time where individuals can easily fight these dangers.

Additionally, I’ve experienced very few significant illnesses in my life. I could always have something worse, and I remain grateful that my sicknesses have generally been colds or flu and not cancer or diabetes.

Lastly, I think about how great it is to have a wife that can attend to me when I am sick. To have someone as compassionate and loyal as her care for me is a true blessing and I reflect on that while I am ill.

medical treatments

Most of the time, I’m sick with the common cold. I recognize that my sicknesses could always be worse.

Never Take Your Health For Granted

health

After I overcome a sickness, I feel better than ever.

We long for things when we have lost them. Health, modern medicine, and people who care for us are easy to take for granted. Whenever I become healthy after a sickness, I reinvigorated to care for my body, sharpen my mind, and spend time with the people I love. My mind is fresh with the memory of being incapacitated, and I am eager to ensure I do the best with my new found vigor.

I speak as a man who has not experienced harsh, life-ending diseases in his own life or within the lives of people closest to him. However, I believe having a grateful attitude for minor problems is a necessity. Minor inconveniences like the flu present an excellent opportunity for us to reflect on what’s right in our lives. Additionally, being sick reminds us to take care of the body that we have before our lives end.

Be honest with yourself. Are you treating your body well? Are you as grateful and as humble as you should be for the skills and life that you have?

People care for me and wish to see me live a healthy, wholesome life. So I take care of myself. I want to live as long as I can, and that involves eating well, sleeping, and exercising. The longer I live, the more joy I bring to the lives of those I love and vice versa.

Being sick is humbling, and we should never take it, or our health, for granted.

Actionables

  1. When was the last time you were sick? How long were you out for?
  2. What’s the worst illness or injury you have ever suffered? Were you able to fully recover? Do you think the injury would have been worse if you lived 50 years in the past?
  3. Who is someone that you love? Do you wish to improve your health for them?
  4. What are your biggest struggles with health? Why do you struggle with them?
  5. What is one aspect of your being (e.g., walking) that someone else cannot do? Are you grateful enough for this ability?

Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash.